From delightful sunshine all year round to unbeatable hospitality, the country’s southern belt is a place like no other. Many flock to this area to start a new life, and the southeastern states are always present at the top of everyone’s lists of places to move to.
After all, wouldn’t you like miles and miles of the coastline and some of the best food, outdoor activities, and facilities the country has to offer? From ‘happening’ Tennessee to sunny Florida, the southeast also has the states of Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
There’s so much more that the southeast has to offer, and we’re here to tell you just that. Keep reading if you want to find out all about the southeast and its charm!
One of the main reasons why a large number of people move to the southeast is its glorious climate. Almost all south-eastern states have summers that are long with ample amounts of sunshine to keep your spirits high. You’ll be surprised to know that you can experience all four seasons in this chunk of land, and depending on the type of climate you’re looking for, you can choose which state you want to move to.
Winters in the southeast are mild and don’t last for long, making it an apt location to settle for those of you who suffer from the winter blues. States like Florida have long and humid summers, whereas you’ll find contrasts in the climate where the Appalachian Mountains run through. This includes the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia among others. Depending on where you choose to live here, the climate can either be pleasant all year round or you can be subject to harsh winters.
When it comes to natural disasters, you might have heard of storms called Nor’easters, common to the southeastern states on the coast, like Florida. Blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean, these frequent storms have caused their own share of floods, strong winds, and snow, so it’s something you have to be aware of before you move.
2. Cost Of Living
Oftentimes when you have a wide range of things that are in line with what you want, you’ll fall short in one area – costs. The cost of living is always frustratingly high in places that offer great facilities, but that’s something you won’t find in most southeastern states.
You read that right: while some states like Florida have one of the highest cost of living figures in the country, that’s not the case with the rest of the southeast. Almost all states in the southeast of the United States are known for their affordable cost of living, which is what makes the prospect of living there all the more enticing!
You’ll be surprised to know that Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee were a part of the top 10 in World Population Review’s 2021 list of Cheapest States to Live In. This means lower rates on food, utilities, transportation, and housing!
You might think that the average cost of living could go up in the major cities, which it does. But, the cost of living in the cities of Nashville, TN, and Charlotte, NC is still lower than the national average.
Also Read: Cheap States of US to Live in
Housing In The Southeast:
As we’ve mentioned before, housing in the southeast is relatively affordable and won’t poke a hole through your pockets. Take Alabama for example, where the median home price according to Zillow is $161,377 which is one of the lowest in the country. The same goes for Tennessee where the median home price according to Zillow stands at $212,236.
West Virginia, Kentucky, and Alabama are also some of the most affordable states to buy a house in. So, if you’re thinking of starting a family or investing in your first home, you know which states to go to!
3. Job Opportunities
When it comes to jobs, the southeast region doesn’t fall short of giving its citizens the best possible opportunities for growth. You’ll be surprised to know that the states in the southeast have some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies, with the state of Virginia being home to 22 of them. Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina come next in line with 18, 18, and 13 companies within their borders respectively.
In terms of an overall economic output, the southeast region has often been compared to having an output that matches that of the UK as a whole. Shocking right? It’s the truth though, since the region is home to states like Florida which has the fourth-highest economic output in the United States.
What you must note though is that the states of Mississippi and West Virginia fall on the opposite end of the spectrum and have recorded low GDPs for a few years in the past.
Read Also: Best Cities for Job Seekers in the America
Major Industries In The Southeast:
It wouldn’t be possible to list all the industries in the southeast; after all, it is vast with a specialty in different industries. While states like Mississippi and West Virginia are largely based on agriculture and energy respectively, states like Florida, Maryland, Georgia, and Kentucky get a large percentage of their revenue from real estate and leasing.
Trade and manufacturing is also a major industry in the southeast with Mississippi, North Carolina,Tennessee, and Kentucky generating the highest inputs through this industry. Finance, insurance, arts, and entertainment also fall at the top in states like Florida and Maryland.
If you’re thinking of moving to the southeast and starting a family, or you already have kids and you’re looking for a good quality of education, you can stop your search here. The southeast has above-average public schools and higher education institutions, so you have nothing to worry about!
You might already know that Florida has one of the best public school systems in the country and ranks third in terms of education in the United States. Similarly, according to data by US News, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland take the ranks 7, 12, and 14 respectively in terms of quality of education in the country.
Some of the top-notch higher education institutions in the southeast include the University of Virginia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Duke University, University of Florida, Vanderbilt University, and Furman University.
We’ve already told you about the low cost of living in most southeastern states. But what you might not have known is that a major contributor to an affordable cost of living in some of these states is their low or no taxation system.
Florida and Tennessee both have no state income tax, which means that you can save as much as you want from your income and use that money for other things like your retirement fund or your children’s education. There’s more – property taxes in these two states are also lower as compared to other states in the country.
Also See: States with Lowest Tax Rates
The southeast is well connected by roads, which is the major mode of transportation that people use. If you can’t drive then it’s something you’ll have to look into; connectivity by road is extensive but public transportation isn’t available everywhere.
