Tennessee Population 2018

6,782,564

The current estimated population for 2018 is 6.78 million, up from 6.34 million at the 2010 Census. Tennessee currently has a growth rate of 0.86%, which ranks 23rd in the country.

The last official population count for the state of Tennessee was taken during the last nationwide census held in 2010. At the time it was confirmed that the state’s population stood at 6,346,105. That number reflects a rise of 11.5% on the statistics from the previous census held in 2000.

It's estimated that the population has grown even further since the estimate of 6,600,2996 in 2016.

Tennessee Area and Population Density

Situated in the southeastern sector of the United States, Tennessee is only the 36th largest state in the country by area, but it is the 20th most densely populated. Although relatively small in terms of numbers, Tennessee provides some interesting statistics in relation to population density. This is a relatively small area that covers 42,143 square miles (109,247 square kilometers) but for every square mile of Tennessee turf, there is an average of 153.9 people, making Tennessee the 20th most densely populated state in the entire country.

You can see the largest cities in Tennessee on the map -- they’re the red blotches. The largest city in Tennessee is Memphis in the far east of the state, home to 655,770 people according to 2015 estimates. The second largest, located in the middle of the state, is Nashville, which had an estimated 654,610 residents. However, Nashville’s metropolitan area population is larger than the Memphis metropolitan area’s -– 1,757,912 people in Nashville compared to 1,341,746 in Memphis.

For a breakdown of which of Tennessee counties’ population are increasing, and which are decreasing, take a look at our interactive map. Read on for more information about Tennessee's population trends, or head across to our US population summary for more information about demographic changes around the country.

Tennessee Population Demographics Notes

Age/Sex, Race, and Religion

The median age among the state of Tennessee is approximately 38.5 years of age. When examining the ratio of females to males, the current statistics show females at 51.3% and males at 48.7%.

The racial diversity in the population of Tennessee is currently at 77.8% Caucasian, 16.8% African American, 2% two or more races, 1.6% Asian, 1.4% other races, and .1% Native North Americans.

In terms of religious preferences across the state's population, 81% are affiliated with a Christian based faith, 3% are affiliated with non-Christian based faiths, and 14% are unaffiliated with any particular faith.

Tennessee Boundary, Census, and Statehood History

The Territory South of the Ohio River, formerly part of North Carolina and sometimes known as the Southwest Territory, was created in 1790. It was admitted as the State of Tennessee on June 1, 1796. Both Territory and State had generally the same boundaries as the present State, except that because of erroneous surveys much of the Tennessee-Kentucky boundary was in dispute for some time; it was not finally resurveyed until 1859. Details of the Tennessee-Virginia boundary were not settled until 1901.

Census coverage in 1790 and 1800 was limited to the northeastern part of Tennessee and the region around Nashville, and coverage did not include the whole State until 1830. The 1790 census of the Southwest Territory actually began at the end of July 1791.

Tennessee Population Chart

Tennessee Population History

In 1790, it was reported that the population of Tennessee was just 35,691, but like most areas in this part of the world, a population explosion was just over the horizon. Just ten years later, at the start of the 19th century, numbers had grown by nearly 200% to 105,602.

That was by far the biggest spike in the Tennessee population but sustained increases throughout the 1800s meant that by the time the 20th century rolled in, the number of people who lived in Tennessee had just crept over the two million mark.

The 1900s showed a similar pattern of overall growth and that has continued to the present day where the Tennessee population in 2016 has finally surpassed 6.5 million.

Tennessee Population Growth

Figures relating to the natural growth patterns within Tennessee were released in 2006 and they showed that in the six years since the previous census, numbers had increased by 142,266 due to 493,881 births minus 351,615 deaths, and in addition, there had been a rise of 219,551 due to net migration.

There are no reasons to suggest that healthy rises won’t continue for the foreseeable future. It's projected that Tennessee's population will surpass 7 million by the 2020 Census and pass the 7.5 million mark before 2025.

Population Data via US Census

Tennessee Growth Rate

Tennessee Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20206,915,7240.97%
20196,849,1440.98%
20186,782,5640.99%
20176,715,9841.00%
20166,649,4040.89%
20156,590,7260.78%
20146,540,0070.76%
20136,490,7950.62%
20126,450,6320.85%
20116,396,2810.64%
20106,355,8821.11%
20005,689,2831.55%
19904,877,1850.61%
19804,591,1201.58%
19703,923,6870.96%
19603,567,0890.81%
19503,291,7181.22%
19402,915,8411.09%
19302,616,5561.13%
19202,337,8850.68%
19102,184,7890.78%
19002,020,6161.35%
18901,767,5181.37%
18801,542,3592.05%
18701,258,5201.27%
18601,109,8011.02%
18501,002,7171.92%
1840829,2101.98%
1830681,9044.90%
1820422,8134.91%
1810261,7279.50%
1800105,60211.46%
179035,69113.57%
178010,00025.89%
17701,0000.00%

Tennessee Facts

Tennessee Population in 2018Source: By Nathan C. Fortner (User:Nfutvol at en.wikipedia) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee Population Density by County

Shelby County

  • Population936,961
  • Density1227.63 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20100.91%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State13.95%

Tennessee Population Growth Rate by County

Interesting population patterns were observed in Tennessee when comparing data from the 2010 Census to 2015 estimates taken by the Census Bureau. This data showed that population growth by county primarily occurred in the central region of the state. Williamson County had the highest gain in population during the 5-year period at 15%. Surrounding counties Davidson, Rutherford, and Maury all had population increases that exceeded 5%. Montgomery County, located along the northern border of the state, posted a gain of 11.72%, while Sumner directly to its east had a population growth of 9.11%.

