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It’s no secret that Illinois residents are leaving the state in droves, and data from the US Census Bureau shows there’s a pretty clear trend of where Chicagoans are relocating to: the South.
As Chicagoans leave the state to call other cities home, Nashville is at the top of the list. Experts estimate that nearly 100 people a day are moving to the “it” city, and Chicagoans are keeping with the trend. Check out why Chicagoans are making the move.
According to RE/MAX and Zillow, Nashville's average home price was $155,000 in 2009 and grew to $318,000 in 2019. That’s a 105% increase! And experts expect home values to rise by as much as 27% in the next three years. This, in addition to strong job growth and an expected 12% increase in population, places Nashville firmly among the most attractive cities in America to invest in real estate. Business Wire agrees, ranking Nashville among the top 12 cities for real estate investment.
Yes, you read that right! Tennessee has a personal income tax rate of absolutely 0! By eliminating the city, county and state taxes, Chicagoan transplants realize up to a 12% increase in take-home income by making Nashville their primary residence. Compound that income over time, and you have a serious financial win. In addition, the state’s per capita debt of just $913 is the lowest of any state in America. The people are indeed friendly, but Nashville is also kind to your wallet!
Zagat and Travel + Leisure agree, Nashville has a lot more to offer the taste buds than you might expect. Thanks to a combination of celebrity chefs and home-grown restaurateurs, Nashville’s dining scene is exploding. From southern originals like hot chicken and barbecue, to inspired fusion dining by nationally renowned chefs, Nashville has burst onto the scene as a major culinary destination. The irony... well-known chefs in Chicago have helped make it happen.
You don’t earn the nickname “Music City” without knowing how to put on a show. Travel and Leisure has consistently awarded Nashville the honor of Best Music Scene in the U.S. But it’s not all cowboy boots and honky tonks. Aspiring musicians of all genres come to Nashville to make it big.
And music isn’t all that’s big. The NFL Tennessee Titan’s, NHL Nashville Predators, MiLB Nashville Sounds, MLS Nashville SC and Vandy’s Commodores keep stadiums packed. Nashville is even home to one of America’s top ten Fourth of July fireworks displays. Needless to say, renowned entertainment is not hard to find.
The cost of living in Tennessee is 18.9% lower than the US average, placing it among the most affordable states to live in the country. In addition, Tennessee does not have a state income tax, saving transplants from Illinois as much as another 12% annually. Relocating home owners can also maximize equity returns on their home sale by purchasing in Nashville, where the median home price is $30,000 less than that of Cook County. And for the icing, the median household income is actually higher in Nashville than in Chicago.
Nashville is one of the top destinations for out-of-state companies looking to relocate or expand operations. From Amazon to Mitsubishi, some of the country's biggest firms are planting roots in Nashville, and bringing tens of thousands of jobs with them. Historically, Tennessee has maintained below average unemployment, and the massive infusion of recent investment by Fortune 1000 companies is a strong indication that Nashville’s job market will remain stronger than ever.
Forbes has named Nashville the #3 “boom town” in America and the #4 best city for jobs. Nashville also makes Inc.’s top 5 list of best cities to start a business and is is one of the only cities with a metropolitan population over 1 million to consistently come in at #1 in job growth across America. Joined by rapidly appreciating home values and a dramatically rising population, Nashville’s surging economy shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Nashville may be known as “Music City,” but healthcare is by far the largest industry in Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt University and Medical Center is the largest employer in the city, and HCA Healthcare Inc., the world’s largest healthcare company, also maintains its headquarters in Nashville. Needless to say, there is no shortage of impeccable healthcare, or the jobs that come with it.
Nashville offers all the amenities of a big city, while keeping its small-town feel. Residents can take in the energy of city life or be in the country enjoying outdoor recreation with just minutes between. Nashville is easy to navigate, and commutes are short, so it’s common for families to live in the suburbs and work (or play) in the city. Nashville itself is also centrally located, situated within a four-hour drive of 11 states.
At the end of the day, where you call home isn’t just about a place, it’s about community. And community is Nashville’s specialty. Nashville loves to eat, shop and play local. Not to mention, check just about any list of America’s friendliest cities, and you’ll find Nashville at the very top. It may take time for Chicagoans to get used to hearing “ya’ll,” but it won’t take long at all to realize that Nashville’s quality of life is built on great community.