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Chattanooga: City Profile
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Sunday, March 25, 2012    |   
With its mountains, lakes and rivers, Chattanooga has some of the nation's top venues for whitewater rafting, hangliding, rock climbing and caving.
With its mountains, lakes and rivers, Chattanooga has some of the nation's top venues for whitewater rafting, hangliding, rock climbing and caving.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

"[The city] offers a great balance between business and outdoor fun. It has the resources and ability to do big things but is small enough that you can move here and quickly be part of the community."

— Jack Studer, Lamp Post partner, "Gig City" contest leader

Location: Southeast Tennessee on the Georgia state line

Size: With 137.2 square miles, Chattanooga completely surrounds the cities of Red Bank and Ridgeside and the Tennessee side of East Ridge. Although smaller in population, Chattanooga is geographically bigger than New York, Chicago, Memphis or Atlanta.

Relative size: Chattanooga is the fourth-biggest city in Tennessee and the 139th-largest city in the United States, according to the 2010 census.

Population: 167,674 in 2010 census, up 7.8 percent from 2000 census.

Date founded: 1838

History: The city is the site of a major Civil War battle between Union and Confederate troops, who were fighting for the rail access it gave to the Confederacy. Chattanooga was on the Trail of Tears when Cherokee Indians were moved from the Southeast to Oklahoma. The city became a manufacturing center in the 20th century.

Government: A nine-member, part-time city council sets the budget and adopts ordinances, while the mayor is responsible for overseeing the operation of City Hall.

Mayor: Ron Littlefield

Unique events: Riverbend, River Rocks, Wine Over Water, the HATCH arts festival, the Cotton Ball.

Most famous former residents: Singer Bessie Smith, NFL star Reggie White, singer Usher Raymond, actor Samuel L. Jackson.