Affordability is just one of the reasons East Tennessee is a great place to live and advance your career. The table below shows that the cost of living for the Knoxville metro area, which includes Oak Ridge, is well below the national average and significantly lower than other major markets in the Southeast and near other research centers.

You can sort the table either by location or by cost of living index.

Location Cost of Living Index
National Average 100.0
Asheville, NC 101.1
Atlanta, GA 95.6
Birmingham, AL 90.8
Boise, ID 97.2
Boston, MA 132.5
Buffalo, NY 95.8
Chicago, IL 116.9
Cleveland, OH 101.0
Dallas, TX 91.9
Denver, CO 103.2
Greenville, SC 90.3
Knoxville, TN 89.4Knoxville is lower than the national average!
Lexington, KY 92.8
Los Alamos, NM 109.7
New York, NY 216.7
Raleigh, NC 98.2
Richmond, VA 104.5
San Francisco, CA 164.0
Seattle, WA 121.4
Tampa, FL 92.4
Tucson, AZ 96.5
Washington, DC 140.1

Source: 2010 U.S. Census


There is no state income tax in Tennessee. However, the Hall Income Tax defines certain dividends and interests which are taxed. The sales tax (deductible in Tennessee) is 9.25% in Knoxville (8.25% on food). Local sales tax in Oak Ridge is 9.75%.