From the Hollywood State to the state known as the heart of the country music scene, you have decided to have quite a shift and we are here to make sure that you’re Ready For It! California is known and celebrated for its glamour, diversity, and art but at the same time, it’s not one of the most pocket-friendly states to live in. Tennessee can be a great alternative as it’s a beautiful state and we are certain it’ll suit you well as long as you know what to expect from the move. And this is where we come in! We’ll take you through all the things you should know before you make the final call of moving to Tennessee.

Famous for its whiskey, hot chicken, and barbeque along with many other interesting things, Tennessee will certainly keep your taste buds surprised and happy, and prove to be a good shift from the California sensitivity.


Things To Know Before Moving From California To Tennessee

1. Weather

California might have made you habitual of the humid summers and cold winters but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Tennessee’s weather range. Most part of the state is fortunate with mild weather conditions where it’s neither too hot nor too cold. While in California, the temperature falls between 29°F to 87°F on average, Tennessee enjoys pleasant weather all year round while still offering you a taste of all four seasons.

Tennessee is lush and green throughout the year with the average high temperature in winters not going beyond 49°F while the average lows are around 30°F. In summers, the temperature varies between 89°F – 67°F.

2. Population Profile

California is the third-most populated state in the United States with a massive population of nearly 39,613,493. As compared to California, Tennessee is less crowded with a population of only 6,944,260. California is also much larger when it comes to the area. The Golden State is around 3.8 times bigger than Tennessee – Tennessee being approximately 106,752 sq km while California is roughly 403,882 sq km.

California is one of the most diverse states with no proper majority and different kinds of people coexisting, which is not the case when it comes to the state of Tennessee. With a White majority of 77.58%, Tennessee is predominantly a white conservative state which has been becoming a bit diverse over the past few years. The rest of Tennessee’s population consists of 16.76% Black or African Americans, 1.75% Asians, 0.27% Native Americans, and 0.06% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders.

3. Language And Culture

California is a hub of all things culture, diversity, and art which is mostly due to LA being the focal point of Hollywood. The culture in California is vibrant and diverse but Tennessee also has a lot to offer in terms of heritage and art. Many of the great country artists are from Tennessee – including the Country Pop Queen Taylor Swift. In fact, many artists over the years have moved to Tennessee to learn Country music.

The culture in Tennessee is stricter when compared to California’s. Tennessee is a heavily Christian-dominated state with 82% of the population following Christianity, mainly Catholicism. English is the main spoken language of the state with many being heavily accented. You’ll hear residents speaking in the typical ‘Y’alls’ while a very little percentage also speak Spanish and Spanish Creole (3%). Tennessee has a lot to offer in terms of food and drinks and it doesn’t just end at the great whiskey. Sweet tea is one famous beverage in the state without which no meal is complete. Along with the interesting beverages, moon pies, fried catfish, country ham are some of the most famous dishes of Tennessee.

4. Economy And Employment Opportunities

While the majority of California’s income and the economy is based on the entertainment industry, Tennessee’s economy is heavily dependent on the fields of manufacturing, education industry, and entertainment. Tennessee, as mentioned earlier, is a hub of the country music scene in the country, so a huge part of the economy and employment opportunities arise from there too.

Tennessee’s economy is ever-growing and strong in terms of recovery with various jobs available for young professionals. At 4.6%, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country. So, be it in a conventional field or something unconventional and offbeat, Tennessee has plenty of job opportunities for everyone. It’s also a lot cheaper to live in as compared to California because the overall cost of living in Tennessee is much lower. The agricultural industry is also a dominating domain in Tennessee as it’s a homeland to many farms and farmers. Other than that, the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing industry also contributes most to the state’s GDP with a value of 55.3 billion U.S. dollars.

5. Taxes

California has the highest tax rates in the entire United States so regardless of where you go, it is going to be cheaper when compared to the Golden State. California has a 13.3% income tax rate which tops as the highest in the entire country while Tennessee has, get ready for it, no income tax. You are reading it right, Tennessee state charges no state income tax whatsoever, so you are in great luck. Dare we say, you’ve gone from the top to the bottom – in the best possible way!

