A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Rocky Top, Tennessee
Census Data for Rocky Top ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2018 and it gave Rocky Top a population of 1,767 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Rocky Top a population of 1,781 people.
The town of Rocky Top is located in Anderson County. The 2010 Census gave Anderson County a population of 75,129 people. This means that Rocky Top had 2.37% of the county's total population, making it Anderson's 4th most populous community.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like Rocky Top, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually shaped as a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the town.
Things like the population, area and housing for Rocky Top reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Rocky Top might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Rocky Top has a total area of 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²].
Anderson County has a land area of 337.2 square miles [873.2 km²]. At 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²], Rocky Top has 0.47% of the county's total land area.
Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
Lat: 36° 13' 27" (or 36.22°) [Map]
More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Population Density ...
Using the population (1,781 people) and land area (1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Rocky Top had a population density of 1,121 people per square mile [433 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Rocky Top had a population of 1,888 people and a land area of 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,186 people per square mile [457.9 people/km²]
NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Rocky Top. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a misleading comparison. More information about the changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Housing Units ...
At the time of the 2010 Census, Rocky Top had 829 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 1,781 people, this averages 2.15 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Rocky Top had a land area of 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]. This translates to 522 Housing Units per square mile [201.6 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Rocky Top had 900 Housing Units, a population of 1,888 people and a land area of 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]. This gives a density of 2.1 people per Housing Unit and 565 Housing Units per square mile [218.3 housing units/km²].
NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Rocky Top and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Anderson County ...
The county had a population of 75,129 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 1,781 people, Rocky Top represented 2.37% of the county's total.
In addition, where the town of Rocky Top has a population density of 1,121 people per square mile [433 people/km²], Anderson County averages 222.8 people per square mile [86 people/km²].
For more information, please visit our Census Page for Anderson County.
Population Rings for Rocky Top ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Rocky Top and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Rocky Top. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>
Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Rocky Top, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Rocky Top. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.
There is only a very minor difference in the sampling area given between the 2010 Census and the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Rocky Top was 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 1.59 square miles [4.1 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.
While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Rocky Top, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Rocky Top.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 36.224171° (or 36°13'27" N) [Map]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 36.224234° (or 36°13'27" N) [Map]
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 248.1 feet to the east<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2405970) to Rocky Top. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Rocky Top. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 36.224206° (or 36°13'27" N) [Map]
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 37.53 feet to the east<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Rocky Top. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Rocky Top.
Miscellaneous Information for Rocky Top ...
The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Anderson County or the town of Rocky Top:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Rocky Top:
GNIS ID for Rocky Top: 2405970
The FIPS Codes ...
An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):
State Code: 47 (Tennessee)
County Code: 001 (Anderson County)
Place Code: 40240 (Rocky Top)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Rocky Top is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #6 (the East South-Central Division).
The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...
While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a town like Rocky Top, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Rocky Top. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.
The ZIP code for Rocky Top: 37769<7>
Census ZCTA Codes ...
The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).
ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.
For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Rocky Top.
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau
Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Rocky Top. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
The official website for State of Tennessee: https://www.tn.gov/
The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.
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This page was last modified: 08 Jan 2020