NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A recent study by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce found that the last half-decade has brought a wave of relocations from other parts of the U.S., and it's happening at a much higher rate than other metropolitan areas.
Los Angeles was the biggest out-of-state sender from 2005 to 2009. Those relocating include about 600 who came with Nissan North America when it moved its corporate headquarters to Williamson County.
But Crye-Leike relocation expert Kelly Thomas told The Nashville Ledger that many people are coming from L.A.'s music scene as well (http://bit.ly/ukm2ix ).
Susan Rose and her husband came to Nashville in 2009.
"I had worked in the record business for years and decided that I couldn't stand it anymore, but maybe I could keep doing it if I had a change of scenery," Rose said. "I was fourth-generation Los Angeles and had always wanted to try living in a smaller place. I had been fantasizing about Nashville for years."
When a job with Warner Bros. Nashville came open, she jumped at the opportunity.
And there is never a shortage of aspiring country artists.
"I always have a handful of those coming in with a dream," Thomas said.
Some of the other cities sending the most people to the multi-county metropolitan statistical area of Nashville include Memphis, Chicago and Detroit.
Those moving to the Nashville are generally are attracted by the good quality of life and a relatively low cost of living, Thomas said.
"There is a huge corporate presence here. There is job availability, stability and no state income tax, which is huge."
California's unemployment rate for September was 11.9 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than Tennessee's 9.8. And rates for Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson and Williamson counties were even lower than the state average.
Thomas also said Nashville offers more than other comparably sized cities, including sports franchises, a thriving arts scene, good health care and a variety of choices in higher education.
"I think we've kind of been America's best kept secret," Thomas said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)