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All You Need to Know About Moving to Tennessee
Known for its musical heritage and southern charm, Tennessee is a hub of arts and culture. It’s also the home of Blues music and the “Country Music Capital of the World.”
But there’s so much more to Tennessee than its bluegrass festivals and Americana vibe. Located east of the Mississippi River, this state offers peaceful living, breathtaking natural beauty, and excellent quality of life, so it’s no wonder that many people have been moving there.
With a population of 6.8 million, Tennessee is the 23rd most populous state in the U.S. It’s sometimes called the Volunteer State—this nickname was created to honor the Tennessee volunteer soldiers who fought in the 1812 War.
Historical events like this are part of the fabric of the state, so if you’re someone who loves learning about the past, then moving to Tennessee is the right move for you. But before you pack your belongings and buy a one-way ticket, you should know as much as possible about Tennessee cities, education, culture, and general everyday life.
That’s what we’re covering in this article, and by the end, you’ll have gained enough information to decide if you want to move to Tennessee.
The Climate in Tennessee
You might assume that moving to Tennessee means warm weather only. You’re partly right because the weather in the Volunteer State can get quite hot and humid in the summer, but winters can be chilly.
The temperatures vary depending on how close to the Great Smoky Mountains or the Mississippi River you are. The closer you are to the mountains, the colder it can get. The temperatures are warmer if you live close to the Central Basin and the Sequatchie Valley.
Tennessee experiences around 207 sunny days each year. In the summer, average highs range from 85° to 90°F, and in the winter, average lows range from 31° to 35°F.
If you call Tennessee home, you won’t see a lot of snow—snowfall rarely exceeds 2 inches a month, even during the coldest months of the year. However, you’ll want to pack an umbrella when you move because the state sees approximately 53 inches of rainfall per year.
All in all, Tennessee has warm and pleasant weather most of the year, allowing you to enjoy all the hiking, kayaking, and music festivals you want.
Although you’ll be in a landlocked location if you live in Tennessee, there are still some potential natural disasters to be aware of. Parts of Tennessee are prone to tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms.
The state authorities are prepared for these events, so you shouldn’t worry too much about them.
While being the musical home of Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton is one obvious attraction, another reason people are moving to Tennessee is the low taxes.
Tennessee is one of 9 states that doesn’t have a personal income tax, so you’ll only have to pay state sales and property taxes. In 2020, the state issued a 1% flat tax rate for income earned from dividends and interest, but the tax was repealed in 2021.
In terms of sales tax, you can expect to pay a 7% tax rate with local taxes ranging from 0 to 3%.
As for property taxes, Tennessee makes it easy for everyone to become a homeowner by imposing a modest 0.74% tax on property. So if you buy a home at the median home value of $167,200, you can expect to pay $1,204 annually in property taxes.
Cost of Living in Tennessee
In addition to the low taxes, moving to Tennessee also means you’ll enjoy a low cost of living.
The cost of living by state is usually measured against a national living index of 100, which represents the average cost of living across the country. Tennessee has an overall cost of living index of 87.6, which is well below the U.S. average.
Groceries, housing, utilities, and transportation are all more affordable, while health insurance can be more costly.
If you want to become a homeowner, the median home value is $167,200. The average monthly rent is $869. Because of the abundance of affordable housing, around 66% of Tennessee residents own their homes.
Tennessee’s cheapest places to live include Manchester, Humboldt, Union City, Lexington, and Rockwood. Places that carry a higher price tag are Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville, and Germantown.
So no matter what your financial situation is, you have plenty of choices when deciding where to live in Tennessee.
Employment in Tennessee
Tennessee has recently become a vibrant hub of economic activity. Many national and international corporations are setting up their headquarters here, providing employment opportunities in different industries.
This growth has lowered the unemployment rate, which is now at only 4.6%, and increased the median household income to $53,320.
Because Tennessee offers the second hottest job market in the country, many young families and young professionals are moving to the state to work in some of the top industries.
Currently, you can find a job in these and other industries through the state’s top employers.
- Eastman Chemical Co.
- Southern Tennessee Medical Center
- Covenant Transportation Group
- Davidson Hotels & Resorts
- Babcock & Wilcox
If you want both a low cost of living and a thriving job market, Tennessee is the state for you.
Although Tennessee provides plenty of opportunities for its residents to be healthy, such as hiking in the mountains, dancing at music festivals, or mountain biking on beautiful trails, public health is still not where it should be.
When compared to other states, Tennessee comes in at #40 for health overall, and the public health ranking is at #43. Obesity is high in the state, with almost 37% of the population of Tennessee qualifying as obese.
For access to healthcare, the state is ranked at #37, and for healthcare quality, Tennessee is the 23rd best state. While these are mediocre ratings, the state is trying to improve access to healthcare.
In 2022, a health insurance plan in Tennessee costs $447 per month for a 40-year-old. Prices have decreased slightly as this average premium is 3% higher than it was in 2021.
Residents can choose from a range of plans. The Catastrophic Plan, which is the most affordable, could cost a 60-year-old person around $686 per month, while the Gold plan costs $1,327. Around 15% of Tennessee residents remain uninsured.
