Bedford County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population is 37,586. Its county seat is Shelbyville6. The county was created in 1807 when the citizens of Rutherford County living south of the Duck River and the Stones River successfully petitioned the governor to split Rutherford County into two. The new county was named after revolutionary war soldier Thomas Bedford. Once the state's largest and most populous county, Bedford County was progressively reduced in size since 1809. Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Chapel Hill (now in Marshall County) in 1821.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,230 km˛ (475 mi˛). 1,227 km˛ (474 mi˛) of it is land and 3 km˛ (1 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 0.25% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 37,586 people, 13,905 households, and 10,345 families residing in the county. The population density is 31/km˛ (79/mi˛). There are 14,990 housing units at an average density of 12/km˛ (32/mi˛). The racial makeup of the county is 86.84% White, 8.48% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.73% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 7.48% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 13,905 households out of which 34.00% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% are married couples living together, 11.90% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.60% are non-families. 21.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.67 and the average family size is 3.06.
In the county, the population is spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 98.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $36,729, and the median income for a family is $40,691. Males have a median income of $28,485 versus $20,673 for females. The per capita income for the county is $16,698. 13.10% of the population and 9.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.90% of those under the age of 18 and 17.80% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Cities and towns