Davidson County, Tennessee

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Davidson County, Tennessee
Davidson county tennessee courthouse.jpg
Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville
Seal of Davidson County, Tennessee
Seal
Map of Tennessee highlighting Davidson County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
36°10′N 86°47′W / 36.17°N 86.78°W / 36.17; -86.78Coordinates: 36°10′N 86°47′W / 36.17°N 86.78°W / 36.17; -86.78
FoundedOctober 6, 1783
Named forWilliam Lee Davidson[1]
SeatNashville
Largest cityNashville
Area
 • Total526 sq mi (1,362 km2)
 • Land504 sq mi (1,305 km2)
 • Water22 sq mi (57 km2), 4.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)692,587
 • Density1,326/sq mi (512/km2)
Congressional district5th
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Websitewww.nashville.gov

Davidson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 626,681,[2] making it the second-most populous county in Tennessee, its county seat is Nashville,[3] the state capital.

In 1963, the City of Nashville and the Davidson County government merged, so the county government is now known as the "Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County," or "Metro Nashville" for short.

Davidson County has the largest population in the 14-county Nashville-Davidson–MurfreesboroFranklin Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nashville has always been the region's center of commerce, industry, transportation, and culture, but it did not become the capital of Tennessee until 1827 and did not gain permanent capital status until 1843.[1]

History[edit]

Davidson County is the oldest county in the 41-county region of Middle Tennessee, it dates to 1783, shortly after the end of the Revolution, when the North Carolina legislature created the county and named it in honor of William Lee Davidson,[4] a North Carolina general who was killed opposing General Cornwallis and the British Army's crossing of the Catawba River on February 1, 1781. The county seat, Nashville, is the oldest permanent European settlement in Middle Tennessee, founded by James Robertson and John Donelson during the winter of 1779–80 and the waning days of the American Revolutionary War.

The first European-American (white) settlers established the Cumberland Compact in order to establish a basic rule of law and to protect their land titles. Through much of the early 1780s, the settlers also faced a hostile response from regional Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Shawnee who used the area as a hunting ground and resented the Europeans encroaching on their territory and competing for resources; as the county's many known archaeological sites attest, Native American cultures had occupied areas of Davidson County for thousands of years. The first Europeans to enter the area were fur traders. Long hunters came next, having learned about the large salt lick, known as French Lick, where they hunted game and traded with Native Americans.[1]

In 1765, Timothy Demonbreun, a hunter, trapper, and former Governor of Illinois under the French, and his wife lived in a small cave (now known as Demonbreun's Cave) on the south side of the Cumberland River near present-day downtown Nashville. Theirs was the first white child to be born in Middle Tennessee. [5] A number of settlers in Middle Tennessee came from Kentucky and the Upper South. Finding the land fertile, they cultivated hemp and tobacco with the work of enslaved African Americans, and also raised blooded livestock of high quality, including horses. While generally having holdings smaller than the plantations of Western Tennessee, many planters became wealthy in this period.

Map of Tennessee Districts in 1817: Tennessee, Davidson, and Sumner

Davidson County was much larger when it was created in 1783 as part of North Carolina; the following counties were created from Davidson County between 1786 and 1856[6][7]:


During the June 8, 1861, referendum, the closely divided white male population of Davidson County voted narrowly in favor of secession: 5,635 in favor, 5,572 against.[8] Middle Tennessee was occupied by Union troops from 1862, which caused widespread social disruption in the state as institutions broke down.

Notable residents[edit]

See List of people from Nashville, Tennessee for notable people that were residents of both Nashville and Davidson County.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 526 square miles (1,360 km2), of which 504 square miles (1,310 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (4.2%) is water.[9]

The Cumberland River flows from east to west through the middle of the county. Two dams within the county are Old Hickory Lock and Dam and J. Percy Priest Dam, operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Important tributaries of the Cumberland in Davidson County include Whites Creek, Manskers Creek, Stones River, Mill Creek, and the Harpeth River.[10]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17903,459
18009,965188.1%
181015,60856.6%
182020,15429.1%
183028,12239.5%
184030,5098.5%
185038,88227.4%
186047,05521.0%
187062,89733.7%
188079,02625.6%
1890108,17436.9%
1900122,81513.5%
1910149,47821.7%
1920167,81512.3%
1930222,85432.8%
1940257,26715.4%
1950321,75825.1%
1960399,74324.2%
1970448,00312.1%
1980477,8116.7%
1990510,7846.9%
2000569,89111.6%
2010626,68110.0%
Est. 2018692,587[11]10.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790–1960[13] 1900–1990[14]
1990–2000[15] 2010–2014[2]
Age pyramid Davidson County[16]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 569,891 people, 237,405 households, and 138,169 families residing in the county; the population density was 1,135 people per square mile (438/km2). There were 252,977 housing units at an average density of 504 per square mile (194/km2); the racial makeup of the county was 67.0% White, 26.0% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 4.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005 the racial makeup of the county was 61.7% non-Hispanic white, 27.5% African-American, 6.6% Latino and 2.8% Asian.

