Moving from Chicago to Nashville – A Complete Guide

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Moving from Chicago to Nashville

Everything you need to know about moving to Nashville, Tennessee

You have chosen to move from the Windy City to the center of Country Music in the United States – Nashville, Tennessee. Living in Nashville is a wonderfully unique experience for residents and tourists alike. With its rich artistic and musical heritage and culture, there is an air of constant excitement. But even aside from all the excitement and music, if you are looking to find a job and a home in Nashville, this city offers many pleasant surprises. Planning a move to Nashville, especially from chilly Chicago, will be quite a change for you. You will need some time to get used to the new environment. So, keep the following bits of important information in mind, and you will be set in your preparation.


Benefits of Moving to Nashville

Nashville has a lot of passion to offer, whether it is artistic, musical, or just the manner in which people live their lives here. Moving to Nashville from Chicago has many benefits. Here are some of these benefits.

Music Scene: Known as the capital of Country Music, Nashville is the perfect place to live for lovers of this American genre. There are many festivals and musical events hosted in Nashville all year round, so there will be a lot to see and experience once you move here. With the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Grand Ole Opry, and the 4-day CMA Music Festival, there is music in the air, quite literally, because you will be able to hear music playing throughout the city. Apart from Country Music, the gospel is another genre with a long-standing tradition in Nashville. There is also the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for lovers of Classical music. And finally, there are many music labels and production studios hailing from Nashville that have been known to produce some of the greatest American artists.

Low unemployment: In 2020, Nashville ranked as the second-largest job market in the United States. There are so many employment opportunities here that even if you landed up in Nashville without a job application, likely, you would still find work. Tourism is one of the big industries, but other industries, too, offer employment, such as tech companies like Amazon. As a result, the rate of unemployment in Nashville is 2.6%.

Also Read: Job Relocation Guide

Food and Drink: The culinary excellence of Southern cuisine is proudly and effectively highlighted in the food in Nashville. There is no dearth of bars, taverns, and restaurants with plenty of variety to choose from and enjoy. One of the most famous Southern dishes that people flock to Nashville for is the Hot Chicken, a local favorite. Hot Chicken is Nashville’s response to fried chicken, with its signature hit of cayenne pepper. And if you need something to wash all that decadent chicken with, you can choose from a host of new breweries that keep popping up around town.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Nashville is 3% lower than the national average. The cost of housing is 9% lower, while utilities are 10% lower. This makes it a great advantage to living here since your income need not be spent entirely on housing and living costs. You will likely make more than enough savings to have an active personal and social life. And with so many events, festivals and sights, it’s a good thing you have extra funds.


Cost of Moving to Nashville

Your moving cost from Nashville to Chicago depends on variable factors like the size of the household you are packing and moving, the quantity and weight of household and personal items, whether or not there are specialty items or any add-ons, and the number of laborers required to move your things. Also, since moving costs are determined by the distance traveled between the pick-up and drop-off points, you would have to factor in the 472 miles your interstate transport vehicle will travel with your belongings. You can expect your moving cost to be anywhere between $3,100 and $9,000.

See Also: What Salary Do You Need to Live in Nashville, Tennessee

Cost of Living in Nashville

It is important to note that the cost of living in Nashville is about 14% higher than the Tennessee state average. The housing cost is about 13.3 % greater than the national average and 71.2% higher than the state average. The median cost of buying a single-family home in Nashville, whether it is a house, condominium, or townhome, is approximately $262,000.

The average rent in Nashville for a:

  • Studio Apartment is $887 per month
  • Single Bedroom Apartment is $975 per month
  • Double Bedroom Apartment is $1,181 per month
  • Three-Bedroom Apartment is $1,557 per month
  • Four Bedroom Apartment is $1,959 per month

Residents usually spend about 6% of their income on utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, garbage disposal, and water. You can expect to pay about $174 per month on utilities, alone, in an apartment about 915 square feet in size. Then, there is homeowner’s insurance, the average cost of which is about $1,400 to $1,580 per year. For renter’s insurance, you should keep aside an average price of about $218 for the year.

Also Read: Average Living Expenses of a Single Person

Where to Live in Nashville

There are many lovely neighborhoods in Nashville to choose from when you are looking for a place to settle down. Depending on your budget and preferences, you will certainly find a neighborhood that you will like:

Downtown Nashville: This neighborhood is at the heart of action and excitement. Homes would cost between $200,000 to $8 million.

Germantown & North Nashville: Ideal for history connoisseurs and foodies, buying a home here would cost between $200,000 to $2 million.

Wedgewood-Houston & South Nashville: Perfect options for families and children, buying a home here would cost between $180,000 to $3.5 million.

East Nashville: Home to unique business local and organic produce, buying a home here would cost between $220,000 to $5 million.

