Kingsport is a city in Sullivan and Hawkins counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The population according to the 2010 census is 48,205. The name 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 is the largest city in the Kingsport–Bristol–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which had a population of 309,544 as of 2010.
The Metropolitan Statistical Area is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region. Census data from 2006–2008 for the Tri-Cities Combined Statistical Area estimates a population of 496,454. Kingsport is commonly included in what is known as the Mountain Empire, which spans a portion of southwest Virginia and the mountainous counties in Tennessee to the east.