Davidson County, Tennessee

Davidson County, Tennessee
Davidson County, Tennessee
Davidson county tennessee courthouse.jpg
Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee
Seal of Davidson County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Davidson County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1783
Seat Nashville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

526 sq mi (1,362 km²)
502 sq mi (1,300 km²)
24 sq mi (62 km²), 4.53%
 - (2010)
 - Density

1,134/sq mi (438/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Davidson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010, the population was 626,681. Its county seat is Nashville.[1]

In 1963, the City of Nashville and the Davidson County government merged, so the county government is now known as the "Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County," or "Metro Nashville" for short.

Davidson County has the largest population in the 13-county Nashville-Davidson–MurfreesboroFranklin Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nashville has always been the region's center of commerce, industry, transportation, and culture, but it did not become the capital of Tennessee until 1827 and did not gain permanent capital status until 1843.[2]



Davidson County is the oldest county in Middle Tennessee. It dates to 1783, when the North Carolina legislature created the county and named it in honor of William Lee Davidson, a North Carolina officer who died in the Revolutionary War on January 1, 1782. The county seat, Nashville, is also the oldest permanent white settlement in Middle Tennessee, founded by James Robertson and John Donelson during the winter of 1779-80. The initial white settlers established the Cumberland Compact in order to establish a basic rule of law and to protect their land titles. Through much of the early 1780s the settlers also faced a hostile response from Native American tribes. As the county's many known archaeological sites attest, the resources of Davidson County had attracted Native Americans for centuries. In fact, the first whites to encounter the area were fur traders, then long hunters, who came to a large salt lick, known as French Lick, in present-day Nashville to trade with Native Americans and to hunt the abundant game.[2]

In 1765, Timothe de Mont Brun, a hunter and trapper, and his wife lived in a small cave (now known as Demonbreuns Cave) on the south side of the Cumberland River near present-day downtown Nashville. The first white child to be born in Middle Tennessee was born there. (Thomas C. Barr, Jr., "Caves of Tennesse", Tennessee Division of Geology, Bulletin 64, 1961, p 148.)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 526 square miles (1,362.3 km2), of which 502 square miles (1,300.2 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62.2 km2) (4.53%) is water.

The Cumberland River flows from east to west through the middle of the county. Two dams within the county are Old Hickory Lock and Dam and J. Percy Priest Dam, operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Important tributaries of the Cumberland in Davidson County include Whites Creek, Manskers Creek, Stones River, Mill Creek, and the Harpeth River.[3]

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Major Highways


Age pyramid Davidson County[4]
Davidson County
Population by year

2000 569,891
1990 510,784
1980 477,811
1970 448,003
1960 399,743
1950 321,758
1940 257,267
1930 222,854
1920 167,815
1910 149,478
1900 122,815

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 569,891 people, 237,405 households, and 138,169 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,135 people per square mile (438/km²). There were 252,977 housing units at an average density of 504 per square mile (194/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 66.99% White, 25.92% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.42% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 4.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005 the racial makeup of the county was 61.7% non-Hispanic white, 27.5% African-American, 6.6% Latino and 2.8% Asian.

In 2000 there were 237,405 households out of which 26.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.90% were married couples living together, 14.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.80% were non-families. 33.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.20% under the age of 18, 11.60% from 18 to 24, 34.00% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,797, and the median income for a family was $49,317. Males had a median income of $33,844 versus $27,770 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,069. About 10.00% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.10% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

All of Davidson County is encompassed under the consolidated Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. However, several municipalities that were incorporated before consolidation retain some autonomy as independent municipalities. These are:

For U.S. Census purposes, the portions of Davidson County that lie outside the boundaries of the seven independently incorporated municipalities are collectively treated as the Nashville-Davidson balance.

In addition, several other communities in the county that lack the official status of incorporated municipalities (either because they were never incorporated or because they relinquished their municipal charters when consolidation occurred) maintain their independent identities to varying degrees. These include:

See also


Federal officers


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=D009
  3. ^ Morris, Eastin (1834). Tennessee Gazetteer. Nashville: W. Hasell Hunt & Co.. 
  4. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links


Coordinates: 36°10′N 86°47′W / 36.17°N 86.78°W / 36.17; -86.78

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