Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee, behind only Nashville and Memphis, with a population of more than 178,874 in the city as of the 2010 census, and a population of 868,546 in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area. When it was founded in 1876, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee, but capital moved to Nashville in 1826. Knoxville remains the county seat of Knox County.
As a city, Knoxville is relatively diverse. According to the most recently available census data, it is 76% white, 17.1% black, and also has a significant percentage of Hispanic and Pacific Islander communities. It has a population density of 1,815 persons per square mile, and a median household income of $32,609. The poverty rate in Knoxville is 25%, which is relatively high compared to national averages.
Knoxville was first settled in the late 1700s, and it played a big role as one of the primary cities of the American Confederacy during the Civil War, and was taken by Union forces in 1863. After the war, a manufacturing boom in iron products, textiles, and food products helped revitalize its economy. Throughout the 20th century, Knoxville’s growth slowed as manufacturing moved overseas.
Today, it’s known for its vibrant culture and growing downtown, and for revitalization efforts like the 1982 World’s Fair, which drew 11 million visitors, and resulted in the construction of landmarks like the 266-foot Sunsphere structure, and the Tennessee Amphitheater. Knoxville is also home to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Museum of East Tennessee History, as well as many other cultural centers.
Knoxville has a warm, humid subtropical climate. The average high in July is 88.2 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average high in January is 47.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
All public schools in Knoxville are part of the Knox County Schools system, with a total of 89 schools serving more than 56,000 students. Additionally, 50 private schools are located within the MSA. Higher education is provided by local universities like University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), Pellissippi State Community College, Johnson University, and South College.
Transportation is primarily road-based, with major routes including I-40, connecting to Asheville and Bristol, and I-75, connecting to Chattanooga and Lexington. Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) operates 80+ buses and trolleys which transport more than 3.6 million passengers per year. The nearest airport is McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS).
Helpful Links And Local Resources
Learn more about living in Knoxville with these helpful local resources.