Knoxville, Tennessee Population 2018

Knoxville is a city in Tennessee and the third-largest city in the state. The city was geographically isolated for much of its early history, although it quickly grew after the Civil War and is now one of the largest cities in the Appalachian area.

Knoxville has an estimated population of 184,000, up from 178,900 at the 2010 census. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area with an estimated population of 853,000, which is part of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 1.1 million. Knoxville has a population density of about 1,815 people per square mile.

Knoxville Demographics

According to the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Knoxville was:

  • White: 76.1%
  • Black: 17.1%
  • Asian: 1.6%
  • Native American: 0.4%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • More than one race: 2.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 4.6%

Knoxville has a poverty rate of 25%, well above the Tennessee average (16.1%) and the national average (15.1%). A 2009 study found that Knoxville residents have a life expectancy of 76 years. The study also found that 22% of adults smoked, 11% were binge drinkers, 14% did not have health insurance and 28% were obese.

Knoxville Population Growth

Knoxville experienced its first population decline in the 1950s, when it lost more than 10% of its population, although it more than made up the loss by 1970, posting a 56% increase. Today, Knoxville is among the ten fastest-growing U.S. cities with the best employment outlook in the country. Knoxville also has a low cost of living that is 80% of the national average along with low crime, which is attracting young college graduates.

Knoxville History

Knoxville was first inhabited during the Woodland period (c. 1000 BC to AD 1000), with a very old burial mound still present on the University of Tennessee campus. The Cherokee people were dominant in the area by the 18th century due to wars with the Shawnee and Creek. The first European-American explorers arrived in the area at the end of the 17th century, although there is evidence Hernando de Soto visited Bussell Island in 1540.

The end of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution led to an increase in the Euro-American population west of the Appalachians, with establishments in the 1780s. In 1785, Congress ordered illegal settlers to leave the area, but it was not successful. More settlers arrived and tensions between them and the Cherokee grew.

White's Fort was constructed near the mouth of the First Creek in 1786 by James White, a Revolutionary War officer, and it eventually grew into a town. The Treaty of Holston was signed at the fort in 1791 to establish boundaries and resolve issues with the Cherokee. White's Fort was named as the new capital of the area after Revolutionary War general Henry Knox.

Knoxville was the capital of the Southwest Territory and then Tennessee after it became a state in 1796, although the capital was moved to Murfreesboro in 1817. The early history of the city was filled with theft, murder and hostility from Cherokee attacks, but it eventually became a merchandising center in the region and its population doubled in the 1850s when the railroad arrived.

Anti-slavery and anti-secession sentiment was high in the area leading up to the Civil War, and East Tennessee and the greater Knox County voted against secession in 1861. The same year, however, Tennessee joined the Confederacy and martial law was instituted. The Union Army captured Knoxville and the Confederate army was unsuccessful in its attempt to recapture the city.

Knoxville recovered fairly quickly after the war. In 1869, federal wartime restitution funding expanded the college, which was occupied by both armies during the war, and it changed its name to the University of Tennessee a decade later. Many immigrants came to the city during its manufacturing boom, and its population grew from 5,000 in 1860 to more than 32,600 by 1900.

Knoxville Facts

  • Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee.
  • According to a 2006 study by the Economic Research Institute, Knoxville is the most affordable U.S. city for new college graduates based on typical salary and cost of living.
  • Knoxville is the base for Jewelry Television, a home shopping channel, as well as Scripps Networks Interactive, which operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network and Travel Channel.
  • Quentin Tarantino and Johnny Knoxville were both born in Knoxville.
  • In 2013, there was not a single day of the year that remained at or below freezing. This has also happened in 1990, 1921 and 1915.
  • Mountain Dew was first marketed in Knoxville in 1948 as a whiskey mixer.
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017187,3471,9621.06%
2016185,3859740.53%
2015184,4111,3480.74%
2014183,0639340.51%
2013182,1298640.48%
2012181,2651,2050.67%
2011180,0601,6050.90%
2010178,4554,5650.26%
2000173,8908,7690.52%
1990165,121-9,924-0.58%
1980175,0454580.03%
1970174,58762,7604.56%
1960111,827-12,942-1.09%
1950124,76913,1891.12%
1940111,5805,7780.53%
1930105,80227,9843.12%
192077,81841,4727.91%
191036,3463,7091.08%
190032,63710,1023.77%
189022,53512,8428.80%
18809,6931,0111.11%
18708,6824,6828.06%
18604,0001,9006.66%
18502,1000.00%

Knoxville 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

Population by Race

Race Population
White138,678
Black or African American32,205
Two or More Races5,597
Asian3,821
Some Other Race3,140
American Indian and Alaska Native832
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander192

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

Knoxville Population Pyramid 2018

2,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,000 Male Population2,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,000 Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

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

Knoxville Median Age

32.6


Total

31.4


Male

33.9


Female

Knoxville Adults

There are 149,550 adults, (24,312 of whom are seniors) in Knoxville.

