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Chattanooga vs Knoxville

Chattanooga vs Knoxville | ⭐️ Comparison, Pros & Cons, Which City is Better for You?

Last Updated on: 21st July 2023, 01:32 am

Are you moving to Tennessee and trying to decide whether to live in Chattanooga or Knoxville? Though both of these cities are great choices, we understand it can be a tough one to make. Each of these cities has fun local activities, great job opportunities, and that Tennessee charm that so many people are looking for. On top of that, both of these areas are growing in size thanks to more people who want to enjoy all these benefits.

When looking at a comparison of Chattanooga vs Knoxville, what better way to choose which city is better for you than with a pros and cons list?

It’s also important to review the cost of living in Chattanooga vs Knoxville, as well as details about the local population, crime rate, and weather. You’ll find everything you need to know to make a well-educated decision before choosing where to live.

Pros & Cons of Living in Chattanooga vs. Knoxville

Choosing between two cities is never easy! You want to make sure that where you decide to relocate will be a good fit for your career, lifestyle, and family, which is why it’s imperative to do your research. Laying out the pros and cons of each city will help you make an informed decision that you can feel good about. Let’s take a look at what the benefits and drawbacks of Chattanooga and Knoxville really are!

Living in Chattanooga Pros

chattanooga tennessee pros

Beautiful Surroundings

Chattanooga isn’t called “Scenic City” for no reason. It’s known for so much of the scenery. Chattanooga sits in a beautiful valley between the Appalachian and Cumberland mountain ranges. Residents of Chattanooga have endless opportunities for outdoor recreation in the city’s parks and trails, and nearby rivers and lakes. From fishing to hiking, you’ll find it all in Chattanooga!

Thriving Economy

One of the most important parts of relocating is being sure that you can afford to live there. Thankfully, Chattanooga is home to a diverse, thriving economy. If you’re looking for job opportunities, you’re sure to find them here. Major industries include automotive, healthcare, tourism, insurance, manufacturing, and retail. Chattanooga is also well known as a great place for startups and entrepreneurs and has earned the nickname “Gig City” after rolling out the nation’s first citywide gigabit network in 2018.

Culture and Community

Will the culture of Chattanooga work for you? Chattanooga has a strong sense of community. There are lots of festivals and community events, and residents love supporting local businesses. The city also provides plenty of options for culture lovers and families alike, from the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Tivoli Theater, and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Living in Chattanooga Cons

Poor Public Schools

Chattanooga has plenty of family friendly activities, but the public school system is not particularly highly rated. Students in Chattanooga perform 3% lower on standardized tests than the national average. While this can vary depending on the district and then school, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re moving to Chattanooga with a family.

Not Ideal for People with Allergies

Chattanooga is known as less than ideal for people who suffer from allergies and other health concerns, especially in the spring. Because of so many trees and plants, there’s a lot of pollen in the air, which can cause issues. The good news is that in Chattanooga, there is a high allergist-to-patient ratio. If allergies are a problem for you, you may want to discuss your move with your current doctor.

High Poverty Rate

Income inequality is a big problem in Chattanooga. It is estimated that almost 20% of Chattanooga residents live in poverty. This is much higher than the national average of 13.6%. Females ages 25-34 are the largest demographic affected by poverty in Chattanooga.

Living in Knoxville Pros

knoxville tennessee pros

Rich Music and Arts Community

Knoxville is a major player in the music and arts scene. If you love country and bluegrass music, you’ll be right at home here. Knoxville is also home to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera, and various traditional and non-traditional entertainment venues. If you’re a festival-goer, you’ll love the wide variety of festivals in Knoxville, from the Dogwood Arts Festival to Kuumba, to the Rossini Festival, and many, many more. 

Higher Learning Opportunities

In addition to a highly rated public school system, Knoxville boasts a long list of great higher education institutions. Whether you’re moving here with young kids or old kids, you can plan on them having a good education. The University of Tennessee’s main campus is located in Knoxville, as well as South College, Johnson University, Knoxville College, and many branch campuses connected to other universities.

