These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Tennessee For 2018


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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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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 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Tennessee for 2018:

  1. Lookout Mountain (Homes For Sale)
  2. Belle Meade (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Oak Hill (Homes For Sale)
  4. Sewanee (Homes For Sale)
  5. Gray (Homes For Sale)
  6. Forest Hills (Homes For Sale)
  7. Medina (Homes For Sale)
  8. Shackle Island (Homes For Sale)
  9. Walden (Homes For Sale)
  10. Lakesite (Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Lookout Mountain, 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:

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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 2012-2016 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 – 174 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 174, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Tennessee. Top of that list — Lookout Mountain.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Tennessee.

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1. Lookout Mountain


Population: 1,930
Median Income: $120,875 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $561,700 (3rd Best)
More on Lookout Mountain: Data| Homes For Sale

2. Belle Meade

Belle Meade, TN

Population: 2,704
Median Income: $195,208 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $1,387,300 (1st Best)
More on Belle Meade: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

3. Oak Hill


Population: 4,686
Median Income: $148,500 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $546,000 (4th Best)
More on Oak Hill: Data| Homes For Sale

4. Sewanee


Population: 2,503
Median Income: $91,442 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $281,800 (9th Best)
More on Sewanee: Data| Homes For Sale

5. Gray


Population: 1,806
Median Income: $51,742 (36th Best)
Median Home Value: $131,900 (50th Best)
More on Gray: Data| Homes For Sale

6. Forest Hills


Population: 4,999
Median Income: $188,867 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $730,200 (2nd Best)
More on Forest Hills: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Medina


Population: 4,025
Median Income: $64,205 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $162,300 (27th Best)
More on Medina: Data| Homes For Sale

8. Shackle Island


Population: 3,290
Median Income: $117,841 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $265,000 (10th Best)
More on Shackle Island: Data| Homes For Sale

9. Walden


Population: 1,907
Median Income: $83,083 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $344,800 (6th Best)
More on Walden: Data| Homes For Sale

10. Lakesite


Population: 1,911
Median Income: $64,143 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $198,300 (16th Best)
More on Lakesite: Data| Homes For Sale

11. Hopewell


Population: 1,777
Median Income: $59,514 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $159,300 (29th Best)
More on Hopewell: Data| Homes For Sale

12. Three Way


Population: 1,671
Median Income: $73,403 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $157,300 (32nd Best)
More on Three Way: Data| Homes For Sale

13. Fairmount


Population: 3,197
Median Income: $100,707 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $332,000 (7th Best)
More on Fairmount: Data| Homes For Sale

14. Norris


Population: 1,690
Median Income: $61,333 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $222,900 (12th Best)
More on Norris: Data| Homes For Sale

15. New Union


Population: 1,875
Median Income: $73,125 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $164,500 (26th Best)
More on New Union: Data| Homes For Sale

16. Ridgetop

Ridgetop, TN

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,182
Median Income: $64,216 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $170,700 (22nd Best)
More on Ridgetop: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

17. Harrogate

Harrogate, TN

Population: 4,364
Median Income: $53,684 (32nd Best)
Median Home Value: $119,300 (64th Best)
More on Harrogate: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

18. Tusculum

Tusculum, TN

Population: 2,668
Median Income: $49,000 (43rd Best)
Median Home Value: $188,900 (20th Best)
More on Tusculum: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

19. Spurgeon


Population: 4,244
Median Income: $46,159 (50th Best)
Median Home Value: $145,700 (37th Best)
More on Spurgeon: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Rural Hill


Population: 1,737
Median Income: $74,894 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $204,700 (14th Best)
More on Rural Hill: Data| Homes For Sale

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 20 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. Bon Aqua Junction
  2. Altamont
  3. Roan Mountain

