There are many different scenarios that motivate individuals to move from their current locations to other areas of the United States. These scenarios range from career changes to retirement, and can even be due to political or financial reasons. Many people ask, “Where are the best places to live in the United States?” No matter where you currently living in the United States, one state sticks out as a surprising, yet unanimous answer as the best place to live in the U.S.

While there are several runner-ups when it comes to the best places to live in our country, none of them seem to have a great mix of everything. They seem to be lacking in one area or another, which makes our choice a combination of everything an individual or a family would look for when determining a great place to live and enjoy life.

Knoxville Tennessee: The United States’ Hidden Gem

East Tennessee is made of 33 counties that are located in the Appalachian Mountains. The whole area is covered with dense forests and 6,000-feet tall mountains. This region contains some of the larger major cities including Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City. Knoxville is Tennessee’s 3rd largest city that has a metro population of 862,490.

The city has a multicultural community that is cherished surrounding a captivating environment, social activities, shopping, and the ease of living. One of the many reasons that people move into urban areas is that the amenities that can be easily found around a city.

However, in Knoxville, you get everything you need to live like you are living in a big town. The tranquility, peace, and serene environment are the bonuses that go along with it.

Who needs to live in a city that is a constant reminder of noise, clutter, pollution, gridlock traffic, and huge bills and cost of living? Who doesn’t like to live amidst the Smoky Mountains and have the same amount of amenities?

According to U.S. News, Tennessee has an overall score of 6.7 out of 10 for being one of the best states to move to based on value, quality of life, desirability, net migration, and the job market.

the best places to live in the Unites States

Why is Knoxville, TN one of the best places to live in the U.S.?

The cost of living

No matter how many mountains, lakes, and forests there are, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is the cost of living. If the cost of living is too much, everything else fails. Knoxville, Tennessee is known to be one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S. and is becoming more and more appealing for people who are looking to change locations.

Comparatively, Knoxville offers a lesser cost of living than the national average. Residents can enjoy the ease of living by having reasonable utility, transportation, and housing costs. Speaking of which, housing is the main factor that everybody should take into account when moving into another city.

In Knoxville, if you opt for buying a home or the average monthly rent are way below compared to the cost of other big metro areas.

With that being said, if you take a look at Knoxville’s real estate, it is more affordable than most markets throughout the U.S. On a national average, homeowners spend approximately 15.1% of their income on monthly mortgage payments. However, when it comes to Knoxville, this percentage dwindles to 8.4, motivating the younger Americans and first-time buyers. Additionally, those looking to retire end up with much larger homes that cost much less than other parts of the United States. The same house that would cost 2 million dollars in California, may cost $500,000 in Knoxville Tennessee.

As of 2018, the housing cost of Knoxville remains at $172,333 whereas the overall U.S. housing cost stays around $227,025. This persuades more people to buy much larger premises and lands from Knoxville compared to other parts of the country.


Looking at the bigger picture, Tennessee residents have to pay fewer taxes than 35 other states. If you scrutinize the property taxes in the U.S., you will find out that Tennessee homeowners pay an annual property tax of $1,024. This amount is the 9th lowest in the country and not to mention half the national average.

If we take the average property tax nationwide that is $2,800, whereas the median rate a Knoxville resident has to pay is almost half that amount, which is $1477.

What’s more, Tennessee is one of the 10 states with no state taxes such as personal income tax. The residents of Tennessee should only pay federal income tax, property tax, and state sales tax. On the other hand, personal property taxes that are gained by automobiles in some states will cost you thousands of dollars per year. However, these aren’t collected in Knoxville, or in the rest of Tennessee.

Getting around

Right off the bat, the transportation cost comes into mind when you’re moving into another state. Tennessee’s taxes for gasoline remains at 21.4 cents per gallon and 18.4 cents for diesel fuel. Comparatively, this is lower than the national average of 29.6 cents for gasoline and 29.38 cents for diesel. So, this is another green light for someone who considers living in Tennessee.

The best way to get around the Knoxville metro area is by driving your own vehicle. However, you can opt for Knoxville Area Transit, or KAT as well. Anyone can easily reach the city limits by KAT buses or trolleys for a reasonable fare.

Knoxville’s young community is starting to use more bicycles as common transportation, making it easier for kids. If someone needs safe cycling lessons, I BIKE KNX is there to help you with it as well

The highway network that goes through Knoxville makes you reach your workplace on time, so there’s one less problem you have to worry about. You can also reach cities such as Nashville or Atlanta under 215 miles away from Knoxville.

Likewise, McGhee Tyson Airport offers connecting flights to larger international airports.

Job Market

The job market shouldn’t be overlooked especially if you have more responsibilities rather than taking care of yourself.

Knoxville is the home to some of the popular employers such as the Manhattan Project, The U.S. Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Covenant Health, Knox County Schools, The University of Tennessee, Walmart, and University Health System of the University of Tennessee, etc.

If you look up, you’ll find that Knoxville is predominantly made of trade jobs, health services, and government jobs while mining and logging has a long history in Tennessee.

