KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

There are many ways of looking at numbers.

Take 13, 801. That just doesn't seem like a whole lot of people, but that's what the U.S. Census Bureau says the population of Cannon County is, according to its 2010 survey.

One way to look at that number is this: the entire population of Cannon County could fit easily into the football stadium at MTSU (capacity 31,000).

Consider too that the seating capacity for Memorial Gymnasium at Vanderbilt University, where the Commodores play basketball, is 14,316. Our entire county could fit inside with room for a few friends.

We are a third the size of Warren County (39,839) to the east population-wise, and miniscule compared to Rutherford County (262,604) to the west.

However, we are not alone among relatively small Tennessee counties. There are 16 counties in the state with less residents. Roughly half of the states' 95 counties are under 30,000.

Cannon County may not be growing anytime soon. The percentage of people 17 and younger dropped from 25.41% in 2000 to 22.47% in 2010.

The Census shows Cannon County has 6,037 housing units, of which 5,472 are occupied, leaving 565 (.9.36%) vacant.

Auburntown has 126 housing units with 113 occupied, while Woodbury has 1,219 with 1,118 occupied.

There may be disadvantaged to being small, such as a lower tax base, but there are also plenty of advantages. One is proximatety of neighors. Cannon County has 52.0 residents per square mile. Davidson County (626,681 total residents) has 1,243.3.  Perry County has 19.1. It's population is 7,915.

Obviously the more people a county has, the more they are packed together.