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Tennessee

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Lookout Mountain 1,930 $120,875 $561,700
2 Belle Meade 2,704 $195,208 $1,387,300
3 Oak Hill 4,686 $148,500 $546,000
4 Sewanee 2,503 $91,442 $281,800
5 Gray 1,806 $51,742 $131,900
6 Forest Hills 4,999 $188,867 $730,200
7 Medina 4,025 $64,205 $162,300
8 Shackle Island 3,290 $117,841 $265,000
9 Walden 1,907 $83,083 $344,800
10 Lakesite 1,911 $64,143 $198,300
11 Hopewell 1,777 $59,514 $159,300
12 Three Way 1,671 $73,403 $157,300
13 Fairmount 3,197 $100,707 $332,000
14 Norris 1,690 $61,333 $222,900
15 New Union 1,875 $73,125 $164,500
16 Ridgetop 2,182 $64,216 $170,700
17 Harrogate 4,364 $53,684 $119,300
18 Tusculum 2,668 $49,000 $188,900
19 Spurgeon 4,244 $46,159 $145,700
20 Rural Hill 1,737 $74,894 $204,700
21 Thompson’s Station 3,471 $97,917 $356,000
22 Colonial Heights 3,448 $43,201 $134,600
23 Walnut Hill 2,208 $41,779 $122,700
24 Pleasant View 4,258 $72,121 $209,400
25 Pine Crest 2,487 $40,532 $131,100
26 Louisville 4,114 $58,386 $245,100
27 Kimball 1,509 $47,656 $155,700
28 Jasper 3,347 $45,366 $119,000
29 Coope 4,357 $66,250 $178,900
30 Jacksboro 2,025 $39,313 $143,300
31 Piperton 1,703 $82,969 $300,000
32 Kingston Springs 2,771 $68,415 $204,200
33 Fall Branch 1,951 $49,432 $121,200
34 Algood 3,732 $44,712 $121,200
35 Park City 2,565 $45,871 $99,200
36 Falling Water 1,198 $53,750 $168,800
37 Chapel Hill 1,492 $40,515 $119,500
38 Brighton 2,931 $56,705 $135,800
39 Pegram 2,292 $62,750 $192,700
40 Newbern 3,277 $48,750 $85,400
41 Oliver Springs 4,110 $48,296 $109,100
42 Powells Crossroads 1,338 $55,592 $113,400
43 Lake Tansi 4,140 $43,003 $112,300
44 Bells 2,737 $39,972 $92,000
45 Gordonsville 1,534 $54,063 $140,200
46 Estill Springs 2,121 $45,735 $105,800
47 Burns 1,893 $47,238 $139,900
48 Apison 2,540 $53,017 $195,800
49 Gatlinburg 4,138 $36,445 $165,900
50 Wildwood 1,140 $56,493 $141,700
51 Mowbray Mountain 1,639 $46,017 $190,800
52 New Market 1,512 $53,352 $111,500
53 Surgoinsville 2,237 $42,083 $113,400
54 Loretto 2,105 $41,087 $87,400
55 Ashland City 4,648 $37,298 $120,300
56 Waverly 4,115 $38,846 $100,000
57 Waynesboro 2,576 $30,377 $80,600
58 Hunter 2,081 $36,167 $117,600
59 Rogersville 4,389 $26,869 $117,200
60 Olivet 1,697 $43,365 $116,500
61 Unionville 1,314 $35,536 $136,200
62 Vonore 1,799 $39,732 $154,800
63 Dover 2,064 $39,063 $133,600
64 Orlinda 1,133 $51,667 $158,600
65 Spring City 2,512 $27,258 $95,000
66 Eagleton Village 4,902 $39,563 $110,200
67 Huntingdon 3,959 $32,938 $93,400
68 Blountville 2,602 $35,304 $120,500
69 Blaine 2,045 $48,519 $125,000
70 Smithville 4,643 $33,448 $125,600
71 New Johnsonville 1,936 $51,970 $91,800
72 Bluff City 1,682 $34,118 $104,100
73 Walnut Grove Cdp (Sumner County) 1,003 $59,500 $165,500
74 Mcewen 1,819 $44,333 $91,100
75 Dresden 2,882 $31,025 $94,500
76 Bean Station 3,070 $33,325 $87,800
77 Watertown 1,412 $40,000 $96,700
78 Etowah 3,493 $32,454 $95,300
79 Tazewell 2,069 $25,406 $87,500
80 Unicoi 3,573 $38,099 $133,700
81 Lafayette 4,909 $30,586 $106,600
82 Greenback 1,020 $58,750 $151,600
83 Dandridge 2,886 $35,139 $158,200
84 Cross Plains 1,776 $56,797 $148,900
85 Monteagle 1,715 $39,450 $121,300
86 South Carthage 1,338 $34,643 $111,900
87 Camden 3,578 $30,000 $89,700
88 Madisonville 4,727 $35,774 $109,800
89 Alexandria 1,106 $51,250 $104,600
90 Cornersville 1,334 $47,188 $89,400
91 Decherd 2,890 $34,432 $85,300
92 Westmoreland 2,091 $42,721 $113,300
93 Trenton 4,183 $29,503 $91,400
94 New Tazewell 2,789 $22,762 $100,400
95 South Fulton 2,377 $31,009 $72,900
96 Gleason 1,327 $34,063 $65,200
97 Wildwood Lake 3,486 $32,138 $124,600
98 Centerville 3,538 $33,942 $127,100
99 Mountain City 2,457 $24,265 $131,300
100 New Hope 1,061 $50,982 $134,200

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