About Memphis


Now this is Living

Fresh air, sunny days, quick commutes, and friendly people – what more could you want in a hometown.  More?  Great food, original music, professional sports, arts for days, and affordable…everything.  Memphis has one of the lowest urban cost-of-living expenses in the nation. 

Memphis is located on the southwest corner of Tennessee within Shelby County, the core county of  the Memphis metropolitan statistical area. The Memphis MSA also includes Crittenden County in Arkansas; Benton, DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Tunica counties in Mississippi; plus Fayette and Tipton counties in Tennessee.

The city is along the Mississippi and Wolf rivers and is on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff. Memphis, Tennessee is 330.3 square miles with a lattitude of 35.149534N and a longitude of -90.04898W.


In 1541, Hernando De Soto encountered the Chickasaw Indians living in the Memphis area. By the 18th century, both the French and later the Spanish controlled the Memphis area. In 1797, the U.S. finally gained control of the area and erected Fort Adams.

In 1818, the Chickasaw signed a treaty called the Jackson Purchase giving West Tennessee to the United States. Memphis was founded on May 22, 1819, by investors General Andrew Jackson (who would later become the seventh President of the United States), General James Winchester, and Judge John Overton. Memphis was named after the ancient capital of Egypt on the Nile River. On May 22, 1819, Memphis was surveyed and designed. Memphis was incorporated on December 19, 1826.


City of Memphis 646,889 655,770*
Shelby County, TN 927,644 934,603
Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSA 1,316,100 1,342,842
Source: US Census Bureau

*2015 estimate, 2016 data not avialable until June 2017

  • Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee.
  • Memphis is the 23rd largest city in America.
  • The Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, TN-MS-AR (MSA) is the 43rd largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation.
  • The city of Memphis is larger than: Atlanta, GA; St. Louis, MO; Portland, OR; Nashville, TN; Boston, MA; Miami, FL; Baltimore, MD; and Seattle, WA.

For more Memphis facts and statistics, visit the Greater Memphis Chamber Data Center.


Memphis is known as America's Aerotropolis because of the city’s central location and major industries.


The Memphis International Airport has 83 daily departures, direct flights to 37 destinations, 6 major airlines, 13 commuter airlines and four runways.

  • The Memphis International Airport has been ranked by Airports Council International (ACI) as the top cargo airport in North America world since 1992.
  • The Memphis International Airport shipped 4,604,959,368 metric tons of cargo in 2014.


Memphis is the third largest rail center in the nation behind Chicago and St. Louis. Memphis is also one of four cities in America with five Class I railroads. The railroads are BNSF, Canadian National, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.


The Memphis area has six interstate highways. The interstate highways are 22, 40, 55, 69, 240 and 269. I-69 is currently under construction. Memphis will be the new interstate's halfway point.

  • In 2010, Tennessee ranked third with the nation’s “Best Roads” by Overdrive Magazine.
  • Tennessee’s stretch of I-40 was also ranked as the nation’s “Best Highway Segment“by Overdrive Magazine in 2010.


The Port of Memphis is one of the largest ports in the nation. In 2013, approximately 14.24 million tons of cargo has handled by the Port. 

Read more about Logistics & Distribution, one of Memphis' target industries.


Memphis is one of those cities where spring and fall seems to last forever. With 64% sunshine days, more than Jacksonville, FL, an average annual temperature of 62°F, an average summer temperature of 82.5°F (July) and an average winter temperature of 39.9°F (January) there are plenty things to do all year around. The average snowfall in the Memphis area is 5.2” inches and the average rainfall is 54.65” inches. Rainfall is distributed evenly all year round.

Read more about Memphis' climate.


There is a reason why 10 million people visited the Memphis area last year. With approximately 241 hotels and over 22,300 rooms the Memphis area offers an array of hotels ranging from affordable hotels to luxury properties.

The Peabody Hotel

Built in 1925, the historic Peabody Hotel offers visitors old world luxury and charm with modern amenities. At 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, spectators can watch the Peabody Ducks march to the tune of "King Cotton March" all the way to the lobby fountain.

  • Out of 70,000 hotels the Peabody Hotel is one of 125 Four-Star hotels to be on the exclusive Forbes Travel Guide list.
  • The Peabody is an AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel.
  • The Peabody is also on the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America list.
Westin Memphis Beale Street

The newly built Weston hotel is only steps away from the FedEx Forum and a block away from Beale Street. The Westin Memphis Beale has over 200 rooms and features state of the art facilities.

  • The Westin is an AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel.
  • The Westin is an Expedia Insiders Select 2010 winner.
Memphis Marriott Downtown

The Memphis Marriott Downtown is the largest hotel in Memphis. Just a sky walk away from the Memphis Cook Convention Center, the building features beautiful views of the Memphis skyline and easy access to entertainment and nightlife.

  • The Memphis Marriott Downtown is an AAA Three Diamond Hotel.
Memphis Cook Convention Center

Just minutes away from the Memphis Marriott Downtown and steps away from the vintage Main Street trolley line, the Memphis Cook Convention Center offers an array of amenities for groups of all sizes.

  • Memphis Convention Center has 31 meeting rooms and 350,000 square feet of convention space.
  • The Cook Convention Center is adjoined to the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

For additional hotel and tourist information please go to the Memphis Conventions and Visitors Bureau.


There are so many things to do in Memphis. For instance, you can spend a day at the home of Elvis Presley, walk in Martin Luther King’s footsteps at the National Civil Rights Museum, plant one of a million trees at Shelby Farms or canoe down the Wolf River. Here are just a few more activities Memphis has to offer.

As you can see Memphis has a mix of everything. If you want history we got it. If you want culture we got it. If you want the outdoors we got it. If you want music we got it. If you want good food we got it and if you want it all we got it.

  • Memphis was named the 10th Most Eccentric City by the Daily Beast for 2010.
  • Memphis is one of the most hospitable cities in the U.S., ranked 6th by Airbnb.com based on visitors reviews of the city during 2013.
  • The Brooks Museum of Art is Tennessee’s oldest and largest museum of fine and decorative arts. 
  • Goner Records and Shangri-La Records were named two of “The Best Record Stores in the USA” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2012.
  • Chez Philippe, a Mobil Four-Star restaurant is located in the AAA Four-Diamond historic Peabody hotel featuring French cuisine.

For more information on how to "Play" in Memphis, click here. For additional hotel and tourist information please go to the Memphis Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

Moving to Memphis

First of all, welcome! Your new home is a beautiful historic large city with a quaint small town feel. Whatever you need to know about moving to Memphis is on our Moving to Memphis page. From the Memphis Library to education, we have a list of services that will help ease your move to the "Bluff City." Did you know?

For more about Memphis’ rankings and assets take a look at the Memphis Bragging Rights page. Visit our Community page to learn all the ways to live, work and play in Memphis.

Job Hunting

Are you looking for a job? Memphis is the home to award winning and nationally recognized companies. There are so many opportunities for career growth in Memphis' target industries. Here is a list of additional resources:

  • The Commercial Appeal
  • The Memphis Business Journal
  • The Memphis Flyer
  • Monster.com

Click here to find Memphis jobs.

Real Estate and Apartments

Need to find a new home? Take a look at the area neighborhoods. Once you've figured out where you want to live, let our member Real Estate Agencies and Apartment Rental Companies assist you with your housing needs.

Memphis Crossroads

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