Tennesse: A Good Idea?
December 1, 2005 7:50 PM   Subscribe

How's the economy in Tennessee?

A married Russian couple I am friends with are considering moving there, and they are wondering how the cost of living is, how the housing market is, and how healthy the construction industry/business in that state is. (They aren't computer literate, so they can't just Google all of this on their own; I'm helping them accumulate some fast facts.)
posted by iced_borsch to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
I used to live there until a little bit more than a year ago.
Cost of living: very low.
Income tax: there is none.
Job market: super-healthy.

Really, Tennessee is fantastic.
posted by evariste at 8:23 PM on December 1, 2005

Job market healthy: Nashville more so. Memphis less so. Just FYI.
posted by evariste at 8:23 PM on December 1, 2005

Best answer: Construction is huge, by the way. I guess that's their profession of choice? Something like a million Yankees moved into TN in the last decade, because of the favorable business/investment climate. This migration continues. A lot of the shitty neighborhoods are experiencing a renaissance/yuppy gentrification, especially East Nashville. The food is cheap, the rents are cheap, the housing is cheap, the jobs are plentiful, everything is really good. However, the state has recently had to dramatically cut Tenncare and close it to new enrollments; Tenncare is the state medical insurance program. It was a lot more generous than most and now they can't afford it any more. However, most Tennesseans have private health insurance so it's not a huge issue.
posted by evariste at 8:26 PM on December 1, 2005

American Enterpise magazine had an issue devoted entirely to Nashville being a boomtown in the past few years. Tennessee is doing really well.

I'll shut up now.
posted by evariste at 8:28 PM on December 1, 2005

It really depends on which part.

As stated, Nash-vegas is booming. Memphis, not so much. Chatta-boogie is having some good times, but for how long? Knoxville is doing pretty decently right now.

Cost of living is fairly low. Nashville has a wide variety of price ranges in the various parts of town and suburbs. You can go from super cheap and fairly rural near Smyrna or Murfreesboro to posh and snooty "upscale" McMansions in Franklin and Brentwood. Nashville proper has a burgeoning immigrant population, so it wouldn't be too hard for your friends to fit in.

We can all thank our dear friend Dr. Frist and his family for the TennCare debacle.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:05 AM on December 2, 2005

Tennessee on the whole is fabulous but as Pollomacho stated above, economic prospects vary widely from area to area. I would recommend Nashville for your friends - very strong economy, low cost of living, and the most immigrant-friendly area in the state.
posted by peppermint22 at 8:41 AM on December 2, 2005

I live in Chattanooga currently, but I'm looking to move to Nashville. It's really booming, where as Chattanooga's job market for techs and over-all creative people is nil...and the schools suck.....badly. The cost of living isnt' bad and they can get a good place for $500 a mo. Knoxville sucks, as many many people have told me, so I'd avoid that place.

I would also suggest to your friends, to look at Georgia and NW Georgia. Nice area and the schools are much better.....the taxes aren't much and they're a little more "modern" in their approach than TN.
posted by mkelley at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2005

Tell your friends to watch their mouths, if they move anywhere near Spring Hill.
posted by rob511 at 8:24 PM on December 2, 2005

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