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The City of Memphis

Memphis is the 18th largest city in the United States with a population of about 640,000 people. Located in the Mid-South of the United States, the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is comprised mainly of Shelby County in Tennessee but notably extends across the Mississippi River into West Memphis, Arkansas; and South to DeSoto County, Mississippi. The Memphis MSA ranks 40th in the United States with a population of about one million and one hundred thousand people.

Memphis was incorporated in 1826. The city is best known for its music as the "home of the blues," for Elvis Presley, and its southern hospitality. Memphis has big city amenities of major festivals, and cultural events. Memphis also offers quiet, attractive, and friendly neighborhoods and parks. Overton Park and Zoo is the second largest urban park in the United States.

Of significance, it costs less than the national average to live in the Mid-South. According to the American Chamber of Commerce Researcher’s Association statistics for the third quarter of 1998, Memphis scored a 92.9 for cost of living based on an average of 100. The median sales price of existing homes in Memphis is $109,700.

The unemployment rate (1998 average) was 3.7% in Memphis which compared favorably to 4.2% in Tennessee and 4.5% in the United States. The major employers in Memphis are Federal Express (29,500 employees), the US Government (14, 860), and the Memphis Board of Education. Memphis is also a regional center for healthcare with several large hospitals (Baptist Memorial, LeBonheur, University of Tennessee – Memphis, and more). Of note, it is also a regional hub for Northwest Airlines/KLM.

The University of Memphis is centrally located in a residential district of a major metropolis, decent off-campus housing is readily available at reasonable rates. Additionally, the University maintains several modern, newly constructed residence halls located within ten minutes distance of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department. University housing is available for both single and married students. Students wishing to apply for University housing should do so after being accepted into the program by applying to the Director of Residence Life at (901) 678-2295.

You can obtain more information about Memphis from the City of Memphis' webpage: 


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Read the article in The Commercial Appeal (by Jane Roberts) entitled: Kids'-eye view of mean streets, Children's essays put crime into perspective (Jan 2009)
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Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice | 311 McCord Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-2737 | Fax: 901-678-5279 | E-Mail:
Last Updated: 1/9/13