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Sullivan County, Tennessee
Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville
Map of Tennessee highlighting Sullivan County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1779
Seat Blountville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

430 sq mi (1,114 km²)
413 sq mi (1,070 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 3.88%
 - (2000)
 - Density

370/sq mi (143/km²)

Sullivan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. When originally established in the 1770s, it was a North Carolina county.[1] As of 2010, the population was 256,678. Its county seat is Blountville.[2]

Sullivan County is part of the KingsportBristol (TN)Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 430 square miles (1,113 km²), of which 413 square miles (1,070 km²) is land and 17 square miles (43 km²) (3.88%) is water. Sullivan County's boundary with Carter County and Johnson County is defined as the ridgeline of Holston Mountain.

Adjacent counties[]

Protected areas[]

  • Cherokee National Forest (part)

Morrill Cave[]

Morrill Cave (also known as Worleys Cave) is a Tennessee State Natural Area. The cave has a surveyed length of 4.4 miles, making it the second longest cave in East Tennessee and number 177 on the USA Long Cave List.[3][4] Morrill Cave is located on the south side of the Holston River, 212 miles east of Bluff City. This cave was a major saltpeter mine during the Civil War, saltpeter being the main ingredient of gunpowder. Significant evidence of this mining activity remains in the cave, including evidence of large amounts of saltpeter-bearing dirt that were removed, pick marks in the dirt, and an elaborate system of trails used by the miners.[5]


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 153,048 people, 63,556 households, and 44,806 families residing in the county. The population density was 371 people per square mile (143/km²). There were 69,052 housing units at an average density of 167 per square mile (65/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.55% White, 1.89% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 0.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Age pyramid Sullivan County[7]

There were 63,556 households out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.10% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families.according to the United States Census Bureau. Of 63,556 households, 1,915 are unmarried partner households: 1,702 heterosexual, 97 same-sex male, 116 same-sex female. 26.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.80% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 26.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,529, and the median income for a family was $41,025. Males had a median income of $31,204 versus $21,653 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,202. About 9.70% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.10% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.


Steve Godsey is county mayor. The county commission has 24 members.[8] Before 2010, commissioners were elected on a nonpartisan basis, but Sullivan County's commission election became a partisan election in 2010 after the county Republican Party decided to conduct a primary election for commission seats.[9]

Cities and towns[]

  • Bloomingdale (unincorporated)
  • Blountville (unincorporated)
  • Bluff City
  • Bristol
  • Colonial Heights (unincorporated)
  • Johnson City
  • Kingsport
  • Morrison City (unincorporated)
  • Piney Flats (unincorporated)
  • Spurgeon (unincorporated)
  • Sullivan Gardens (unincorporated)
  • Walnut Hill (unincorporated)

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Sullivan County, Tennessee


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Bob Gulden, USA Long Cave List, April 16, 2007
  4. ^ "Caves of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains" by Larry E. Matthews, Chapter 14 "Morrill Cave", pages 253-276. (ISBN 978-1-879961-30-2, published by the National Speleological Society, June 2008)
  5. ^ Cave historian Marion O. Smith has determined that there were two companies of the Confederate Nitre and Mining Bureau, District No. 7, that were active in Sullivan County. Laurie Adams published a detailed account titled "History of Morrell Cave, Part I" that was published August 1984 by the Flittermouse Grotto of the National Speleological Society.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  8. ^, County Commissioners List -
  9. ^ John Osbourne, Partisan elections on tap for Sullivan County Commission, Kingsport Times News, November 20, 2009

External links[]

Coordinates: 36°31′N 82°18′W / 36.51, -82.30

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Sullivan County, Tennessee. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.