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Cost of living in Nashville, TN

The numbers behind living in Music City.


Nashville’s skyline. | Photo by Cesar G via Pexels

Table of Contents

With Nashville constantly growing and undertaking multiple high-profile developments this year, we figured it was time to talk about the cost of planting some roots in Music City.

The median household income in Davidson County is $66,047 according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, Tennessee is 42 in the country for median income at ~$54,833 per household.


The overall cost of living in Nashville is higher than the national average. | Screenshot via

The overall cost of living in Nashville is higher than the national average, and higher than the rest of the state.

In Nashville, the cost of healthcare is lower compared to other parts of the state + the US. However, the cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have higher average costs than other cities in Tennessee and the country overall.

Breaking down the numbers

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts — you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent and utilities. Don’t worry, we did the math for you — your max monthly budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Nashville is $1,819 — putting you over budget.

According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s still more affordable to rent a home in Davidson County.

Take a look at the chart below to see how Nashville’s cost of living compares to that of Memphis, the state’s second largest metropolitan area.


Nashville has less affordable health care than Memphis. | Screenshot via

Interested in seeing Nashville’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in.

We took a look at the cost of living in Nashville compared to Austin, TX. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 4% higher in Austin.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $51,996 to our Austin household.

The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,734, which is $362 more than Nashville.

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