How many people will come to Tennessee, Kentucky for the eclipse?

(Map: Adventure Science Center)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s almost here. The total solar eclipse is less than a month away. The moon will completely block the sun’s light on Aug. 21, something Tennessee hasn’t seen in nearly 500 years.

The path of totality is about 70 miles wide, meaning people will come from all over the country and saturate that path to witness the historic, once-in-a-lifetime event.

While the eclipse begins at 11 a.m., it will reach totality around 1:28 p.m., making the sky go dark for upwards of 3 minutes, depending on where you live. When will it reach your house and how long will it last? Find the answer here. has analyzed the distribution of the US population with respect to our road networks to predict how many people will visit the path of totality and its resulting traffic congestion.

The path cuts across the United States from South Carolina to Oregon, right through Middle Tennessee – with Nashville being the largest city in its path – and portions of Kentucky.

So how many are expected to visit each state on Aug. 21 for the eclipse? Let’s break it down. Take a look at the charts below this story.

For over 55 million people, Tennessee is the closest place by distance for them to witness the eclipse. It is estimated that for the eclipse, a minimum of 360,000 people will visit Tennessee and it is possible upwards of 1.4 million will make the trip.

The two biggest drivesheds in the state are Interstate 65 in Middle Tennessee and Interstate 75 in East Tennessee—and both are in the country’s top 12 busiest.

  • Interstate 65 is the fourth largest driveshed for the eclipse in the country. It meets the path of totality in White House, which is north of Nashville in Robertson and Sumner counties. It’s the closest destination for 27.1 million people.
  • Interstate 75 is the seventh largest driveshed for the eclipse in the country. It meets the path of totality in Sweetwater, which sits in Monroe and McMinn counties. It’s the closest destination for 20.4 million people.

As for Kentucky, it’s the closest place for over 4 million people to travel to watch the eclipse, and the minimum number of visitors is estimated to be at 63,000 with the highest around 253,500.


Check out for more roadway and traffic statistics related to the eclipse.

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