Some counties also had population declines, particularly counties found in the northwestern corner of the state. The largest loss was recorded in Hardeman County, located along the southern border, which had a population of 5.34%. Other population losses were less than 5% across the state, including those observed in such counties as Weakley, Haywood, Roane, and Hancock.

Population by Race

Race Population
White5,131,786
Black or African American1,107,392
Two or More Races137,501
Asian110,605
Some Other Race88,745
American Indian and Alaska Native17,568
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander3,784

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table B03002

Tennessee Population Pyramid 2018

50,000100,000150,000200,000 Male Population50,000100,000150,000200,000 Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Tennessee Median Age

38.6


Total

37.3


Male

39.9


Female

Tennessee Adults

There are 5,099,734 adults, (1,013,356 of whom are seniors) in Tennessee.

Tennessee Age Dependency

61.4

Age Dependency Ratio

24.8

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36.6

Child Dependency Ratio

Tennessee Sex Ratio

Female

3,380,308

51.24%

Male

3,217,073

48.76%

Tennessee Households and Families

Tennessee Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1101

Tennessee Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married82%18%
All66.3%33.7%
Male55.2%44.8%
Non Family52.9%47.1%
Female46.7%53.3%

66.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Tennessee Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All2,547,1942.5366.3
Married1,235,5543.1282
Non Family857,7111.2452.9
Female338,0653.3646.7
Male115,8643.3155.2

3.1

Average Family Size

2.53

Average Household Size

5%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Tennessee Households

Tennessee Education

Tennessee Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade228,1795.10%
9th to 12th Grade375,3458.38%
High School Graduate1,461,36432.63%
Some College934,34720.86%
Associates Degree312,4426.98%
Bachelors Degree738,61316.49%
Graduate Degree428,1609.56%

Tennessee Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White3,490,2503,075,483955,119
Black684,067580,183131,607
Hispanic167,528101,87024,342
Asian74,60264,02439,201
Multiple Races53,69945,73413,733
Other Race44,94623,0995,367
Native American12,5969,8622,646
Islander2,2691,896251

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 88.12%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 52.55%.

Tennessee Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$34,034$39,837$29,245
Less Than High School$20,748$23,451$15,730
High School Grad$27,073$31,946$21,817
Some College$32,489$40,306$27,713
Bachelors Degree$46,024$55,870$39,706
Graduate Degree$58,168$75,298$50,342

$34,034

Average Earnings

$39,837

Average Male

$29,245

Average Female

Tennessee Language

Tennessee Language by Age

Tennessee Language

93.03% of Tennessee residents speak only English, while 6.97% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.01% of the population.

Tennessee Poverty

Tennessee Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White4,792,588639,26213.34%
Black1,065,419288,30627.06%
Hispanic333,765101,73930.48%
Multiple133,86232,14324.01%
Other87,48329,95134.24%
Asian108,19511,60510.73%
Native16,9863,01817.77%
Islander3,6201,18232.65%

16.66%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.31%

Male Poverty Rate

17.94%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Tennessee

The race most likely to be in poverty in Tennessee is Other, with 34.24% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Tennessee is Asian, with 10.73% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.34%. Among those working part-time, it was 20.35%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 24.14%.

Tennessee Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School29.45%
High School15.73%
Some College10.52%
Bachelors or Greater4.27%

Tennessee Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed41.30%
Male Unemployed35.50%
Female Employed8.99%
Male Employed6.58%

Tennessee Income

Tennessee Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$48,708$68,386
Families$60,217$80,742
Married Families$72,808$94,604
Non Families$28,909$41,608

Tennessee Marital Status

Tennessee Marital Status

Marriage Rates

49.3%

Overall Marriage Rate

51.4%

Male Marriage Rate

47.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Tennessee Married by Age and Sex

Tennessee Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

Tennessee Marital Status by Race


Data via US Census (2017 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S1201

Tennessee Veterans

Tennessee Veterans by War

441,554

Number of Veterans

403,708

Male Veterans

37,846

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam167,762
First Gulf War90,187
Second Gulf War72,074
Korea35,516
World War II16,670

Tennessee Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
65 to 74117,067
35 to 54108,241
55 to 6489,763
75+89,236
18 to 3437,247

Tennessee Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White370,6179.17%
Black59,5897.33%
Hispanic7,9953.93%
2 or More5,9098.41%
Asian1,9842.35%
Indian1,83912.94%
Other1,3382.46%
Hawaiian27810.30%

Tennessee Veterans by Education

7.79%

Veteran Poverty Rate

31.38%

Veteran Disability Rate

Tennessee Employment Status

Tennessee Employment by Age

61.2%

Labor Force Participation

56.9%

Employment Rate

6.6%

Unemployment Rate

Tennessee Employment by Race

Tennessee Employment by Education

Tennessee Nativity

Tennessee Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. Tennessee State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)