If you are considering moving between Tennessee and Florida, a factor that may be the deciding key to figuring out where you would like to live is the cost of living in each state and which state would be the cheaper one in which to live.

When comparing the cost of living between Tennessee and Florida, it is cheaper to live in Tennessee.

It may not be such a simple answer, though. It may be cheaper to live in Tennessee, but by how much as compared to Florida? Read on to learn of any further advantages to living in Tennessee versus Florida.

Cost of Living—Tennessee Vs. Florida

Florida is a bigger state than Tennessee, and it also houses more people than Tennessee. If the average cost of living in the United States is 100, Florida has an overall score of 97.9. This is considerably more than Tennessee, which has an overall cost of living score of 88.7.

When comparing the numbers, this means Florida is nearly 10% more expensive to live in than Tennessee.

Restaurants, Groceries, Transportation (including gasoline), housing, and entertainment are all generally cheaper in Tennessee. The cost of internet, childcare expenses, and clothing are all generally cheaper in Florida.

Tennessee—Is it a Cheap State to Live?

As with any state, the cost of living is going to vary across the state. While 88.7 is the average cost of living, small towns and rural areas are going to be cheaper to live in than bigger, urban cities such as Nashville or Memphis, Tennessee. 

The following is a comparison of different costs within Tennessee:

Various Costs of Living

U.S. Average

TN Average

TN Urban City Average

TN Rural City Average




$172.18 + internet

$145.00 + internet

Transportation (Insurance, fuel)


$1,229 + fuel approx. $1.97 per gallon

Fuel approx. $2.86 per gallon

Fuel approx. $2.12 per gallon


Home Purchase—$334,000Home Monthly Rent (2 bedroom)—$1,124

Home Purchase—$170,800Home Monthly Rent (2 bedroom)—$854

Home Purchase—$136,000 – $326,327Home Monthly Rent (2 bedroom)—$1,800

Home Purchase—$171,000Home Monthly Rent (2 bedroom)—$898


Single Adult—$2,107.20 – $4,712.40 per yearFamily of 4—$7,188 – $16,441.20 per year

Single Adult—$2,990 per yearFamily of 4—$8,820 per year

Avg. $2,019.60 – $4,222.80

Single Adult—$3,038Family of 4—$8,773


Individual—$7,470 annuallyFamily—$21,342 annually

Approx. $6,232 annually per person

Approx. Individual—$6,125 annuallyFamily—$17,500.44 annually

Individual—$5,240.44 annuallyFamily of 4—$15,645.78 annually

Taxes (Sales Tax)



Approx. 9.25% depending on city/county

Approx. 9.25% depending on city/county




Approx. $53,354.28 depending on city

Approx. $40,979.04 depending on city

It is interesting seeing the price differences between the US average, the TN average, and the averages between urban and rural cities within Tennessee. Even more interesting is the way taxes are done in Tennessee.

Tennessee Taxes

A great thing about both Florida and Tennessee is neither state taxes your earned income, which means workers wages, retirement benefits, military, social security income, and pension income are all exempt from taxation. However, Tennessee on average has among the highest sales tax within the United States. There is also an inheritance tax for beneficiaries in Tennessee. 

As far as property tax, you must pay 25% of your home’s full fair market price, and people aged 65 or older who are on limited income are eligible for special programs to help with property tax.

Though there are taxes applicable to business, there are two tax credits available to businesses. However, these tax breaks do not help small businesses who generally do not qualify for these tax credits.

Most Popular Smaller Tennessee and Florida Cities

In 2021, there were 8 small Tennessee cities that ranked as the most popular cities in which people relocated. 

These cities included (in order of most-least popular):

  • Shelbyville
  • Crossville
  • Brentwood
  • Maryville
  • Spring Hill
  • Loudon
  • Columbia
  • Cookeville

Additionally in 2021, there were 23 small Florida cities that ranked as the most popular cities in which people relocated. 

Naples, Florida ranked number 1 in the top 100 list for most relocated small cities in 2021, while Shelbyville, Tennessee ranked number 10 in this list. The median household income in Naples is $107,013, and the median household income in Shelbyville is $41,716. What about the bigger cities within the two states?

Nashville, TN Vs. Orlando, FL—Which is Cheaper to Live?

When compared to the U.S. national average, both cities generally rank as being among the more expensive places to live within the country.

In general, Nashville, Tennessee is 2.7% cheaper to live in than Orlando, Florida.

However, this is not always so straightforward when comparing individual costs of living between the two cities. For example, housing costs are cheaper in Orlando, while healthcare expenses are cheaper in Nashville.

Tying it All Together

On average, it is cheaper to live in Tennessee than in Florida. However, there are various factors to consider when comparing the two states, including smaller, rural cities versus larger, urban cities.

The smaller city of Naples, Florida ranked number 1 in a list of the top 100 smaller cities in the U.S. people relocated to in 2021. So, even though Tennessee has generally a cheaper overall cost of living, Florida has appeal when considering relocating.