West Tennessee is one of the three Grand Divisions of the State of Tennessee. Of the three, it is the one that is most sharply defined geographically. Its boundaries are the Mississippi River on the west and the Tennessee River on the east. This region's boundaries have been expanded slightly to include all of Hardin County, which is bisected by the Tennessee River.
Unlike the geographic divisions of most American states, the term West Tennessee has a legal as well as a socio-economic meaning. West Tennessee, East Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee are Tennessee's three Grand Divisions. According to the State Constitution, no more than two of Tennessee Supreme Court's five Justices can be residents of any one Grand Division and the Supreme Court rotates meeting in courthouses in each of the three divisions. The Supreme Court building for West Tennessee is in Jackson, Tennessee. Similar rules apply to certain other State Commissions and Boards, as well, to prevent them from showing any geographical biases.
West Tennessee also corresponds to telephone company Area Codes. Until the year 2001, West Tennessee, including all of Hardin County, was in the Area Code 901. After a large amount of population growth necessitated two Area Codes for West Tennessee, Memphis and its northern and eastern suburbs retained the 901 Area Code, with the remainder of West Tennessee being placed into Area code 731.
West Tennessee is by slight amounts less populous and smaller in land area than the other two Grand Divisions. At the time of the 2000 U.S. Census West Tennessee had 1,499,802 inhabitants living in its 21 counties, and these have a combined land area of approx. 27,582 km² (10,650 square mi). West Tennessee's population was about 26.4 percent of the state's total, and its land area is about 25.8 percent of the state's land area. West Tennessee's population density was about 140 persons per square mile (54.4 persons per square kilometer) at the time of the 2000 United States Census.
Famous quotes containing the word west:
“Humanism, it seems, is almost impossible in America where material progress is part of the national romance whereas in Europe such progress is relished because it feels nice.”
—Paul West (b. 1930)