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Smyrna, Tennessee
Smyrna town hall, July 2014.
Smyrna town hall, July 2014.
Location of Smyrna, Tennessee
Location of Smyrna, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Rutherford
Founded 1855
Incorporated 1869
Named for Ancient Smyrna
 • Total 23.0 sq mi (59.5 km2)
 • Land 22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
545 ft (166 m)
 • Total 39,974
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,119.8/sq mi (432.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 615
FIPS code 47-69420
GNIS feature ID 1270735
Website Town of Smyrna

Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Smyrna's population was 39,974 at the 2010 census and 43,063 in 2013. In 2007, U.S. News & World Report listed Smyrna as one of the best places in the United States to retire.


Sam Davis House
Sam Davis House

The town of Smyrna has its European-American roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. It was important during the Civil War because its railroad station lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis, who, after being charged with spying, gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured November 20, 1863, and was hanged by Union forces on November 27 of that year. The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland, is the town's most important historical site.

Smyrna was originally incorporated in 1869 but its charter was rescinded by the state several years later. In 1915, the town re-incorporated and adopted a commission-mayor form of government.

In 1941 during World War II, Sewart Air Force Base was established here and served as a B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. On its portion, the state opened and operates a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was developed as the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.

During the 1970s, many new industries moved to the area. The city began a period of growth stimulated by production of such companies as Better Built Aluminum, Cumberland Swan (currently known as Vi-Jon, Inc.), and Square D building plants. In the early 1980s, planning began to build a Nissan Motors manufacturing plant and, in 1983, the first vehicle was produced. The Nissan plant now employs around 8,400 workers, has a production capacity of 640,000 vehicles annually, and covers an area of 5,200,000 sq ft (480,000 m2). In 2012, Smyrna began manufacturing Nissan's electric car, the Nissan Leaf.

On March 14, 2000, the mayor and board of commissioners adopted a new charter. The city now operates under the city manager form of government, whereby the commissioners hire a city manager for daily operations.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.0 square miles (60 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.61%) is water.

Portions of the Percy Priest Lake reservoir lies within the town limits. The two main waterways are Stones River and Stewarts Creek.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 215
1920 463
1930 531 14.7%
1940 493 −7.2%
1950 1,544 213.2%
1960 3,612 133.9%
1970 5,698 57.8%
1980 8,839 55.1%
1990 13,647 54.4%
2000 25,569 87.4%
2010 39,974 56.3%
Est. 2015 46,607 16.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

As of the census of 2000, there were 25,569 people, 9,608 households, and 7,061 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,119.8 people per square mile (432.4/km²). There were 10,016 housing units at an average density of 438.6 per square mile (169.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.23% White, 7.82% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.31% of the population.

There were 9,608 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,405, and the median income for a family was $51,550. Males had a median income of $37,130 versus $27,325 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,704. About 6.7% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Smyrna has 10 parks, a public golf course, 7 miles of greenway trails and an outdoor water park. A public fitness center located in Town Center includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

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