A Special Census is a basic enumeration of population, housing units, and group quarters conducted by the Census Bureau at the request of a governmental unit. The Census Bureau's authority to conduct Special Censuses is specified in Title 13, United States Code, Section 196. When local officials believe there has been a significant population change in their community due to growth or annexation, a Special Census may be in order. A certified official population increase resulting from the Special Census may produce an increase in state revenue sharing or other benefits. Between 2000 and 2010 the City of Cookeville completed a Special Census on the following four occasions.
In May of 2001 the Planning Department and the Police Department completed a Special Census of the five areas annexed by the city between June of 2000 and January of 2001. A total of 1,142 persons were identified in this census. The addition of these 1,142 persons to the 2000 Census count of 23,923 placed the population of the city at 25,065
A Special Census of the areas annexed by the city since the 2001 Special Census was completed in April and May of 2003. A total of 987 persons were identified in this census. The addition of those 987 persons to the 2001 certified population of 25,065 increased the 2003 certified population of Cookeville to 26,052.
A Special Census of the areas annexed by the city since the 2003 Special Ccensus was completed in May of 2007. A total of 343 persons were identified in this census increasing the municipality's population to 26,395.
In May of 2008 a Special Census of the areas annexed since 2007 was completed. A total of 261 persons were identified resulting in a state certified population of 26,656.
The 2010 Decennial Census identified a total of 30,435 persons within the municipality. This represents a 27.2% increase in the population since the previous Decennial Census conducted in 2000. The population of Cookeville at that time was enumerated at 23,923.
In March of 2012 a Special Census was completed for areas annexed by the city since the 2010 Decennial Census. A total of 117 persons were identified in this census increasing the municipality's certified population to 30,552.