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Johnson City

City of Johnson City

  •   State: 
    Washington County
    Johnson City
      County FIPS: 
    36°20′N 82°22′W
      Area total: 
    43.60 sq mi
      Area land: 
    43.44 sq mi (112.52 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.31 sq mi (0.80 km²)
    1,634 ft (498 m)
    1856; Incorporated 1869
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Johnson City, TN
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,635.38 residents per square mile of area (631.42/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

Johnson City is a city in Washington, Carter, and Sullivan counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 United States census, the population was 71,046, making it the eighth largest city in Tennessee. Johnson City is the principal city of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which covers Carter, Unicoi, and Washington counties and had a combined population of 200,966 as of 2013. The city was founded in 1856 by Henry Johnson as a railroad station called "Johnson's Depot" It became a major rail hub for the Southeast, as three railway lines crossed in the downtown area. During the 1920s and the Prohibition era, Johnson City's ties to the bootlegging activity of the Appalachian Mountains earned the city the nickname of "Little Chicago". Stories persist that the town was one of several distribution centers for Chicago gang boss Al Capone during Prohibition. For many years, the city had a municipal "privilege tax" on carnival shows, in an attempt to dissuade traveling circuses and other businesses from doing business in the town. The use of drums by merchants to draw attention to their goods is prohibited by Title Six, Section 106, of the city's municipal code, the so-called "Barney Fife" ordinance, in Section 106 of the City of Johnson City, Tennessee's Code of Ordinance. The town's name was briefly changed to "Haynesville" during the American Civil War, before it was formally incorporated in 1869.


Johnson City is the primary city name, but also Gray are acceptable city names or spellings, JC on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. The official name is City of Johnson City. William Bean, traditionally recognized as Tennessee's first white settler, built his cabin along Boone's Creek near Johnson City in 1769. In the 1780s, Colonel John Tipton established a farm just outside what is now Johnson City. During the American Civil War, before it was formally incorporated in 1869, the name of the town was briefly changed to "Haynesville" in honor of Confederate Senator Landon Carter Haynes. Henry Johnson's name was quickly restored following the war, with Johnson elected as the city's first mayor on January 3, 1870. The town grew rapidly from 1870 until 1890 as railroad and mining interests flourished. In 1901, the Mountain Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (now the U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center and National Cemetery) was created. The East Tennessee State Normal School was authorized in 1911 and the new college campus directly across from the National Soldiers Home was completed in 1903. Johnson City began growing rapidly and became the fifth-largest city in Tennessee by 1930. It hosted noteworthy Columbia Records recording sessions in 1928 known as the Johnson City Sessions. The city's ties to the bootlegging activity of the Appalachian Mountains earned the city the nickname of "Little Chicago" Stories persist that the city was one of several distribution centers for Chicago gang boss Al Capone during Prohibition. For many years, the city had a municipal "privilege tax" on carnival shows, in an attempt to dissuade traveling circuses and other transient entertainment businesses from doing business in town.


Johnson City is in northeastern Washington County at 36°20N 82°22W (36.3354, -82.3728) The steep mountains, rolling hills, and valleys surrounding the region are part of the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley Province. Roan Mountain, with an elevation of over 6,000 feet (1,800 m), is approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the southeast of the city. The Watauga River arm of Boone Lake, a Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir, is partly within the city limits. Johnson City has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with warm summers and cool winters. Temperatures in Johnson City are moderated somewhat by its elevation and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains. The Nolichucky River flows 12 miles (19 km) south of Johnson City, where that river flows from the North Carolina state line near Erwin. Whitewater rafting and kayaking opportunities exist 20 years (32km) from Johnson City on the NolICHucky River, which flows from North Carolina to the state line at Erwin, North Carolina. The city has an area of 43.3 square miles (112.1 km²), of which 42.9 sq miles (111.2 km²) is land and 0.3sq miles (0.8km²), or 0.75 percent, is water. Summer is typically the wettest parts of the year, while early autumn is considerably drier. Snowfall is moderate and sporadic, with average of 15.6 in (40 cm).


