What you need to know before moving to Tennessee

What you need to know before moving to Tennessee

What you need to know before moving to Tennessee

Tennessee is located in the southeastern region of the United States and stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains to the east of the Mississippi River.  Home of Elvis Presley and the country music capital of the world, Tennessee is beautiful, scenic and cultural and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US.

The capital Memphis is known as the “Birthplace of the Blues”. Nashville has a myriad of recording studios. Music has interwoven with the culture and has become the soul to the body of the state.  Having a total of 11 state songs Tennessee is always sure to surpass other states when it comes to playing the band! Tennessee was named after the river, known as “Tanasi” in Cherokee.

Like other states, Tennessee too has many nicknames:

  1. The Volunteer State: The most revered nickname of the state, first used during the war of 1812, when Tennesseans volunteered in the War. It is also used in honor of the soldiers who fought in The Battle of New Orleans.
  2. The Big Bend State: This is used as a reference to the Tennessee River- the river with the big bend.
  3. The Mother of the Southwestern Statesmen: Tennesseans take pride in this nickname because the state has played a crucial role in building the government of the US.
  4. The Lion’s Den State: Background not given but probably because Tennessee is connected to the life of Andrew Jackson.

Before moving to Tennessee

  • Avoid moving during the fall and winter seasons
  • Listen to weather reports beforehand and be prepared to face inclement weather.
  • Look out for storm or tornado warnings when moving during spring and summer
  • In case you have no other option, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth move-in, like a fully charged cell, toolbox, first-aid kit, provisions, etc.
  • Tennessee hosts many festivals so be prepared and go ahead of traffic
  • Find out about parking restrictions
  • Make sure that pets get used to the climate
  • Find the closest storage – you might need it.
  • Read our advice if you are uncertain what to choose: Truck rental or professional mover?
  • If you decided to go with a moving company, read this advice: 5 things to avoid when hiring moving company.

Tennessee is the 36th largest and 16th most populous state in the US and is bordered by Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. Eastern Tennessee is covered with the Appalachian Mountains, and the Mississippi River borders the western part. Tennessee was initially a part of North Carolina and has provided the largest number of Confederate Army soldiers than any other state.  Oak Ridge City in Tennessee has contributed in building the world’s first atomic bomb by housing the Manhattan Project’s uranium enrichment facilities.

Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are the leading industries of Tennessee, with the agriculture sector producing poultry, soybeans, and cattle as the primary products.


Tennessee has a humid subtropical climate with some parts of the Appalachians having a mountain temperate or humid continental climate because the mountainous areas are cooler.

The Gulf of Mexico impacts the climate of Tennessee, being the cause of most of the yearly precipitation of the state.  You can expect hot summers and mild to cool winters with plenty of rainfall during spring and winter seasons. August to October is usually a dry period.  Summers in Tennessee are hot and humid, with a typical average temperature of 90 °F.

Tennessee can be regarded as being safe from direct impact from hurricanes. But, it is prone to be affected by the remnants of cyclones, which can cause a lot of rainfall. The average number of thunderstorms annually is around 50. Usually west and middle Tennessee are the most vulnerable to severe weather including thunderstorms, high winds, large hail and severe tornadoes.

Largest cities

Memphis is the most populated city in the state

Tennessee has 32 incorporated cities and towns, with Nashville as the capital. Knoxville, Kingston, and Murfreesboro have served as state capitals as well. You can pick from a variety of cities before moving to Tennessee. Knoxville has a diverse architecture and arts, Memphis is the cosmopolitan hub where the King once lived.  Murfreesboro is a famous college town which is also called “Athens of the South.”


Moving to Tennessee will give you access to some elite schools and educational institutions.

Tennessee is rich in public, private, charter and specialized facilities.  The public higher education in Tennessee is governed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission which guides two public university systems- University of Tennessee system and Tennessee Board of Regents, while the public primary and secondary schools function under the Tennessee Department of Education.

  • Elementary Schools:Clarksville Academy, Sacred Heart Cathedral Knoxville, Westside Elementary School Memphis
  • High Schools: Christian Academy Knoxville, Cleveland High School, Booker T. Washington High School- where President Obama had personally inaugurated the school with a speech in 2011.
  • Higher Education: There are top-notch colleges and universities which you can pick from like the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Technological University and the Vanderbilt University.


