16 Pros and Cons of Living in Chattanooga, TN

Updated On October 9, 2023
Chattanooga, TN

Moving to Chattanooga, TN, would be a great idea if you love the outdoors.

It is known for its excellent rock climbing, hiking, and off-road tours.

You will also fall in love with the sunny, inviting weather, supporting your desire to enjoy the outdoors.

But there is more to consider when considering moving to a new city or location.

Below is a look at the pros and cons and what you should consider when considering moving. read on to learn more about Chattanooga.

Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga, TN

Pros of Living in Chattanooga

There are several benefits of choosing to live in Chattanooga.

Below are a few highlighted benefits of making this move.

1. Affordable Housing Programs

Everyone wants to move and live in a place they can afford.

However, it is disheartening to struggle with accommodation or end up homeless because of the high expense of living and housing.

Fortunately, this is not something you have to worry about in Chattanooga.

The housing programs in Chattanooga are some of the best in the country.

The affordability of the houses makes the city attractive to middle and low-income families because they can manage.

These programs are made possible by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants, not forgetting the general city funds pumped into them.

2. There are No State Income Taxes

Taxes are high in most cities of the world.

This makes life quite unbearable, especially for low-income earners.

Fortunately, this is not something you have to worry about if you live in Chattanooga.

City residents do not have to pay individual state income taxes.

Therefore, no taxes are charged on wages earned through employment, interest, dividends, and investments.

With high sales taxes, getting relief on the state income taxes means families get to save more.

3. They have a Beautiful Fall Season

This is exciting news for outdoor lovers.

The city is beautiful, especially in Fall, when its beautiful blossoms.

But, of course, the city is also attractive in summer and spring; it is in fall that you get to experience the real scenic beauty of this city.

A lot of nature still exists today.

Enjoy boat rides, train rides, and simple bike rides.

Enjoy your picnic at state parks and mountains whenever you like it.

4. A City of Festivals

If you are the kind of person that enjoys socializing, then you will fall in love with this city.

Chattanooga has lots of festivals that take place to celebrate the culture and foods in the region.

Get to sample some great foods and beverages any time you attend these festivals.

Get to sample the great beer brands and local delicacies at these festivals.

You will discover that this small city has something to offer every time.

5. Natural Activities

It is one thing to have great scenic views and another to easily access them.

This city is one of the unique ones since residents can easily visit some of these beautiful places with a lot of ease.

It is a great challenge for nature lovers as it allows them to experiment, try different activities, and discover new places to visit.

6. It is close to Nashville and Knoxville

This is a piece of great news for music lovers.

You do not have to live in the cities if you cannot.

However, this does not mean you can not visit every weekend and attend concerts and musical getaways whenever you want.

The proximity to these areas affords you many options if you love exciting road trips.

You will have a lot to explore and engage in.

7. There are Several Higher Education Options

If you are keen on education as a determinant of where you live, this is the city.

There are lots of universities and colleges offering different courses.

The city is considered the second largest university city in the country and, therefore, a hub for education and knowledge-hungry individuals.

8. Great Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Chattanooga is generally decent for most people.

Of course, this does not mean there are no living standards disparities.

However, the general view is that most people can afford a decent lifestyle without too much strain.

Transportation, food, and utilities are more affordable in Chattanooga than in many other cities.

As a result, many people can live and raise families without worrying about their quality of life.

Cons of Living in Chattanooga

Just like there are many advantages of living in the city of Chattanooga, there are a few demerits you should consider before making your final decision.

1. The City has Income Disparities

The median household income in Chattanooga is way below what most other cities have.

It averages $40,000 a year, which is way below the national average.

Besides that, the poverty rate in the city is quite high, standing at 20.7%, which translates to at least 1 in 5 people living in poverty.

2. High Crime Rates

This is probably one of the most difficult things about the city of Chattanooga.

The high crime rate is alarming, with the City-Data crime index scoring it at 580, double the national crime rate.

Violent crimes and homicides have also increased since 2018, although the city property crime has decreased.