As of the 2020 U.S. census, there were 71,046 people, 30,724 households, and 15,904 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 90.09 percent white, 6.40 percent African American, 0.26 percent Native American, 1.22 percent Asian and 0.02 percent Pacific Islander. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.89 percent of the population. The average household size was 2.20, and the average family size was2.82. The median income for a household in theCity was $30,835, and $40,977 for a family. About 11.4 percent of families and 15.9% of the residents were below the poverty line, including 18.9 percent of those under age 18 and 12.7 percent ofThose age 65 or over. The city's population was 55,469 as of the census of 2000, with 25,730 housing units at an average density of 655.1 per square mile (253.0/km²) The median age was 37 years, with 19.8 percent under the age of 18, 13.7percent from 18 to 24, 28.1 percent from 25 to 44, 22.5 percent from 45 to 64, and15.9percent who were 65 years of age or older. The per capita income for the city in 2000 was $20,364. For every 100 females, there are 91.1 males.


Johnson City and its metropolitan area had a gross metropolitan product of US$9.1 billion in 2019. The popular citrus soda Mountain Dew traces its origins to Johnson City. In July 2012, PepsiCo announced a new malt-flavored version of the drink named Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold in honor of the city. The drink was test marketed in the Chicago metropolitan area, Denver, and Charlotte, beginning in late August. Johnson City is an economic hub largely fueled by East Tennessee State University and the medical "Med-Tech" corridor, anchored by the Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, and Niswonger Children's Hospital. The city is home to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the College of Pharmacy at ETSU's Gatton and Quillen colleges of medicine and pharmacy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is based in Johnson City; the city is the home of the Tennessee National Guard, which is based at the Tennessee State Training Center. The Johnson City Airport is located in the city; the airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States, with more than 2,000 flights a day. The airport has a population of more than 1,000,000; it is the second-busiest airport in the state, after Knoxville. It is the third-largest airport in Tennessee, after Chattanooga and Nashville. It also has the fourth-largest economy in the country, after Nashville and Chattanooga. It has the fifth-largest population of people of color, behind Knoxville and Memphis.

Arts and culture

The Mall at Johnson City is the city's only enclosed shopping mall. The nearby Target Center houses Target, T.J.Maxx, and Books-A-Million. Johnson City Crossings is the largest of these developments and houses Michael's, Ross, Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Shoe Carnival, and more. On the other side of the highway are retailers Kohl's, Lowe's, Sam's Club and Barnes & Noble. The city is home to the Tennessee Hills Brewstillery, a brewery and tasting room, and Thomas Stadium, a baseball venue. It is also home to Boone Lake, Buffalo Mountain Park, and the Watauga River, a river that runs through the heart of the city.


Professional baseball was first played in the city by the Johnson City Soldiers in the Southeastern League in 1910. The Johnson City Cardinals were the Rookie affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1975 to 2020. In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball beginning with the 2021 season, the Appalachian League was reorganized as a collegiate summer baseball league. The Cardinals were replaced by a new franchise in the revamped league designed for rising college freshman and sophomores. The city's longest-running team was the City of Johnson City Red Sox, who were in the New York-Penn League in the early 1980s. They were the city's first professional baseball team, playing in the Negro Leagues in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Red Sox were the first major league team to be based in Johnson City, New York. The team was in the N.Y. Yankees' Appalachian League division. The City of Red Sox was the first Major League Baseball team to play in the South Atlantic League, starting in the 1930s. It was also the first Minor League team to win a World Series title. It won the World Series in 1947, and again in 1953. It also won the title in 1956, 1957, and 1958. The last time the city won a championship was in 1961, when it was the New England World Series. It last won the championship in 1966, when the Red Sox became the first team to do so in the National League. It has also won two World Series titles, in 1958 and 1959.


