Knox County 2020 Center of Population

Every ten years, when the U.S. Census of Population and Housing is completed, the Census Bureau reports on geographic centers of population.

A center of population is the mean center of gravity, or, more simply, the point at which an imaginary map would balance perfectly if everyone weighed the same and were placed on the map exactly where they live. Measuring the center of population helps show general migration patterns and illustrates trends in investments and economic shifts over time.

Much like the U.S. center, Knox County’s has incrementally moved west over the past several decades. In 1980 it was in the Lonsdale community, followed by shifts to Pleasant Ridge Road, to Western Avenue at I-640, and, by 2010, to the intersection of Ball Camp Pike and Hazelwood Road. Each time, the center has been pulled farther from the city’s center towards newer suburban developments.

So where is the latest calculated center for Knox County? The 2020 Census shows that the center of the county’s population is now in Northwest Knoxville at the intersection of Hinton Drive and Third Creek Road.

This westward movement is likely no surprise to locals who are familiar with the consistent growth in the Northwest and Southwest sectors over the past few decades. Despite that westward expansion, the center of population for the county is still relatively close to downtown Knoxville, indicating that public resources and opportunities located within the urban core are still positioned in a setting that best serves residents.

For more information on this topic, check out the newly released Knox County’s Center of Population report. Additional topics on the population and demographics of Knox County are also available at