According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the tourism industry contributes about 10 percent to global GDP and represents the world’s largest employer. While the size of the global travel industry may impress, it’s the growth rate and rapid change in its composition that truly amazes.
Over the last 10 years, the population in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi) has grown from 1.29 million people to 1.34 million people at half the annualized growth rate for the country overall and one-third the pace for Tennessee. While it may be unfair to compare our growth rate with Nashville’s, Little Rock has more than doubled our population growth rate over the last decade.
How much government benevolence do we need? Well, that depends on your view of how selfish we are as individuals.