Johnson City is run by a five-person board of commissioners. The city manager is Cathy Ball. Johnson City is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Diana Harshbarger of the 1st district. The mayor is Joe Wise, the vice mayor is Todd Fowler, and the commissioners are Jenny Brock, Aaron T. Murphy and John Hunter. For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see for details. For support in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit For help in the UK, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or  visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on behalf of the United States Department of Health and Human Service.


East Tennessee State University has around 16,000 students in addition to a K-12 University School, a laboratory school of about 540 students. Milligan College is just outside the city limits in Carter County, and has about 1,200 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Northeast State Community College has renovated a building in downtown Johnson City for use as a new satellite teaching site. Tri-Cities Christian Schools (PreK-12) has a pre-school through 12th grade program for children in Johnson City and the surrounding area. Johnson City has a private school system for pre-K-8 through 12 years of age for boys and girls in the city and surrounding areas. The city has a high school program for middle and high school students for high school and college students for college and university students for the past few years. The Johnson City School System has a charter school program that covers pre-k-8 to 12 years old. The school system also has a daycare program that serves pre- and high-school students for up to three years. It has a school system that covers PreK-6 through high school for both elementary and middle school students and for high schools for the last few years for high School and college-age students. It also offers a charter program for private schools that cover preK-11 through 12-year-old children in the Johnson City, Tennessee area. It is the only school system in the state to offer a day care program for prek-12 students.


Johnson City is bisected by Interstate 26, which connects the city to Kingsport to the north and Asheville, North Carolina, and Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the south. Interstate 81 intersects I-26 16 miles (26 km) northwest of the city center and carries drivers to Knoxville to the southwest and Bristol to the northeast. Johnson City Transit (JCT) operates a system of buses inside the city limits, including a route every fifteen minutes along Roan Street. The Johnson City Medical Center, designated a Level 1 Trauma Center by the State of Tennessee, is one of Ballad Health's three tertiary hospitals. Also affiliated with the center are the Niswonger Children's Hospital, a domestic affiliate of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Woodridge Hospital, which is a mental health and chemical dependency facility. The city is served by Tri-Cities Regional Airport (IATA Code TRI) and Johnson City Airport (0A4) in Watauga. The Southern Railway used to serve Johnson City with several trains: the Birmingham Special (ended, 1970), the Pelican (ended, 1970) and the Tennessean (ended, 1968). Johnson City serves as a regional medical center for northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, along with parts of western North Carolina and southeastern Kentucky. The center is closely involved with the East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine. It also serves veterans in the four-state region.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee = 82. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 95. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 98. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Johnson City = 4.8 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 71,046 individuals with a median age of 38.3 age the population grows by 10.05% in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,635.38 residents per square mile of area (631.42/km²). There are average 2.19 people per household in the 26,395 households with an average household income of $35,945 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 8.50% of the available work force and has dropped -5.61% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 20.28%. The number of physicians in Johnson City per 100,000 population = 480.5.


The annual rainfall in Johnson City = 44.3 inches and the annual snowfall = 8.6 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 137. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 201. 86 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 26 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 43, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee which are owned by the occupant = 52.42%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 33 years with median home cost = $74,840 and home appreciation of -1.50%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $6.46 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,926 per student. There are 15.5 students for each teacher in the school, 789 students for each Librarian and 473 students for each Counselor. 4.42% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 18.32% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 11.52% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Johnson City's population in Washington County, Tennessee of 4,645 residents in 1900 has increased 15,3-fold to 71,046 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.11% female residents and 47.89% male residents live in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee.

    As of 2020 in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee are married and the remaining 49.05% are single population.

  • 19.2 minutes is the average time that residents in Johnson City require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    83.29% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 10.69% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.71% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.13% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee, 52.42% are owner-occupied homes, another 39.21% are rented apartments, and the remaining 8.38% are vacant.

  • The 53.25% of the population in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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