These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Tennessee For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Tennessee that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Tennessee does this very well. Families love the Volunteer State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Tennessee that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Tennessee for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Tennessee? That would be Pigeon Forge.

So hopefully Manchester (the cheapest place to live in Tennessee) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

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

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Tennessee For 2019

Pigeon Forge, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,147
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.2x (8th most expensive)
More on Pigeon Forge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city in Sevier County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 5,875.

The median income in Pigeon Forge comes in at $35,573 and the median home value is $169,100 for 2019.

Cookeville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 32,536
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.1x (10th most expensive)
More on Cookeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cookeville is a city in Putnam County, Tennessee, United States. Its population at the 2010 census was 30,435. It is the county seat and largest city of Putnam County and home to Tennessee Technological University. It is recognized as one of the country’s micropolitan areas, smaller cities which nevertheless function as significant economic hubs. Of the twenty micropolitan areas in Tennessee, Cookeville is the largest; the Cookeville micropolitan area’s 2010 Census population was 106,042.

The median income in Cookeville comes in at $32,392 and the median home value is $160,600 for 2019.

Sevierville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,387
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.7x (18th most expensive)
More on Sevierville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sevierville is a city in and the county seat of Sevier County, Tennessee, located in Eastern Tennessee. The population was 14,807 at the 2010 United States Census and 16,355 according to the 2014 census estimate.

The median income in Sevierville comes in at $36,884 and the median home value is $173,300 for 2019.

Crossville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 11,284
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.1x (6th most expensive)
More on Crossville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crossville is a city in and the county seat of Cumberland County, Tennessee, United States. It is part of the Crossville, TN Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,795 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Crossville comes in at $29,183 and the median home value is $139,300 for 2019.

Athens, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,559
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.0x (13th most expensive)
More on Athens: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Athens is a city in McMinn County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of McMinn County and the principal city of the Athens Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Chattanooga-Cleveland-Athens Combined Statistical Area. The population was 13,220 at the 2000 census and 13,458 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Athens comes in at $31,177 and the median home value is $144,100 for 2019.

Lebanon, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 30,212
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.8x (35th most expensive)
More on Lebanon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lebanon is the county seat of Wilson County, Tennessee, United States.

The median income in Lebanon comes in at $46,287 and the median home value is $189,400 for 2019.

Martin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,797
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 14)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.3x (3rd most expensive)
More on Martin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Martin comes in at $27,145 and the median home value is $121,400 for 2019.

Nolensville, TN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,119
Rank Last Year: 35 (Up 27)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (36th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.6x (33rd most expensive)
More on Nolensville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Nolensville is a town in Williamson County, Tennessee. The population was 5,861 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Nolensville comes in at $120,411 and the median home value is $386,500 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,935
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.0x (44th most expensive)
More on Goodlettsville: Real Estate | Data

Goodlettsville is a city in Davidson and Sumner counties, Tennessee. Goodlettsville was incorporated as a city in 1958 with a population of just over 3,000 residents; at the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,921 and in 2015 the population was 16,994. Goodlettsville chose to remain autonomous in 1963 when the city of Nashville merged with the government of Davidson County.

The median income in Goodlettsville comes in at $54,319 and the median home value is $196,300 for 2019.

Chattanooga, TN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 176,291
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.4x (29th most expensive)
More on Chattanooga: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 176,588 in 2015. The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 120 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.

The median income in Chattanooga comes in at $41,911 and the median home value is $153,900 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive 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 most 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 highest cost of living in Tennessee according to the data is Pigeon Forge.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Tennessee For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Tennessee that have the highest cost of living, with Pigeon Forge ranking as the most expensive city in the Volunteer State.

