Knoxville is a city located in Knox County Tennessee. Knoxville has a 2023 population of 196,823. It is also the county seat of Knox County.Knoxville is currently growing at a rate of 1.08% annually and its population has increased by 3.27% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 190,594 in 2020.
The average household income in Knoxville is $64,650 with a poverty rate of 21.33%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Knoxville is 33.5 years, 32.3 years for males, and 34.7 years for females.
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 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 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 was first inhabited during the Woodland period (c. 1000 BC to AD 1000), with an ancient 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](https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-09-02-0100) 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.
The 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 relatively 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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Knoxville was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 52.52%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
92.45% of Knoxville residents speak only English, while 7.55% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.77% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Other, with 32.26% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Native, with 13.67% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.31%. Among those working part-time, it was 28.08%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 34.36%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 35-44, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Knoxville
97.6% of Knoxville residents were born in the United States, with 60.6% having been born in Tennessee. 4.48% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.