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Tennessee Ability to Pay Index and Indicators of Economic Health

The economic health of a community can be described many ways. The Ability To Pay Index and Indicators of Economic Health represent a database of information and analysis developed by the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture for use by the TN Department of Environment and Conservation State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program.

This database combines a community’s unique socio-economic and financial data to determine their economic health and fiscal capacity in order to receive loans through the SRF program. The Ability To Pay Index, or ATPI, is determined using a simple average of nine (9) factors unique to each community. Together, these factors: median household income, unemployment, food stamp dependence, families in poverty, community assets, revenues, debt, and expenditures, and change in population determine a community‚Äôs ATPI value. These values have been calculated for all 95 counties and 347 cities and towns across the state. SRF uses this information to set interest rates for loan applicants and award additional subsidies through loan forgiveness, for communities considered economically disadvantaged. Information can change rapidly. Therefore, SRF, in partnership with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, has committed to updating the ATPI annually.

Some communities might find this data helpful when making other community level decisions. The socio-economic chart looks at your community compared to the Tennessee average and ranks communities, above, below or in line with state averages. The trend graphs allow communities to track their progress over time as well as a comparison to the state averages year over year for a given factor. Providing communities access to available data used in the SRF decision making process can be a power tool for our stakeholders and supports a more transparent Tennessee government.

This information is not proprietary, nor should it be used as a sole source for local decisions. It can allow a community to view its economic health in new and interesting ways.

Scroll down for County Ability to Pay Index

View Cities/Towns Ability To Pay Index

Click on a County for a printable PDF version of the Ability To Pay Index


This work is a collaborative partnership between University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

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