The French Broad River (flowing from Asheville, North Carolina) joins the Tennessee River to the southeast of the city. Transportation is served by Interstate 40 to Asheville and Nashville and Interstate 75 to Chattanooga and Lexington, and by McGhee Tyson Airport.
Knoxville is also the home of the University of Tennessee's primary campus (UTK). The university's sports teams, called the "Volunteers" or "Vols", are extremely popular in the surrounding area. In fact, the area code comprising Knoxville and nearby Oak Ridge is 865 (VOL).
During the American Civil War, the Battle of Campbell Station was fought here on November 16, 1863. In that battle Confederate troops led by General James Longstreet unsuccessfully attacked Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside. The next day the two week long Siege of Knoxville began when Longstreet placed Knoxville under siege. The siege failed and Longstreet returned with his men to General Robert E. Lee.
Knoxville hosted the 1982 World's Fair.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 254.1 km² (98.1 mi²). 240.0 km² (92.7 mi²) of it is land and 14.1 km² (5.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.54% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 173,890 people, 76,650 households, and 40,164 families residing in the city. The population density is 724.6/km² (1,876.7/mi²). There are 84,981 housing units at an average density of 354.1/km² (917.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 79.71% White, 16.20% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.45% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 76,650 households out of which 22.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% are married couples living together, 13.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% are non-families. 38.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.12 and the average family size is 2.84.
In the city the population is spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,492, and the median income for a family is $37,708. Males have a median income of $29,070 versus $22,593 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,171. 20.8% of the population and 14.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 26.1% are under the age of 18 and 12.0% are 65 or older.