Cars Are A Hot Export From Nashville, Music Royalties Not So Much

The Nashville area produced more than $9 billion worth of exports last year, and that doesn’t include just durable goods.  A new report measures how much US cities trade with the rest of the world.

More data from the Brookings study on Nashville exports. Click to enlarge. Image: Brookings Institution

More data from the Brookings study on Nashville exports. Click to enlarge. Image: Brookings Institution

The report, from the think tank the Brookings Institution, says Nashville exports grew nearly 9 percent from 2009 to 2012. The auto industry led the way. Several models produced at Nissan’s Smyrna assembly plant are shipped to other countries. Last month, the automaker announced plans to export cars to even more international markets—including Australia, New Zealand and The Philippines. Many of the area’s auto suppliers also sell their products abroad.

The Brookings report also measures how much services are exported—including film and music royalties.  Nashville may be known as Music City, but those royalties made up less than two percent of the region’s total exports last year. But that’s not unusual among US cities. Even in Los Angeles, film and music royalties come in second behind aircraft products. Overall, Brookings ranks Nashville 37th out of 100 US cities for exports. You can read the entire report, and find more data on Tennessee cities, here.

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