You’ll save a lot of money on overall tax too because, on the one hand, where California has sky-high tax rates of 9.47% that includes property, income, and sales tax, Tennessee has one of the lowest overall tax burdens. While California ranks 11th for overall tax burden in the country, Tennessee ranks way down at 48th with 6.28% overall tax.

6. Purchasing A House

California is fun but let’s be real, it is too expensive in almost every area and housing is no different. Purchasing a house in California is like an unattainable dream for many due to the sky-rocketing prices. Moving to Tennessee can be the breath of fresh air that you and your bank account will need if you plan to buy a house, given that the median monthly income in Tennessee is around $4,365.

The median list price in Tennessee is $349,900 and the average price per square foot is $180, which is way cheaper when compared to California. Nashville is one of the most expensive areas while there are many under-budget options for you to select from. The high housing cost of specific areas is balanced by below-average costs of transportation, healthcare, and child care. Overall, Tennessee is 19.5% cheaper than California, so you can ease your way into building your dream home here!

7. Renting A House

The biggest reason behind people leaving California is due to the high rent and housing prices along with the overall cost of living. California is among the most expensive states to rent in, with an average rent of $1,901/month. Tennessee is a convenient and cheaper option to rent in with beautiful cities and neighborhoods. The median monthly rent for Tennessee is $1,160 and it’s even cheaper for certain rural areas. You’ll also save a lot on other amenities like groceries, restaurants, and commuting.

8. Education

Both California and Tennessee have good public and private schools for your kids with similar quality education. Though California ranks 26th in the United States for education, Tennessee doesn’t lag behind too much and stands at the 28th position. One big benefit if you decide to settle in Tennessee is the fact that the state has a wonderful option for higher education that will save you a lot of bucks. If a student graduates from a Tennessee high school, they are eligible to attend a Tennessee community college at no cost due to the Tennessee Promise Program. After completing the program, they can choose from over 75 Tennessee colleges or universities to pursue their higher education.

9. Utility Bills

Your overall utility bills will be cheaper if you move from California to Tennessee. The average monthly electricity bill in Tennessee is around $123.30 which is slightly higher than the national average of $111.76 per month. In Nashville, the average combined cost of electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal bills is $172.18 per month. If you need an unlimited internet plan, expect to pay an average price of $68.95 per month while it costs around $40 in California. Water only costs around $26 per month in Tennessee, while it costs more than $65 in sunny California. Natural gas prices rest at around $34 and $66 in California and Tennessee respectively.

10. Crime Rate

Nashville has the highest crime rate in the entire state of Tennessee. Tennessee’s violent crime rate of 6.70 incidents per 1,000 residents is 62% higher than the national rate of 3.7, but the safest cities only reported around 1 incident per 1,000 people. The crime rates have dropped significantly in the past few years but Tennessee still isn’t the safest state to be in, just like California where the violent crime rates (6.70 per 1,000 residents) are as high as its property crime rates (28.84 per 1,000 residents). You can scout for safer neighborhoods in Tennessee since safety should be a primary concern while moving.

11. Getting Around

Getting around in Tennessee is easy and you’ll be encountering a lot less traffic as compared to the bustling streets of California. Overall traveling cost is also a lot cheaper in Tennessee as compared to California. The state has a public transport system which is called the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). It’s a multimodal agency with statewide responsibilities over roadways, aviation, public transit, waterways, and railroads, and has all the information available for you to make your stay convenient and hassle-free.

By Road

The majority population of Tennessee prefers to have a car of their own, but if you want to save the environment and money, public transportation is always a better option. Public transportation includes buses, rails, and subways that are available in almost all cities. It’s a safer and cheaper option with fixed route services, demand-response service, express buses, local shuttles, and complementary paratransit in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Bicycles and pedestrian systems are also in place and encourage you to take the fitter route. The buses and trains operate between cities and also for the outstations on a daily basis, so you can easily make them a part of your commute.

By Air

The state of Tennessee has 208 airports in total, with various domestic and international airports with connecting flights operating at all times. The Nashville International Airport and the Memphis International Airport are the two major international airports in the state which have regular international flights, along with domestic flights to bigger US cities. Major US carriers like Delta, American, and United, all have daily flights to these airports. The smaller Tennessee airports offer regional flights, usually via Allegiant Air, American, and Delta Air Lines. The airports are well-connected with facilities, cleanliness and are safe for your small and long journeys.

