Where are the best places in the state of Tennessee?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Volunteer State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Tennessee.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 91 places in Tennessee, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Germantown (Photos)
- Brentwood (Photos)
- Signal Mountain (Photos)
- Collierville (Photos)
- Spring Hill (Photos)
- Franklin (Photos)
- Collegedale (Photos)
- Nolensville (Photos)
- Bartlett (Photos)
- Mount Juliet (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Tennessee.
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit cities with populations over 100,000 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,100
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 91 cities, 175 towns, and 147 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Tennessee
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Tennessee across a number of criteria from one to 91, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Tennessee”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Tennessee.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Germantown at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Population: 39,213Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $296,300 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (8th best)
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Germantown is by far, the best place in the state of Tennessee.
We’re not saying that places where people are broke is a bad thing, inherently. But it’s certainly not desirable, right? Germantown is the opposite of broke. The residents here earn way above the state average in household income, and the homes are among the most expensive in the state ($296,300). Plus, the unemployment rate is as close to zero as you can get.
Germantown has it made.
Population: 40,873Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $555,800 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (2nd best)
The Brentwood has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Tennessee. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Brentwood is higher than the national average and households make $148,340 per year.
We’d move to Brentwood if we could in a heart beat.
3. Signal Mountain
Population: 8,500Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $325,900 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (14th best)
Well, I guess technically 4.3% of Signal Mountain residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 14th closest of any city in Tennessee.
You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.
In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Signal Mountain also ranked well for crime (1st) and median income ($98,665).
Population: 48,005Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Values: $278,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
Collierville comes in 4th in our best places to live in Tennessee analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (10th overall) and crime rate (15th overall), Collierville is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Collierville in our lists for years to come.
5. Spring Hill
Population: 34,364Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Values: $225,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (6th best)
Spring Hill has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Spring Hill has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.6% and lowering. And the Spring Hill police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 6th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
Population: 70,625Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $342,900 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (13th best)
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Franklin one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Franklin.
Population: 10,438 Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Values: $194,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (10th best)
Collegedale ranks as the 7th best place in Tennessee for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.
Collegedale has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Collegedale’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $52,165 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
Population: 6,724Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Values: $341,400 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (3rd best)
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Tennessee, Nolensville came in 8th. Let’s see why.
It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.
Plus, Nolensville has an impressive history for a place of just over 6,724 people. The median home costs a cool $341,400 and households make $110,087 which is good for 3rd in Tennessee.
Population: 58,318Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Values: $171,300 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (17th best)
Who doesn’t want to live inBartlett? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.5%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of Bartlett in the news in the coming months.
10. Mount Juliet
Population: 29,853Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Home Values: $223,800 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (12th best)
In Mount Juliet, everyone loves to call Mount Juliet home! The median home value is the 10th highest in Tennessee.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Volunteer State.
Mount Juliet should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In Tennessee
If you’re looking at areas in Tennessee with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Germantown made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Tennessee
- Lookout Mountain (Pop. 1,930)
- Belle Meade (Pop. 2,704)
- Oak Hill (Pop. 4,686)
- Sewanee (Pop. 2,503)
- Forest Hills (Pop. 4,999)
- Gray (Pop. 1,806)
- Medina (Pop. 4,025)
- Shackle Island (Pop. 3,290)
- Walden (Pop. 1,907)
- Lakesite (Pop. 1,911)
Best Small Towns To Live In Tennessee
- Ridgeside (Pop. 671)
- Rockvale (Pop. 822)
- Bell Buckle (Pop. 401)
- Bethpage (Pop. 355)
- Walterhill (Pop. 355)
- Andersonville (Pop. 349)
- Rockford (Pop. 788)
- Berry Hill (Pop. 793)
- Baneberry (Pop. 487)
- Garland (Pop. 343)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Tennessee:
- Ripley (Pop. 8,249)
- Savannah (Pop. 7,043)
- La Follette (Pop. 7,131)
For more Tennessee reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Tennessee
- If You’re From Tennessee This Will Be A Highlight Of Your Day. No Doubt.
- These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Tennessee
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Tennessee