KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee State Data Center, which is part of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research within the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, released new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday.
The new data showed Tennessee has the 10th lowest costs in the nation based on the cost of goods, rent, utilities and other services. It also detailed the spending power in Tennessee.
The director of the Boyd Center, Don Bruce, helped break down the data.
Bruce shared that the new data showed Tennessee prices are roughly 9% cheaper than the U.S. average in 2021. He also stated that utilities are the 4th lowest in the nation, coming in at almost 25% cheaper than the U.S. average.
He added that while the data shows Tennessee is cheaper than the U.S. average, the cheapest prices can be found in nearby southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, and Arkansas.
On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive state was Hawaii, at 13.2% over the national average. The data showed that higher prices were generally in states along the west coast and the northeast.
Bruce also spoke about rents and mortgages in Tennessee, saying the data showed the state’s average rent in Tennessee is still almost 25% cheaper than the U.S. as a whole.
He ended by explaining just how far the dollar goes in Tennessee compared to the rest of the U.S. Bruce states that according to the new data, the Tennessee median income is just under $60,000, which is about 14% under the U.S. average income of $70,000. However, he said when looking at “purchasing power” Tennessee dollars go a little further given the lower cost of living.
He said in the grand scheme of things, Tennessee’s price-adjusted median household income rose to almost $66K, which is only about $4k under the national average. The full report can be viewed here.