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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Tennessee does this very well. Families love the Volunteer State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.
But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.
These are the places in Tennessee that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.
After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Tennessee for 2020.
So where is the most expensive place to live in Tennessee? That would be Athens.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 94 places in Tennessee with more than 5,000 people.
What's the most expensive place to live in Tennessee? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Athens is the most expensive place to live in Tennessee.
So hopefully Rockwood (the cheapest place to live in Tennessee) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Tennessee and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Tennessee For 2020
Athens is a city in McMinn County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of McMinn County and the principal city of the Athens Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Chattanooga-Cleveland-Athens Combined Statistical Area. The population was 13,220 at the 2000 census and 13,458 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Athens comes in at $29,525 and the median home value is $145,500 for 2020.
Sevierville is a city in and the county seat of Sevier County, Tennessee, located in Eastern Tennessee. The population was 14,807 at the 2010 United States Census and 16,355 according to the 2014 census estimate.
The median income in Sevierville comes in at $40,780 and the median home value is $183,900 for 2020.
Crossville is a city in and the county seat of Cumberland County, Tennessee, United States. It is part of the Crossville, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,795 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Crossville comes in at $30,467 and the median home value is $139,000 for 2020.
Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city in Sevier County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 5,875.
The median income in Pigeon Forge comes in at $38,659 and the median home value is $163,200 for 2020.
Cookeville is a city in Putnam County, Tennessee, United States. Its population at the 2010 census was 30,435. It is the county seat and largest city of Putnam County and home to Tennessee Technological University. It is recognized as one of the country's micropolitan areas, smaller cities which nevertheless function as significant economic hubs. Of the twenty micropolitan areas in Tennessee, Cookeville is the largest; the Cookeville micropolitan area's 2010 Census population was 106,042.
The median income in Cookeville comes in at $36,341 and the median home value is $161,200 for 2020.
Johnson City is a city in Washington, Carter, and Sullivan counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with most of the city being in Washington County. As of the 2010 census, the population of Johnson City was 63,152, and by 2015 the estimated population was 66,027, making it the ninth-largest city in the state.
The median income in Johnson City comes in at $40,786 and the median home value is $165,900 for 2020.
Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 176,588 in 2015. The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 120 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
The median income in Chattanooga comes in at $43,964 and the median home value is $160,100 for 2020.
Nolensville is a town in Williamson County, Tennessee. The population was 5,861 at the 2010 census.
The median income in Nolensville comes in at $124,572 and the median home value is $428,100 for 2020.
Lebanon is the county seat of Wilson County, Tennessee, United States.
The median income in Lebanon comes in at $51,307 and the median home value is $207,600 for 2020.
Collegedale is a city in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 8,282 at the 2010 census and 10,729 in a 2014 estimate. Collegedale is a suburb of Chattanooga and is part of the Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Collegedale is home to Southern Adventist University. The median household income is among one of the highest in Hamilton County. It has been ranked as one of the best and safest places to live in Tennessee.
The median income in Collegedale comes in at $55,567 and the median home value is $210,800 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Volunteer State For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- 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 2014-2018 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 most 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 94 places in Tennessee that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Tennessee according to the data is Athens. You can download the data here.
Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Tennessee For 2020
Well there you have it, the places in Tennessee that have the highest cost of living, with Athens ranking as the most expensive city in the Volunteer State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Tennessee according to the data:
For more Tennessee reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Tennessee
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Tennessee
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Tennessee
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Tennessee
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Tennessee
- 10 Safest Places In Tennessee
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Tennessee