The Gulch: With loads of new construction sites, buying a home here would cost $675,000.

Music Row: Boasting the city’s musical heritage, buying a home here would cost between $870,000.


Working in Nashville

Nashville offers many employment opportunities for people from different industries and educational backgrounds with a booming job market. The growth of the labor force in Nashville ranks as the second greatest in the country. The average income of a resident of Nashville is about $29,000 a year, while the average household income (assuming more than one member of the house is contributing to the household income) is approximately $53,490.

The biggest industries in Nashville that generate greater revenue include healthcare management, automobile production, music production, insurance, higher education, finance, printing and publishing, technology, tourism, and manufacturing. Top employers in Nashville include the likes of Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Nissan North America, Randstad, National Healthcare Corporation, HCA Holdings, Saint Thomas Health Services, and Shoney’s, to name a few.

Education in Nashville

Nashville is home to many good colleges and universities offering courses and programs for various disciplines and subjects. In fact, many people come to Nashville to study not only because of the favorable study fees (compared to cities like New York and Los Angeles) but also to soak in the culture and art while they’re attending school. One of the most prominent universities in Nashville Metro is Vanderbilt University, which offers programs in a vast range of subjects from humanities to engineering to music. There are also many internship opportunities for students while studying, which provide excellent work experience and practical training.

Getting Around in Nashville

There are several options for getting around in Nashville.IF you own a car, you will have to factor in auto insurance premiums, which are about $1,315 (lower than the national average). The average cost of gas for regular unleaded is $2.05. If you do not have a car, you needn’t worry, because Nashville has an excellent public transport system. The main form of public transport is the WeGo Public Transit, which largely covers the Nashville Metro area, with a standard one-way fare of $2. The WeGo Star Train circulates seven stations, making it convenient for you to commute between work and home.

Entertainment in Nashville

As mentioned before, Nashville is the cultural hub of country music lovers. But the fun does not stop at just country music. There are many sources of entertainment in Nashville that will be enjoyable to anyone who lives here. You could sample the craft breweries, music halls, and studios that pepper the streets, sports events, or visit the Grand Ole Opry. The nightlife is bustling, too, with bars, pubs, restaurants, and concert venues coming alive after sundown. You could visit monuments like the Parthenon art museum and cultural center for some history. Whether it is music or food or outdoor fun or sports, rest assured, your weekends and holidays will be spent with a lot of joy and activity.



While Nashville isn’t always the first pick for ideal cities to move to in the United States, especially from a city like Chicago, you will find that this city is rich in culture, education, arts, and workmanship. The warm and welcoming nature of the residents adds to the friendly atmosphere in which you will live. The growing economy promises great job offers, and so, if you get that ideal job and make a comfortable salary, you might have just stumbled upon a dream come true in Nashville, Tennessee.

Also Read: Moving from Chicago to Atlanta – A Complete Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you need to live comfortably in Nashville?

To live comfortably in Nashville, residents have to make an average household income of about $85,000 a year. If you live as a single person, you would need to earn an annual income of about $62,000 to live in a decent neighborhood and have a good quality of life in Nashville. Keep in mind that the salaries available in Nashville are lesser than the salaries you would get in Chicago. So if your primary income does not suffice, then you might need to consider a side hustle or two to make up for your living expenses. The good news here is that there are many opportunities for side hustles, too, in Nashville.

How much does it cost to move to Nashville from Chicago?

Your moving cost from Nashville to Chicago depends on variable factors like the size of the household you are packing and moving, the quantity and weight of household and personal items, whether or not there are specialty items or any add-ons, and the number of laborers required to move your things. You can expect your moving cost to be anywhere between $3,100 and $9,000.

Is Nashville cheaper than Chicago?

Yes, living in Nashville would be cheaper than in Chicago. The cost of living in Nashville is lower than the national average. The cost of living in Nashville is about 17.2% less than in Chicago. But it is also important to note that the salaries available in Nashville are 12.4% less than in Chicago. So you would have to weigh your options before planning your move to Nashville.


Is living in Nashville worth it?

Nashville has been named the 15th best place to live in the United States. Apart from the world-famous music scene, Nashville was praised for its welcoming locals, job opportunities, affordable housing, and quality of life. Moving to Nashville will be enjoyable and is worth the trek.

Is Nashville an excellent place to move to?

Nashville is known for its musical roots, attracting musicians and songwriters from all over the country to find inspiration here. There is no dearth of new entrants into the Nashville scene, with its prestigious universities and colleges, thriving economy, and warm natives, not to mention the delicious aroma of Hot Chicken, Meat and Three, and Biscuits.

Also Read: Moving From Chicago to Florida – A Complete Guide | Moving from Chicago to Los Angeles

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.