Welcome to Tennessee

Your life in the Volunteer State begins


Welcome to Tennessee

It’s hard to talk about Tennessee without mentioning music, as the state is home to the birth of country music, and the foundations of rock and roll, blues, and jazz. Stretching from the Midwest to the southeast, Tennessee is a crossroads of American culture that offers everything from small-town charm to big city excitement.

Tennessee is home to gorgeous landscapes, cuisine that blends the south with the heartland, two large metropolitan areas that retain a small-town way of living, and a history of technological innovation that continues to drive its economy today. Nicknamed “The Volunteer State” as it saw more of its citizens enlist for the War of 1812 than any other state, Tennessee is as American as it gets.

From its famed music roots of the past and status as a current hotbed of popular music across several genres today, to its national parks, many colleges, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and sweet tea, Tennessee is a land filled with equal parts southern hospitality and Midwestern work ethic. It makes sense, then, that many are moving to this state, including businesses and accompanying opportunities.

Tennessee Self-Storage Facts

A wave of self-storage development has swept across the country over the last several years, including in major metro areas in Tennessee. Nashville, in fact, has been one of the most active markets for self-storage construction, as developers raced to meet the unmet demand created by the growing population. Most storage rentals are part of a relocation in or out of a home. To meet the demand, self-storage developers are seizing the opportunity to build new facilities, or convert shuttered retail stores into storage spaces. The boom in self-storage has proven to be good news for consumers–the increase in available storage units has led to lower rates and more promotions.

Below is an overview of the current state of the Tennessee self-storage market:

Below are some statistics that provide an overview of the self-storage industry in Tennessee:


Tennessee is home to about 1,232 self-storage facilities.


Tennessee self-storage facilities cover 36,948,539 square feet of storage space.


Tennessee storage facilities offer 5.68 square feet of storage per person, which is close to the national average of 5.4 square feet per person.

Reasons to Move to Tennessee

If you're thinking about making the move, but aren't sure if Tennessee is the right place for you, consider the following:


Music is everywhere. The affinity between Tennessee and music is well-known, with over 15 million visitors flocking to Nashville and its country music scene each year. But, Tennessee has more to offer than country. Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s mansion Graceland, which serves as a museum to the King of Rock and Roll, and Beale Street, the eye of the storm for American blues. And Nashville is now a national center for all genres, from bluegrass to hip hop and beyond.


Tennessee cuisine will keep you cozy. The state is home to a biscuit festival — and you know any state that loves biscuits that much has some great food to accompany. From traditional country-style cooking such as fried chicken and stellar Memphis-style barbecue to unique modern cooking emanating from destination restaurants across the state, Tennessee is a foodie’s playground.


Tourist attractions galore. Nashville has Music City and the nearby Grand Ole’ Opry (the longest continuously running live radio program), but it also has a full-size replica of the Parthenon. And while many visit Memphis to revel in all things Elvis, a visit to the city isn’t complete without seeing the mighty Mississippi River slowly rolling along the city skyline.


Smoky Mountains National Park. The country’s most visited natural park, the Smoky Mountains straddle the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. With 522,419 acres of protected land, the park is vast and beautiful. It received its name from the blue hazy smoke-like fog that often lingers on the mountain peaks. Gatlinburg in the eastern part of the state serves as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Tennessee caves. On the flip side of mountain exploration, the state is home to numerous caverns and caves, offering chances to explore what lies beneath the surface.


The Lost Sea of Tennessee. One of these caves includes the country’s largest underground lake, The Lost Sea. Located between Sweetwater and Madisonville, the underwater lake features a waterfall, abundant crystal clusters, and explorable caves. Tour boats even operate in the subterranean depths.


Reelfoot Lake State Park. Topside, and in the northwest corner of the state, is a 15,000-acre lake that is only 200 years old. Reelfoot Lake sprung into existence after a series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 — some of the most violent seismic activity ever witnessed in the United States. Today, it remains a flooded forest, with adapted plant life, and a large population of American bald eagles.


