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Basic Information

2010 Census Population: 6,346,105 (17th)
Land Area: 41,234.9 square miles (34th)
Density: 153.9 persons per square mile (19th)
Capital: Nashville
Became a State: June 1, 1796 (16th)
Bordering States: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia
Abbreviation: TN
ANSI Code: 47


The area of Tennessee was originally part of North Carolina. North Carolina ceded the area of Tennessee in 1790 to the United States, and this area was organized as the “territory . . . south of the Ohio River” on April 12, 1790. Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796, as the 16th state. Upon resolution of a boundary dispute with Kentucky in 1820, Tennessee assumed generally the same boundary as the present state.

Census data for Tennessee are available separately beginning with the 1790 census. The 1790 population shown for Tennessee is for the Southwest Territory, which generally had the present state boundary.

Data for the legally established state of Tennessee are available beginning with the 1800 census.

About the Geographic Areas


Tennessee has 10 metropolitan statistical, 20 micropolitan statistical areas, and 6 combined statistical areas.


There are 95 counties in Tennessee.  Hartsville-Trousdale County is a consolidated county/city government with a legal description of “Government” and has one set of government officials.  Lynchburg, Moore County is a consolidated county/city government with a legal description of “Metropolitan Government” and has one set of government officials.  Nashville-Davidson is a consolidated city with a legal description of “Metropolitan Government.” The remaining 92 counties are each governed by a county legislature.


There are 844 county subdivisions in Tennessee. Beginning with the 2010 Census the state of Tennessee is using the county commissioner districts as minor civil divisions (MCDs).  The county commissioner districts are nonfunctioning nongovernmental subdivisions of counties.  From the 1960 census until Census 2000 each of Tennessee’s counties had between 1 and 12 census county divisions (CCDs) depending on the size and extent of urbanization of the county.  Prior to 1960, the minor civil divisions used in the census were civil districts.


Tennessee has 428 places, 347 incorporated places and 81 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 182 cities, 162 towns, 1 metropolitan government, 1 with no descriptor, and 1 balance of county for the portion of Nashville-Davidson consolidated city outside the separately incorporated places in Davidson County.  The minimum population for incorporation in Tennessee is 1,500.  Incorporated places are dependent within county subdivision.  Hartsville-Trousdale is coextensive with Trousdale County, Lynchburg-Moore County is coextensive with Moore County, and Nashville-Davidson is coextensive with Davidson County.

Tennessee has one consolidated city, Nashville-Davidson, which is coextensive with Davidson County. Nashville-Davidson contains the separately incorporated places of Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Forest Hills, Lakewood, and Oak Hill cities, and the part of Goodlettsville city and the part of Ridgetop town in Davidson County. 


Tennessee has 1,497 census tracts, 4,125 block groups, and 240,116 census blocks.


For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Tennessee had nine congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Tennessee continues to have nine congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census.


There are 16 elementary school districts, 16 secondary school districts, and 120 unified school districts in Tennessee.  The Department of Defense runs one school district in Tennessee.


There are 33 state senate districts and 99 state house districts in Tennessee.


Tennessee has 91 urban areas; 12 urbanized areas and 79 urban clusters.


There are 631 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Tennessee.

Centers of Population

Year North Latitude West Longitude
20106 35° 48′ 29″ 86° 21′ 33″
20006 35° 47′ 45″ 86° 23′ 52″
19905 35° 47′ 00″ 86° 25′ 52″
19804 35° 46′ 46″ 86° 25′ 18″
19703 35° 45′ 45″ 86° 30′ 06″
19603 35° 45′ 51″ 86° 26′ 32″
19503 35° 47′ 36″ 86° 27′ 28″
19402 35° 48′ 59″ 86° 24′ 47″
19302 35° 49′ 00″ 86° 27′ 22″
19201 35° 48′ 53″ 86° 32′ 01″
19101 35° 49′ 16″ 86° 33′ 47″
19001 35° 50′ 06″ 86° 36′ 19″
18901 35° 50′ 07″ 86° 35′ 58″
18801 35° 50′ 09″ 86° 38′ 37″

1  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1923
2  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, recomputation for historical county level data which relied upon aggregate county level population data with an estimated county centroid resulting in a possible error of up to one mile.
3  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Centers of Population for States and Counties, 1974
4  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group/enumeration area data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
5  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
6  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, computation from national block-level data

Most Populous, Largest, and Dense Areas

Population Land Area
(square miles)
Population Density
(Persons per square mile)

Name Population Name Area Name Density
County Shelby County 927,644 Shelby County 763.17 Davidson County 1,243.3

 - Inc Place Memphis city 646,889 Nashville-Davidson
Metropolitan Government (balance)
475.13 East Ridge city 2,533.9
 - CDP Middle Valley CDP 12,684 Sale Creek CDP 30.20 Green Hill CDP 1,910.1

List of Entities

See the Gazetteer Files for a list of geographic entities. See the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas page for a list of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas and related statistical areas.


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