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Knoxville Regional
Transportation Planning Organization

400 Main St, Suite 403
Knoxville, TN 37902

email: contact@planeasttn.org
phone: (865) 215-2500
fax: (865) 215-2068

2015 Livability Report Card Grades the Quality of Life in East Tennessee


Posted 03/05/2015
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East Tennessee is gaining a reputation as a place with a great  quality of life and a burgeoning economy, drawing growing numbers of new families to the area. A recent report by ETIndex.org supports that reputation with its evaluation of many factors that attract people to our area.


Mary Kathryn, her husband Michael, and two young children moved to Knoxville from Charlotte, North Carolina, recently. Michael works in downtown Knoxville, so they chose to also live downtown - they are loving the urban life and walkable commute. With the Tennessee River and Ijams Nature Center nearby, the family can experience the outdoor life that makes East Tennessee a wonderful place to call home. And the region’s central location allows them to easily visit family who live out of state.

East Tennessee is gaining a reputation as a place with a great  quality of life and a burgeoning economy, drawing growing numbers of new families to the area. A recent report by ETIndex.org supports that reputation with its evaluation of many factors that attract people to our area.

The 2015 edition of the East Tennessee Livability Report Card—released on March 6—highlights important facts and figures that contribute to the region’s quality of life.

The Report Card answers three important questions: Are we growing our regional economy? Are we providing housing and transportation options to meet the demands of increasingly diverse and informed residents? Are we improving the health of our people and places?

Produced for ETcompetes by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), the Report Card can be used by community leaders, residents, and local officials to examine our region’s strengths and challenges. Detailed measures are given for the eight key areas identified during the PlanET process as being integral to reaching our shared vision – clean air and water, healthy people, regional prosperity, local food production, transportation choices, efficient infrastructure, great places, and housing choices.

“The ETindex Livability Report Card is a valuable tool that can be used across the region as our communities collaborate on important issues affecting economic growth and the region’s quality of life.” says Jeff Welch, Director of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization “We’re pleased to be able to provide this resource to our communities.”

Some highlights of this year’s report include:

  • Good air quality days are on the rise. Based on EPA standards, 88 percent of the days last year were good air quality days.
  • The region’s 5.4% unemployment rate is approaching pre-recession levels.
  • Although it represents a small percentage of regional travel, transit ridership is on the rise. 
  • The incidence of overweight and obese children has declined from 42 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2013.
  • Today 1 in 6 people in the region are over the age of 65. By 2040, that share will be 1 in 4.

Community indicators tell the story of our area, helping us to clearly see our strengths and challenges, and focus our efforts to improve our community. For additional data points and to access the full report, visit www.etindex.org.

About ET Index

ETindex was launched by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, with the support and advice of several regional organizations. Its 87 indicators track critical aspects of our region’s economy and quality of life. Each includes a description of its importance, an evaluation of performance, a chart displaying trends over time, and tables of data for our counties, state, and nation.

ET Index provides a common source of data and analysis on critical topics to inform community stakeholders, spur discussion and collaboration, and monitor and improve quality of life. From this foundation of shared information, we can work together to address our region’s challenges and build on our strengths.

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