By Rail

If you’re a fan of train journeys, have a glass of your favorite Jack Daniels and relax because Tennessee has a great railway system in place. The Tennessee Southern Railroad (TSRR) is a unit that operates a total of 149 miles (including 118 mainline miles) of rail lines running from Columbia to Pulaski in Tennessee, and from Columbia, Tennessee, to Florence, Alabama.

In Tennessee, there are 21 operating short-line railroads, 18 that function as common carriers, and three that operate as private railroads.

By Water

If you want to travel by water, ferries are available in certain cities but it is not a very well-connected or reliable means of traveling. The majority of the people of Tennessee prefer to opt for road travel over the waterways.


Popular Places To Live In Tennessee

1. Franklin

Located in  Williamson County, Franklin is a town in the state of Tennessee with a population of 77,939. It is a dense suburban area with top-rated high schools, family-owned restaurants, global chains, coffee shops, and parks. The majority population is of young professionals and educated families, guaranteeing a safe culture and environment to stay in. Many professionals work in the healthcare industry as it is the biggest in the town. Franklin is also safe with a low crime rate and a responsive police system to assure your safety.

Median Home Value: $412,400

Average Market Rent: $1,481/month

Median Household Income: $98,231 (After taxes)

Nashville

Nashville is the capital city of Tennessee and is a fine choice when it comes to starting a new life. The city of Nashville has been ranked as one of the best cities to live in by happy residents. Nashville has a population of 663,750 and offers you an interesting suburban feel. There are a number of A+ rated public and private schools available in the city with a diverse population leaning towards liberalism.

Nashville has many clubs, restaurants, and coffee shops with a happening nightlife and a variety of cuisines. The crime rate in Nashville is comparatively higher so you should be careful. But, it offers plenty of job opportunities, decent housing, and a high standard of living. The healthcare sector is strong in Nashville so you can be assured of proper healthcare for your family.

Median Home Value: $239,000

Average Market Rent: $1,100/month

Median Household Income: $59,828 (After taxes)

Also See: Moving to Nashville

Spring Hill

With a population of around 39,711, Spring Hill is a beautiful town in the state of Tennessee. Surrounded by gorgeous parks and serene nature, it can be an ideal place for you to settle in. However, it’s important for you to know that the majority in Spring Hills lean towards the conservative side. The people are kind and the neighborhoods are safe for you to start a family. Spring Hills has good public and private schools and offers you cute restaurants, shopping centers, and coffee shops too! Plenty of housing and employment opportunities are also conveniently available.

Median Home Value: $286,800

Average Market Rent: $1,401/month

Median Household Income: $90,778 (After taxes)


FAQs On Moving From California To Tennessee

Why Are Californians Moving To Tennessee?

As stated above, California is expensive in almost all the departments and life seems to be getting harder in California with crazy traffic, high crime rates, population, and cramped spaces. Many Californians are moving to Tennessee because it offers hope for a better, calmer, and more peaceful way of living.

Tennessee offers a fine blend of natural and urban sensitivities with a bustling country music scene, a growing tech industry, and plenty of job opportunities in varied fields like art, manufacturing, agriculture, and a lot more. Affordable housing, convenient schooling, quieter surroundings, and low taxes makes Tennessee a fine choice for Californians to start a new life in.

Is Tennessee A Good Place To Move To From California?

Tennessee is certainly an interesting choice and it could be a good choice for you as it has a lot to offer. While California has literally all things happening, Tennessee has a rich culture and an essence that certainly draws you in. However, be wary of the political ideologies of people because the majority leans towards the conservative side but other than that, Tennessee is certainly a great place to be in with plenty of opportunities to explore from!

How Much Does It Cost To Move From California To Tennessee?

This is going to be a long-distance move and well, an expensive one to say the least. The overall cost of the move depends largely upon two factors; the moving company you hire and the size of your move. The average cost to move from California to Tennessee for a full move can be approximately $5,064.19. The prices will vary drastically from season to season too. A smaller move with fewer items will obviously be much cheaper as compared to moving from a huge 3-bedroom apartment. It’s advisable to check the reviews and get the quotes prior to making the final decision of hiring the movers.

See Also: Best Local Movers in the USA