Great for Foodies

Is food another passion of yours? If so, you’ll love Knoxville! You will not have a problem finding great food in Knoxville! Not only is the city filled with great eateries, the city loves to celebrate food. You’ll love the International Biscuit Festival and the Knoxville Brewers’ Jam that’s held every year.

Living in Knoxville Cons

Getting Around Isn’t Easy

The public transit system isn’t great in Knoxville, and sidewalks are scarce. It’s not a particularly walkable or bikeable city, which is something to consider if you don’t want to be dependent on a car. It’s near impossible to live in Knoxville without having a car, which is definitely a disadvantage to residing in Knoxville.

Conservative Vibe

If you’re looking for a more liberal place to live, Knoxville might not be the best fit. The majority of Knoxville residents are conservative-leaning. This may be an advantage to some, and a disadvantage to others.

Sports Culture

Sports are a big deal in Chattanooga! The city majorly supports the University of Tennessee’s teams, among others. If sports aren’t your thing, be prepared to be around it a lot! There is also a lot of traffic when game nights are occurring, so you may rethink relocating if you don’t want to deal with delays. (if you are into sports, convert this one to a positive!)

Cost of Living in Chattanooga vs. Knoxville

Cost of living is a major consideration when choosing between two cities like Chattanooga opposing Knoxville. However, prices in both cities are fairly similar across the board. Here’s a look at some of the differences in cost in Chattanooga in comparison to Knoxville, according to Numbeo

  • Rent prices are 1.62% lower in Knoxville
  • Restaurant prices in Knoxville are 1% higher than in Chattanooga
  • Utilities are 18.29% less expensive in Knoxville
  • A gallon of milk in Knoxville is $0.21 less than in Chattanooga
  • A loaf of bread is $0.17 less expensive in Knoxville
  • A dozen eggs is $0.19 cheaper in Knoxville

Median household income in Chattanooga is $41,278, whereas in Knoxville the median household income is $34,556.

Median sale price for a home in Knoxville is $269,900. Homes in Chattanooga are selling at around $250,000.

Additional Things to Consider Between Chattanooga vs. Knoxville


In terms of population and density, Chattanooga and Knoxville are fairly similar. However, when it comes to diversity, Chattanooga wins compared to Knoxville. It’s much more diverse in Chattanooga as compared with Knoxville. If you’re looking for a younger crowd, Knoxville’s average resident is 32.6 years old, slightly younger than Chattanooga, where the median age is 37. Keep in mind that this may be due to all the college-aged students who live in Knoxville!

Crime Rate in Chattanooga vs. Knoxville

Every city deals with its fair share of crime, and Chattanooga and Knoxville are no different. Both cities have crime rates that are above the national average. However, between the two, Chattanooga has the higher total crime rate. 

Chattanooga vs. Knoxville Climate

Weather is a big consideration when you’re relocating! You want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible where you live. While both cities are known to have hot, humid summers, winters are slightly different when comparing the two. You can expect colder temperatures in Knoxville, and almost 6 inches of snowfall annually. 

Chattanooga vs. Knoxville: Where Are You Moving?

Now that you’ve learned more about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Knoxville and Chattanooga, which will you choose as your next home? Are you more drawn to Chattanooga’s booming economy, or Knoxville’s education and festival scene? Only you know what’s best for your lifestyle.

Chattanooga to Knoxville Distance

Consider the distance from Chattanooga to Knoxville when choosing where you’re planning to reside. Chattanooga is 112 miles from Knoxville, or 1 hour and 57 minutes.

No matter which way you’re leaning, you want to make sure you work with a trustworthy moving company to get you there. All Out Moving will ensure an easy moving experience with no hassles or hidden fees! Call us today at 423-716-3025 to discuss this exciting new chapter and get started on your free quote!


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