Known as the “Hub of the Upper Cumberlands,” approximately 25,000 people travel to Cookeville daily to work, shop, or attend school.
Cookeville’s 2005 retail sales total of $1.16 billion was a 12.4% increase from the 2004 retail sales total. The state’s increase was 7.86%.
The December 2006 unemployment rate was 4.7%, down from a high of 6.8% in August 2006 after the closing of two large manufacturing facilities with 1300 employees combined.
Manufacturing is the largest sector in Cookeville’s economy with over 100 plants and 8,000 employees. In 2006 Oreck manufacturing moved their Long Beach, Mississippi plant to Cookeville after Hurricane Katrina. Oreck employs about 500 people and is a prominent business in the region. Also in 2006, after nearly 30 years of operation in Cookeville, Russell Stover Candies laid off 900 employees. The former Russell Stover manufacturing facility is now used as a warehouse for candy and employs 30 people.
Even with the loss of 900 Russell Stover and 400 TRW manufacturing jobs, overall employment in Cookeville increased by over 1200 between August 2006 and March 2007, resulting in 33,510 jobs in Cookeville and a March 2007 unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.
With 13% of the workforce, retail trade employs about 4,200 people and is the second largest sector in the Cookeville economy.
Health care workers comprise about 12% of the work force with 3,840 employees.
Education is another major sector with nearly 2,000 employees at Tennessee Technological University and the public school system.
In June 2006 Cookeville banks had $1.215 billion in deposits, an increase of 10.2 percent over June 2005. In June 2006 there were 30 bank branches in Cookeville, an increase of three over June 2005. Although this is a significant number for the region, this is by far the lowest in the Upper Cumberland area.
The trucking company Averitt Express is based in Cookeville.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,435 people, 12,471 households, and 6,669 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,094.5 people per square mile (422.5/km²). There were 13,706 housing units at an average density of 491.6 per square mile (189.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.9% White, 3.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 4.0% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.0% of the population.
There were 12,471 households out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37% were married couples living together, 12% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the city the population was spread out with 18.6% under the age of 18, 25.2% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,789, and the median income for a family was $39,623. Males had a median income of $28,013 versus $21,710 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,297. About 13.1% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.1% of those under age 18 and 18.7% of those age 65 or over.