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Perry County, Tennessee

Perry County, Tennessee
Perry County Courthouse in Linden
Map of Tennessee highlighting Perry County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded November 14, 1819
Named for Oliver Hazard Perry[1]
Seat Linden
Largest town Linden
 • Total 423 sq mi (1,096 km2)
 • Land 415 sq mi (1,075 km2)
 • Water 8.1 sq mi (21 km2), 1.9%
 • (2010) 7,915
 • Density 19/sq mi (7/km²)
Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,915.[2] Its county seat is Linden.[3] The county was named after the War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry.

Perry County is served by Perry County Airport near Linden. Mousetail Landing State Park is located in the county.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • State protected areas 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Communities 4
    • City 4.1
    • Town 4.2
    • Unincorporated communities 4.3
  • Notable individuals 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Perry County was formed in 1819 from parts of Humphreys and Hickman counties. It is named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819), American War of 1812 naval officer who, after his flagship was severely damaged, continued the fight from another ship and forced the surrender of the British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie.[1] Decatur County was formed from the portions of Perry County west of the Tennessee River. The first settlements in the county were along Toms Creek near the Tennessee River, with the first known birth in the area occurring in 1818. This is the first written date involving the area that would become Perry County, but it is evident that the area had some European permanent settlement prior to this.[4] The seat of government and courts were originally located in a small town known as Harrisburg approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the current seat of Linden. The county seat was transferred to its current location in Linden in 1848, where the current courthouse stands today. Harrisburg no longer exists as a municipal entity or recognized location.[1]

Perry County was severely impacted by the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. Unemployment reached 27%, making it the highest in the state of Tennessee, and one of the highest in the United States. The massive amount of unemployment was due to the closure of a major automotive parts plant that employed a significant portion of the county's residents.[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 423 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 415 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 8.1 square miles (21 km2) (1.9%) is water.[6] Perry County is bordered on the west by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), and is bisected (north-south) by the Buffalo River. The eastern portion of Perry County is entirely drained by the Buffalo River and the western portion by the Tennessee River.

Adjacent counties

State protected areas


Age pyramid Perry County[12]

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 7,915 people, and 2,977 households residing in the county. The average household size was 2.55. The population density was 19.1 people per square mile. There were 4,599 housing units. The racial makeup of the county was 95.8% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. 1.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 52.9% from 18 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. 49.8% of the population was female. The median age for the county was 41.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,054. The per capita income for the county was $16,367. About 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line.

Perry County has the lowest population density of any county in Tennessee.[14]




Unincorporated communities

Notable individuals

See also


  1. ^ a b c Gus Steele, "Perry County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 18 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Perry County Historical Society, "Perry County History, Perry County Chamber of Commerce website. Retrieved: 30 October 2013.
  5. ^ Michael Cooper, "In Tennessee Corner, Stimulus Meets New Deal," New York Times, 27 July 2009. Retrieved: 30 October 2013.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  14. ^ Tennessee Population Density County Rank, Retrieved: 30 October 2013.

External links

  • Perry County Chamber of Commerce
  • Perry County, TNGenWeb - free genealogy resources for the county
  • Perry County at DMOZ

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