The Most Affordable Places To Live in Tennessee: 9 Cities Ranked

Whether you’re a native Tennesseean, thinking about relocating to the Volunteer State, or just naturally curious, you might have wondered about the cost of living in Tennessee. Tennessee’s charm may be inviting, but what about its affordability?

From the rolling hills of Nashville to the picturesque streets of Memphis, Tennessee offers rich culture at a more modest price compared to other states. In 2022, Tennessee was found to be the 10th least expensive state to live in.

Cost of living includes a wide variety of expenses, however, including goods, services and your basic needs. In terms of just housing affordability, Tennessee comes in 20th most affordable of the 50 states.

For our list of most affordable cities in Tennessee, our data is based on monthly housing costs listed in the 2022 U.S. Census. It factors in what both renters and homeowners pay, giving us a good representative sample. For this list, we’ll focus on Tennessee cities with a population above 65,000 — ranking them by affordability.

1. Johnson City

Population: 70,720
Monthly housing costs: $912

Perched in the eastern part of Tennessee, Johnson City is a true hidden gem for those seeking an affordable place to live. With a low cost of housing, it not only offers a high standard of living but also a vibrant arts and music scene. This city is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors, with its proximity to the Appalachian Trail and several state parks.

2. Jackson

Population: 67,993
Monthly housing costs: $975

Jackson, Tennessee is located in the western half of the state and is known for its central location between Nashville and Memphis, making it a prime location for anyone looking to explore the state. And with monthly housing costs under a thousand dollars, Jackson offers a peaceful, friendly community that embraces a simple and comfortable lifestyle.

3. Knoxville

Population: 191,857
Monthly housing costs: $1,031

Home to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville exudes a vibrant, youthful energy in its historic streets. This popular city is characterized by its festivals, eclectic food scene, and, surprisingly, its affordable housing. Whether you’re exploring the urban side of this city or enjoying its natural beauty, Knoxville offers a balanced life at a reasonable price.

4. Memphis

Population: 630,027
Monthly housing costs: $1,058

Memphis is rich in history, music and culture — and it also offers a cost-effective living situation. Throw in the lower cost for a home or apartment, and you’ve got a city that’s both soulful and sensible. From blues on Beale Street to the renowned barbecue, Memphis’s charm is as big as its affordability.

5. Chattanooga

Population: 181,288
Monthly housing costs: $1,085

Perched along the Tennessee River and surrounded by mountains, Chattanooga provides a scenic backdrop for an affordable lifestyle. With easy access to outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, this city is perfect for the adventure seeker. Its affordable housing and up-and-coming tech industry also make it a great place for young professionals.

6. Clarksville

Population: 167,882
Monthly housing costs: $1,202

Clarksville, located northwest of Nashville, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. Fueled by its military community and a surge in industrial development, the local economy is booming, but the housing here remains very affordable. Residents can enjoy proximity to Nashville without the steep price tag, making Clarksville an attractive option for many.

7. Murfreesboro

Population: 153,487
Monthly housing costs: $1,358

Home to Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro is a lively city with a rich history tied to the Civil War. Murfreesboro’s housing market is significantly more expensive than other Tennessee cities of comparable size, but it’s nonetheless a particularly popular spot among young families and students. Its community-focused atmosphere and growing job market make it an attractive city, even if housing costs are higher than other cities in Tennessee.

8. Nashville-Davidson

Population: 709,786
Monthly housing costs: $1,429

The country music capital has a bit of a reputation for high property prices, but the Nashville-Davidson real estate market does offer a variety of affordable housing options. Nashville’s bustling nightlife and varied job market cater to those looking for city living without the major U.S. city price tag.

9. Franklin

Population: 83,630
Monthly housing costs: $1,846

Known for its affluent communities and historic significance, Franklin stands out with a higher monthly housing cost than the other cities listed. However, it still can present a relatively affordable option for those looking for a premium living experience near Nashville. The city’s strong economy and highly ranked schools add a great deal of value, cementing Franklin as an attractive city for many families.

DISCLAIMER: CashNetUSA and its affiliates do not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

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