Best Small Towns In Tennessee For 2020


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Tennessee are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Tennessee.

You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Tennessee, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Volunteer State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Tennessee based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Tennessee ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Tennessee for 2020.

What’s the best small town in Tennessee? Belle Meade is the best small town in Tennessee based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Belle Meade, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Volunteer State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Tennessee For 2020

Belle Meade, TN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 2,401
Median Income: $220,417 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $1,420,800 (1st Best)
More on Belle Meade: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 1,992
Median Income: $135,114 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $534,500 (4th Best)
More on Lookout Mountain: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,352
Median Income: $86,750 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $308,700 (9th Best)
More on Sewanee: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,634
Median Income: $159,167 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $649,000 (3rd Best)
More on Oak Hill: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,968
Median Income: $197,875 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $837,400 (2nd Best)
More on Forest Hills: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,552
Median Income: $54,712 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $160,100 (35th Best)
More on Gray: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,175
Median Income: $69,440 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $170,500 (28th Best)
More on Medina: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,828
Median Income: $90,909 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $396,000 (5th Best)
More on Walden: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,082
Median Income: $115,714 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $304,800 (10th Best)
More on Shackle Island: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,418
Median Income: $93,246 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $376,500 (7th Best)
More on Fairmount: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,888
Median Income: $94,722 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $224,000 (15th Best)
More on Rural Hill: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,004
Median Income: $67,063 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $207,700 (19th Best)
More on Lakesite: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,618
Median Income: $72,109 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $163,700 (31st Best)
More on Three Way: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,412
Median Income: $46,056 (63rd Best)
Median Home Value: $132,700 (58th Best)
More on Pine Crest: Data | Homes For Sale

Ridgetop, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,274
Median Income: $70,682 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $197,800 (22nd Best)
More on Ridgetop: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Tennessee

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2014-2018 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 178 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 178, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Tennessee. Top of that list — Belle Meade. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Tennessee.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Tennessee are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Tennessee:

