[COMPARISON] Cost of Living In Tennessee vs South Carolina

When considering a move to the southern states, comparing the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina is crucial for making an informed decision. Both states have their own ups and downs, yet comprehending the distinctions between them can help you pick which one is most suitable for your requirements.

We’ll explore the various factors that impact living costs in both Tennessee and South Carolina. We’ll compare median home prices, income property investment opportunities, average monthly rent rates for apartments and homes, as well as tax structures such as property taxes, sales taxes, and state income tax rates.

Furthermore, we’ll analyze monthly bills including utilities, transportation, healthcare, and groceries as a way to compare the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina.

We will also analyze important lifestyle considerations, such as  public school systems, crime, climate, and recreational activities available when moving from South Carolina to Tennessee.  

So whether are contemplating, or just curious about how each state stacks up against each other, stay tuned for informative insights that could ultimately shape your future!

Table of Contents:

Housing Market in Tennessee vs South Carolina

The housing market in both Tennessee and South Carolina varies greatly, with Tennessee offering more affordable options and a stable economy, while South Carolina’s cost of living sits between cheaper states like Alabama or Mississippi and more expensive ones such as Georgia and North Carolina.

Median Home Prices in Tennessee compared to South Carolina

The median home price is an important factor when comparing the two states’ housing markets. As of 2023, the median home price in Tennessee was around $259,000, while South Carolina had a slightly higher median at approximately $267,000. This difference may not seem significant, but it can impact your overall budget when purchasing a new property.

Income Property Investment Opportunities

Beyond just looking at primary residences, income properties are another aspect worth exploring for potential homeowners interested in investing their money wisely. Both states offer various opportunities for rental properties or vacation homes that can generate passive income streams over time. For instance, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has become increasingly popular due to its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while coastal areas like Myrtle Beach attract tourists year-round in South Carolina.

When comparing the housing market between Tennessee and South Carolina, it’s crucial to weigh factors such as median home prices, income property opportunities, and overall living costs. By analyzing these aspects, potential homeowners can make an informed decision about which state best suits their needs and preferences for a new life.

Renting Rates Comparison

This analysis will provide insight into which state offers better affordability when it comes to rental properties. Let’s dive into the average monthly rent for apartments and home rental rates in Tennessee vs South Carolina.

Average Monthly Rent for Apartments in Tennessee vs South Carolina

In general, Tennessee has lower apartment rents compared to South Carolina. The average rent for an apartment in Tennessee is around $1,133 per month, while the same size unit costs approximately $1,219 per month in South Carolina. Nevertheless, bear in mind that these figures can differ significantly depending on features such as location and amenities provided by each residence.

Home Rental Rates Comparison

The difference between home rental rates is also significant when comparing the two southern states. According to data from Zillow Research, the median rent price for single-family homes across all neighborhoods within Tennessee stands at about $1,500 per month. Meanwhile, renters can expect a slightly higher rate of roughly $1,600 per month for similar properties located throughout South Carolina.

This comparison highlights that relocating from South Carolina to Tennessee could potentially save you money on housing expenses if you plan on renting rather than purchasing a property outright. Additionally, Tennessee’s more affordable living costs make it an attractive option not only because of its beautiful landscapes but also due to the financial benefits it can offer to potential residents. If you’re seeking an affordable alternative that won’t compromise your lifestyle, Tennessee could be the ideal destination for relocating.

Tax Rates Analysis

When considering a move to Tennessee, it’s essential to examine the tax structures within each state. By comparing income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes between Tennessee and South Carolina, you can gain insight into which location may be more financially beneficial for your situation.

Property Tax Rate Comparison Between TN & SC

Tennessee boasts relatively low property tax rates compared to South Carolina. According to Tax-Rates.org, the average property tax rate in Tennessee is 0.64%, while South Carolina has an average rate of 0.57%. However, when factoring in home values, homeowners in Tennessee often pay less overall due to lower median home prices.

Sales Tax Rate Differences

The sales tax rates also differ significantly between these two states. While both have statewide sales taxes (7% in Tennessee and 6% in South Carolina), local municipalities may impose additional levies that affect the total amount paid by consumers at checkout. In general, though, Tennesseans tend to experience higher combined sales tax rates than their neighbors across the border.

Income Taxation Structure

In terms of income taxation structure differences between these southern states: while South Carolina features a graduated-rate system where top earners can be taxed up to 7%, Tennessee does not levy any personal state income tax on wages or salaries (Note: Tennessee does tax interest and dividend income at a flat rate of 1%, but this is set to be completely phased out by January 2023). This can make Tennessee an attractive option for those seeking to maximize their take-home pay. For more information on state taxation, visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue and South Carolina Department of Revenue websites.

In summary, understanding the various tax rates in both Tennessee and South Carolina will help you make a well-informed decision when considering relocation. By comparing property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxation structures between these states, you can determine which location may provide greater financial benefits for your specific situation.

Cost of Living in Tennessee vs South Carolina

If you’re a homeowner looking to move to Tennessee, it’s essential to consider the cost of living in comparison to other states. In this article, we’ll compare the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina to help you make an informed decision.

Monthly Bills Comparison

When relocating, it’s crucial to analyze and compare the monthly bills you’ll encounter in both states. This will help you determine if moving from South Carolina is financially beneficial for your household.

Utilities Cost Comparison

Comparing the cost of utilities such as electricity and water between states is important when making an informed decision about moving. According to Choose Energy, the average residential electricity rate in Tennessee is slightly lower than that of South Carolina. However, it’s crucial to consider other factors like seasonal usage patterns and energy efficiency measures when comparing utility costs.

