Best Chattanooga Suburbs To Live For 2020

We analyzed over 18 places around Chattanooga to identify the most kickass place to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Chattanooga suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Chattanooga are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Chattanooga? Signal Mountain ranks as the best suburb of Chattanooga for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Signal Mountain, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Chattanooga 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Tennessee:

The 10 Best Chattanooga Suburbs To Live For 2020

Signal Mountain, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,523
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $104,933
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 1.9%
More on Signal Mountain: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Signal Mountain is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Chattanooga area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Signal Mountain."

Everyone here is rich; families average $104,933 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Chattanooga region. And only 4.66% are out of work. Homes average more than $347,300 each.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,004
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $67,063
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Poverty Rate: 7.4%
More on Lakesite: Real Estate | Data

Lakesite is the second best 'burb we looked at near Chattanooga for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 4.49% of residents lack insurance, good for 3rd best.

Collegedale, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,256
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $55,567
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 12.8%
More on Collegedale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Collegedale, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Chattanooga metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Collegedale.

Fort Oglethorpe, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,852
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $45,524
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 11.2%
More on Fort Oglethorpe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Oglethorpe ranks as the 4th best suburb of Chattanooga for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Fort Oglethorpe and the schools are some of the best around.

East Ridge, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,134
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,428
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 16.6%
More on East Ridge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is East Ridge.

East Ridge gets kudos for having the 12th most expensive homes in the Chattanooga area, where houses sell for an average of $125,200. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Soddy-Daisy, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,460
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $44,803
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Rate: 10.5%
More on Soddy-Daisy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Soddy-Daisy is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 5.88% which is 13th best in the area.

According to online reports, Soddy-Daisy is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Chattanooga area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Red Bank, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,748
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,671
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 17.2%
More on Red Bank: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Red Bank.

Red Bank schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 4.2 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Jasper, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,351
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Income: $47,125
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 11.5%
More on Jasper: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Jasper is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 4.0% of people lack insurance, good for 2nd in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,145
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $43,661
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 23.8%
More on Chickamauga: Real Estate | Data

Is 'Everything Better In Chickamauga?'


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Cleveland, TN

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 43,924
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $42,400
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Rate: 19.2%
More on Cleveland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Cleveland.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Chattanooga for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Chattanooga was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Chattanooga.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 19 suburbs to evaluate around Chattanooga.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 19 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Chattanooga." We're lookin' at you, Signal Mountain. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Chattanooga 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Chattanooga, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Chattanooga Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Signal Mountain, TN 8,523 $104,933
2 Lakesite, TN 2,004 $67,063
3 Collegedale, TN 11,256 $55,567
4 Fort Oglethorpe, TN 9,852 $45,524
5 East Ridge, TN 21,134 $44,428
6 Soddy-Daisy, TN 13,460 $44,803
7 Red Bank, TN 11,748 $41,671
8 Jasper, TN 3,351 $47,125
9 Chickamauga, TN 3,145 $43,661
10 Cleveland, TN 43,924 $42,400
11 Varnell, TN 2,156 $51,538
12 Dunlap, TN 5,083 $44,773
13 Trenton, TN 2,335 $35,152
14 Ringgold, TN 3,563 $45,021
15 Dalton, TN 33,458 $42,062
16 Lafayette, TN 7,191 $28,333
17 Rossville, TN 3,994 $38,563
18 South Pittsburg, TN 3,045 $32,024
19 Bridgeport, TN 2,303 $29,440

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

One thought on “Best Chattanooga Suburbs To Live, 2020

  1. Of course by limiting suburbs to 2,000 people or greater you eliminated Lookout Mountain (!,884 population) which has more expensive housing (497,000 vs 325,000 average price), higher income per capita (79,000 vs 53,000) and higher household income (126,000 vs 97,0000. Lookout Mountain also has lower violent crime as well. But keep on cranking out misleading information.

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