Southern food is irresistible. It consists of butter, gravy, biscuits and sausages which are the main things for calorie obsession. If you like locally grown fresh food, check out these farmer markets in Tennessee.

Here are top ten tantalizing food items of the Lion’s Den:

  1. Banana Pudding
  2. The Nashville Goo-Goo Cluster
  3. Bell Buckle Moon Pies
  4. Memphis Fried Pickles
  5. Bestest Cinnamon Rolls Ever
  6. Black Coffee
  7. Rendezvous Barbecue
  8. Pancake Pantry Sweet Potato Pancakes
  9. Loveless Café Biscuits
  10. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Transport and roads

Tennessee state road map
Tennessee state road map (click to enlarge)

Tennessee has three main modes of transportation which include some internal roads and highways. The main airports are:

  1. Memphis International Airport
  2. Nashville International Airport
  3. McGhee Tyson Airport
  4. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
  5. McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport

Memphis International Airport is known to be the world’s largest air cargo operation because it is a major hub for FedEx Corporation.

Memphis and Newbern are served by Amtrak lines which run between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans while Nashville is served by the Music City Star commuter rail service.

Cost of living

Tennessee has a cost of living which is 18.94% lower than the national average and has its place among the ten most affordable states to live out of all 50.  Almost everything is low priced in Tennessee; groceries, utilities, consumer goods, and cheap housing.

Property taxes are also quite inexpensive, and the best part is Tennessee doesn’t levy personal income taxes.  Because the average household income is slightly less than $39,000, the lack of tax is a benefit to all families.

State property and personal income taxes

Tennessee does not levy any personal income taxes, but however, the state collects taxed on interest and dividend earnings.  Income from bonds, stocks, and notes receivable is taxable at a flat 6% rate. The first $1,250 in taxable income received by a single filer is exempt. The first $2,500 in taxable income received by a joint filer is exempt. People older than 65 and who have a total income of less than $37,000 for a single filer or $68,000 for a joint filer also are exempt.

Tennessee has one of the lowest property taxes in the US. The average household tax is only around $1,024, which is the ninth-lowest in the nation. But these rates are not the same across the state. In Memphis for example, has double the state average.

Ethnicity and population

Tennessee’s population of 6.65 million consists of:

  • 79% White Americans
  • 17% Black/ African Americans
  • 4.6% Hispanic/Latino
  • 3.9% Others
  • 1.6% Asian
  • 0.4% Native
  • 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Natives
  • 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders

The most common ethnic groups are 17.3% American, 13.0% African American, 9.3% Irish, 9.1% English and 8.3% German.

There are a few tribes that were granted recognition:

  1. The Cherokee Wolf Clan
  2. The Chikamaka Band
  3. Central Band of Cherokee
  4. Remnant Yuchi Nation
  5. Tanasi Council

Sports teams

Basketball and football are two popular sports in Tennessee. The Knoxville College team has participated in the Southeastern Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association since the conference was formed in 1932. The football team has bagged 13 SEC Championships and 25 bowls.  The men’s basketball team has bagged 4 SEC championships and reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2010.  The women’s basketball team also has been the proud host of regular SEC championships. Some of the famous sports and sports teams

  1. Tennessee Titans – Football
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – Basketball
  3. Nashville Predators – Ice Hockey
  4. Memphis Redbirds – Baseball
  5. Nashville Sounds – Baseball
  6. Chattanooga FC – Soccer
  7. Knoxville Force – Soccer

Tennessee state: Pros & Cons

  • No excise tax
  • Low property taxes
  • No income tax
  • Festivals that celebrate almost anything
  • Southern Hospitality
  • The best homemade food
  • Warm weather
  • Less complicated lifestyle.
  • Multiple nuclear power plants
  • Crime
  • Gang violence
  • Somewhat impoverished
  • Severe tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms

After moving

  • You don’t need a moving permit though
  • Mail in a voter’s registration form or register at the county clerk’s office, public library or the Department of Safety
  • Check your trash and recycling methods and hire a private company
  • Obtain a driver’s license within 30 days after moving
  • Register your automobile within 30 days of moving to the county clerk’s office.