Franklin is a city in and county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. About 21 miles (34 km) south of Nashville, it is one of the principal cities of the Nashville metropolitan area and Middle Tennessee. As of 2020, its population was 83,454. It is the seventh-largest city in Tennessee.Franklin is known to be the home of many celebrities, mostly country music stars. The city developed on both sides of the Harpeth River, a tributary of the Cumberland River. In the 19th century, Franklin (as the county seat) was the trading and judicial center for primarily rural Williamson County and remained so well into the 20th century as the county remained rural and agricultural in nature. Since 1980, areas of northern Franklin have been developed for residential and related businesses, in addition to modern service industries. The population has increased rapidly as growth moved in all directions from the core. Despite recent growth and development, Franklin is noted for its many older buildings and neighborhoods, which are protected by city ordinances.