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Davidson County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Davidson County
Consolidated city-county
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Davidson County Courthouse
Davidson County Courthouse
Official seal of Davidson County
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.
Country  United States
State  Tennessee
Founded October 6, 1783
Named for William Lee Davidson
Seat Nashville
Largest city Nashville
 • Total 526 sq mi (1,360 km2)
 • Land 504 sq mi (1,310 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (60 km2)  4.2%
 • Total 715,884 Increase
 • Density 1,420.40/sq mi (548.42/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 5th

Davidson County is a county in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is located in the heart of Middle Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 715,884, making it the second most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Nashville, the state capital and largest city.

Since 1963, the city of Nashville and Davidson County have had a consolidated government called the "Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County", commonly referred to as "Metro Nashville" or "Metro".

Davidson County has the largest population in the 13-county Nashville-Davidson–MurfreesboroFranklin Metropolitan Statistical Area, the state's most populous metropolitan 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.


Davidson County is the oldest county in the 41-county region of Middle Tennessee. It dates to 1783, when the North Carolina legislature created the county and named it in honor of William Lee Davidson, 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 (white) settlement in Middle Tennessee, founded by James Robertson and John Donelson during the winter of 1779-80. The first 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 Native American tribes who resented their 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 whites 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.

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. The first white child to be born in Middle Tennessee was born there.

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


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.

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.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Natchez Trace Parkway (part)

State protected areas

Major highways

  • I-24
  • I-40
  • I-65
  • I-440
  • US 31
  • US 31A
  • US 31E
  • US 31W
  • US 41
  • US 41A
  • US 70
  • US 70S
  • US 431
  • SR 155 / Briley Parkway


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 3,459
1800 9,965 188.1%
1810 15,608 56.6%
1820 20,154 29.1%
1830 28,122 39.5%
1840 30,509 8.5%
1850 38,882 27.4%
1860 47,055 21.0%
1870 62,897 33.7%
1880 79,026 25.6%
1890 108,174 36.9%
1900 122,815 13.5%
1910 149,478 21.7%
1920 167,815 12.3%
1930 222,854 32.8%
1940 257,267 15.4%
1950 321,758 25.1%
1960 399,743 24.2%
1970 448,003 12.1%
1980 477,811 6.7%
1990 510,784 6.9%
2000 569,891 11.6%
2010 626,681 10.0%
2020 715,884 14.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020
USA Davidson County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Davidson County

2020 census

Davidson County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 386,835 54.04%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 171,489 23.95%
Native American 1,309 0.18%
Asian 27,660 3.86%
Pacific Islander 303 0.04%
Other/Mixed 30,169 4.21%
Hispanic or Latino 98,119 13.71%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 715,884 people, 289,427 households, and 152,833 families residing in the county.


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

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

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

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Davidson (Tennessee) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Contemporary Hispanic artists
Firelei Báez
Coco Fusco
Diana Guerrero-Maciá
Harmonia Rosales
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