THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Tennessee For 2020


We analyzed over 100 places in Tennessee to determine the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Tennessee.

Honky-tonk and cowboy boots are not the only things that keep Tennessee kickin' up their heels, the Volunteer State has some of the best places to live East of the Mighty Mississippi.

Heck, there's a reason Justin Timberlake bought a home in Franklin, Nicole Kidman took up residence in Nashville, and that Tennessee is always inviting you to "take a walk in Memphis." North, South, East, or West Tennessee, there's a Tennessee city for everyone. Dollywood in Pigeon Forge and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga are just a few of Tennessee's great cities where you can live, work, and play.

However, to make our top ten best places to live in Tennessee for 2020 list, our super star places really had to bring their A-game. The top ten best cities on our list average some of the highest household incomes and boasts some of the most expensive homes. These cities also have some of the most educated residents and safety is a priority.

Want to know what cities crushed the competition? Grab some Tennessee BBQ, crank some Elvis, find a sunny spot in Graceland and read on as we uncover where you should call home in Tennessee.

What does the best place to live in the birthplace of country music look like? Drum roll... The best place to live in Tennessee for 2020 is Germantown.

We are not at all surprised. Germantown is beautiful, quaint, safe, and bursting at the seams with great people.

The competition was fierce to say the least. To see Tennessee's other best of the best cities, take a look below. And if you don't find it there, head to the bottom.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Tennessee For 2020

Germantown, TN

Source: City Of Germantwon
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 39,164
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $321,600 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (15th best)
More on Germantown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Germantown 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 Germantown.

Brentwood, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 41,987
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $622,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (8th best)
More on Brentwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brentwood is feeling the love as it ranks as the 2nd best city to live in Tennessee for 2020.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (1st overall) and low crime (5th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In Tennessee".

Signal Mountain, TN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 8,523
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $347,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (30th best)
More on Signal Mountain: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Signal Mountain might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Signal Mountain isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $347,300 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Tennessee.

If Signal Mountain can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.7%) is the 30th highest in the state.

Collierville, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 49,610
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $300,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (6th best)
More on Collierville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Collierville has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Collierville had the 4th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $113,789.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Franklin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 75,366
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $385,500 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (24th best)
More on Franklin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Franklin has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Tennessee. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Franklin is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Franklin residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Spring Hill, TN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 37,830
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $257,800 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (12th best)
More on Spring Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spring Hill makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Tennessee mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.0% of folks are jobless, you can bet Spring Hill residents are glad to live where they do.

Nolensville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,656
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $428,100 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (2nd best)
More on Nolensville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Nolensville.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in Tennessee and the median income comes in at $124,572.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Bartlett, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 58,828
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $179,100 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (27th best)
More on Bartlett: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don't have a job in Bartlett, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 4.2%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $83,746.

That's actually not a bad idea...

Maryville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,520
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $198,500 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (44th best)
More on Maryville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Maryville is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It's quite a gem tucked away in Tennessee.

Mount Juliet, TN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 32,882
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $255,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (7th best)
More on Mount Juliet: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mount Juliet 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 Mount Juliet has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 2.7% and lowering. And the Mount Juliet police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 26th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn't want to live in a place like this?

Mapping The Best And Worst 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 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 91 cities, 175 towns, and 136 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Tennessee have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Tennessee? That would be Germantown.

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.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living 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 the best place to live in Tennessee for 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Tennessee

  1. Lookout Mountain (Pop. 1,930)
  2. Belle Meade (Pop. 2,704)
  3. Oak Hill (Pop. 4,686)
  4. Sewanee (Pop. 2,503)
  5. Forest Hills (Pop. 4,999)
  6. Gray (Pop. 1,806)
  7. Medina (Pop. 4,025)
  8. Shackle Island (Pop. 3,290)
  9. Walden (Pop. 1,907)
  10. Lakesite (Pop. 1,911)

Best Small Towns To Live In Tennessee

  1. Ridgeside (Pop. 671)
  2. Rockvale (Pop. 822)
  3. Bell Buckle (Pop. 401)
  4. Walterhill (Pop. 355)
  5. Rockford (Pop. 788)
  6. Berry Hill (Pop. 793)
  7. Baneberry (Pop. 487)
  8. Garland (Pop. 343)
  9. Oak Grove CDP (Sumner (Pop. 215)
  10. Gibson (Pop. 316)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Tennessee according to the data:

  1. Savannah (Pop. 6,964)
  2. Lawrenceburg (Pop. 10,684)
  3. Ripley (Pop. 8,023)

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Tennessee?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Germantown 39,164 3.3% $321,600
2 Brentwood 41,987 2.8% $622,000
3 Signal Mountain 8,523 4.7% $347,300
4 Collierville 49,610 2.4% $300,600
5 Franklin 75,366 4.0% $385,500
6 Spring Hill 37,830 3.0% $257,800
7 Nolensville 7,656 1.8% $428,100
8 Bartlett 58,828 4.2% $179,100
9 Maryville 28,520 5.5% $198,500
10 Mount Juliet 32,882 2.7% $255,000

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.

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