Knoxville Age Dependency

47.3

Age Dependency Ratio

19.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

27.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Knoxville Sex Ratio

Female

96,095

52.09%

Male

88,370

47.91%

Knoxville Households and Families

Knoxville Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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

Knoxville Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married68.7%31.3%
All45.3%54.7%
Non Family36.2%63.8%
Male34.1%65.9%
Female31%69%

45.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Knoxville Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All79,4582.2145.3
Non Family40,2701.3736.2
Married24,3883.0568.7
Female11,3953.1531
Male3,4053.0634.1

2.98

Average Family Size

2.21

Average Household Size

6.7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.7%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Knoxville Households

Knoxville Education

Knoxville Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade4,5423.92%
9th to 12th Grade9,1657.91%
High School Graduate32,82728.32%
Some College23,94820.66%
Associates Degree9,0517.81%
Bachelors Degree22,22919.18%
Graduate Degree14,15412.21%

Knoxville Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White87,67478,72430,142
Black18,46016,4183,165
Hispanic4,6972,736953
Asian2,6172,3021,490
Multiple Races2,0191,530501
Other Race1,5851,019319
Native American43435757
Islander17514239

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 89.79%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 56.94%.

Knoxville Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,544$32,496$27,724
Less Than High School$17,567$20,895$14,313
High School Grad$23,176$27,191$19,990
Some College$29,351$31,841$27,015
Bachelors Degree$37,416$41,242$35,047
Graduate Degree$50,573$60,559$44,907

$30,544

Average Earnings

$32,496

Average Male

$27,724

Average Female

Knoxville Language

Knoxville Language by Age

Knoxville Language

91.86% of Knoxville residents speak only English, while 8.14% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.05% of the population.

Knoxville Poverty

Knoxville Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White125,56927,00621.51%
Black31,25212,99141.57%
Hispanic9,9723,45534.65%
Multiple5,5202,47344.80%
Other3,0771,00432.63%
Asian3,43467319.60%
Native82516119.52%
Islander1757945.14%

26.49%

Overall Poverty Rate

25.19%

Male Poverty Rate

27.69%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Knoxville

The race most likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Islander, with 45.14% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Native, with 19.52% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.20%. Among those working part-time, it was 36.02%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 38.36%.

Knoxville Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School40.32%
High School23.66%
Some College17.76%
Bachelors or Greater6.94%

Knoxville Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed53.01%
Male Unemployed52.64%
Female Employed17.04%
Male Employed12.51%

Knoxville Income

Knoxville Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$36,331$54,184
Families$47,935$69,116
Married Families$65,362$88,573
Non Families$27,646$38,237

Knoxville Marital Status

Knoxville Marital Status

Marriage Rates

34.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

37.0%

Male Marriage Rate

32.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Knoxville Married by Age and Sex

Knoxville 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 35To44.

Knoxville Marital Status by Race


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

Knoxville Veterans

Knoxville Veterans by War

10,364

Number of Veterans

9,386

Male Veterans

978

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam3,609
First Gulf War1,965
Second Gulf War1,507
Korea973
World War II607

Knoxville Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 542,733
55 to 642,333
75+2,216
65 to 742,161
18 to 34921

Knoxville Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White8,2487.06%
Black1,7947.74%
Hispanic2293.59%
2 or More2056.24%
Asian752.22%
Indian385.71%
Other40.20%

Knoxville Veterans by Education

12.37%

Veteran Poverty Rate

31.70%

Veteran Disability Rate

Knoxville Employment Status

Knoxville Employment by Age

63.3%

Labor Force Participation

59%

Employment Rate

6.7%

Unemployment Rate

Knoxville Employment by Race

Knoxville Employment by Education

Knoxville Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

60.20%

Born in Tennessee

93.79%

Native Born

6.21%

Foreign Born

4.24%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

93.79% of Knoxville residents were born in the United States, with 60.20% having been born in Tennessee. 4.24% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.