published Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Dates and statistics that define life in Chattanooga

Just as no single patch of fabric can make a quilt, there is no one number that can satisfactorily sum up a community.

Like all cities, Chattanooga isn't a lone integer but a complex equation. The statistics below, then, are by no means a comprehensive summation of Chattanooga, but together, they represent at least a slim cross section of life in the Scenic City.

And some of them are pretty strange.


107: Historic high temperature (June 30 and July 1, 2012).

Minus 10: Historic low temperature (Jan. 21, 1985, Jan. 31, 1966 and Feb. 13, 1899).

48: Average number of days with a high temperature at or above 90 degrees.

58: Average number of days with low temperatures at or below freezing.

9.49: Most rain, in inches, during a single day (Sept. 5, 2011).

52: Average annual rainfall in inches.

73.7: Rainfall, in inches, during 1994, the city's rainiest year.

55: Average days with thunderstorms.

27: Average days with dense fog.

5.1: Highest snowfall, in inches, to fall on Christmas Day (on Dec. 25, 1969).

18.5: Highest amount of snow, in inches, that fell on the city's snowiest day (March 13, 1993).


635: Altitude, in feet, of the Tennessee River downtown.

2,389: Highest point, in feet, on Lookout Mountain.

81: Distance, in miles, from the center of downtown to the geographic center of Tennessee.

137.15: Land area of Chattanooga in square miles.

6: Number of Chattanooga's "sister cities" (Hamm and Wolfsburg, Germany; Givatayim, Israel; Nizhnii Tagil, Russia; Wuxi, China; and Gangneung, Republic of Korea).

100: Number of windows, per floor, in the 21-story Republic Centre, Chattanooga's tallest building.

26: Length, in miles, of the Tennessee River Gorge, which begins five miles downstream from Chattanooga.

277: Length, in miles, of the Grand Canyon.


12,000: Time span, in years, of human habitation at Moccasin Bend, according to archaeological evidence.

2,500: Estimated population of Chattanooga in 1863.

171,279: Population of Chattanooga in 2012.

36.24: Median age of Chattanooga residents in 2012.

79,607: Housing units in Chattanooga in 2012.

$134,700: Median value of the city's owner-occupied residences in 2012.

$47,667: Median household income in Hamilton County (2012).

$40,116: Median household income in Chattanooga (2012).

15: Percentage of population living below poverty level in Hamilton County (2012).

21.2: Percentage of population living below poverty level in Chattanooga (2012).

18.3: Mean travel time, in minutes, to work for Chattanoogans (2007-2011).

1,222.5: Population density per square mile in Chattanooga in 2010.

16,000: Approximate population density in Tokyo, Japan, in 2011.


1816: Date Cherokee chief John Ross and his brother Lewis Ross established Ross's Landing.

1838: Date that Ross's Landing officially became known as Chattanooga.

15,000: Estimated number of Cherokee who passed through Chattanooga during the Trail of Tears forced relocation in the 1830s.

12,400: Combined casualties during the Battle of Missionary Ridge that ended the Confederate siege of Chattanooga on Nov. 25, 1863.

760: Number of days Chattanooga was occupied by Union forces during the Civil War (Sept. 9, 1863-Oct. 7, 1865)

12,800: Approximate number of Civil War soldiers buried in Chattanooga's National Cemetery, America's first national cemetery when it was established in 1867.


72.7: Degrees of angle on the Incline Railway at its steepest point.

3,200: Approximate vertical distance traveled, in feet, per round trip on the Incline Railway.

4,400: Total altitude change, in miles, covered each year by all Incline Railway cars.

260: Depth, in feet, of Leo Lambert when he discovered the crevice leading to Ruby Falls.

425,000: Estimated combined number of annual visitors to Rock City and Ruby Falls.

59: Average year-round temperature in the Ruby Falls cavern.

1927: Year Lookout Mountain's Garnet Carter patented "Tom Thumb Golf," one of the earliest forms of miniature golf.

$2,000: Prize for winning first place at the first National Tom Thumb Open Miniature Golf Tournament held on Lookout Mountain in 1930.

$27,975: Equivalent value in 2013 dollars.

$1,000: Cash prize for the U.S. Open golf championship in 1931.

900: Number of barns in 19 states that once were painted by Clark Byers with the slogan "See Rock City."

$15: Price paid in 1937 for a pair of rhesus monkeys for the then-newly established Chattanooga Zoo.

166: Number of species at the zoo now.

12: Number of species at the zoo that are endangered in the wild.

1: Number of species at the zoo now extinct in the wild (kihansi spray toads).

795: Number of species on display at the Tennessee Aquarium.

2.2 million: Number of mysid shrimp fed each year to the aquarium's 100 seahorses.

200: Pounds of macadamia nuts eaten annually by the aquarium's macaws.

618,000: Gallons of saltwater in the Secret Reef Exhibit, the largest tank at the aquarium.


80 feet: Approximate height of the rock bluff that the Hunter Museum of American Art sits on overlooking the Tennessee River.

5,000: Approximate number of pieces in the Hunter's permanent collection.

7: Number of months it took for Glen Miller Orchestra's "Chattanooga Choo Choo" to reach the No. 1 spot on the pop charts (Dec. 7, 1941).

20: Approximate age of Bessie "Empress of the Blues" Smith when she left Chattanooga in 1912 as part of a traveling minstrel troupe.

43: Bessie Smith's age when she died in 1937.

5,639: Attendees at this year's Bessie Smith Strut.

