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Profile for Memphis, Tennessee, TN

Memphis postcard post card - Fountain, square, Memphis, TN
Fountain, square, Memphis, TN

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User contributed image - Hernando Desoto Bridge
User contributed image - Beale Street
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Hernando Desoto Bridge Beale Street Aerial View

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Memphis is a city in Shelby County.

It is the county seat.

The community was named after the city in Egypt.

The latitude of Memphis is 35.149N. The longitude is -90.048W.

It is in the Central Standard time zone. Elevation is 256 feet.

The estimated population, in 2003, was 645,978.

Median household income
Source: 2000 census, U.S. Census Bureau
For more census details and comparisons, see our Memphis demographic reports
Memphis is on the Mississippi River.
The city was an mportant cotton market, a former slave market, and an early center for blues and rock n' roll.

Memphis was the site of a major Civil War battle in 1862.

The community was ravaged by yellow fever in the 1870s.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel here in 1968.

Memphis is the birthplace of Piggly-Wiggly markets.
Public transportation: Memphis Area Transit Authority (See the transit and travel sections below.)

Crime: The number of violent crimes recorded by the FBI in 2003 was 10,297. The number of murders and homicides was 126. The violent crime rate was 15.7 per 1,000 people.
Memphis was named the nation's fifth most dangerous metro area for pedestrians, in a 2004 study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project
Filming location for:
· 1996 movie, "The People vs. Larry Flynt"
· 2000 movie, "Cast Away"
· 2006 movie, "Black Snake Moan"
Setting for 1991 movie, "Memphis," starring Cybill Shepherd
Census 2000 highlights: 18th largest city in the U.S., by population; Among major American cities, ranked No. 7 in percentage black population (61.4%)
Well-known residents have included:
· Elvis Presley, singer, actor
· Kathy Bates, actress
· Morgan Freeman, actor
· Justin Timberlake, musician
· Cybill Shepherd, actress
· Abe Fortas, U.S. Supreme Court justice
Local bands (past and present) have included Box Tops
Coffee: National and regional coffee companies with outlets here include Starbucks, Gloria Jean's
Local festivals include:
  • Memphis Music & Heritage Festival - Sept. 1-2, 2007
  • Beale Street Zydeco Festival - Feb. 22-24, 2008
  • Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration - Jan. 5-8, 2007
  • Mid-South Fair - Sept. 21-30, 2007
  • Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival - April 20-22, 2007
  • Memphis in May International Festival - May 7-12, 2007
  • Memphis International Film Festival - March 22-25, 2007
  • Cooper-Young Festival - Sept. 15, 2007
  • River Arts Festival - Oct.26-28, 2007
  • Clanjamfry: A Scottish Festival - Sept. 21-23, 2007
  • International Blues Challenge - Feb. 1-3, 2007
  • Elvis Week - Aug. 11-19, 2007
  • Memphis Italian Festival - May 31-June 2, 2007
  • W.C. Handy Birthday Celebration - Nov. 18, 2007
  • Southeastern Indian Heritage Festival - Aug. 11-12, 2007
Dates often change. Check Memphis web sites and events links in the sections below.
Performing arts: Memphis Symphony Orchestra
Nearby parks & recreation: Lichterman Nature Center, T.O. Fuller State Park
Sports teams: Redbirds (minor league baseball), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
Historic sites and museums: National Civil Rights Museum, Pink Palace Museum, Graceland, Center for Southern Folklore, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Chucalissa Archaeological Museum
Colleges and universities: University of Tennessee at Memphis, University of Memphis, Rhodes College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Crichton College, Christian Brothers University
Support for libraries: Local government funding for the local library system, in fiscal years 2001-2002, was on par with the national average. (See library links below.)
Gays & lesbians
National index: 100
Local index: 105
Memphis aint a bad town, for them that like city life.
-- Light in August
William Faulkner
· "Memphis Blues"
· "Walking in Memphis"

Listed places near Memphis

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Shelby County
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Census & demographics

Sections below provide additional information and links about Memphis demographics, travel and tourism, nearby airports, cemeteries, the Shelby County economy, education, environment, genealogy, government, historic sites, Memphis area jobs, libraries, maps, museums, newspapers and other media, nonprofit groups, real estate, recreation, religion, transportation, and weather in the 38112 ZIP code.

Memphis, TN locator map
(Also see local map below.)
Memphis Web sites

Ancestry & family history

5% of Memphis residents report German ancestry, and 6% report Irish. For more info on local ancestry groups, see the Memphis ancestry & family history guide.

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Records & databases:



Courts & laws
Disability access & rights

At the time of the 2000 census, the per capita income in Memphis was $17,838, compared with $21,587 nationally.


21% of Memphis residents age 25 and older have a bachelor's or advanced college degree.

Fairs, festivals & other events
Memphis festival dates:

Dates often change. Check with local tourism officials to be sure.

Memphis festival web sites:

Geocaching & geography
Gifts & collectibles
Guides to Memphis
Historical societies
Historical societies

Historic districts in Memphis include Adams Avenue Historic District, Annesdale - Snowden Historic District, Annesdale Park Historic District, Beale Street Historic District, Central Gardens Historic District, Cooper-Young Historic District, Cotton Row Historic District, Court Square Historic District, Evergreen Historic District, Gaston Park Historic District ... View historic districts

Housing & real estate

Median rent in Memphis, at the time of the 2000 Census, was $443.   Monthly homeowner costs, for people with mortgages, were $838.


Libraries in Memphis include Cherokee Branch Library, Cornelia Crenshaw Branch Library, Cossitt Branch Library, East Shelby Branch Library, Frayser Branch Library, Gaston Park Branch Library, Highland Branch Library, Hollywood Branch Library, Levi Branch Library, Main Library ... View libraries


Media outlets

Newspapers in Memphis include Commercial Appeal

TV stations in Memphis include WHBQ, WKNO, WLMT, WMC, WPTY, WPXX, WREG.

National Public Radio programming is carried locally by WKNO-FM.

Parks & recreation
Photos & post cards

Shelby County supported John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. For more information, see our Memphis political report.

Postal Service

Memphis restaurants taking online reservations include Bari, Bluefin, Encore - Memphis, Garlands Restaurant, Lolo's Table, Owen Brennan's Restaurant, River Oaks, Sekisui - East, Sekisui Pacific Rim, Stella ... View restaurants


The average commute time for Memphis workers is 23 minutes, compared with 26 minutes nationwide.

A total of 232 fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred in Memphis between 2001 and 2003, according to reports gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This is a rate of 3.6 fatal crashes per 10,000 population, which was slightly lower than the national norm.


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“ Memphis aint a bad town, for them that like city life. ”
~ Light in August
William Faulkner

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