Nashville is the capital city of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the seat of Davidson County. With a population of 689,447 at the 2020 U.S. census, Nashville is the most populous city in the state, 21st most-populous city in the U.S., and the fourth most populous city in the southeastern U.S. Located on the Cumberland River, the city is the center of the Nashville metropolitan area, which is one of the fastest growing in the nation.
Named for Francis Nash, a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city was founded in 1779. The city grew quickly due to its strategic location as a port on the Cumberland River and, in the 19th century, a railroad center. Nashville seceded with Tennessee during the American Civil War; in 1862 it was the first state capital in the Confederacy to be taken by Union forces. After the war, the city reclaimed its position and developed a manufacturing base.
Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government, which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. The city is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and a 40-member metropolitan council; 35 of the members are elected from single-member districts, while the other five are elected at-large. Reflecting the city’s position in state government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court’s courthouse for Middle Tennessee, one of the state’s three divisions.
Nashville is considered a global city type “Gamma” by the GaWC as of 2020. A major center for the music industry, especially country music, Nashville is commonly known as “Music City”. It is home to three major professional sports teams, the Predators, Titans, and Nashville SC. Nashville is also home to numerous colleges and universities, including Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Fisk University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Lipscomb University. Nashville is sometimes referred to as “Athens of the South” due to the large number of educational institutions. The city is also a major center for the healthcare, publishing, banking, automotive, technology, and transportation industries. Entities with headquarters in the city include AllianceBernstein, Asurion, Bridgestone Americas, Captain D’s, Hospital Corporation of America, LifeWay Christian Resources, Logan’s Roadhouse, and Ryman Hospitality Properties.