The oldest known name of the town is Asepsus (Ασεψούς in Ancient greek). This was also the name of the brook, that flows next to the city center and was crossed by the RomanAesepus Bridge. Research shows that the subsequent name was Artemea (Αρτεμέα), a derivation of the Greek goddess Artemis.
After the Ottoman conquest the name Gönen was used. The etymological source of that name is still disputed. Widely accepted possibilities are:
Ka-wana : A word meaning "Sheepland/Sheep Country" in Luwian
According to Evliya Çelebi's Seyahatname (In which he collected the notes of his journeys), Gönen was used by the governors of Bursa as a summer holiday location, where they enjoyed the therapeutic uses of the hot springs.
On 18 March 1953, Gönen suffered a devastating 7.3 earthquake which left 50 dead in Gönen and hundreds of buildings damaged. a previous devastating earthquake had occurred here in 1440 AD.
According to, the census that took place in 2010, the population is 43,802. This data includes, the town center and nearby villages within the virtual borderline drawn by branches of Gonen Brook. The total population, including Sarıköy and all 89 villages, is 73407. The population distribution is mostly linear, as most villages are located in between the borders of the valley. However, population density noticeably decreases in more steep areas.