Bluff City, Tennessee

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Bluff City, Tennessee
Location of Bluff City in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Location of Bluff City in Sullivan County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°27′48″N 82°16′30″W / 36.46333°N 82.27500°W / 36.46333; -82.27500
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.85 sq mi (4.80 km2)
 • Land1.75 sq mi (4.53 km2)
 • Water0.10 sq mi (0.27 km2)
1,450 ft (442 m)
 • Total1,733
 • Estimate 
 • Density955.92/sq mi (369.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-06960[4]
GNIS feature ID1305320[5]

Bluff City is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 1,733 at the 2010 census. It is part of the KingsportBristol (TN)Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.


Bluff City underwent several name changes before incorporating on July 1, 1887 under its present name. The town was originally known as Choate's Ford, and later took the name Middletown. After the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad was built, crossing the Holston River at the town site, the name Union was adopted. During the Civil War it was called Zollicoffer after Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer, but became Union again at the end of the war and until 1887.[6]


Bluff City is located at 36°27′48″N 82°16′30″W / 36.46333°N 82.27500°W / 36.46333; -82.27500 (36.463352, -82.275049).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), of which 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (3.21%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,670[3]−3.6%

2020 census[edit]

Bluff City racial composition[10]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,655 90.83%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 20 1.1%
Native American 4 0.22%
Asian 21 1.15%
Other/Mixed 95 5.21%
Hispanic or Latino 27 1.48%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,822 people, 842 households, and 541 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 1,559 people, 662 households, and 450 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,029.2 people per square mile (398.6/km2). There were 728 housing units at an average density of 480.6 per square mile (186.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.52% White, 0.19% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.58% Asian, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.

There were 662 households, out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,587, and the median income for a family was $36,938. Males had a median income of $26,422 versus $19,957 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,175. About 11.0% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.3% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bluff City has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.[11]

Police department[edit]

The town has a police department.[12] On January 1, 2010 the department installed a speed camera on US Highway 11E that reportedly issued 1,662 tickets in its first six months. The town splits the revenue with the operator of the camera. In 2014, the town expected to gain less than $100,000 from the cameras.[13] However the town's budget for FY 2017 reports expected "Speed Cameras" revenue of $600,000. This represents the largest single income line item for the city at 35% of total operating revenue.

In 2010, Gray, Tennessee resident Brian McCrary bought the former police department website after police failed to renew it. He used it to post information about fighting camera tickets. Police, lacking education on website matters, assumed they had been hacked. Negotiations to regain control of the domain name were unsuccessful.[14]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Certified Population of Tennessee Incorporated Municipalities and Counties Archived 2014-06-30 at the Wayback Machine, State of Tennessee official website, 14 July 2011. Retrieved: 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ Sullivan County, The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee (1887)
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  9. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  11. ^ Climate Summary for Bluff City, Tennessee
  12. ^ Poice arrest Bluff City man at BMA meeting; by Nick Shepherd. 11 October 2014, Times-News
  13. ^ Bluff City's tax revenues down, expenses up ; by James Shea, 9 January 2014, Bristol Courier
  14. ^ "Man Buys Police Website After Speeding Ticket".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°27′48″N 82°16′30″W / 36.463352°N 82.275049°W / 36.463352; -82.275049