Chattanooga is the county seat of Hamilton County, Tennessee, and is located along the Tennessee River, which borders Georgia. On the western extremity, it reaches into Marion County. With an estimated population of 181,099 in 2020, it is Tennessee’s fourth-largest city and one of East Tennessee’s two major cities, alongside Knoxville. It serves as the center of the Chattanooga metropolitan area, Tennessee’s fourth-largest MSP, as well as a broader three-state region that covers Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, and Northeast Alabama. Chattanooga is a transit center, with various railroads and Interstate highways serving it.
Due to the various railroads that converge at Chattanooga, it was a key city during the American Civil War. The railroads allowed the city to grow into one of the greatest heavy industrial hubs in the Southeastern United States after the war. Automobiles, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage production, healthcare, insurance, tourism, and back office and corporate headquarters are all key industries that fuel the economy today.
Chattanooga is located at the crossroads of the Appalachian Mountains’ ridge-and-valley region and the Cumberland Plateau, with a downtown elevation of roughly 680 feet (210 meters). Its official nickname is “Scenic City,” a reference to the mountains and ridges that surround it. “River City,” “Chatt,” “Nooga,” “Chattown,” and “Gig City” are among the unofficial nicknames, the latter referring to the city’s claim to have the fastest internet access in the Western Hemisphere.
Glenn Miller and his orchestra’s 1941 hit song “Chattanooga Choo Choo” made Chattanooga famous around the world. Chattanooga State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) are both located there.