The Home of the Blues is actually one of the happiest cities to work in, according to, and gets repeated nods from data crunchers as one of the most affordable, too. Inhabitants often say the city, with its 650,000 or so residents, feels like a much smaller place, where everyone seems to know everyone else, but the city is also a prime tourist and getaway destination.

Much of Memphis’ economy depends on access to the Mississippi River, five major freight railroads and various interstate highways. In addition, Memphis International Airport is second only to Hong Kong International Airport in being the world’s busiest cargo airport. As the largest express transportation company in the world, FedEx not only uses Memphis as a major hub but also calls it home, as do International Paper and AutoZone. Outreach to area corporations is a focal point at the University of Memphis, which boasts the FedEx Institute of Technology and its three-pronged investment strategy in research and development and intellectual property, corporate-based environmental technology, and student entrepreneurial initiatives. The university has benefited from more than $152 million in external research support for the biosciences, hazards, learning technologies, transportation, education and public health, sensor technology, economic development and STEM-based technologies – those concentrating on science, technology, engineering and math.

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