$9.5 billion: Total ticket sales for films starring Chattanooga-born Samuel L. Jackson, the Guinness World Records holder for actor with highest career box office sales.

$9.3 billion: Combined gross domestic products of Fiji, Liberia and the Cayman Islands.

8: Grammy Awards won by Chattanooga-born Usher Raymond IV.

53: Percentage of the 55 musicians in the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera who play stringed instruments.

$2.2 million: Approximate annual operating budget of the CSO.

87: Number of musicians that performed with the CSO in 2012 during Mahler 5, the ensemble's largest concert.

93: Number of bands that played at Riverbend this year.

50,000: Approximate number of admission pins sold for Riverbend in 2011.

107,200: Number of tickets sold to concerts at Track 29 since it opened September 2011.

22: Number of sell-out shows at Track 29 since 2011.


101: Number of "wildlife strike incidents" occurring at Lovell Field Airport in the last five years.

46: Number of those incidents involving mourning doves.

1890: Construction date for the Walnut Street Bridge.

2,376: The span, in feet, of the Walnut Street Bridge.

15: Number of years the bridge was closed to traffic before reopening in 1993 as pedestrian-only.

3 million: Approximate number of passengers carried annually by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority.

31: Number of stations in the Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System network.

1908: Year the Chattanooga Choo Choo terminal was built.

85: Height, in feet, of the dome in the terminal lobby.

50: Number of trains served every day at the Chattanooga terminal at its height before passenger service ended on Aug. 11, 1970.

880: Length, in miles, of surfaces maintained by the Hamilton County Highway Department.

38: Number of deaths in 2012 due to vehicle collisions in Hamilton County.

209: Vehicle/deer collisions in Hamilton County in 2012.

17: Position of Tennessee on the League of American Bicyclists list of bike-friendly states.

32: Number of vehicle collisions with bicyclists in Hamilton County in 2012.


3,859: Twitter followers of Mayor Andy Berke (@AndyBerke).

63,885: Twitter followers of Little Debbie (@LittleDebbie).

55,000: EPB customers who have subscribed to the utility's fiber optic Internet, TV and phone service as of 2013.

$10 million: Estimated cost to provide a tablet device to every student in Hamilton County by 2014.

13.1: Power, in gigawatt hours, generated by the 33-acre, 33,600-module solar park at Volkswagen's Chattanooga assembly plant.

152,400: Number of Volkswagen Passats produced by the factory in 2012.


82.7: Percentage of Chattanoogans who have attained at least a high school diploma.

25.6: Percent of Chattanoogans who have a college degree.

1893: Date The Baylor School was founded.

1905: Date McCallie School was founded.

1906: Date Girls Preparatory School was founded.

78: Number of schools in the Hamilton County system.

2,952: Number of teachers employed in Hamilton County in 2012.

41,214: Number of students enrolled in the Hamilton County system in 2012.

18.9: Average ACT score in Hamilton County in 2012.

19.2: Statewide average ACT score in 2012.

81.2: Percentage of Hamilton County seniors who graduated in 2012.

12,500: Estimated current enrollment at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

143,268: Number of books in the Chattanooga Public Library branch downtown.

4,131: Number of e-books in the Chattanooga Public Library system.


3: Position of Chattanooga on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation's 2013 list of the 10 worst places for spring allergy sufferers.

16.8: Percentage of the white population in Hamilton County who were age 65 or older in 2010.

4,047: Live births in Hamilton County in 2011.

9.7: Infant mortality rate in Hamilton County per 1,000 births (2010).

59: Percentage of Hamilton County teens who spend three hours or more a day watching TV, playing video games or using computers.

20: Percent of Hamilton County teens who reported being bullied in school.

266,648: Outpatient visits to the Erlanger hospital system (fiscal year 2011-2012).

55,000: Number of TennCare enrollees in Hamilton County (2013).

5.4: Number of hospital beds, per 1,000 residents, that are available in Hamilton County (2012).

97.8: Number of primary care physicians available in the county, per 1,000 residents (2012).

30: Percentage of Hamilton County residents who are obese (2013).


125: Height, in feet, of the tallest of three crosses erected at The Crossing Church in East Brainerd in August.

122,300: Membership numbers in Hamilton County of the Southern Baptist Convention, the city's most populous religious group (2010).

8,958: Sunday services held at First Presbyterian Church since its founding on June 21, 1840.

6,710: Members of Abba's House, Chattanooga's largest church congregation (as of 2010).

60.3: Percentage of Hamilton County residents who are members of a particular religious body (2012).


1932: Date the first Krystal restaurant opened on Cherry and Seventh streets.

103: World record number of Krystal hamburgers eaten in eight minutes by Joey "Jaws" Chestnut" during the 2007 Krystal Square Off competition in Chattanooga.

4: Awards won at the World Beer Cup (in 1998, 2002 and 2004) by Big River Grille and Brewing Works beers.

41: Number of brewers who had suds on tap at this year's Southern Brewers Festival.

1,000: Annual brewing capacity, in 31-gallon barrels, of the Chattanooga Brewing Co.

1 million: Approximate number of MoonPies made at the Chattanooga Bakery every day.

14: Pounds of marshmallow used in "the world's largest MoonPie," a 55-pound, 40-inch wide, 45,000-calorie behemoth the Chattanooga Bakery prepares for special events and festivals.

1,500: Estimated number of farms within 100 miles of Chattanooga.

28: Number of downtown restaurants, farmers markets and food artisans that use regionally grown ingredients.

Contact Casey Phillips at or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.