10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in Tennessee go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Tennessee.

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You don’t get named the Tennessee ‘Tight’-ans if you’re not located in a state that’s affordable. And folks, there a plenty of affordable cities in The Volunteer State.

Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don’t want to stress about it daily when looking for an affordable Tennessee neighborhood, a job that will make your momma proud, the best bathtub Tennessee moonshine, and that good ‘ol fashioned hometown Tennessee appeal.

Most people think that Tennessee cities are only filled with a bunch of fancy Nashville country singers, people who walk, not run, in Memphis, and a bunch of Chattanooga Moon Pie fanatics. And if you ask any Tennessean, they will say that their corner of the country capital of the world is the best. Heck, there’s a reason people like Elvis and Dolly set up shop here.

While we think it has a little something’ to do with the great Tennessee people and good country Tennessee livin’, the economically savvy in Tennessee know that to be truly be the best, the state must have the nicest, most affordable places to call home.

Tennessee cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, there are cities in The Big Bend State that won’t break your bank. So, grab yourself a slice of pecan pie and some Tennessee Whiskey, and read on.

Tennessee’s strong economy, gold star housing prices, and average cost of living make its cities very desirable. So one can imagine how difficult it was for us to narrow down the cities in Tennessee that won’t break your bank; but also, don’t scream Dollar Store cheap.

Drum roll….what is the most affordable city in Tennessee for 2019? Break out the whiskey and moonshine and give a warm, hearty ‘Bless Your Heart’ cheers to Manchester, the cheapest place in Tennessee!

And if you care about home values, cost of living, and gold star quality of life, take a look at the list below to see where your Tennessee salary will let you live like a true country star.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Tennessee and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee For 2019

Manchester, TN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,430
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.9x (19th cheapest)
More On Manchester: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Manchester is a city in Coffee County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 10,102 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Coffee County. The city is located halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga on Interstate 24.

The median income in Manchester comes in at $48,280 and the median home value is $112,100 for 2019.

Humboldt, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,155
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.6x (56th cheapest)
More On Humboldt: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Humboldt is a city in Gibson and Madison counties, Tennessee. The population was 8,452 at the 2010 census, a decline of 1,015 from 2000. It is the principal city of and is included in the Humboldt, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Jackson, Tennessee-Humboldt, Tennessee Combined Statistical Area. It is Gibson County’s largest city and Madison County’s second largest city after Jackson.

The median income in Humboldt comes in at $35,514 and the median home value is $75,500 for 2019.

Review Of Humboldt by HomeSnacks User

I live outside the city limits of Humboldt Tennessee before this I lived in Humboldt all my life. I don’t know where you get your info but it is wrong.

Union City, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,479
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (21st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.2x (42nd cheapest)
More On Union City: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Union City comes in at $32,882 and the median home value is $87,600 for 2019.

Lexington, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 7,731
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (18th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.7x (32nd cheapest)
More On Lexington: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Lexington is a city in Henderson County, Tennessee, United States. Lexington is midway between Memphis and Nashville, lying ten miles south of Interstate 40, which connects the two cities. The population was 7,473 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Henderson County.

The median income in Lexington comes in at $38,468 and the median home value is $101,500 for 2019.

Review Of Lexington by HomeSnacks User

Wow, you really know nothing about these areas. Saying the crime rate is too high to live here is a slap in the face of the excellent police department there. Some of the brightest students come out of this area and most move on to college. Just because a town doesnt have the latest amenities doesnt mean theres nothing to do. The people of Lexington are mostly country people that dont need clubs to have a good time. You want a night out with friends- Ten Pins bowling alley is perfect, safe, and family minded. Visit some time and let the people change your mind.

Ten Pins bowling alley, as stated is fun, safe and family minded. The historic district has tons of local shops, diners, a coffee house and and the Princess Theater which first opened in 1922. This place has history.

Rockwood, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,415
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.3x (58th cheapest)
More On Rockwood: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Rockwood is a city in Roane County, Tennessee, United States. Its population was 5,562 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Harriman, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The median income in Rockwood comes in at $30,777 and the median home value is $75,600 for 2019.

Lewisburg, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 11,457
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.5x (50th cheapest)
More On Lewisburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Lewisburg is a city in Marshall County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 11,371 in 2014. It is the county seat of Marshall County. Lewisburg is located in central Tennessee, forty-eight miles south of Nashville and fifty-two miles north of Huntsville, Alabama, along I-65.

The median income in Lewisburg comes in at $37,466 and the median home value is $90,800 for 2019.

Munford, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,009
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.0x (9th cheapest)
More On Munford: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Munford comes in at $67,813 and the median home value is $153,700 for 2019.

Dunlap, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,061
Rank Last Year: 57 (Up 49)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (24th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.0x (11th cheapest)
More On Dunlap: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Dunlap is a city in and the county seat of Sequatchie County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,173 at the 2000 census and 4,815 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Dunlap comes in at $48,208 and the median home value is $130,400 for 2019.

Paris, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,059
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (20th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.1x (48th cheapest)
More On Paris: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Paris is a city in Henry County, Tennessee, 86 miles northwest of Nashville, on a fork of the West Sandy River and the Tennessee River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 10,156. It is the county seat of Henry County.

The median income in Paris comes in at $33,743 and the median home value is $89,700 for 2019.

La Follette, TN

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 6,983
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.9x (75th cheapest)
More On La Follette: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

LaFollette is a city in Campbell County, Tennessee, United States. Its population was 7,456 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population in 2014 of 7,131. It is the principal city of the LaFollette, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Campbell County, and is a component of the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area. While the city’s official spelling is one word -after its founders, Harvey Marion LaFollette and his younger brother Grant LaFollette-several federal agencies spell the city’s name with two words.

The median income in La Follette comes in at $27,819 and the median home value is $59,600 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Volunteer State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Tennessee
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Tennessee to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 94 places in Tennessee that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Tennessee according to the data is Manchester.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Tennessee Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Tennessee, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in tennessee for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Tennessee according to the data:

  1. Pigeon Forge
  2. Cookeville
  3. Sevierville

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Tennessee?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Manchester 19.0 10,430 2.3x 66.9x
2 Humboldt 20.33 8,155 2.1x 55.6x
3 Union City 23.0 10,479 2.7x 58.2x
4 Lexington 23.33 7,731 2.6x 61.7x
5 Rockwood 24.67 5,415 2.5x 55.3x
6 Lewisburg 24.67 11,457 2.4x 56.5x
7 Munford 25.67 6,009 2.3x 73.0x
8 Dunlap 26.0 5,061 2.7x 72.0x
9 Paris 26.33 10,059 2.7x 57.1x
10 La Follette 26.67 6,983 2.1x 51.9x

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.