3. The Allergy Seasons May be Rough

Many may look at this disadvantage as small.

However, that is not the case for allergy sufferers, as this could mean living a poor quality of life and increasing their survival risks.

In addition, the city’s natural beauty can easily become a menace to people with allergies, especially during the flowering season.

4. Summers can be Hot and Humid

The discomfort that comes with hot and humid summers is something you need to consider when thinking about moving to this city.

What’s more, this state does not change much, so you have to either deal with it or rethink your choice of moving to the city.

5. Threats of Major Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a reality in Chattanooga.

For example, the city experiences an average of 18 tornadoes annually, with at least five being fatal.

You need to understand such realities even as you make your decisions.

The city also experiences heavy rain frequently.

This means that there is a risk of flooding.

Such information will help anyone interested in making a move prepare mentally and physically.

6. School Districts are Rated as Below Average

This one is for families with kids to consider.

While you can still find great schools in Chattanooga, few are considered top-notch.

What’s more, some of these good schools are private and therefore very expensive.

Most district schools have low teacher-to-student ratios and often post-average to below-average student progress.

7. Longer Commute Times

Chattanooga has become one of the cities that experiences a lot of traffic from visitors.

This uptick has caused increased traffic and consequently, increased commute time.

Unfortunately, this has also led to increased traffic-related deaths.

So even as you move to this city, note that the traffic has recently increased as more people move.

8. The City is Smaller and Suffers Lack of Anonymity

Most people who move here do so because the city promises a feeling of community due to its small size.

However, if you are into business and expansion, you may want to rethink your options.

Chattanooga is not a city for you unless your business does not depend on large crowds and traffic.

You may also want to reconsider if all you want is to be hidden from the large crowds of major cities.

You will not be as invisible as you want here.

Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga, TN

Pros and Cons of Living in Chattanooga, TN

Pros of Living in ChattanoogaCons of Living in Chattanooga
1. Affordable Housing Programs1. The City has Income Disparities
2. There are No State Income Taxes2. High Crime Rates
3. They have a Beautiful Fall Season3. The Allergy Seasons May be Rough
4. A City of Festivals4. Summers can be Hot and Humid
5. Natural Activities5. Threats of Major Natural Disasters
6. It is close to Nashville and Knoxville6. School Districts are Rated as Below Average
7. There are Several Higher Education Options7. Longer Commute Times
8. Great Cost of Living8. The City is Smaller and Suffers Lack of Anonymity

Chattanooga Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Chattanooga Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chattanooga a good place to live?


This is an excellent pick for those looking for a small-town vibe or a combination of big and small.

You will not struggle to get around and have many outdoor activities.

Despite its challenges, Chattanooga is a perfect destination for open-minded folks.

Do finances matter when you move to Chattanooga?

It is wise to always have your finances in order before moving to any other location in the world.

The same applies to Chattanooga.

Even though the standard of living is slightly lower than the national average, you need to have your finances set.

The first few months to years may take a lot of adjusting and settling in.

This will certainly require finances, and therefore it is good to have a check on this.

However, the good thing is that, with decent savings and a good job, most people can settle fast enough to enjoy the new city.

Should I own a car in Chattanooga?

It is advisable to have your car due to the traffic and upsurge of people in the city.

This has affected transportation, and you may be stuck if you rely on public transport.

It is, therefore, better to have your means of transport to be safe.

Is it true that Chattanooga has a low cost of living?


If you are concerned about living averagely and not feeling the pressure that is experienced in large cities, then Chattanooga is a great place to move to.

Most families that have decent earnings can get by with a lot of ease.

Why should I move to Chattanooga?

Just like it happens in many cities around the world, there are different reasons people move.

Those moving to Chattanooga do so for varied reasons, including the beautiful natural scenery and environment, a sense of community because of the slightly smaller population, good living standards, housing, and higher education gains.

1 Comment on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Chattanooga, TN

  1. Living in Chattanooga, TN is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy affordable housing and no state income taxes, but it comes with drawbacks such as low median household income, high crime rates, and rough allergy seasons.

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