California is a unique state. It’s beautiful and offers up a lot to its residents. But there’s one caveat – it’s a pricey place to live. Is that why we see so many Californians moving to Tennessee?

That high price tag is why Californians are moving to Tennessee. Residents from the golden state move to the volunteer state because of: the high cost of living, supply and demand, geography, business, and to enjoy good entertainment and food. 

California is one of the most popular states people leave. This article will cover some reasons why Californians tend to leave Tennessee and whether or not it’s worth it to stay there. 

5 Reasons Californians are Moving to Tennessee

Okay, so we know California is popular. But it’s also popular to leave. Tennessee is becoming more popular to move to, and the stay time is longer, too. But here are some reasons why people leave California:

  • Cost of living
  • Supply and demand
  • Geographic location
  • Business expenses
  • Entertainment/food

Cost of Living

The cost of living in California is outrageously high. Many residents that throw in the towel do so because really, what’s the point in paying more for DMV fees? Why pay almost $2.00 more a gallon? Or why pay triple the cost for a home half the size? These things add up. 

The thing is: it’s comparatively inexpensive to live in Tennessee. The per capita property tax in Tennessee is 876 compared to California’s whopping 1,608. Then there are higher state income tax rates, personal property taxes, and housing costs like power and gas. Even car fees are higher in California from purchase, tag registration, and fuel. 

Homes in California generally cost more and are much smaller. Did you know that it costs at least $1,000 a month just to rent a bedroom out of someone’s one-story home in some parts of California?  Meanwhile, in Tennessee, you’d get a 2 to 3 bedroom home all to yourself for $1,000 a month. So it’s no wonder people are moving out of California to live in Tennessee.

Supply and Demand

Often, the cost of living in California is higher because of supply and demand issues. The opposite is true in Tennessee

Supply chain issues can apply to most anything. Gas and wood is harder to source in California. This can be a direct result of forest fires, lack of production, or even too high of a cost to make it worth the purchase.

Without proper sourcing for wood products, building a home is more expensive and time-consuming. Because it can be costly to import wood from other states and it can take longer, waiting for wood can delay construction. 

People are moving to Tennessee because they can build their dream home for less time and money. They get more space for less, and their wait time is months, if not years, sooner.

Geographic Location

Californians are used to amazing topography. They have had access to the beach, to the mountains, and to the desert. Of course, they also have plenty of entertainment. Tennessee may be landlocked, but it’s home to the Great Smoky Mountains. To California natives, these mountains can have a semblance of home. There is nothing quite like working from a forest.

Business Expenses

Starting up your own business is now more popular than ever. Starting a business may seem like a trendy thing, but it’s necessary for survival to many Americans. 

Business taxes in California are through the roof. There are so many regulations that it’s hard to keep up with. Pair that with projects not being approved or taking months to get approved, it can seem impossible to start a business from the ground up in California.  

In Tennessee, residents have low business taxes. It’s why big businesses like FedEx, Dollar General, and Cracker Barrel headquarter in Tennessee. But even individuals can benefit from low business taxes, fewer regulations, and project approval (if it’s even needed).

This makes Tennessee a smart choice for Californians interested in their startup or relocating for less expenses per year. 


Since we’re skipping politics, it’s worth noting that Californians are used to being entertained and having access to various delicacies. California comes hot with ethnic food, seafood, and average American fast food. 

Tennessee offers up some of the best food in the States. Its home-style southern cooking ranges from chicken to BBQ to fusion. While it’s not on the coast, seafood is an easy choice. 

The state of Tennessee also doesn’t disappoint its residents with its wonderful selection of music. If you didn’t like country before, you’d probably develop a taste for it after living in Tennessee. And yes, Californians can like country music, too.


As you can see, Tennessee is a great spot to hop over to if you’ve been living in California. The low cost of living and good sourcing on supplies is why many Californians are moving to Tennessee. It’s a great place to build your dream home. Californians are still able to enjoy delicious food and the great outdoors.