The southeast is connected by four major highways – the I-5, I-10, I-95, and I-85. Driving along these can be great since the southeast is known to have some of the best drivers in the country. All states in the region also have a number of airports with at least one major international airport in every state.
You’ll be glad to know that Florida ranked 7th and Tennessee ranked 8th in a US News list on the ‘States With The Best Transportation’ in the country. This was owing to the excellent condition of the roads and the public transportation systems in the two states.
If you’re someone who loves adventure on the weekends and fun time with family and friends, the southeast might just be the place for you. We’ve already talked too much about the sunny weather down here which means that you can have long and endless summers, but there’s so much more that makes the southeast a paradise for adventure lovers.
You’ll never be too far from either a beach or a mountain, and who doesn’t want that? Beaches like Sarasota in Florida, and Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island in South Carolina are all local favorites. You also have the Blue Ridge Mountains that pass through five states – Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
If you want to live out your childhood dreams, Florida also has some of the best amusement parks in the country. From Walt Disney World to the Universal Theme Park, Florida has around 11 spectacular theme parks to visit!
Did you really think we’d talk of the glorious southeast without boasting about all the mouth-watering food it has to offer? If yes, you were mistaken because this region’s food and drink are so loved that you’ll find it exists in duplicates all over the country!
If you’re a barbeque lover, there’s no other place like the southeast with Tennessee’s Memphis-style BBQ and North Carolina’s vinegar-style BBQ drawing people from all over the country for a taste. The southeast is also famous for its fried chicken, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, pecan pie, and peach cobbler. Our mouths are already watering!
Best Places To Live In The Southeast
Now that we’ve seen the various areas in which the southeast shines, let’s also take a look at some of the best places to live in the southeast if you’re looking to settle down.
1. Orlando, Florida
You’ve definitely heard of the city of Orlando, especially if you’re someone who loves adventure. Orlando has some of the best theme parks in the country, and adding to that is its reputation for top-quality restaurants, bars, and clubs. This makes Orlando very ideal for young professionals to live in.
But it’s also a great place for families since the city’s population of 21.48 million is widely spread, giving it a suburban feel with all the urban facilities you need. This city in Florida also has a number of above-average public schools and has a low crime rate, which means that if you have kids, Orlando might be the best choice to move to!
Even housing in Orlando is not as expensive as you’d expect with the median home value at $278,584 according to Zillow. The median rent in the city for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,420 according to RentCafe. We believe this is affordable considering the glorious climate and all the facilities you’ll need, available at the drop of a hat.
2. Asheville, North Carolina
If you’re looking to live in a place that not only has great climatic conditions but also scenic beauty all around, Asheville in North Carolina should be added to your list. With the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Smoky Mountains surrounding this city, it’s no wonder that you’ll see miles of beauty all around.
Asheville only has a population of 91k which means that you’ll be living in a comparatively breathable city with a decent amount of people around you. It also means that Asheville is great for families and retirees because you also have an ample number of parks, good schools, and a moderate crime rate.
When it comes to housing, the median home price in Asheville stands at $342,201 according to Zillow, which is a little on the steeper side. Similarly, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment according to RentCafe stands at $1, 275.
3. Nashville, Tennessee
We don’t need to tell you about Nashville and its famous music scene that keeps the young and the old tapping their toes. Apart from the city’s happening entertainment and arts scene, Nashville also has other features that attract a large number of people to settle in the city annually.
Even though the city’s population now stands at a whopping 12 million, it still has some of the best industry opportunities for young professionals, especially for those in tech and healthcare. Add to this Nashville’s low unemployment rates and it’s one of the best places to be for young professionals.
If you look at housing, living in Nashville might be expensive for some with the median home price at $320,075 according to Zillow. The median rent in the city according to RentCafe stands at $1,370 for a one-bedroom apartment which is expensive for many.
What Is The Best Southern State To Move To?
Texas, North Carolina and Florida are some of the best southern states to move to because of multiple reasons. From increasing job opportunities in the last decade to a cost of living that isn’t as high if you find the right areas to live in, these states have much to offer!
Which State Is Considered The Heart Of The South?
Alabama is known as the ‘heart of the south’ for a very simple and obvious reason – it’s right at the heart of the southern states. You might not know this but it’s also fondly called “Heart of Dixie” where “Dixie” stands for Southern America.
Which State Has The Best Southern Food?
If you want to bask in southern food’s glory then you must visit the states of Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky and Alabama, all of which have some of the best southern cuisine for your palate.
The southeast comes with its own set of charms and if it’s ticking off all your boxes, you might want to consider moving there. After all, who doesn’t want endless sunshine, great food, and the chance to have an equally good professional and family life? You will also find things that aren’t as great in the southeast region, but that’s something you’ll find everywhere. We suggest you do your research and thoroughly look up the places on your list before you make a decision to move to the glorious southeast.