If you belong to the healthcare field, there are over 12 large hospitals and health care centers that might need your valuable service.

Above all, Knoxville’s unemployment rate remains at a lower rate than the national average which again makes Knoxville one of the best places to live in the US.


When you’re moving with your family, it is mandatory to find out if the schools around live up to your standard. Knoxville has 44 public elementary, middle, and high schools and also provides 65 private schools.

Knoxville’s schools show a bit of a lag compared to similar-sized metro cities. However, 5 of the high schools from Knoxville are on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings making this city one of the best states to move to with a family.

Likewise, Nashville-Davidson had 0.5% fewer residents who actually managed to graduate high school compared to Knoxville. Knoxville shows 2.2% of people with a professional degree that is higher compared to the United States which is 2.0%. Additionally, 2.1% of people hold a Doctorate degree whereas the United States has only 1.4%.

According to, Knoxville, Tennessee falls into number 88 out of 228 cities that provide the best public schools in America.

Weather & Atmosphere

If you decide to live in Knoxville, Tennessee, you can enjoy all 4 seasons and slight snow. The mild weather is another plus point that makes this city one of the best places to live in the U.S. with a family.

Apart from the pleasant weather you have plenty of activities to do around Knoxville with your family. Because the Knoxville, Tennessee area has an abundance of natural beauties such as lakes including Norris Lake, Douglas Lake, Tellico Lake, Cherokee Lake, and a lot of space around, you can have a serene life if you’re planning to raise a family there.

Mayor Bob Leonard Park is a fine choice if you’re into sports. This local park features 10 different playing fields, a sand volleyball court, and a lighted playground. The lights of some of the fields support the games to be continued throughout the evening. In the center of the park, you’ll find a captivating wetland area, boardwalk, and an observation deck.

Norris Dam State Park is also there for the ones who want to be bewitched by Tennessee’s beauty. You can have a placid walk down the Norris Lake shoreline, hike, kayak, or canoe. You can even go camping in the 2 camping areas for overnight stays and you’ll also find a swimming pool, and several sports fields in this park as well.

Park rangers lead guided spring wildflower hikes in the spring and Norris Lake and the Clinch River both are ideal for fishing.

You can visit Ijames Nature Center for hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing without an age limit. This is a wildlife sanctuary that offers environmental education programs, guided trail walks, and paddle programs that will give great pleasure for your kids.

Also, at Ijams you can enjoy activities with zip lines, bridges, nets, and tunnels to explore with maximum safety.

Mead’s Quarry Park shouldn’t be overlooked as well because of the historic cemeteries, rock bridges, and gorges, etc.

However, it’s not solely the natural beauty, tranquility, or the peace that appeals to more people to this breathtaking city. There’s much more to it.

Why do people choose Tennessee over other cities?

New York vs Knoxville, TN 

When analyzing the Housing in New York, it is 292.4% more expensive than Knoxville, Tennessee. The biggest difference is the median home cost. If you live in New York your median home cost will be 292.7% more than Knoxville, Tennessee.

If you opt for the New York life, keep in mind that you’ll spend 57.4% more for the utilities, 121.4% more for transportation, 17.7% more for health, and 35.1% more for other necessities than Knoxville, Tennessee.

In a nutshell, when compared to the cost of living in Knoxville, Tennessee, New York is 118.9% more expensive.

Oregon vs Knoxville, TN

If you take a sneak peek at a city such as Oregon, you will see a lot of pros, but when you actually live there, you will realize that the cost of living in Oregon is a veritable pain. For instance, living in Portland, Oregon is 53.0% more expensive than Knoxville, Tennessee which is a bummer. Even the median home cost in Portland is 142% more expensive than Knoxville, Tennessee.

Moreover, you’ll spend 6.7% more for Food & Groceries when you live in Portland, Oregon. Another important fact is that you’ll spend 58.8% more on transportation than Knoxville, Tennessee if you’re a resident of Oregon.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania vs Knoxville, TN

Living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will cost you an overall of 18.4% more than Knoxville, Tennessee.

When dug deep, you’ll be spending 5.5% more for Food & Groceries, 12.7% more for utilities, 73.5% more for transportation, 2.8% more for health, and 25.2% for other expenses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when compared to the living cost of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Undoubtedly, these facts show us the potential benefits of living in Knoxville, Tennessee compared to other similar states which makes it one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S.

Wrapping up

It is evident that Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the best places to live in the U.S. When you’re moving to another city, it is crucial to find out every possible detail about the place starting from the weather to the safety of the place.

With the cost of living, school system, weather, etc. in Knoxville, Tennessee, not only can you safely raise a family but can retire with peace of mind.

Like Knoxville, Tennessee, Brentwood, Franklin, Farragut, Nolensville, and Germantown are some of the other best places to live in the U.S.

So, if you are a person who is trying to make a fresh start, raise a family, or retire in a new place, Knoxville, Tennessee is an excellent choice.