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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee’s population is outpacing the nation’s. The United States Census Bureau released the first results of the 2010 census Dec. 21. The results show Tennessee’s population increased 11.5 percent to 6,346,105. By comparison, the U.S. population increased 9.7 percent to 308,745,538.

Tennessee’s census information is analyzed by the Tennessee State Data Center which is housed within the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

The results show a continued trend of population shifts from the northeastern and midwestern states to the South and West. The South grew 14.3% — the highest growth rate in the nation — with Tennessee ranking eighth among 17 southern states.

“The results provide further evidence of Tennessee’s attractiveness as a place people choose to live and work,” said Randy Gustafson, director of the Tennessee State Data Center.

The United States Constitution mandates that a census be conducted every 10 years to determine each state’s representation in Congress. From the 2010 census, a total of 12 seats in Congress will change hands — affecting 18 states. Tennessee will maintain the current allocation of nine congressional seats.

Local-level data for Tennessee from the 2010 census will be available when it is released in February or March of 2011. More demographic and economic information is available at the Tennessee State Data Center website at

The Tennessee State Data Center was formed in 1980 with its lead agency based at the UT Knoxville. There are now 20 affiliated data centers statewide based in universities, public libraries, regional planning agencies and economic development districts.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,

Randy Gustafson, (865-974-6070,