Transportation Expense Analysis

In addition to housing expenses, transportation costs are a significant factor affecting living costs. Gasoline prices tend to be more affordable in Tennessee compared to South Carolina (AAA State Gas Price Averages). Additionally, if public transportation is important for your lifestyle or work commute, research available options in each state before making a decision.

Healthcare Expenditure Differences

A critical aspect of living expenses involves healthcare costs such as insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenditures. The Kaiser Family Foundation data on health spending per capita suggests that healthcare expenditure may be slightly higher in South Carolina compared to Tennessee; however, individual experiences may differ based on specific needs and coverage plans.

Grocery Store Price Variations

Food costs can also impact the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, grocery prices in Tennessee are generally lower than those in South Carolina, making it more affordable for day-to-day shopping needs.

Taking these factors into account will help you determine if relocating from South Carolina to Tennessee is a financially viable option for your household. Tennessee has many pros, including lower home prices, no state income tax, and a central location in the southern states, making it an attractive option for those looking to move.

Quality of Life Factors

 In this section, we will discuss education opportunities provided by public school systems, crime rates affecting safety reputation, climate conditions throughout the year, and accessibility towards recreational activities.

Public School System Comparison

Tennessee is known for its strong commitment to education with many highly-rated public schools across the state. According to Niche, some top-performing districts include Williamson County Schools and Germantown Municipal School District. Comparing these educational options with those in South Carolina can help you make an informed decision about relocating.

Crime Rate Analysis in Tennessee and South Carolina

Prioritizing safety when making a decision about relocating is essential. While both states have their share of safe communities and higher-crime areas, NeighborhoodScout’s data suggests that Tennessee has slightly lower property crime rates than South Carolina but comparable violent crime rates. Research specific neighborhoods within each state for more accurate information on local safety levels.

Climate Conditions: Mild Weather vs Extreme Temperatures

Tennessee boasts a mild climate with four distinct seasons, making it an attractive option for those who enjoy outdoor activities year-round. In contrast, South Carolina experiences hotter summers and milder winters. Depending on your personal preferences and tolerance for temperature extremes, Tennessee’s climate may be more appealing.

Recreational Activities Availability

The Volunteer State offers a wide range of recreational opportunities to suit various interests. From the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to vibrant music scenes in Nashville and Memphis, there is no shortage of entertainment options in Tennessee. Compare these offerings with what you currently enjoy in South Carolina to determine if relocating would enhance your quality of life.

Key Takeaway: 

Comparing the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina involves evaluating various quality of life aspects such as education opportunities, crime rates, climate conditions, and recreational activities availability. While both states have their unique advantages and disadvantages, researching specific neighborhoods within each state can help make an informed decision about relocating.

Moving from South Carolina to Tennessee

There are several reasons why someone might choose to move from South Carolina to Tennessee, such as better job opportunities, lower cost of living or a change in lifestyle preferences. Additionally, it’s important to consider the distance between states and any laws that may differ when relocating.

Tennessee has seen significant growth in various industries like healthcare, automotive manufacturing, and technology. The state is home to major companies like FedEx, Nissan North America, and HCA Healthcare. This diverse economy offers a wide range of job opportunities for those looking for career advancement or new challenges.

The Volunteer State boasts an abundance of natural beauty with its stunning landscapes including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and numerous lakes perfect for water sports enthusiasts. Tennessee is renowned for its vibrant music hub, Nashville – dubbed Music City USA – which makes it a perfect spot for those who love live performances.

The distance between South Carolina and Tennessee varies depending on your starting point but generally ranges from 200-400 miles apart. For example, Charleston (SC) is approximately 390 miles away from Knoxville (TN). While this can be considered a manageable drive during relocation efforts, it’s essential to plan accordingly when moving household items over long distances.

When relocating across state lines, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with differing laws and regulations. For instance, Tennessee has no state income tax on wages while South Carolina does. Additionally, vehicle registration requirements may vary between the two states, so it’s important to research Tennessee’s DMV guidelines before making your move.

Moving from South Carolina to Tennessee can offer numerous benefits such as lower living costs, diverse job opportunities, and an exciting lifestyle change. By considering these factors and preparing for the transition, you’ll be well-equipped for a successful relocation experience.

FAQs in Relation to Cost of Living in Tennessee vs South Carolina

What is the cost of living in Nashville vs Greenville SC?

The cost of living in Nashville, Tennessee is generally higher than in Greenville, South Carolina. While both cities have their own unique attractions and amenities, you can expect to pay more for housing, transportation, and entertainment in Nashville. However, some expenses like groceries and healthcare may be similar between the two locations.

Which state is cheaper to live in North Carolina or Tennessee?

Tennessee tends to be a slightly cheaper place to live compared to North Carolina. This difference can primarily be attributed to lower property taxes and no state income tax in Tennessee. However, specific costs will vary depending on your chosen city within each state.

What are the pros and cons of living in SC?


  • Affordable housing
  • Mild climate with warm summers
  • Diverse recreational activities (beaches & mountains)
  • Friendly communities


  • Potentially higher taxes compared to neighboring states.
  • Limited public transportation options outside major cities.
  • Slightly higher crime rates than national average (varies by location).
  • Hurricane risks along coastal areas.


After analyzing the cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina, it is clear that there are several differences between the two states. While Tennessee has a slightly higher median home price and property tax rate, it also offers more income property investment opportunities and lower monthly bills for utilities, transportation, healthcare, and groceries. Additionally, Tennessee has a milder climate compared to South Carolina’s extreme temperatures.

If you’re considering moving from South Carolina to Tennessee or vice versa, it’s important to weigh these factors along with lifestyle preferences and job market differences before making your decision. Whether you prefer the beach or the mountains, both states offer unique recreational activities for residents, and the comparison of cost of living in Tennessee vs South Carolina should help you decide which one is a better fit for your family!