Three Tennessee Cities Ranked Among 25 Cheapest to Live in America

Three cities in Tennessee are among the cheapest places to live in the United States, according to a recently published Kiplinger report.

To measure the cheapest cities in the United States, Kiplinger calculated the cost of living in 267 cities using a standard Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) formula. It then narrowed its results to cities with more than 50,000 people.

Clocking in at the 18th-cheapest city in America is Memphis.

“To say that real estate is cheap in the Memphis metro area is an understatement. Average home prices come to $305,002 – an amount that would elicit screams from people who live in the most expensive U.S. cities. (The national average stands at $398,690, per C2ER.),” the report says. “Renters benefit, too. A typical apartment in Memphis rents for about $200 a month less than the U.S. average.”

Jackson, Tennessee, is the 11th-cheapest city of 50,000 or more in the United States.

“The overall cost of living is 16.3% lower than the national average, led by particularly low healthcare and housing expenses,” Kiplinger says.

“Indeed, housing costs, including mortgages, rents and insurance, are 29% lower than the U.S. average,” the report continues. “Folks looking to buy will be happy to hear the average house price stands at $280,867, a savings of $118,000 when compared to the national average. Average apartment rent is $889 vs. $1,218 for the U.S. as a whole.”

Finally, Knoxville is ranked as the seventh least expensive city to reside in the United States, with Kiplinger pointing out that it is “notable for its across-the-board affordability for everything from food to transportation, according to the Cost of Living Index.”

“The biggest savings, as per usual, come from the city’s especially low housing costs, which run 30% below the U.S. average,” the report says. “Indeed, the typical price of a Knoxville home is $107,000 below the national average. Apartment rents are about a third less expensive.”

Not only are the three cities unexpensive in comparison to others, but the report notes Tennessee’s tax friendliness.

“Not only is Tennessee one of the nation’s most tax-friendly states for middle-class families, but it also happens to rank among the most tax-friendly states for retirees,” according to the report. “The Volunteer State has no income tax and relatively low property taxes.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].




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5 Thoughts to “Three Tennessee Cities Ranked Among 25 Cheapest to Live in America”

  1. Lisa

    All the people moving into Knoxville has fixed the low cost living. Housing prices has tripled as well as rent….. that IS, if you can land one when it opens up. The house across from me went up for sale yesterday and 4 people were in the driveway in several hours. Housing prices have soared and tax increases follows. It prices out people who have lived here for years if not all their life. They can no longer afford the taxes. Thank you gentrification. Besides the fact that the city of Knoxville passed a law that allows people to build houses or apartments in their backyard. I see it already happening. It is ridiculous. Crime has increased, traffic has increased the overall amount of people have increased. UGH! I no longer like living in Knoxville!

  2. 83ragtop50

    Notably missing is Nashville.

    1. mikey whipwreck

      nashville is anything but cheap anymore, sadly.

      the cali folks fixed that for sure.

  3. AWM

    Low property taxes, no state income tax & a ridiculously high sales tax.

    1. 83ragtop50

      AWM – My property taxes are anything but low. They were 10 years ago but that has all changed. Of course it depends almost entirely on the county within which one lives.