Fast Facts About Tennessee

  • Nickname: The Volunteer State
  • Statehood: 1796; 16th state
  • Population (as of July 2016): 6,651,194
  • Capital: Nashville
  • Biggest City: Nashville
  • Abbreviation: TN
  • State Bird: Mockingbird
  • State Flower: Iris
  • Patron Saint: Dolly Parton

Population of Major Cities

City Population
Nashville 687,488
Memphis 651,932
Knoxville 186,173
Chattanooga 179,690
Tri-Cities 106,822

Population of Major Counties

County Population
Shelby County 936,374
Davidson County 687,488
Knox County 461,104
Hamilton County 360,919

Largest Universities in Tennessee

University Enrollment
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 33,332
Middle Tennessee State University 28,115
University of Memphis 25,072
East Tennessee State University 16,999
Vanderbilt University 13,577

Laws and Regulations

  • The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21. You must be 21 years or older to legally purchase or consume any alcoholic beverage in the state.
  • In Tennessee individuals over age 21 operating a personal vehicle are considered legally drunk and unable to drive when your blood alcohol concentration is .08%. The limit is just .04% for commercial vehicles.
  • First time DUI offenders are required to spend at least 48 hours in jail upon arrest. Multi-time offenders receive stiffer penalties. But this is the minimum. A first time DUI can give you up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $350-$1,500 fine.
  • If you refuse to take a BAC test, you will have your license revoked for one year in addition to fees and penalties.​
  • As of July 1, 2014 liquor stores are allowed to sell beer (of any ABV), ice, mixers, and other products related to alcoholic beverages.​
  • As of July 2016, licensed grocery stores were allowed to sell beer under 6.25% ABV, malt beverages, and wine. On January 1, 2017, this law was amended and now, up to 8% ABV beer can be sold anywhere and time that beer is sold.
  • Liquor can only be purchased in a liquor store or in a drink at a bar or restaurant.
  • As of January 1, 2017, you can purchase high-gravity/high alcohol content beer (between 6.25% and 10.1% ABV) at liquor stores and taprooms in the state of Tennessee.​

  • Wine and liquor may be purchased at liquor and grocery stores Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday wine and liquor can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Wine and liquor sales are also prohibited on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • Beer may be purchased at grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations on Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until midnight, and on Sunday from noon until midnight.
  • All alcoholic beverages sold by the drink in bars and restaurants are legally available on Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 am. On Sunday hours are from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m.