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Davidson County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Davidson County
Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville
Davidson County Courthouse in Nashville
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%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,326/sq mi (512/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 5th
Website [1]

Davidson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 626,681, making it the second-most populous county in Tennessee. Its county seat is Nashville, 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 13-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.


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


USA Davidson County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Davidson County
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%
Est. 2015 678,889 8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014

As of the census 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 66.99% White, 25.92% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.42% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 4.58% 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 26.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.90% were married couples living together, 14.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.80% were non-families. 33.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% 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 22.20% under the age of 18, 11.60% from 18 to 24, 34.00% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% 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 10.00% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.10% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.


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:

pl:Hrabstwo Davidson (Tennessee)

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