Kingsport is a city in Sullivan and Hawkins counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, its population was 55,442. Lying along the Holston River, Kingsport is commonly included in what is known as the Mountain Empire, which spans a portion of southwest Virginia and the mountainous counties in northeastern Tennessee. It is the largest city in the Kingsport–Bristol metropolitan area, which had a population of 307,614 in 2020. The metro area is a component of the larger Tri-Cities region of Tennessee and Virginia, with a population of 508,260 in 2020.
The name "Kingsport" is a simplification of "King's Port", originally referring to the area on the Holston River known as King's Boat Yard, the head of navigation for the Tennessee Valley.
Kingsport was developed after the Revolutionary War, at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston River. In 1787 it was known as "Salt Lick" for an ancient mineral lick. It was first settled along t