Ultimate Guide to Living in Tennessee

So, you’re curious about living in Tennessee? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

The expert movers, travelers, and worldwide locals that make up the team at Relocalate.com are here to help. 

We’ve compiled the ultimate guides to answer the most common questions people just like you have about living in the great state of Tennessee.

Dive deep into the topics you’re interested in to make sure your new home in Tennessee matches what you’re looking for. 

We’ll explore whether Tennessee is a good place for YOU to live, and we’ll highlight some of the best cities for you to visit, explore, and ultimately call home. 

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Pros and Cons of Living in Tennessee

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: no place is perfect. What matters is how good of a fit it is for you.

Relocalate.com is here to help you decide whether Tennessee is the best place for YOU to live. 

Here are some reasons to love living in Tennessee:

  • Nashville is a beautiful city with plenty of opportunities for entertainment. 
  • Tennessee has some great state parks, so you can enjoy the outdoors in nature and still be close to civilization. 
  • The public schools are pretty good.
  • Cost of living is lower than in many other states. 

And, on the flip side, here are some of the downsides of living in Tennessee:

  • It gets cold here sometimes, especially during the winter months when snowfall isn’t uncommon. If you’re someone who likes more temperate climates year round, this might not be your best choice! But if you like experiencing different seasons each year then it shouldn’t bother you much at all! 
  • Nashville is the capital for country music. If you’re not into this genre, it could get old pretty quickly. 
  • Summer can get very hot and humid.



Read More: Is Tennessee a Good Place to Live?

Best Place to Live in Tennessee

So, you’ve got your heart set on living in Tennessee? Well, the decision making doesn’t end there. You’ve still got to decide where to live in Tennessee!

In some other articles, we’ll dive deeper into some of the best places to live in Tennessee. 

Our experts have considered a whole bunch of different criteria to select the top locations, including:

  • The best places to live for families, retirees, singles, young adults, outdoor lovers, foodies, and more. 
  • The safest places to live. 
  • The cheapest places to live. 
  • The best schools. 
  • The best job markets. 
  • The best housing markets. 
  • And so much more. 

Just want a quick list? No worries, here are some of the best cities to live in Tennessee:

  • Atoka
  • Brentwood
  • Chattanooga
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville


Read More: Best Places to Live in Tennessee

Checklist for Moving to Tennessee

So now you’re preparing for your big move to Tennessee. Maybe you’ve even started packing!

As you probably already know, there are a lot of things to take care of when you’re moving. Both in your current state and once you get to Tennessee.

Here are some of the major things you’ll want to take care of when you move to Tennessee:

  1. Updating your address with USPS. 
  2. Getting your Tennessee driver’s license. 
  3. Transferring your vehicle titles and registrations to Tennessee
  4. Getting Tennessee car insurance.
  5. Signing up for health insurance in Tennessee and finding new doctors, dentists, and local hospitals. 
  6. Updating/changing other insurance policies you may need (homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, pet insurance, motorcycle insurance, etc.)
  7. Registering to vote in your district in Tennessee.
  8. Updating your address with your banks, credit cards, subscription services, loans, investments, phone plans, and bill pay. 
  9. Enrolling your kids in their new school district. 
  10. Licensing your pets and finding a new vet. 
  11. Setting up your utilities for your new home. 
  12. Preparing to file state taxes for Tennessee and your previous home state. 

Visit your Tennessee Moving Checklist for a detailed guide on all of the above.  

Read More: Moving to Tennessee Checklist


While we’re at it, let’s cover some high-level questions and fun facts about Tennessee.

Things to Know About Living in Tennessee

As you’re preparing for your move or getting settled into your new home in Tennessee, here are some things to know about living there. 

Cost of Living in Tennessee

One thing to consider when moving to a new state is the relative cost of living

Tennessee ranks 5th on the Cost of Living Index with an overall rating of 88.5, meaning it’s a relatively cheap place to live. 

Here is how Tennessee scores for the cost of living in each specific category:

  • Groceries: 93
  • Housing: 79.4
  • Utilities: 91.7
  • Transportation: 88.6
  • Health: 90.4
  • Miscellaneous: 92.9

The average cost of living in this index is scored at 100. The numbers above represent the percentage of the average. A number higher than 100 represents an above average cost of living, while a number lower than 100 represents a lower cost of living. A lower rank indicates a lower cost of living. 

This data comes from the Cost of Living Index prepared by the Council for Economic Research (C2ER), which compiles data from cities across the country to rank and compare the differences in costs of living. 

Sales Tax Rates in Tennessee

Sales tax is a way that state and local governments collect tax revenue from its residents and visitors. 

These taxes are applied when you purchase something. It’ll show up on your receipt or bill. If you’ve recently moved to Tennessee from somewhere else, the new sales tax rates may surprise you. 

On top of the state sales tax rates, local rates for certain counties and cities may apply and vary as well.

Tennessee’s state sales tax rate is higher than the national average at 7%, with an average local rate of 2.55% (the highest local sales tax rate is 2.75%). Across the state, the average sales tax rate is about 9.55%. 

Check with the Tennessee tax office for the most current tax rates.

Real-Estate Property Tax Rates in Tennessee

If you own or plan to own real estate in Tennessee, you’ll want to think about the property tax rates when you move there. 

Tennessee ranks 15th (from low to high) for its state property tax rate of .71%.

There may be additional property taxes on top of the rate stated here depending on your county, city, and school districts

Check with the Tennessee tax office for the most current tax rates.

Tennessee’s Job Market & Economy

Another thing to think about when moving to Tennessee is the job market and economic indicators

Overall, Tennessee ranks 20th for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States. 

The GDP measures the overall monetary value of all goods and services produced within a certain place over a period of time. 

Its top 10 industries (ranked from largest to smallest by economic contribution to the state) are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Professional and business services
  • Educational services, health care, and social assistance
  • Real estate and rental and leasing
  • Wholesale trade
  • Retail trade
  • Finance and insurance
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Construction

The top employer in Tennessee is Walmart.

Notable Destinations and Landmarks in Tennessee

Our Tennessee moving guide wouldn’t be complete without a brief mention of some of the most iconic destinations in the state

When you get settled in, a road trip may just be in order. 

One of the most iconic landmarks in Tennessee is the Grand Ole Opry.

National Parks that you can visit in Tennessee include:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

These destinations are all great places to visit when you get a chance. 

Facts about Tennessee

Tennessee is the 16th state of the United States that lies in the southern region. To its north is Kentucky, to its south is Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, to its east is North Carolina, and to its west is Arkansas.

What is the capital of Tennessee?

The capital of Tennessee is Nashville.

Nashville is located in Davidson County with a population of 691,243.

What is the population of Tennessee?

The population of Tennessee based on 2020 US Census data is 6,910,840.

What is the largest city in Tennessee?

The largest city in Tennessee is Nashville. 

What is the size of Tennessee?

Tennessee is 42,144 square miles, making it the 36th largest state in the U.S.

What is the state motto of Tennessee?

The state motto of Tennessee is: Agriculture and Commerce

What is the state bird of Tennessee?

The state bird of Tennessee is the Northern mockingbird.

What is the state flower of Tennessee?

The state flower of Tennessee is the Iris.

What is the state tree of Tennessee?

The state tree of Tennessee is the Tulip-tree.

What is the minimum wage in the state of Tennessee?

The minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25 per hour.

What is the median income in Tennessee?

The median annual household salary in Tennessee is $52,375.