Cooper: Hispanics most concentrated near Georgia border, Blacks in East Chattanooga and whites on mountains

Staff File Photo / The Wild Ridge subdivision rises on Signal Mountain in 2015.

The census tract bounded by the Tennessee River on the north, East Main Street on the south, King and Lindsay streets on the west and Central Avenue on the east is the densest in Hamilton County, according to information released last week by the Census Bureau.

That area not only contains the students dorms at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga but many apartments that have been renovated or constructed for new student housing.

With a land area of but 1.1 square miles, the tract has a population of 5,415, or about 5,013 people per square mile. Its population is 73.6% white, 13.4% Black and 7.5% Hispanic.

Fifty years ago, before the growth of student housing at UTC, the census tract was largely Black.

Student housing and downtown gentrification have changed that.

Two census tracts in East Chattanooga, north of Third Street, east of Amnicola Highway and west of Missionary Ridge, now have the highest concentration of Black residents in Hamilton County.