What's it like to live in Nashville, TN?


Stephanie Sargent

Profile written by local expert:

Stephanie Sargent

Nashville is famous for the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, aka the Mother Church of Country Music, and twangy honky-tonks, but music is just a byproduct of the larger city culture. Music City is home to a community fiercely driven by a desire to create.

Ask people what they do and it's likely they live in the area to help build something new like a health care information technology startup, an indie progressive rock band or a festival that celebrates all things tomatoes.

This innovation positively influences the lives of residents in nearly every respect. The metro area has a blossoming job market and an exploding entertainment scene fueling an appetite (and thirst) for all things locally sourced and artisanal in craft – everything from handmade marshmallows to small batch gin.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Nashville, Tennessee is ranked:

#15 in Best Places to Live

#8 in Best Places to Retire

7.1

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    8.3
  • Value
    7.1
  • Job Market
    7.1
  • Quality of Life
    6.1
  • Net Migration
    8.0

Read how we rank places

Nashville, TN Quick Stats

  • 1,830,410

    Metro Population

  • $47,110

    Average Annual Salary

  • 69.7° / 48.9°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.3

    Median Age

  • $248,883

    Median Home Price

  • 47.3 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 2.8%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $951

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 27.3 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Nashville, TN?

Nashville is relatively affordable compared to other major U.S. metro areas, though the housing market has become increasingly competitive. The area has seen an increase in its population, as well as a rise in home values. Since Tennessee is one of the few states that doesn't tax wages, residents are able to keep more of their income, though there is a 6% hall tax on investment interest and dividends.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.1 /10

How we calculate this.


Nashville offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2018


Nashville
$248,883

USA
$227,025

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Nashville, TN.

What's the weather like in Nashville, TN?

In general, the weather in Nashville is enjoyable, with more than 200 days of sunshine per year. With a relatively humid climate, summers in Nashville are hot and muggy, and at the tail end of September, temperatures cool as fall approaches. In the winter, Nashvillians see more ice than snow and expect only a handful of days that stay below freezing each year. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

39.9°F


Winter

58.8°F


Spring

77.9°F


Summer

60.5°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

4.2 in


Winter

5.5 in


Spring

4.1 in


Summer

4.3 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Nashville, TN?

If you live in Nashville, you most likely need a car. With a growing population, traffic has become more top of mind for residents, especially those driving from outlying areas for work.

Very few commuters use public transportation, which is bus service provided by the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. The region also has a small commuter rail service connecting Nashville and Lebanon, Tennessee, with six stops along the route.

Certain parts of the metro area, such as Hillsboro Village (a hub for university students), are more pedestrian-friendly than others, like Forest Hills and Belle Meade, that have fewer sidewalks.

The Nashville International Airport is located just off Interstate 40 and is a 15-minute drive from downtown. Though Nashville isn't serviced by Amtrak trains, the metro area is connected to other destinations by various intercity bus companies.

Commuting in Nashville, TN

Means of Transportation
Driving
91%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

27.3 minutes

0.9 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Nashville, TN?

The average age of a Nashville resident skews slightly younger than the state average. With two prestigious universities (Vanderbilt and Belmont) in the metro area, there is a steady stream of students who move to the region. Nashville's not just a college town, though. It's also filled with families who choose to take up residence in the surrounding communities such as Mt. Juliet, Brentwood and Hendersonville.

Nashville is part of the Bible Belt, with nearly 60% of residents claiming religious affiliation, and a large number of those who are religious associating with the Baptist denomination. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Nashville as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Nashville, TN?

Of course, music is a huge draw in Nashville. Located downtown, the Country Music Hall of Fame attracts more than 1 million visitors each year. Also nearby, many prolific musicians regularly take the stage at the Ryman Auditorium and the Ascend Amphitheater. In terms of nightlife, lower Broadway is honky-tonk central, with the Nashville sound pouring out of watering holes like Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Robert's Western World every day and night.

Food is also a really big deal. While known for traditional meat-and-three joints and hot chicken, Nashville has also become a creative incubator for many award-winning culinary white coats.

Residents also have a fair share of blue in their wardrobe as swarms of Tennessee Titans (NFL) and Nashville Predators (NHL) fans periodically take over the town on game days. The minor league baseball team Nashville Sounds also call the area home. 

There are a lot of activities for families too. Centennial Park, the Adventure Science Center and the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere are often packed with strollers on weekends.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Nashville, TN