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2020 Census: Tennessee cities see population growth, East TN rural counties decrease or stay the same

There are around 190,000 people living in Knoxville and 181,000 people in Chattanooga, according to new data from the 2020 Census.

TENNESSEE, USA — Data from the 2020 Census is finally being released after the federal government collected information about demographics and populations across the country. Among the findings are huge population growth in Tennessee cities, but stagnant or decreasing growth in rural areas.

Knoxville's population jumped by around 12,000 people, raising the population total to 190,740. Meanwhile, Chattanooga's population also rose to 181,099 as more people move to Tennessee from across the U.S.

City officials said they were happy to see the population grow so quickly. Chattanooga's incorporated area is around 150 square miles large, giving its population more room to spread out. However, Knoxville is around 100 square miles which means a higher population density.

Other cities that saw massive population gains in the last decade include Murfreesboro, Nashville and Sevierville. However, Memphis' population fell by more than 2% to 633,104 people.

Knox County's population grew by around 100,000 since 2000. It now totals at 478,971, according to data from the census. Hamilton County, saw around half as much growth, with its population now totaling 366,207 people.

Although Tennessee's cities saw massive growth, East Tennessee's rural counties mostly reported stagnant or decreased populations compared to the previous census. Most East Tennessee counties like Claiborne, Roane and Morgan counties saw population decreases between 0.5% and 5%.