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knoxville demographics

Knoxville Demographics

Location & Accessibility

Knoxville was founded in 1791 where the French Broad and Holston Rivers converge to form the Tennessee River. Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee and ranks third largest in the state. It is located in a broad valley between the Cumberland Mountains to the northwest and the Great Smoky Mountains to the southeast. These two mountain ranges help provide a moderate climate. Knoxville is accessible from an international waterway.

Three Interstates run through Knoxville. Knoxville is located just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is home to The University of Tennessee Volunteer sports teams and the Knoxville Ice Bears hockey team.

Relocating to Knoxville? Request a relocation packet

Affordable housing, along with health care costs below the national average and a low crime rate, makes Knoxville a desirable place to live. The four seasons provide a pleasant climate. Lakes and an abundance of outdoor activities are a draw to most age groups.

Cost of Living
Post Office


Knoxville Stands Out with Stats and Facts

Latitude: 35.960N | Longitude: 83.92W
Elevation: 906 feet
Knoxville is in the Eastern Standard time zone
Knoxville is situated on the Tennessee River
Square Miles - 525.78
Land: 508.46 sq. miles
Water area: 17.32 sq. mi

Average Elevation: 936 ft.
Square Miles - 98.09
Land: 92.66 sq. miles
Water area: 5.43 sq. miles
MSA - 526

Located in the South Central region of the U.S., Knoxville sits at the head of the Tennessee River navigation channel. Interstates 40 and 75 converge in Knoxville and 40 and 81 converge in nearby Dandridge. These connections allow 53% of the nation's marketplace to be within a 650-mile radius of Knoxville.

We are located near three national parks:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Big South Fork National Park
Cherokee National Forest.

Knoxville was named after Revolutionary War General Henry Knox.


Knox County Emergency Communications District - Knox911
General Information: 311
General Assistance: 211

Types of Government:
City Mayor and 9-member city council
County County Executive and 19-member county commission

Law Enforcement:
City Police 530 123 civilian
Sheriff's Department 1,000 475 sworn officers

Fire Department:
Rural/Metro Fire Department (serving Knox County)
Full Time

Emergency Preparedness:

Terrorism Preparedness for Knoxville
KEMA has sponsored an interagency work group on terrorism issues since 1998. This group has examined and revised procedures for response to terrorism threats. Members of the workgroup include law enforcement, fire, EMS, EMA, Public Health, utilities, FBI, State Lab and DMORT.

Hazardous Materials Knoxville
Hazardous materials incidents are possible due to the major interstates and railways in Knox County on which hazardous materials are transported. There are also airports, gas and fuel pipelines and river barges. Major facilities surrounding Knox County include the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, East Tennessee Technology Park (formerly K-25) and the Y-12 facility. I-75 and I-40 are routes used by DOE to courier shipments to and from Oak Ridge.

Earthquakes Knoxville - In 1993, a fault line was discovered in this area. In 1976 Knoxville experienced a 4.6 earthquake.

Disaster Recovery Funds Knoxville
Knoxville and Knox County, Town of Farragut, and McGhee Tyson Airport have received over $3 million dollars in disaster recovery funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) for the Blizzard of 93, Floods in 1994, Floods 1998, and the Tornado in 2000.

KEMA - Knoxville
The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency is a joint City-County governmental office under the Chief elected officials (Mayor and County Executive) of the City of Knoxville and Knox County.

The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) is the central point of contact for local government for all major emergencies and disasters. KEMA works in partnership with local state and federal agencies as well as industry and volunteer organizations.

KEMA's missions is defined in the Tennessee Code Annotated definition of disasters: severe weather, flooding, earthquake, drought, fire, enemy attacks, overt paramilitary actions, environmental contamination; industrial, nuclear or transportation accidents, energy emergencies to include transportation incidents involving nuclear materials.

Emergency Management functions defined by TCA "without limitation" are fire fighting, law enforcement, medical, health, rescue, engineering, warning and communications services as well as nuclear, biological and chemical defense; evacuation, emergency welfare and transportation, and public utility restoration.

KEMA provides support to a local government with a population in excess of 376,000 (not including the University of Tennessee) in a wide range of disaster planning, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

KEMA's activities include:
- Coordinate local, state and federal aid for presidential disaster declarations, and emergencies.
- Coordinates civil emergency preparedness for peacetime radiological accidents including nuclear power plants and Department of Energy facilities.
- Provides training, education and exercises to enhance the professional development of local emergency management.
- Plans to ensure continuity of government and coordination of resources during local, state and national security emergencies.

Emergency Operations Center "EOC" Knoxville
The Emergency Operations Center "EOC" in Knoxville is the central location for officials from City and County government, law enforcement, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Volunteer Aid Agencies, etc. to meet and coordinate response and recovery efforts during a disaster.

Mobile Command Post Knoxville
Known as the "Blue Goose," this command, control and communications vehicle was funded through FEMA, TEMA, KEMA and private donations. The Blue Goose has been used on police, fire, haz-mat incidents and special events. Depending upon the situation it is primarily staffed by police, fire, EMS, rescue, EMA or E-911 personnel to assist Incident Managers.

Knoxville Food Policy Council
Knoxville's Water Quality Forum

Senator Marsha Blackburn
Senator Lamar Alexander


Sources: Metropolitan Planning Commission, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Department of State, University of Tennessee, U.S. Postal Service, City of Knoxville, Knoxville Fire Department, Knox County Sheriff's Department, Lawson-McGhee Library.

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The Knoxville metropolitan area has been ranked:
• 5th in Forbes magazine's Best Places for Business and Careers ranking.
• 9th in Expansion Management magazine, America's 50 Hottest Cities for Business Relocation & Expansion
• 1st in Places Rated Almanac Millenium Edition, Best Places to Live for cities under 1 million population
• 8th in Sperling's Best Places, Best Places for Affordable Living
• 10th in Money Magazine, Best Places to Retire
• 8th in America’s Favorite Cities for Christmas Lights 2016 by
• 24th in Inc. magazine, Top Mid-Size City Boom Towns (for Job Growth)
• Fourth in, America's Most Affordable Travel Destinations
• One of the top 10 best places to live and boat in the country by BoatingLife magazine.
• Knoxville Zoo is among the “Top 60” zoos in the country featured in a new book, America’s Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans and Families by Allen W. Nyhuis and Jon Wassner.
• UT Knoxville Named One of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine
A Weekend in Knoxville by The New York Times
• The Fitch Rating Service upgraded the city of Knoxville's credit rating to AAA, the highest possible from the agency. Forbes



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