Skiing in the South. Back in Gatlinburg, visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains can also experience skiing, a relatively rare pastime in this part of the country. Ober Gatlinburg, the area’s ski resort, is a 5-acre artificial ski surface that permits skiing typically from mid-December to mid-March, comparable to the skiing seasons in the Northeast United States.


Tennessee is college football country. With several large public and private universities, such as the University of Tennessee, University of Memphis, and Vanderbilt University, sports fans have many opportunities to enjoy college football.


Tennessee is a growing sports center. Besides traditionally popular college athletics, Tennessee is home to the Memphis Grizzlies (basketball), Nashville Predators (hockey) and Tennessee Titans (football).

Moving to Tennessee

Thanks in great part to the growing popularity of Nashville as a metropolitan center for entertainment, culture, business, and education, Tennessee has seen consistent population growth. It is only the 36th largest state by area, however, it is the 16th most populated with an estimated 6.8 million residents. On average, there are roughly 153 people per square mile in the Volunteer State. The population figure is up from 6.3 million in 2010, making Tennessee the state with the 23rd highest growth rate in the country. It’s projected that this number will reach 7 million by 2020, and approach 7.5 million by 2025.

Why the steady growth in Tennessee? Much of the population growth in the state is evident in the middle of the state, including smaller cities of Murfreesboro, Clarksville, and the large metropolitan statistical area of Nashville-Davidson. You might call it the “Nashville Effect” as the area is accustomed to steady growth due to its popularity as a cosmopolitan city and for its burgeoning tech industry.

Tennessee Economic Outlook

Tennessee’s gross domestic product (GDP) is roughly $287 billion, making it the 19th largest state economy in the nation. This figure represents a huge jump over the past decade, with a 43% increase. Its growth is the seventh fastest in the nation. Tennessee employment numbers are on the rise, too, with its payroll growth ranking 13th in the country.

Studies point to a low overall tax rate as a major reason for the growth. Tennessee has no personal state income tax, and is in the process of phasing out inheritance taxes. The state does have a relatively high sales tax, ranked as the ninth highest in the country, but its property tax rates are the fifth-lowest.

Some of the biggest economic activity comes from Nashville’s health care companies, with an estimated $84 billion each year in global revenue. Over 50 years of health care innovation and growth, Nashville has become not only a music epicenter, but it is also a health-tech hotbed.

Who are Tennessee's Largest Employers?

Eastman Chemical
Southern Tennessee Medical Center
Nissan North America
Lockheed Martin Energy Research
Federal Express Corp.
McKee Foods Corp.

Places to live in Tennessee

Tennessee is a medium-sized state, that covers a total area of about 42,000 square miles. While there is a lot of economic activity in the central area of the state, there is opportunity throughout the state for everything from relaxed living to the hustle and bustle of city life.

Here’s a quick look at the state’s three largest cities:


Memphis boasts a population of 655,000 and compared to other cities in the state, this makes it just barely the largest. The average salary in the city is $59,000, which is roughly on par with the national average. The biggest employers in Memphis include FedEx and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Cost of living
17 percent lower than the national average.
Median home price
Average rent
Average apartment size
909 square feet.


While Music City is just below Memphis in population at 654,000 residents, the greater Nashville-Davidson area has a much larger population, approaching 2 million. Where do all of these residents work? Most likely not in the music industry, although many pursue this dream. The largest employment areas are in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and professional, scientific and technical services. The area boasts a median household income of $63,939 and a median property value of $242,900.

Cost of living
3 percent higher than the national average
Median home price
Average rent
Average apartment size
889 square feet.


The next largest city in Tennessee is Knoxville, located in the eastern portion of the state, with 189,000 residents. The average salary in Knoxville is $56,000, which is on par with the rest of the state. Wage trends in Knoxville are slightly on the rise. Big employers in Knoxville include the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Cost of living
18 percent lower than the national average.
Median home price
Average rent
Average apartment size
969 square foot apartment in Knoxville.

Moving to Tennessee Resources