Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee is a distinct portion of the state of Tennessee, delineated according to state law as the 41 counties in the Middle Grand Division of Tennessee.[1]


Its principal city, Nashville, is the state capital and largest city. Other major sizeable cities in Middle Tennessee include Clarksville and Murfreesboro.

According to custom, Middle Tennessee consists of that portion of the state east of the Tennessee River's western crossing of the state (in which it flows northward back into Tennessee after having flowed through northern Alabama) and west of the dividing line between the Eastern and Central time zones. Exceptions to this rule are that Hardin County, which is located on both sides of the Tennessee River, is considered to be entirely in West Tennessee and that Bledsoe, Cumberland, and Marion counties are generally considered to be in East Tennessee despite being in the Central Time Zone.

The Official Tourism Website of Tennessee has a definition of the eastern border slightly different from the legal definition.: The website includes Cumberland County in Middle Tennessee, while excluding Grundy and Sequatchie counties.

Middle Tennessee is composed predominantly of the Nashville Basin and the Highland Rim, although the western portion of the Cumberland Plateau also extends into Middle Tennessee.[1][2] It is characterized by rolling hills and fertile stream valleys.


Under the most common definition, there are 41 counties in Middle Tennessee:


Middle Tennessee has an abundance of institutions of higher learning—most notably Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, and Tennessee State universities in Nashville and Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Other prominent universities are Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, the University of the South in Sewanee, Cumberland University in Lebanon, and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, which is the state's second-largest institution of higher learning, just behind the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Unlike the geographic designations of regions of most U.S. states, the term Middle Tennessee has legal as well as socioeconomic meaning.[3] Middle Tennessee, West Tennessee, and East Tennessee are the state's three Grand Divisions. According to the Tennessee State Constitution, no more than two of the state supreme court's five justices can come from any one Grand Division. The Supreme Court rotates meeting in courthouses in each of the three divisions. The Supreme Court building for Middle Tennessee is in Nashville. A similar rule applies to certain other commissions and boards, in order to prevent a geographic bias.[4]


Middle Tennessee is the largest in area and least densely populated of the three Grand Divisions. At the 2000 census it had 2,069,976 inhabitants living in its 41 counties, which have a combined land area of 17,009.41 square miles (44,054.17 km²). Its population was 36.38 percent of the state's total, and its land area is 41.27 percent of the state's land area. Its population density was 121.696 inhabitants per square mile (46.987/km²) at the census.

Health care


The weather in Nashville is a decent mix of extremes. Plenty of sunshine in the summer, and crisp, cold air throughout the winter.


  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. Official records for Nashville were kept at downtown from May 1871 to December 1939, and at Nashville Int'l since January 1940. For more information, see Threadex


  1. Tennessee Code Annotated 4-1-203, Middle grand division. Available from . "The middle division comprises the counties of Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Moore, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Sequatchie, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, White, Williamson, and Wilson."
  2. Middle School Geography Archived 2012-09-12 at Archive.today, Tennessee History for Kids, accessed August 3, 2010
  3. Tennessee Department of State, A History of Tennessee, Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006.
  4. Tennessee State Constitution
  5. "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  6. "Station Name: TN NASHVILLE INTL AP". National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  7. "WMO Climate Normals for NASHVILLE/METRO ARPT TN 19611990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. "Nashville, Tennessee, USA - Monthly weather forecast and Climate data". Weather Atlas. Retrieved 13 March 2019.

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