Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1779; Incorporated: 1784
Location: On the Cumberland River in Central Tennessee
Motto: "Agriculture and Commerce" (state motto)
Flag: Royal blue field with white center and gold elements on the city seal.
Flower: Iris (state flower)
Time Zone: 6 AM Central Standard Time (CST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 74.1%; Black, 24.3%; Native American, 0.2%; Asian, 1.4%
Elevation: 137 m (450 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 36°16'N, 86°78'W
Coastline: None
Climate : Temperate climate with hot, humid summers and occasional snow in winter
Annual Mean Temperature: 15.3°C (59.5°F); January 3.7°C (38.7°F); July 26.3°C (79.4°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 27.2 cm (10.7 in); Average Annual Precipitation (total of rainfall and melted snow): 121.9 cm (48 in)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 615
Postal Codes: 37201–49

2. Getting There

Nashville, which has one of the largest geographical areas of any U.S. city, is located in central Tennessee, on both banks of the Cumberland River and surrounded on three sides by the Highland Rim, which rises up to 122 meters (400 feet) above the elevation level of the city.


More than 129 kilometers (80 miles) of interstate highway pass through Nashville. The major interstates are I-65 (north-south) and I-40 (east-west between Knoxville and Memphis and further in both directions). I-265 forms a ring around Downtown Nashville, and I-440 encircles midtown Nashville. I-24, running southeast to northwest, also leads into the metropolitan area, merging into I-40 to the south and I-65 to the north.

Bus and Railroad Service

Interstate bus service to all parts of the country is available on Greyhound, whose terminal is downtown on Eighth Avenue South. Amtrak service is not directly available in Nashville; the closest connection is through Memphis.


Originally constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project and opened as Berry Field in 1937, today Nashville International Airport provides air service to almost 90 cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, averaging 388 arriving and departing flights daily. The airport, which covers 76,178 square meters (820,000 square feet) and has 47 carrier gates, is serviced by 16 carriers. In 1998, Nashville International Airport handled over eight million passengers.

Nashville Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 505,000
Area: 1,225 sq km (473 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 74.1% white; 24.3% black; 0.2% Native American; and 1.4% Asian
Nicknames: Music City USA, Garden Spot of the World, The Athens of the South

Metropolitan Area

Population: 1,134,524
Description: Nashville and Davidson County
Area: 10,549 sq km (4,073 sq mi)
World population rank1: approx. 320
Percentage of national population2: <1%
Ethnic composition: 82.6% white; 15.7% black; and 1.4% Asian/Pacific Islander


  1. The Nashville metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the Nashville metropolitan area.


Nashville's extensive network of interstate highways and 100 freight terminals have made the city an important regional trucking center, and it is served by 135 trucking carriers. The city is also a rail hub for the Southeast, with local railroads handling about 80 freight trains per day. Another major mode of shipping in the area is barge traffic on the Cumberland River, which connects Nashville to both the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Getting Around

Nashville is laid out in a grid pattern that straddles and is oriented to the Cumberland River. Numbered streets run parallel to the river in a northwest to southeast direction while the perpendicular named streets run southwest to northeast. Bridges cross the river at Jefferson and Spring streets, the James Robertson Parkway, Union and Woodland streets, and Shelby Avenue.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville operates hourly bus service to most areas of the city, as well as a motorized trolley in the downtown area during daytime hours. Private automobiles are the preferred mode of transit for most Nashville residents, and use of public transportation is relatively light.


A one-and-a-half hour guided walking tour of the city beginning at Fort Nashborough is offered by the nonprofit Historic Nashville, Inc. on Saturday mornings in May through October. The Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission provides maps for self-guided walking and driving tours, including the African-American Historic Sites Tour and the Battle of Nashville Driving Tour. Commercial companies offering tours include Grand Old Opry Tours, Johnny Walker Tours, and Country & Western/Gray Line Tours.

8. Public Safety

In 1995, Nashville-Davidson's incidence of reported violent crimes per 100,000 population was 1,790, including 20 murders, 93 rapes, and 511 robberies. The incidence of property crimes was 8,920 and included 1,573 burglaries and 1,560 motor vehicle thefts.

21. Famous Citizens

President Andrew Jackson (1767–1845).

Vice President Al Gore (b. 1948).

Artist Red Grooms (b. 1937).

Comedienne Minnie Pearl (1912–1996).

Flutist Paula Robeson (b. 1941).

Singer Dinah Shore (1917–94).

Track star Wilma Rudolph (b. 1940).

Rock star Greg Allman (b. 1947).

22. For Further Study


CitySearch Nashville. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Nashville City Net [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Nashville.Net. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Government Offices

Davidson County
205 Metro Courthouse
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 862-6770

Mayor's Office
107 Metro Courthouse
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 862-5000.

Nashville City Hall
107 Metro Courthouse
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 862–5000

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau
161 4th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 259-4700


The Nashville Business Journal
222 2nd Ave.
Nashville, TN 37201

The Tennessean
1100 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203


Ben-Amotz, Noa. Discover Another Nashville: An Essential Guide for Natives & Newcomers. Nashville, TN: Common Ground, 1994.

Doyle, Don Harrison. Nashville Since the 1920s. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985.

Faragher, Scott. Nashville: Gateway to the South. An Insider's Guide to Music City, U. S. A. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, 1998.

Goodstein, Anita Shafer. Nashville, 1780–1860: From Frontier to City. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1989.

Kingsbury, Paul. The Country Reader: Twenty-Five Years of the Journal of Country Music. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1996.

Kreyling, Christine M. Classical Nashville: Athens of the South. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1996.

Squires, James D. Secrets of the Hopewell Box: Stolen Elections, Southern Politics, and a City's Coming of Age. 1st ed. New York: Times Books, 1996.


A Tour of Nashville, Tennessee. [videorecording] City Productions Home Video. Memphis, TN: City Productions, 1994. 1 videocassette (ca. 45 min.).

Nashville Music City U.S.A. [videorecording] Video Postcards, Inc., 1986. 1 videocassette (45 min.).