The pros and cons of living in Tennessee

Tennessee is quite an interesting place. This southeastern state is the 16th most populous state in the United States and is home to two big cities, Nashville and Memphis. Tennessee has a rich and turbulent history dating back to the 16th century when Spanish explorers first discovered this territory. Tennessee was named after the local Cherokee town called Tanasi. Later, the state played a crucial role in the Civil War, giving a huge number of soldiers, thus earning a nickname the Volunteer state. Today, people usually link Tennessee with bluegrass music and hard liquor but the Volunteer state has a lot more to offer. Sure, living in Tennessee has also some disadvantages, and in this article, we will try to evaluate both sides.

Booming economy, urban junction points of Nashville and Memphis draw new citizens every year. Beautiful nature and no income tax are just some of the reasons why people choose to settle here. Every state has its pros and cons and in the end, it’s up to your personal preferences and wishes. So, if you plan on moving to Tennessee, we advise you to take a seat and take notes.

Picture of Nashville skyline
Nashville and Memphis are two biggest cities in Tennessee

The financial aspect of living in Tennessee

This is probably the main reason why people decide to live in Tennessee. The average cost of living is 19% lower here than in the rest of the United States. This makes Tennessee one of the most affordable states. Groceries, housing, and utilities and all lower than the average with costs of transportation and health services being a bit over the average. Furthermore, there is no income tax in Tennessee except if your source of income are investments. Speaking of jobs Tennessee has a stable labor market with top employers being universities, medical centers, federal government and companies like Amazon, Asurion and Nissan. Actually, the unemployment rate in Tennessee is 2.4% which is half the national average. Property taxes are also low compared to the rest of the country.

Because of the economic prosperity, cities like Nashville and Memphis have everything you would expect from a modern megalopolis. Vibrant nightlife with a plethora of pubs, cocktail bars, and nightclubs are there for you to explore. Tennessee is well-known for its dishes, many of which involve meat prepared with hot spices and seasonings. Hot chicken, barbecue with grilled vegetables and sweets like banana pudding and moon pies are just some of the delicious dishes that are popular here.

Tennessee is incredibly rich in culture

What is it that makes Tennessee a great place for families with kids? Low costs of living and steady job market are certainly attracting people, but culture also plays a great part in attracting new residents. If you wish to move to Tennessee on a permanent basis, we advise you to acquire the services of long distance movers TN in order to ensure your relocation goes stress-free.

  • Quality of schools: Tennessee has a huge offering of quality public and private schools where your kids can take their first educational steps. Memphis and Nashville are home to several great colleges and universities. Inform yourself about the Tennessee Promise Program created to help parents to send their kids to college for free.
  • Music. Nashville and Memphis played a great part in the birth of rock and roll and rockabilly music. Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and many others started their musical careers here. Many annual music events take place here like Beale Street Music Festival, Bonnaroo or CMA Music Festival.
  • History. Home to Davy Crocket and president Andrew Johnson, Tennessee has a wide array of historical sites, museums and art galleries. If you are a history buff you will certainly have a good time here. Many of historical sites here are related to music, namely Elvis’ Graceland or the famous Sun recording studio.

    Picture of Johnny Cash museum
    Living in Tennessee means to be in touch with musical culture

Nature in Tennessee is just gorgeous

If you ask locals to tell you when nature is at it’s best here, they would probably say autumn. This is a time when trees put a breathtaking display of vibrant colors varying from yellow to red and orange. Tennessee also has a unique terrain configuration that is well-supplied with caves, so if you are of the adventurous kind, you will have plenty to explore. If you are a nature lover and you like to go hiking, then the best place would be the Smoky Mountains. Part of the Appalachian Mountains, Smokies are a true gem and the best place to experience autumn colors. Smoky Mountains’ highest peak, the Clingman’s Dome has an observation tower where you can experience a stunning view of the surrounding area.

Living in Tennessee offers you a chance to see some beautiful nature
Autumn when leaves change color is the prettiest time of the year in Tennessee

Things to know if you plan on living in Tennessee

If you plan on moving here, you should be aware that life in the Volunteer State also has its downsides. The first one you might notice is the climate. Summers here are pretty hot with average summer temperatures regularly going above 90 degrees. On the other hand, winters have a tendency to be bone-chilling. But all that fades in comparison to humidity, so be prepared for sticky weather. Tennessee is also prone to occasional extreme weather like tornados.

Next, Nashville and Memphis have a huge influx of new residents, and therefore overcrowding is becoming a problem here. One problem leads to another so you can imagine the quality of public transportation in Tennessee. Nashville’s transit system doesn’t cover the whole city and is of questionable quality. Therefore, prepare yourself for lots of driving around. Know that rush hour here is truly a horrible experience. Tennessee draws a lot of its energy needs from several nuclear plants, and although nuclear energy is clean and safe, some people might find this problematic. Lastly, some neighborhoods of Nashville and Memphis have gained notoriety for crime and gang violence. Therefore, do your research when deciding on which neighborhood you want to raise your kids.

These were some factors you have to take into consideration if you plan on living in Tennessee. So, if you can handle a bit of city crowd and humid summers, but you love nature, music and low costs of living, Tennessee is the place for you.


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