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

  1. Manchester
  2. Humboldt
  3. Union City

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Tennessee

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Pigeon Forge 12.0 6,147 4.8x 47.2x
2 Cookeville 13.0 32,536 5.0x 48.1x
3 Sevierville 14.67 16,387 4.7x 50.7x
4 Crossville 16.33 11,284 4.8x 46.1x
5 Athens 18.67 13,559 4.6x 49.0x
6 Lebanon 21.0 30,212 4.1x 54.8x
7 Martin 22.67 10,797 4.5x 44.3x
8 Nolensville 24.0 7,119 3.2x 54.6x
9 Goodlettsville 25.67 16,935 3.6x 56.0x
10 Chattanooga 26.0 176,291 3.7x 53.4x
11 Johnson City 26.67 65,598 4.1x 55.9x
12 Collegedale 28.67 10,902 3.6x 57.9x
13 Knoxville 29.33 184,465 3.4x 45.9x
14 Jackson 30.0 66,977 3.3x 48.3x
15 Red Bank 30.33 11,744 3.5x 52.1x
16 Cleveland 31.33 43,496 3.8x 57.1x
17 Signal Mountain 31.33 8,507 3.3x 59.6x
18 Hendersonville 31.33 55,635 3.5x 60.5x
19 Franklin 32.33 72,990 3.9x 69.4x
20 Murfreesboro 32.33 126,188 3.4x 60.3x
21 Brentwood 34.33 41,524 3.8x 75.2x
22 Dickson 36.67 15,128 3.5x 56.2x
23 Morristown 37.33 29,446 3.3x 49.8x
24 Greenbrier 39.0 6,720 3.0x 53.2x
25 Fayetteville 39.0 6,976 3.3x 47.9x
26 Dayton 39.33 7,341 3.3x 50.1x
27 Erwin 39.33 5,921 3.4x 49.5x
28 Clinton 40.0 9,961 3.5x 63.4x
29 Jonesborough 40.67 5,275 3.3x 60.7x
30 Ripley 41.17 8,148 3.2x 42.9x
31 Maryville 41.33 28,208 3.4x 69.7x
32 Gallatin 41.67 34,495 3.2x 62.3x
33 Springfield 42.0 16,692 3.0x 54.8x
34 Lenoir City 42.83 9,007 3.0x 49.2x
35 Elizabethton 43.0 13,796 3.7x 58.6x
36 Kingsport 43.67 52,698 3.5x 62.2x
37 Covington 43.83 8,921 3.1x 43.9x
38 Greeneville 44.33 14,895 3.9x 65.5x
39 Mount Juliet 44.67 31,397 3.0x 65.1x
40 Oakland 45.33 7,508 2.3x 52.1x
41 Fairview 45.67 8,442 3.0x 65.5x
42 Farragut 46.0 21,975 3.2x 92.9x
43 Arlington 46.67 11,678 2.2x 54.9x
44 Brownsville 46.67 9,829 3.2x 54.3x
45 Clarksville 47.0 147,771 2.8x 55.0x
46 East Ridge 47.17 21,193 2.9x 51.4x
47 Columbia 47.67 36,635 3.0x 55.7x
48 Henderson 48.33 6,237 3.2x 56.7x
49 Shelbyville 49.67 21,028 2.9x 51.8x
50 Savannah 50.0 6,977 3.0x 48.4x
51 Mcminnville 50.67 13,591 3.0x 52.5x
52 La Vergne 51.67 34,905 2.3x 52.7x
53 Kingston 51.67 5,812 3.1x 66.8x
54 Harriman 51.67 6,153 2.9x 47.1x
55 Jefferson City 52.67 8,220 3.1x 58.1x
56 Spring Hill 54.0 35,995 2.7x 69.6x
57 Bolivar 54.33 5,037 3.0x 55.3x
58 Smyrna 55.0 46,885 2.8x 65.1x
59 Newport 55.33 6,780 4.0x 64.9x
60 Oak Ridge 55.33 29,009 3.0x 66.8x
61 Milan 55.33 7,715 2.7x 52.4x
62 Alcoa 55.33 9,343 2.9x 57.5x
63 Memphis 55.67 654,723 2.5x 44.4x
64 Germantown 58.0 39,230 2.7x 86.8x
65 Hartsville/trousdale County 58.0 8,773 3.1x 68.2x
66 Tullahoma 59.33 19,037 2.9x 59.0x
67 Church Hill 60.67 6,686 3.0x 68.4x
68 Bartlett 61.0 58,640 2.1x 62.2x
69 Collierville 61.0 48,960 2.5x 93.7x
70 Lakeland 61.67 12,623 2.4x 83.5x
71 Bristol 61.67 26,668 2.9x 60.8x
72 Portland 61.67 12,258 2.7x 61.3x
73 Pulaski 62.0 7,653 2.8x 55.6x
74 Loudon 63.33 5,697 2.8x 58.2x
75 Mckenzie 63.33 5,455 2.5x 53.1x
76 White House 64.0 11,107 2.5x 78.8x
77 Millersville 64.33 6,760 2.7x 72.6x
78 Millington 64.33 11,073 2.2x 54.5x
79 Lawrenceburg 65.0 10,614 2.7x 54.4x
80 Winchester 65.33 8,467 2.9x 79.7x
81 Mount Carmel 65.33 5,386 2.8x 70.7x
82 Sweetwater 65.67 5,842 2.8x 63.5x
83 Dyersburg 66.0 16,666 2.7x 57.4x
84 Atoka 68.33 8,994 2.0x 78.9x
85 La Follette 69.33 6,983 2.1x 51.9x
86 Paris 69.67 10,059 2.7x 57.1x
87 Dunlap 70.0 5,061 2.7x 72.0x
88 Munford 70.33 6,009 2.3x 73.0x
89 Lewisburg 71.33 11,457 2.4x 56.5x
90 Rockwood 71.33 5,415 2.5x 55.3x
91 Lexington 72.67 7,731 2.6x 61.7x
92 Union City 73.0 10,479 2.7x 58.2x
93 Humboldt 75.67 8,155 2.1x 55.6x
94 Manchester 77.0 10,430 2.3x 66.9x

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