The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee For 2022

We used data and science to determine which places in Tennessee go easy on your wallet.

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You don’t get named the Tennessee ‘Tight’-ans if you’re not located in a state that’s affordable. And folks, there are plenty of affordable cities in The Volunteer State.

Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don’t want to stress about it daily when looking for an affordable Tennessee neighborhood, a job that will make your momma proud, the best bathtub Tennessee moonshine, and that good ‘ol fashioned hometown Tennessee appeal.

Most people think that Tennessee cities are only filled with a bunch of fancy Nashville country singers, people who walk, not run, in Memphis, and a bunch of Chattanooga Moon Pie fanatics. And if you ask any Tennessean, they will say that their corner of the country capital of the world is the best. Heck, there’s a reason people like Elvis and Dolly set up shop here.

While we think it has a little something’ to do with the great Tennessee people and good country Tennessee livin’, the economically savvy in Tennessee know that to be truly be the best, the state must have the nicest, most affordable places to call home.

Tennessee cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, there are cities in this great state that won’t break your bank. So, grab yourself a slice of pecan pie and some Tennessee Whiskey, and read on.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In Tennessee

  1. Milan
  2. Henderson
  3. Church Hill
  4. Mount Carmel
  5. Harriman
  6. La Follette
  7. Pulaski
  8. Brownsville
  9. Manchester
  10. Atoka

Tennessee’s strong economy, gold star housing prices, and average cost of living make its cities very desirable. So one can imagine how difficult it was for us to narrow down the cities in Tennessee that won’t break your bank; but also, don’t scream Dollar Store cheap.

Drum roll… .what is the most affordable city in Tennessee for 2022? Break out the whiskey and moonshine and give a warm, hearty ‘Bless Your Heart’ cheers to Milan, the cheapest place in Tennessee!

And if you care about home values, cost of living, and gold star quality of life, take a look at the list below to see where your Tennessee salary will let you live like a true country star.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Tennessee and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee For 2022

Our tour of Tennessee’s most affordable places takes us to Milan, a city of 7,642 located 25 miles north of Jackson. Milan is known for its innovations in farming, which are on full display at the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum.

These days, though, Milan has a much more diverse economy. Milan’s downtown is a mix of locally-owned boutiques and shops and national chains, and has received awards for its development and upkeep. There’s also the relatively new tradition of the Fall Festival, complete with food trucks, live entertainment, games, and shopping.

The overall cost of living in Milan is about 16% lower than the national average, but in terms of housing, it’s much cheaper. Homes in Milan have a median price of $101,600, up 5% from last year. Milan’s median household income is also up 5% from last year to $43,300.

If you want to give Milan a try before committing to a mortgage, the barrier to entry is incredibly low; the median rent here is just $656.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,642
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.0x (7cheapest)
More On Milan: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Milan, TN

Henderson is a city of 6,323 located a half-hour southeast of Jackson. Freed-Hartman University is an anchor of the Henderson community, with about 2,000 students in total.

The median rent in Henderson is $712, while a home will only set you back around $95,200. Not too shabby for a median household income of $42,722.

Nature-lovers don’t have to spend a dime to have a good time in Henderson because the gorgeous Chickasaw State Park is right in your backyard. Besides hiking and camping, you can also rent rowboats and pedal boats for the charming Lake Placid.

Henderson is also incredibly safe, with an overall crime rate 30% below the statewide average. Additionally, the cost of living in Henderson is cheap, with housing costs 21% lower than your typical Tennessee city.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,323
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.0x (88th cheapest)
More On Henderson: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Henderson, TN

Church Hill is a city in Hawkins County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 5,916 at the 2000 census and 6,737 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Kingsport-Bristol -Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the “Tri-Cities” region.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,664
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 18)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 85.4x (90th cheapest)
More On Church Hill: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Church Hill, TN

Mount Carmel is a town located in Hawkins County, Tennessee. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 5,429, an increase of 634 since the 2000 census. It is part of the Kingsport-Bristol -Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the “Tri-Cities” region.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,297
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (17th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.7x (8cheapest)
More On Mount Carmel: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Mount Carmel, TN

Harriman is a city located primarily in Roane County, Tennessee, with a small extension into Morgan County. The population of Harriman was 6,350 at the 2010 census.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,144
Rank Last Year: 42 (Up 37)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (32nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.5x (38th cheapest)
More On Harriman: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Harriman, TN

LaFollette is a city in Campbell County, Tennessee, United States. Its population was 7,456 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population in 2014 of 7,131. It is the principal city of the LaFollette, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Campbell County, and is a component of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area. While the city’s official spelling is one word -after its founders, Harvey Marion LaFollette and his younger brother Grant LaFollette-several federal agencies spell the city’s name with two words.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,762
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.4x (96th cheapest)
More On La Follette: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