In 2000 there were 237,405 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,797, and the median income for a family was $49,317. Males had a median income of $33,844 versus $27,770 for females; the per capita income for the county was $23,069. About 10.0% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Like most large urban counties, Davidson County is a Democratic stronghold; the last Republican to carry this county was George H.W. Bush in 1988. Unlike the rest of Tennessee, however, Davidson County has actually shifted more towards the Democratic Party in recent years. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the highest percentage of the popular vote in the county of any Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, whereas Clinton only carried two other counties in the state, Shelby and Haywood, the fewest number of counties a Democratic presidential candidate has ever carried in the state's history.

Presidential election results
Presidential election results[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 34.0% 84,550 59.8% 148,864 6.3% 15,654
2012 39.8% 97,622 58.3% 143,120 2.0% 4,792
2008 38.8% 102,915 59.7% 158,423 1.5% 3,885
2004 44.5% 107,839 54.8% 132,737 0.7% 1,726
2000 40.3% 84,117 57.8% 120,508 1.9% 3,963
1996 39.2% 78,453 55.3% 110,805 5.6% 11,124
1992 37.6% 76,567 52.2% 106,355 10.2% 20,885
1988 52.2% 98,599 47.3% 89,270 0.6% 1,077
1984 52.0% 98,155 47.4% 89,498 0.6% 1,161
1980 37.5% 65,772 59.1% 103,741 3.5% 6,093
1976 37.5% 60,662 61.3% 99,007 1.2% 1,929
1972 61.3% 82,636 36.3% 48,869 2.4% 3,292
1968 32.3% 44,175 32.6% 44,543 35.1% 47,889
1964 36.4% 45,335 63.7% 79,387
1960 46.3% 52,077 53.0% 59,649 0.8% 871
1956 39.1% 37,077 59.9% 56,822 1.0% 975
1952 41.0% 35,916 58.8% 51,562 0.2% 152
1948 22.3% 8,410 55.5% 20,877 22.2% 8,356
1944 27.7% 10,174 72.1% 26,493 0.3% 93
1940 24.1% 8,763 75.9% 27,589
1936 14.8% 4,467 84.7% 25,530 0.5% 161
1932 24.4% 7,004 74.1% 21,233 1.5% 429
1928 53.2% 15,322 46.7% 13,442 0.1% 34
1924 26.2% 4,516 65.9% 11,363 7.9% 1,370
1920 33.5% 6,811 65.6% 13,354 0.9% 181
1916 25.7% 3,168 72.7% 8,958 1.6% 194
1912 11.4% 1,428 76.3% 9,517 12.3% 1,536

Federal officers[edit]

State officers[edit]

Local officers[edit]

Communities[edit]

All of Davidson County is encompassed under the consolidated Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. However, several municipalities that were incorporated before consolidation retain some autonomy as independent municipalities; these are:

For U.S. Census purposes, the portions of Davidson County that lie outside the boundaries of the six independently incorporated municipalities are collectively treated as the Nashville-Davidson balance.

Unincorporated communities[edit]

In addition, several other communities in the county that lack the official status of incorporated municipalities (either because they were never incorporated or because they relinquished their municipal charters when consolidation occurred) maintain their independent identities to varying degrees; these include:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Carroll Van West, "Davidson County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: June 26, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 101.
  5. ^ Thomas C. Barr, Jr., "Caves of Tennessee", Tennessee Division of Geology, Bulletin 64, 1961, p 148.
  6. ^ see List of counties in Tennessee for sourcing
  7. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1817). "State of Tennessee". Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Lovett, B.L. The African-American History of Nashville, Tn: 1780–1930 (p). University of Arkansas Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-61075-412-5. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Morris, Eastin (1834). Tennessee Gazetteer. Nashville: W. Hasell Hunt & Co.
  11. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  16. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  17. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nashville, Chattanooga; St. Louis Railway (1898), "Davidson County", Information for immigrants concerning middle Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn: Marshall & Bruce Co., printers, OCLC 7110225

External links[edit]