Knoxville cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexKnoxvilleTennesseeNational
Cost of living index8491100
IndexKnoxvilleTennesseeNational
Goods & Services index9398100
Groceries index8492100
Health care index8989100
Housing index7180100
Transportation index9093100
Utilities index9091100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the Knoxville, TN cost of living index. Compared to other cities in Tennessee and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Knoxville, TN is 84, which is 7% lower than the Tennessee average and 16% lower than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in Knoxville, TN are 6% lower than the average for Tennessee and 7% lower than the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Knoxville is 7% lower than the Tennessee average.
  • The cost of living in Knoxville is 16% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Knoxville is 29% lower than the national average.
  • Tennessee general sales tax is 37% higher than the national average.
  • Tennessee state income tax is 100% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

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Health care index
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Use the salary calculator to compare your current income in Knoxville, TN to any other city in the country. The calculator will tell you how much income you would need to make in a particular city to live at the same level based on the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the city you are looking to move to is higher than that of Knoxville, TN, then you would need to earn a higher salary in order to enjoy the same standard of living. To use the Knoxville, TN salary calculator, enter the name of the new city, then move the slider to your current salary level. The salary calculator will do the rest and let you know if your salary would need to increase or decrease for the new city. You will also see a complete overview of the cost of living.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$50,118$4,177$1,169$1,504
Renters$23,559$1,963$550$707
A good way to judge both the affordability of the housing and the cost of living is by simply calculating the maximum that a person should spend on housing in Knoxville, TN, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The safest way to live in the city is to avoid spending more than 28 percent of the gross income that one earns on costs that pertain to housing and no more than 36 percent on all expenses and debts. Knoxville, TN has a median income of about $50,118 for people who own homes. Based on that number, a person should spend a maximum of $1,169 on expenses related to housing. Renters have a slightly different median income, which is $23,559. Based on this average, renters should spend no more than $550 on all of their rental costs if they want to maintain a non-impoverished standard of living.

Tennessee Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Tennessee7%9.75%

Tennessee Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Tennessee0%0%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Knoxville, TN you will want to make sure you consider both the Tennessee sales tax and the Tennessee income tax rates. Sales tax come in the form of taxes levied on both services and goods that are sold. The sales tax rates are different state to state and range from zero sales tax to higher than 7%. The sales tax in Tennessee is 7%, with the highest surtax being 9.75%. Tax that is on income by the government is income tax. Different states have different income tax rates and these rates can be higher or lower dependent on the corresponding tax bracket. The state income tax rates are different state to state and range from no income tax to more than 9% income tax. The income tax rates in Tennessee have a range from 0% to 0%.

Goods & Services

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
Haircut $13.20$14.599.5%
Beauty Salon $34.00$34.682.0%
Toothpaste $1.49$2.4739.8%
Shampoo $0.81$1.0220.7%
Movie $9.85$9.870.2%
Bowling $4.06$4.397.6%

Groceries

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.92$4.4812.4%
Fried Chicken $0.98$1.4633.1%
Milk $2.33$2.361.1%
Potatoes $2.78$3.069.2%
Pizza $10.24$9.2410.8%
Beer $8.46$8.632.0%

Health Care

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $84.80$99.7815.0%
Doctor $93.00$105.0311.5%
Dentist $75.00$88.7015.4%
Ibuprofen $7.98$9.4115.2%
Lipitor $288.60$298.503.3%

Housing

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
Home Price $116,500.00$175,700.0033.7%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $877.66$1,081.0318.8%
Apartment Rent $745.00$920.0019.0%

Transportation

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.99$2.094.8%
Tire Balancing $33.96$45.2925.0%

Utilities

ItemKnoxvilleNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$154.26$170.809.7%
Phone $25.37$28.2610.2%
Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

Nearby cities with low cost of living

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Mascot, TN2,59281-19%
Plainview, TN2,06182-18%
Blaine, TN1,78682-18%
Eagleton Village, TN3,96983-17%
Alcoa, TN8,55685-15%
Knoxville, TN181,75984-16%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Newport News, VA181,3621022%
Grand Prairie, TX181,13599-1%
Worcester, MA182,51111818%
Brownsville, TX179,83474-26%
Spring Valley, NV183,9371055%
Knoxville, TN181,75984-16%
Source: The Knoxville, TN cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.