  1. Helenwood
  2. Altamont
  3. Winfield

For more tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Tennessee

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Belle Meade, TN 2,401 $220,417.0 $1,420,800.0
2 Lookout Mountain, TN 1,992 $135,114.0 $534,500.0
3 Sewanee, TN 2,352 $86,750.0 $308,700.0
4 Oak Hill, TN 4,634 $159,167.0 $649,000.0
5 Forest Hills, TN 4,968 $197,875.0 $837,400.0
6 Gray, TN 1,552 $54,712.0 $160,100.0
7 Medina, TN 4,175 $69,440.0 $170,500.0
8 Walden, TN 1,828 $90,909.0 $396,000.0
9 Shackle Island, TN 3,082 $115,714.0 $304,800.0
10 Fairmount, TN 2,418 $93,246.0 $376,500.0
11 Rural Hill, TN 1,888 $94,722.0 $224,000.0
12 Lakesite, TN 2,004 $67,063.0 $207,700.0
13 Three Way, TN 1,618 $72,109.0 $163,700.0
14 Pine Crest, TN 2,412 $46,056.0 $132,700.0
15 Ridgetop, TN 2,274 $70,682.0 $197,800.0
16 Thompson’s Station, TN 4,754 $103,767.0 $394,800.0
17 Spurgeon, TN 4,482 $51,875.0 $146,500.0
18 Colonial Heights, TN 3,642 $45,516.0 $134,300.0
19 Tusculum, TN 2,737 $53,472.0 $205,400.0
20 Berry Hill, TN 1,082 $58,906.0 $226,100.0
21 Walnut Hill, TN 2,286 $47,129.0 $131,700.0
22 Louisville, TN 4,133 $73,073.0 $261,200.0
23 Norris, TN 1,450 $55,486.0 $218,900.0
24 Blountville, TN 2,813 $41,656.0 $125,100.0
25 Harrogate, TN 4,323 $46,012.0 $129,800.0
26 Kingston Springs, TN 2,754 $83,026.0 $239,600.0
27 Piperton, TN 1,892 $90,000.0 $319,700.0
28 Pegram, TN 2,469 $69,612.0 $218,100.0
29 Kimball, TN 1,697 $51,250.0 $140,400.0
30 Pleasant View, TN 4,360 $82,288.0 $194,900.0
31 Park City, TN 2,424 $48,152.0 $114,400.0
32 Hopewell, TN 1,888 $51,973.0 $153,400.0
33 Estill Springs, TN 2,282 $43,409.0 $122,000.0
34 Rogersville, TN 4,341 $37,351.0 $142,100.0
35 Jacksboro, TN 2,250 $44,757.0 $148,500.0
36 Falling Water, TN 1,309 $61,250.0 $207,400.0
37 Mowbray Mountain, TN 1,699 $51,641.0 $174,200.0
38 Brighton, TN 2,944 $58,896.0 $134,800.0
39 Dandridge, TN 3,091 $48,077.0 $163,500.0
40 Algood, TN 4,065 $33,867.0 $130,900.0
41 Jasper, TN 3,351 $47,125.0 $131,300.0
42 Coope, TN 4,455 $75,750.0 $226,000.0
43 Chapel Hill, TN 1,563 $48,229.0 $131,000.0
44 Burns, TN 1,719 $52,750.0 $157,800.0
45 Oliver Springs, TN 4,489 $55,493.0 $104,400.0
46 New Union, TN 1,389 $63,656.0 $143,500.0
47 Banner Hill, TN 1,455 $44,700.0 $117,400.0
48 Fall Branch, TN 1,547 $43,833.0 $141,100.0
49 Riceville, TN 1,140 $57,063.0 $154,700.0
50 Vonore, TN 1,913 $46,395.0 $161,500.0
51 Carthage, TN 2,546 $40,000.0 $106,900.0
52 Lake Tansi, TN 4,343 $45,945.0 $125,700.0
53 New Market, TN 1,471 $54,107.0 $114,800.0
54 Apison, TN 2,830 $48,713.0 $216,100.0
55 Surgoinsville, TN 2,165 $46,818.0 $120,600.0
56 Cross Plains, TN 1,769 $63,641.0 $192,600.0
57 Gatlinburg, TN 4,150 $36,894.0 $186,500.0
58 Bells, TN 2,777 $49,375.0 $98,500.0
59 New Tazewell, TN 2,744 $28,268.0 $124,600.0
60 Camden, TN 3,549 $29,475.0 $98,600.0
61 Unicoi, TN 3,556 $43,659.0 $163,200.0
62 Newbern, TN 3,327 $51,239.0 $90,800.0
63 Greenback, TN 1,263 $67,500.0 $174,000.0
64 New Johnsonville, TN 2,107 $57,857.0 $105,000.0
65 Hunter, TN 2,153 $41,500.0 $129,400.0
66 Mcewen, TN 1,615 $50,758.0 $86,500.0
67 Ashland City, TN 4,608 $45,306.0 $138,100.0
68 Unionville, TN 2,063 $48,750.0 $136,000.0
69 Loretto, TN 1,838 $46,181.0 $92,200.0
70 Hohenwald, TN 3,657 $32,441.0 $83,100.0
71 Dover, TN 2,150 $40,200.0 $147,300.0
72 Olivet, TN 1,652 $46,108.0 $117,400.0
73 Lone Oak, TN 1,125 $66,905.0 $169,000.0
74 Tennessee Ridge, TN 1,481 $46,250.0 $100,500.0
75 Mosheim, TN 2,398 $39,492.0 $103,400.0
76 Powells Crossroads, TN 1,461 $57,750.0 $114,400.0
77 Bluff City, TN 1,867 $40,260.0 $103,000.0
78 Troy, TN 1,644 $37,746.0 $84,700.0
79 Watertown, TN 1,630 $46,857.0 $107,600.0
80 Monteagle, TN 1,957 $44,333.0 $145,600.0
81 Kenton, TN 1,193 $37,179.0 $68,600.0
82 South Carthage, TN 1,233 $44,583.0 $117,400.0
83 Livingston, TN 4,024 $29,554.0 $109,500.0
84 Halls, TN 2,231 $36,250.0 $70,400.0
85 Mountain City, TN 2,349 $27,687.0 $110,800.0
86 Waverly, TN 4,069 $35,502.0 $95,800.0
87 Gordonsville, TN 1,703 $49,659.0 $145,600.0
88 Decherd, TN 3,151 $42,963.0 $88,800.0
89 Blaine, TN 2,053 $48,654.0 $146,800.0
90 Alamo, TN 2,241 $39,250.0 $100,200.0
91 Trenton, TN 4,091 $31,645.0 $92,000.0
92 Wildwood Lake, TN 3,400 $35,063.0 $135,700.0
93 Etowah, TN 3,474 $37,324.0 $95,900.0
94 Decatur, TN 1,557 $39,408.0 $115,800.0
95 Centerville, TN 3,555 $35,607.0 $131,300.0
96 Huntingdon, TN 3,845 $26,326.0 $100,100.0
97 Gleason, TN 1,462 $39,792.0 $66,300.0
98 Eastview, TN 1,007 $39,426.0 $84,200.0
99 Madisonville, TN 4,903 $29,722.0 $130,200.0
100 Dresden, TN 2,957 $38,419.0 $87,500.0

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.