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Perry County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Perry County
Perry County Courthouse in Linden
Perry County Courthouse in Linden
Map of Tennessee highlighting Perry 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 November 14, 1819
Named for Oliver Hazard Perry
Seat Linden
Largest town Linden
 • Total 423 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 415 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Water 8.1 sq mi (21 km2)  1.9%%
 • Total 7,915
 • Density 19/sq mi (7/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th

Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,915. Its county seat is Linden. The county was named after the War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry.

Perry County is served by Perry County Airport near Linden. Mousetail Landing State Park is located in the county.


Perry County was formed in 1819 from parts of Humphreys and Hickman counties. It is named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819), American War of 1812 naval officer who, after his flagship was severely damaged, continued the fight from another ship and forced the surrender of the British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. Decatur County was formed from the portions of Perry County west of the Tennessee River. The first settlements in the county were along Toms Creek near the Tennessee River, with the first known birth in the area occurring in 1818. This is the first written date involving the area that would become Perry County, but it is evident that the area had some European permanent settlement prior to this. The seat of government and courts were originally located in a small town known as Harrisburg approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the current seat of Linden. The county seat was transferred to its current location in Linden in 1848, where the current courthouse stands today. Harrisburg no longer exists as a municipal entity or recognized location.

Perry County was severely impacted by the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. Unemployment reached 27%, making it the highest in the state of Tennessee, and one of the highest in the United States. The massive amount of unemployment was due to the closure of a major automotive parts plant that employed a significant portion of the county's residents.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 423 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 415 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 8.1 square miles (21 km2) (1.9%) is water. Perry County is bordered on the west by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), and is bisected (north-south) by the Buffalo River. The eastern portion of Perry County is entirely drained by the Buffalo River and the western portion by the Tennessee River.

Adjacent counties

State protected areas

  • Mousetail Landing State Park


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,384
1830 7,094 197.6%
1840 7,419 4.6%
1850 5,821 −21.5%
1860 6,042 3.8%
1870 6,925 14.6%
1880 7,174 3.6%
1890 7,785 8.5%
1900 8,800 13.0%
1910 8,815 0.2%
1920 7,765 −11.9%
1930 7,147 −8.0%
1940 7,535 5.4%
1950 6,462 −14.2%
1960 5,273 −18.4%
1970 5,238 −0.7%
1980 6,111 16.7%
1990 6,612 8.2%
2000 7,631 15.4%
2010 7,915 3.7%
Est. 2015 7,929 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Perry County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Perry County

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,915 people, and 2,977 households residing in the county. The average household size was 2.55. The population density was 19.1 people per square mile. There were 4,599 housing units. The racial makeup of the county was 95.8% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. 1.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 52.9% from 18 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. 49.8% of the population was female. The median age for the county was 41.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,054. The per capita income for the county was $16,367. About 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line.

Perry County has the lowest population density of any county in Tennessee.




Unincorporated communities

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