Davidson County, Tennessee
|Davidson County, Tennessee|
Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee
Location in the state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
|Founded||October 6, 1783|
|Named for||William Lee Davidson|
|• Total||526 sq mi (1,362 km2)|
|• Land||502 sq mi (1,300 km2)|
|• Water||24 sq mi (62 km2), 4.53%|
|• Density||1,134/sq mi (438/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Davidson County is a county located in the State of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 626,681, making it the second most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Nashville.
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–Murfreesboro–Franklin 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.
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 general who was killed opposing General Cornwallis and the British Army's crossing of the Catawba River on February 1, 1781. 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.
In 1765, Timothe de Mont Brun, a hunter, trapper, and former Governor of Illinois under the French and his wife lived in a small cave (now known as Demonbreun's 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.
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.
- Robertson County, Tennessee – north
- Sumner County, Tennessee – northeast
- Wilson County, Tennessee – east
- Rutherford County, Tennessee – southeast
- Williamson County, Tennessee – south
- Cheatham County, Tennessee – west
National protected area
- Natchez Trace Parkway (part)
State protected areas
- Bicentennial Mall State Park
- Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area (part)
- Hill Forest State Natural Area
- Long Hunter State Park (part)
- Mount View Glade State Natural Area
- Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Radnor Lake State Natural Area
As of the census 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.
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:
- Belle Meade
- Berry Hill
- Forest Hills
- Goodlettsville (partly in Sumner County)
- Oak Hill
- Ridgetop (primarily in Robertson County)
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:
- Lakewood (Lakewood residents voted to dissolve their charter and merge with Metro-Nashville on March 15, 2011.)
- Old Hickory
- Whites Creek
- U.S. Senators: Lamar Alexander (R) and Bob Corker (R)
- U.S. Representatives: Jim Cooper (D - District 5)
- Carroll Van West, "Davidson County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 26 June 2013.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 101.
- Thomas C. Barr, Jr., "Caves of Tennessee", Tennessee Division of Geology, Bulletin 64, 1961, p 148.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Morris, Eastin (1834). Tennessee Gazetteer. Nashville: W. Hasell Hunt & Co.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (1898), "Davidson County", Information for immigrants concerning middle Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn: Marshall & Bruce Co., printers, OCLC 7110225
- Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County official site
- Davidson County, TNGenWeb – genealogy resources
||Robertson County||Sumner County|
|Cheatham County||Wilson County|
|Williamson County||Rutherford County|