2020 Census data for Chattanooga, TN

The 2020 census data is in. | Photo via Pexels

The 2020 Census results are in, and the growth is real. Chattanooga’s population now stands at 181,099 residents, up 8% from 2010, according to new data.

In other words, that equates to about 1 new resident every 6.5 hours.

Population growth in Chattanooga + surrounding areas | Data via Tennessean.com

Why is this happening now?

Every 10 years, the US Census Bureau collects nationwide population and demographic data, which is used to redraw congressional and state legislative district lines + determine federal spending.

What did we find?

  • In terms of population growth, Hamilton County grew by 8.8% since 2010 and holds 366,207 residents.Chattanooga’s population is growing more rapidly than Knoxville’s + is projected to soon surpass Knoxville in total population, making it the second-fastest growing city in Tennessee.
  • Chattanooga’s total housing units — occupied + unoccupied houses, condos, apartments, and mobile homes — increased 7.1%, from 79,607 to almost 85,266 + 90.1% of all housing is occupied.
  • The growth spurs beyond Chattanooga: Bradley County’s population grew 9.8% over the past decade, bringing the total population to over 108,620 residents. Additionally, the small town of Collegedale’s population jumped 79.3%, from just over 2,000 residents to 4,428.

Why does this matter?

Redistricting, or the process of redrawing council and school districts, is completed every 10 years after the US Census is finalized. New voting district boundaries must be balanced by population and follow traditional redistricting criteria

With the census data now available, Chattanooga is getting ready to redraw its council and school districts + will likely finalize the process by the end of the year

Currently in Hamilton County, there is a push for community-led redistricting by state-based think tank ThinkTennessee. The organization has outlined 4 recommendations to increase opportunities for Tennesseans to engage in this once-in-a-decade process.