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Rutherford County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Rutherford County
County of Rutherford
Rutherford County Courthouse, Murfreesboro
Official seal of Rutherford County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Rutherford 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 25, 1803
Named for Griffith Rutherford
Seat Murfreesboro
Largest city Murfreesboro
 • Total 624 sq mi (1,620 km2)
 • Land 619 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Water 4.7 sq mi (12 km2)  0.8%%
 • Total 341,486 Increase
 • Density 551.67/sq mi (213.00/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
37037, 37060, 37063, 37085, 37086, 37089, 37118, 37127, 37128, 37129, 37130, 37131, 37132, 37133, 37153, 37167
Area code 615, 629
Congressional district 4th

Rutherford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is located in Middle Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 341,486, making it the fifth-most populous county in Tennessee. A study conducted by the University of Tennessee projects Rutherford County to become the third largest county in Tennessee by population by 2050. Its county seat is Murfreesboro, which is also the geographic center of Tennessee. As of 2010, it is the center of population of Tennessee. Rutherford County is included in the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Rutherford County was formed in 1803 from parts of Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties, and named in honor of Griffith Rutherford (1721–1805). Rutherford was a North Carolina colonial legislator and an American Revolutionary War general, who settled in Middle Tennessee after the Revolution. He was appointed President of the Council of the Southwest Territory (the upper chamber of the territorial legislature) in 1794.

Rutherford County strongly supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, having voted 2,392 to 73 in favor of Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession on June 8, 1861. Rutherford County's central location and proximity to Nashville during the Civil War made it a contested area. The county was home to one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of Stones River, which was fought between December 31, 1861, and January 2, 1862. On July 13, 1862, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest conducted a series of operations in the county known as Forrest's Raid. The raid successfully led to the surrender of Union forces occupying the area. Soon after, Union troops retook the region and occupied it until the end of the war.

Rutherford County is an outlying part of metropolitan Nashville. Since 1970, its population has been increasing rapidly as Nashville becomes a true metropolis. The rate of growth accelerated in the 1990s and continued at a brisk pace into the first decade of the 21st century.


Sunset in Murfreesboro

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 624 square miles (1,620 km2), of which 619 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.8%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected areas

  • Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens State Natural Area
  • Gattinger's Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area (part)
  • Long Hunter State Park (part)
  • Manus Road Cedar Glade State Natural Area
  • Overbridge State Natural Area
  • Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade State Natural Area
  • Fate Sanders Barrens State Natural Area
  • Sunnybell Cedar Glade State Natural Area
  • Stones River Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area
  • Walterhill Floodplain State Natural Area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 10,265
1820 19,552 90.5%
1830 26,134 33.7%
1840 24,280 −7.1%
1850 29,122 19.9%
1860 27,918 −4.1%
1870 33,289 19.2%
1880 36,741 10.4%
1890 35,097 −4.5%
1900 33,543 −4.4%
1910 33,199 −1.0%
1920 33,059 −0.4%
1930 32,286 −2.3%
1940 33,604 4.1%
1950 40,696 21.1%
1960 52,368 28.7%
1970 59,428 13.5%
1980 84,058 41.4%
1990 118,570 41.1%
2000 182,023 53.5%
2010 262,604 44.3%
2020 341,486 30.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020
USA Rutherford County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid.svg

2020 census

Rutherford County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 219,194 64.19%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 53,270 15.6%
Native American 789 0.23%
Asian 12,394 3.63%
Pacific Islander 219 0.06%
Other/Mixed 17,303 5.07%
Hispanic or Latino 38,317 11.22%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 341,486 people, 113,797 households, and 78,348 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 262,604 people, 96,232 households, and 66,810 families living in the county. The population density was 424 people per square mile (114/km2), and the housing unit density was 156 units per square mile (44/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.67% White, 12.65% Black or African American, 3.08% Asian, 0.36% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 2.04% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origins were 6.67% of the population.

Of the 96,232 households, 35.19% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 51.61% were married couples living together, 5.04% had a male householder with no wife present, 12.77% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.59% were non-families. 22.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.38% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.14.

Of the 262,604 residents, 26.17% were under the age of 18, 65.62% were between the ages of 18 and 64, and 8.21% were 65 years of age and older. The median age was 33.1 years. 50.60% of all residents were female and 49.40% were male.

The median household income in the county was $53,770 and the median family income was $63,483. Males had a median income of $43,306 versus $35,437 for females. The per capita income was $24,390. About 8.8% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under the age of 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 and over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


The top employers in the county are listed below. Rutherford County government including Rutherford County Schools also employ 6,028 individuals.


Smyrna and La Vergne

  • Nissan Motor Company: 8,000
  • Ingram Content Group: 2,048
  • Asurion: 1,050
  • Vi-Jon (personal care products): 737
  • Stonecrest Medical Center (hospital): 550

The county is also home to Barrett Firearms Manufacturing and a General Mills production facility.

Images for kids

See also

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

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