Cleveland is located in southeast Tennessee in the center of Bradley County situated among a series of low hills and ridges roughly 15 miles (24 km) west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and 15 miles (24 km) east of the Chickamauga Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River.

The Hiwassee River, which flows down out of the mountains and forms the northern boundary of Bradley County, empties into the Tennessee a few miles northwest of Cleveland.

East and South Cleveland are census-designated places within the city limits.

In 1819, the Cherokee Agency— the official liaison between the U. government and the Cherokee Nation— was moved to the Hiwassee area, a few miles north of what is now Cleveland. The legislative act that created Bradley County in 1836 authorized the establishment of a county seat, which was to be named "Cleveland" after Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.

The commissioners chose "Taylor's Place," the home of Andrew Taylor, as the location for the county seat, due largely to the site's excellent water sources.

Central Cleveland encompasses the business district and surrounding residential area including the Stuart Heights, Centenary Avenue, and Annadale neighborhoods.

People who live in these regions are sometimes referred to as being "isolated" from the rest of the city, as they work in that part of town and most of their economy comes from retail and businesses in the southern part of the city.

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This warning page constitutes a legal agreement between this website and you and/or any business in which you have any legal or equitable interest.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.87% of the population.There were 15,037 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families.According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total land area of 26.9 square miles (69.7 km Much of the city's terrain is made up of paralleling ridges, including Candies Creek Ridge (also called Clingan Ridge), Mouse Creek/Lead Mine Ridge, and Blue Springs Ridge which are extensions of the Appalachian Mountains (specifically part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians) that run approximately north-northeast through the city.Cleveland is divided into five major regions: Central Cleveland (also called Downtown Cleveland), Northern Cleveland (also called North Cleveland), Western Cleveland, East Cleveland, and South Cleveland.30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.