Brownsville is a city in Haywood County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of Haywood County, located in the western Tennessee Delta. Its population as of the 2010 census was 10,292, down from 10,748 at the 2000 census.
The city is named after General Jacob Jennings Brown, an American officer of the War of 1812.
Brownsville is located in central Haywood County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.2 square miles (26.4 km²), all land. U.S. Routes 70 and 79 form a bypass around the southern and eastern sides of the city. US 79 leads northeast 25 miles (40 km) to Humboldt, while US 70 leads east 26 miles (42 km) to Jackson. The two highways together leads southwest 57 miles (92 km) to Memphis. Interstate 40 passes south of Brownsville, coming closest at exits 56 and 60, where it is 4 miles (6 km) south of downtown.
Brownsville is situated on the southeastern edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area with a high earthquake risk.
The Hatchie River passes south of Brownsville. It is the longest free-flowing tributary of the lower Mississippi, and contains the largest forested floodplain in Tennessee. The river is home to hundreds of species of fish, including 11 species of catfish, and the alligator snapping turtle. The Hatchie River was named by the Nature Conservancy as one of the "great places" to save. The Hatchie is designated as a "scenic river" under the Tennessee Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,748 people, 4,105 households, and 2,865 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,178.1 people per square mile (455.0/km²). There were 4,372 housing units at an average density of 479.2 per square mile (185.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.52% White, 60.72% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.83% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.61% of the population.
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