Tennessee not only offers an affordable cost of living but a good education system too. The state ranks 33rd for its education quality—specifically, it is 29th for higher education and 31st for pre-K to 12th grade.
Residents can choose from a variety of great top-ranking school districts, including:
- The Oak Ridge School District
- Johnson City Schools
- Greeneville City Schools
- Maryville City Schools
- Kingsport City Schools
Once your kids graduate from high school, they have a few choices in terms of higher education within the state.
Tennessee offers free tuition and covers other education expenses for residents who attend a community college or technical school. The program is called the Tennessee Promise Program, and your kids could use it for a free community college degree.
Students can attend one of the thirteen community colleges or twenty-seven technical colleges eligible for the program, including the Tennessee Community College.
In addition to community college, students can also attend one of the many quality universities or top private schools that have excellent national and international rankings, such as:
- Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- Belmont University (Belmont)
- Welch College (Gallatin)
- Rhodes College (Memphis)
- Tennessee Wesleyan University (Athens)
Living in Tennessee means you have access to many interesting activities that can make your weekends or time off work exciting.
The state has one of the most visited national parks, The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where you can bike, hike, fish, and more.
You can hike Mount LeCont—the third-largest mountain in the park—to witness breathtaking views. If you enjoy whitewater rafting, you’ll also love the Cherokee National Forest in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
The state also offers you the chance to see some fantastic historical sites and museums where you can learn about the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, and America’s musical heritage.
These include the Shiloh National Military Park, Stones River National Battlefield, National Civil Rights Museum, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and the Johnny Cash Museum.
If you love live music and theme parks, you won’t be disappointed. Tennessee has many world-class festivals and fairs year-round. Be sure to check out the Tennessee State Fair, Bonnaroo, CMA Music Festival, and the Nashville Film Festival.
Finally, the food in Nashville is delicious. Don’t miss the tasty BBQ with smoked pork and fried chicken. When it comes to drinking, you should absolutely visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery for a tour and a tasting of Tennessee whiskey.
All in all, there’s plenty of excitement and activities to keep you busy when you move to Tennessee.
Best Places to Live in Tennessee
Now that we know a lot more about Tennessee, it’s time to choose where to live. Here are some of the best places to live in the state.
With a population of 188,000 and a prime location, Knoxville is a great place to move to. The city is close to the Great Smoky Mountains, the Tennessee river, and not too far from the North Carolina state line.
Knoxville features attractive architecture and many amenities. Public schools, such as the Webb School, offer quality education, and there are also plenty of jobs for college graduates. Many of the residents of Knoxville are die-hard college sports fans, so be prepared to regularly attend games or have get-togethers to watch them.
A small town with only 23,000 people, Farragut is an excellent place for young families and retirees. It’s very close to Knoxville, so you can have a quieter lifestyle while having the opportunity to commute to work in the city.
Farragut is an ideal suburban town and has excellent public schools. There are also plenty of outdoor recreation activities and parks to explore.
Because of its reputation and good quality of education, homes in Farragut tend to be more expensive than in other areas of Tennessee, and the median home value is $376,400. But many find the excellent location worth it.
Located in Middle Tennessee, Brentwood has a population of 43,000 and boasts picture-perfect suburban scenery.
Around 91% of the residents own their homes, and average home values are over $650,000. One reason for the high cost of housing is the exceptional schools in the area. The community in Brentwood is supportive, and the town offers natural beauty and high-quality amenities.
Murfreesboro is a city of 141,000 and is only 35 miles away from Nashville. It’s known as one of the top 100 cities to live in the entire country, mainly because it’s such a famous college town—Middle Tennessee State University is located in Murfreesboro.
Most residents own their homes, and many have businesses that cater to student and tourist needs. The city also has many employment opportunities from well-known companies such as Amazon, State Farm Insurance, and Schwan Cosmetics. It’s a great city for young graduates and families too.
A vibrant city in Tennessee, Nashville is known as Music City. It’s home to country music and has a rich Southern culture. The city is bursting with life at every corner, and the things you could do for fun never end here.
There’s always some live music playing somewhere to elevate your mood. Nashville is one of the top reasons people choose to move to Tennessee in the first place.
In addition to the fun activities and music scene, Nashville is also becoming a startup hub with a growing number of tech companies. This has created employment opportunities, attracting young people from all over the country.
The schools are also great, and if you have children in high school, be sure to check out the Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School. Whether you’re a music fan, tech enthusiast, or just love southern food, Nashville offers it all.
A Southern state close to the mountains and with half a dozen rivers, Tennessee is an ideal state for anyone who loves to enjoy the outdoors. It’s also experiencing an economic boom and has plenty of job opportunities.
Plus, with no state income tax and low property taxes, living in Tennessee is quite affordable, and there’s never a shortage of activities.
To see all that Tennessee offers, you need a car when you move there. Instead of having to think about moving your car from a different state, let Guardian Auto Transport take care of shipping your car to Tennessee for you. Guardian can also ship your car from state to state. We are the best car shipping company in the country, and we can transport your vehicle safely so you can focus on your move.
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