La Follette, TN

Pulaski is a city and county seat of Giles County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 7,870 at the 2010 census.It was named to honor the Polish-born American Revolutionary War hero Kazimierz Puaski. It is home to Martin Methodist College.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,614
Rank Last Year: 61 (Up 54)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (18th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.4x (80th cheapest)
More On Pulaski: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Pulaski, TN

Brownsville is a city in Haywood County, Tennessee. It is the county seat of Haywood County, which is in the broad delta floodplain near the Mississippi River. Its population as of the 2010 census is 10,292.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,497
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.4x (6cheapest)
More On Brownsville: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Brownsville, TN

If you’ve ever been to the Bonnaroo Music Festival, you know that there are many reasons to pack up a moving truck and move to Manchester in Coffee County.

However, we think that the main reason that you should move to Tennessee’s ninth least expensive city is that the median income here is $49,389 making it the 24th most affordable place to buy a home.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,896
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (24th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.5x (3rd cheapest)
More On Manchester: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Manchester, TN

Is there anything Atoka can’t do? We already named this charming little town one of the best Memphis suburbs, as well as one of the safest places in Tennessee.

The fact that Atoka is also mega-affordable is just icing on the cake as far as we’re concerned. While housing costs are slightly higher than other places listed here, Atoka makes up for it with a high median income of $86,935 and super-low rates of unemployment and poverty. Not to mention that Atoka has some of the best schools around, with GreatSchools awarding the town an 8/10 score.

Besides that, Atoka has five great parks, several seasonal events, and a young, rapidly growing population.

The cost of living in Atoka is 9% lower than the national average, with things like groceries, healthcare, and services standing out as extra-cheap. Homes in Atoka sell for a median price of $206,500, while rent goes for around $1,180.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,407
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.7x (37th cheapest)
More On Atoka: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Atoka, TN

Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee FAQs

What county in Tennessee has the lowest cost of living?

The county in Tennessee with the lowest cost of living is Carroll County. The average living wage in Carroll County is $73,333 according to MIT data. Carroll County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Tennessee as a whole. Childcare costs $10,572 a year in Carroll County for two children compared to the Tennessee average of $12,473. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $7,956 per year in Carroll County compared to $10,853 on average in Tennessee.

What is the cost of living in Tennessee?

The cost of living in Tennessee is 12.2% lower than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Tennessee is $78,800 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Tennessee household is $54,833.

What is the cheapest housing market in Tennessee?

The cheapest housing market in Tennessee is Humboldt. The average home value in Humboldt is $84,600, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Tennessee is $177,600, almost 2.1 times higher than Humboldt.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Volunteer State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Tennessee to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 97 places in Tennessee that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Tennessee according to the data is Milan. You can download the data here.

Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Tennessee Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Tennessee, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Tennessee for 2022.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Tennessee according to the data:

  1. Thompson’s Station
  2. Goodlettsville
  3. Nashville

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In Tennessee

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Milan 14.33 7,642 2.3x 66.0x
2 Henderson 16.0 6,323 2.2x 60.0x
3 Church Hill 17.67 6,664 2.5x 85.4x
4 Mount Carmel 23.0 5,297 2.7x 83.7x
5 Harriman 24.33 6,144 2.9x 66.5x
6 La Follette 25.67 6,762 2.4x 54.4x
7 Pulaski 25.67 7,614 2.7x 59.4x
8 Brownsville 26.0 9,497 2.6x 55.4x
9 Manchester 28.67 10,896 2.8x 66.5x
10 Atoka 29.33 9,407 2.4x 73.7x
11 Rockwood 29.33 5,446 2.7x 55.2x
12 Sweetwater 30.33 5,894 3.2x 71.6x
13 Dayton 30.67 7,357 2.8x 56.3x
14 Portland 31.0 12,928 2.8x 66.5x
15 Mckenzie 31.67 5,517 2.7x 54.4x
16 Savannah 32.67 6,934 3.1x 61.3x
17 Jefferson City 33.0 8,220 3.1x 68.7x
18 Lakeland 33.0 12,644 2.6x 93.3x
19 Hartsville/trousdale County 33.0 10,910 2.9x 71.8x
20 Ripley 33.0 7,852 2.6x 51.0x
21 Millington 33.33 10,650 2.3x 53.3x
22 Mcminnville 33.67 13,707 2.9x 58.0x
23 Humboldt 34.33 8,145 2.6x 48.7x
24 Munford 34.33 6,090 2.7x 71.9x
25 Oak Ridge 35.67 29,124 2.8x 64.4x
26 Winchester 36.33 8,818 3.1x 70.8x
27 Fayetteville 37.0 7,046 3.1x 61.5x
28 White House 37.0 12,258 2.8x 75.7x
29 Germantown 37.67 39,196 2.7x 90.9x
30 Dyersburg 38.33 16,371 3.1x 62.5x
31 Soddy-Daisy 39.0 13,510 3.2x 72.4x
32 Jonesborough 39.33 5,539 2.9x 69.5x
33 Newport 39.33 6,865 2.8x 49.8x
34 Collierville 40.67 50,596 2.8x 86.7x
35 Elizabethton 41.0 13,568 3.2x 59.9x
36 Memphis 41.0 650,910 2.6x 45.8x
37 Bartlett 41.67 59,252 2.4x 59.2x
38 Tullahoma 41.67 19,982 3.3x 71.6x
39 Lewisburg 41.67 12,150 2.8x 54.3x
40 Alcoa 42.33 9,809 3.0x 59.3x
41 Arlington 43.33 11,715 2.6x 61.3x
42 Greenbrier 43.67 6,859 3.1x 74.0x
43 Paris 44.33 10,021 3.0x 49.1x
44 Dickson 44.33 15,500 3.2x 70.6x
45 East Ridge 44.67 21,187 2.8x 52.5x
46 Greeneville 45.67 14,938 3.6x 70.0x
47 Millersville 46.0 6,403 3.0x 65.6x
48 Maryville 46.0 29,325 3.2x 74.9x
49 Bristol 46.33 26,973 3.2x 59.3x
50 Clinton 46.33 10,006 3.3x 68.5x
51 Bolivar 47.0 5,005 3.0x 46.6x
52 Clarksville 47.33 156,092 3.0x 58.0x
53 Dunlap 48.67 5,159 3.1x 51.3x
54 Shelbyville 49.0 21,841 3.2x 56.2x
55 Kingsport 49.67 53,699 3.5x 63.2x
56 Erwin 50.33 5,910 3.5x 58.0x
57 Lenoir City 50.67 9,191 3.2x 56.0x
58 Kingston 53.33 5,946 3.6x 68.4x
59 Farragut 54.0 23,110 3.4x 87.7x
60 Union City 54.0 10,426 3.4x 52.5x
61 Oakland 54.0 8,135 2.4x 49.2x
62 La Vergne 56.0 35,556 2.8x 51.1x
63 Springfield 56.0 17,147 3.3x 57.0x
64 Smyrna 56.33 50,820 3.2x 59.8x
65 Lawrenceburg 56.67 10,925 3.5x 50.8x
66 Pigeon Forge 56.67 6,247 3.8x 67.0x
67 Mount Juliet 58.33 35,834 3.1x 59.6x
68 Signal Mountain 59.33 8,574 3.1x 59.5x
69 Covington 59.67 8,863 3.3x 45.9x
70 Lafayette 61.0 5,239 3.5x 47.3x
71 Columbia 61.33 39,515 3.4x 55.5x
72 Jackson 61.67 67,036 3.3x 48.5x
73 Spring Hill 61.67 41,797 3.3x 63.2x
74 Nolensville 63.33 9,221 3.3x 62.7x
75 Morristown 63.67 29,887 3.6x 46.9x
76 Red Bank 64.0 11,785 3.6x 54.8x
77 Brentwood 64.67 42,700 4.3x 78.8x
78 Martin 65.33 10,585 4.0x 50.9x
79 Lexington 65.33 7,838 3.8x 49.6x
80 Hendersonville 65.67 57,888 3.8x 64.3x
81 Knoxville 66.33 187,487 3.4x 47.1x
82 Cleveland 66.67 45,115 3.9x 56.7x
83 Gallatin 70.67 40,262 4.0x 59.4x
84 Cookeville 70.67 33,922 4.2x 55.2x
85 Chattanooga 71.67 181,370 3.7x 52.9x
86 Johnson City 72.0 66,934 4.0x 54.4x
87 Franklin 72.67 80,675 4.4x 64.5x
88 Lebanon 72.67 34,759 4.4x 60.6x
89 Fairview 73.0 8,989 3.8x 56.5x
90 Collegedale 73.33 11,402 3.9x 56.1x
91 Crossville 74.0 11,704 4.8x 55.8x
92 Athens 74.0 13,931 4.3x 49.7x
93 Murfreesboro 77.33 141,704 4.2x 55.4x
94 Sevierville 80.33 17,185 5.1x 54.5x
95 Nashville 83.67 667,070 4.3x 53.1x
96 Goodlettsville 87.33 16,829 4.3x 48.0x
97 Thompson’s Station 87.67 6,116 4.5x 53.3x

How Is The Area In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Tennessee.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.