|Bledsoe County, Tennessee|
Bledsoe County Courthouse in Pikeville
Location in the state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Anthony Bledsoe|
|• Total||407 sq mi (1,053 km2)|
|• Land||406 sq mi (1,052 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (1 km2), 0.1|
|• Density||30/sq mi (12/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Bledsoe County was formed in 1807 from land that was formerly Indian Land as well as land carved from Roane County. The county was named for Anthony Bledsoe (1739–1788), a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was an early settler of Sumner County. He was killed in an Indian attack at Bledsoe's Station.
Like many East Tennessee counties, Bledsoe County opposed secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession on June 8, 1861, the county's residents voted against secession by a margin of 500 to 197. General James G. Spears, a resident of Bledsoe, served as a vice president at the East Tennessee Union Convention in May and June of 1861, and fought for the Union Army in the war.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,367 people, 4,430 households, and 3,313 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 5,142 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.44% White, 3.70% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,430 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.50% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.20% were non-families. 22.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.10% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 25.80% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 121.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,982, and the median income for a family was $34,593. Males had a median income of $26,648 versus $20,639 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,889. About 14.90% of families and 18.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.
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