Knoxville, Tennessee Population 2020

191,060

Knoxville is a city located in Tennessee. With a 2020 population of 191,060, it is the 3rd largest city in Tennessee (after Nashville and Tucson) and the 132nd largest city in the United States. Knoxville is currently growing at a rate of 0.94% annually and its population has increased by 6.81% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 178,874 in 2010. Spanning over 104 miles, Knoxville has a population density of 1,936 people per square mile.

The average household income in Knoxville is $56,382 with a poverty rate of 26.20%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $815 per month, and the median house value is $128,800. The median age in Knoxville is 32.6 years, 31.2 years for males, and 34 years for females. For every 100 females there are 92.3 males.

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 Poverty and Health Statistics

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 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.

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.

Knoxville Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Knoxville was:

  • White: 75.25%
  • Black or African American: 17.55%
  • Two or more races: 2.99%
  • Other race: 1.84%
  • Asian: 1.82%
  • Native American: 0.47%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Knoxville, Tennessee is 191,060, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 187,500.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 178,874.

Knoxville, Tennessee Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020898,3337,5120.84%
2019890,8217,5120.84%
2018883,3097,5120.85%
2017875,7978,4110.96%
2016867,3867,0620.81%
2015860,3244,6410.54%
2014855,6834,0890.48%
2013851,5944,2600.50%
2012847,3344,2150.50%
2011843,1194,4170.52%
2010838,7020.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White139,53775.25%
Black or African American32,53817.55%
Two or More Races5,5532.99%
Some Other Race3,4111.84%
Asian3,3681.82%
American Indian and Alaska Native8710.47%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1510.08%

Knoxville Population Pyramid 2020

Knoxville Median Age

32.6


Total

31.2


Male

34


Female

Knoxville Adults

There are 150,063 adults, (24,557 of whom are seniors) in Knoxville.

Knoxville Age Dependency

47.7

Age Dependency Ratio

19.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

28.2

Child Dependency Ratio

Knoxville Sex Ratio

Female

96,421

52.00%

Male

89,008

48.00%

Knoxville Households and Families

Knoxville Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Knoxville Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married67.3%32.7%
All45.7%54.3%
Male38.8%61.2%
Non Family37.1%62.9%
Female32.4%67.6%

45.7%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All79,5792.2245.7
Non Family40,0321.3737.1
Married24,4223.0367.3
Female11,8663.1732.4
Male3,2593.1938.8

2.98

Average Family Size

2.22

Average Household Size

6.7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.8%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Knoxville Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade4,2003.60%
9th to 12th Grade9,5868.22%
High School Graduate33,12028.42%
Some College24,58821.10%
Associates Degree8,8687.61%
Bachelors Degree21,93018.82%
Graduate Degree14,25912.23%

Knoxville Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White87,89779,09830,098
Black19,00216,6372,892
Hispanic5,0203,0881,073
Asian2,2342,0231,475
Multiple Races1,9511,445493
Other Race1,6351,086364
Native American47841679
Islander1348434

The highest rate of high school graduation is among asian people with a rate of 90.56%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 66.03%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,021$34,163$28,031
Less Than High School$17,145$19,433$14,202
High School Grad$23,515$28,329$19,996
Some College$30,150$32,504$27,167
Bachelors Degree$40,209$45,098$35,848
Graduate Degree$51,570$61,336$45,876

$31,021

Average Earnings

$34,163

Average Male

$28,031

Average Female

Knoxville Language

Knoxville Language by Age

Knoxville Language

92.24% of Knoxville residents speak only English, while 7.76% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.03% of the population.

Knoxville Poverty

Knoxville Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White126,69727,55621.75%
Black31,54113,03041.31%
Hispanic10,2633,15630.75%
Multiple5,4382,20440.53%
Other3,3121,07332.40%
Asian3,00666322.06%
Native85711313.19%
Islander1345037.31%

26.20%

Overall Poverty Rate

25.21%

Male Poverty Rate

27.13%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Knoxville

The race most likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Black, with 41.31% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Knoxville is Native, with 13.19% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.10%. Among those working part-time, it was 35.80%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 38.41%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School41.48%
High School22.92%
Some College17.40%
Bachelors or Greater6.84%
Name Poverty
Male Unemployed56.74%
Female Unemployed54.31%
Female Employed17.11%
Male Employed12.18%

Knoxville Income

Knoxville Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$37,703$56,382
Families$49,473$72,117
Married Families$67,923$91,495
Non Families$28,851$39,337

Knoxville Marital Status

Knoxville Marital Status

Marriage Rates

34.2%

Overall Marriage Rate

36.3%

Male Marriage Rate

32.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Knoxville Married by Age and Sex

Knoxville Marriage

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.

Knoxville Marital Status by Race

Knoxville Veterans

10,027

Number of Veterans

9,107

Male Veterans

920

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,654
First Gulf War1,754
Second Gulf War1,633
Korea945
World War II443
Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,546
65 to 742,195
55 to 642,162
75+2,161
18 to 34963
Name Veterans % of Total
White8,0966.89%
Black1,6036.86%
2 or More2447.82%
Hispanic1692.52%
Asian491.61%
Indian253.50%
Other100.47%

$Knoxville Veterans by Education

11.37%

Veteran Poverty Rate

30.79%

Veteran Disability Rate

Knoxville Employment Status

63.7%

Labor Force Participation

59.8%

Employment Rate

5.9%

Unemployment Rate

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

59.22%

Born in Tennessee

93.90%

Native Born

6.10%

Foreign Born

4.22%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

93.90% of Knoxville residents were born in the United States, with 59.22% having been born in Tennessee. 4.22% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020191,0601,7800.94%
2019189,2801,7800.95%
2018187,5005270.28%
2017186,9731,7800.96%
2016185,1938590.47%
2015184,3341,3030.71%
2014183,0318540.47%
2013182,1779070.50%
2012181,2701,1860.66%
2011180,0841,6520.93%
2010178,4324,5420.26%
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%