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What’s the cost of living in Tennessee?

People in Market Square on market day in Knoxville, TN

Tennessee is known to have one of the lowest costs of living among all states in the US. While the cost of living varies from city to city, on average, Tennessee ranks among the most affordable, thanks in large part to its generally lower housing costs.

A CNBC study released in July, 2017 ranked the state the 7th cheapest state to live, the same ranking it got in a report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center on the 15 cheapest states for 2016.

Here’s a look at the cost of living in Tennessee for various categories, based on reports by various sources.

    1. Housing

      • For housing costs, Sperling Best Places gave Tennessee a score of 73, with 100 being the US median
      • According to the US Census Bureau, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in Tennessee from 2012 to 2016 was $146,000. The median gross rent for the same period was $782.
      • SmartAsset cites a Trulia report, which puts the median listing price of homes in Tennessee at $130,700. Lake County has the lowest average listing price at $69,857, while Williamson County has the highest at $548,612.
      • SmartAsset reports that the average rent for studio apartments in Tennessee is $1,096, higher by $22 than the US average. However, the average rent for other apartment types in Tennessee is lower than the US average:
        • One-bedroom apartment – Tennessee average: $857 (US average: $1,008)
        • Two-bedroom apartment – Tennessee average: $995 (US average: $1,239
        • Three-bedroom apartment – Tennessee average: $1,182 (US average: $1,546

 

    1. Utilities

      • Sperling’s Best Places gives Tennessee a score of 91, below the national average of 100.
      • According to the US Energy Information Administration data, the average monthly energy bill in Tennessee for 2016 was $128.89. This is a bit higher than the nationwide average of $112.59.
      • Given the data from the US EIA, Tennessee ranks #25 in total energy costs by state.

 

    1. Food and groceries

      • According to Sperling’s Best Places, Tennessee gets a score of 94.4 out of the nationwide average of 100 for the price of groceries.
      • The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center gives Tennessee a score of 92.7, lower than the average of 100.

 

    1. Healthcare

      • With 100 as the nationwide average, Tennessee received an index score of 90 for healthcare costs from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
      • Sperling’s Best Places gave the state an index score of 94.
      • According to CNBC, the average cost of a doctor visit in Tennessee is $127.67.

 

    1. Transportation

      • Sperling’s Best Places gives Tennessee an index score of 94 for transportation costs, with 100 being the nationwide average.
      • The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center gives Tennessee an index score of 89.9, with 100 being the nationwide average.

 

  1. Miscellaneous (Includes clothing, restaurant, entertainment, repairs and others)
    Tennessee received an index score of 96, compared to the nationwide average of 100, from Sperling’s Best Places.
    The state’s index score from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center is 95.2.

Along with everything else it has to offer, Tennessee’s low cost of living makes the state a highly desirable place to live. If you’re looking to own or sell a home in the Knoxville area, get in touch with the Goswitz Team at 865.218.1159 or send them an email at frank@goswitz.com today.