Welcome to the quiet and beautiful place of Knoxville, Tennessee where everything is lovely to see, and life is perfect, or so it seems. Knoxville, Tennessee is a cozy place for anyone to live in, however, you should also consider some of these points that may help you realize that Knoxville isn’t all it’s hyped up to be.
Here we will explore some possible reasons why you may never want to move to Knoxville. These are just a few of many other reasons why you shouldn’t move there, but they are important to consider and will influence your daily life if you choose to move to this city.
1. Conservative State
Because the state of Tennessee is in the south, it is no surprise that this is a conservative state. If you’re a liberal, you can definitely live here, but you may find that you disagree with many in-state and in-county politics. You may be okay with that, or you may prefer to live in a state that votes similarly to you, either is okay!
For the state of Tennessee, those who identify themselves as conservative are about 43% of the total registered voters. During the 2016 presidential election, 60% of the voters voted for the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Currently, the state is the 6th most conservative state in the US. Because of the conservative nature of Knoxville, Tennessee, traditional values are held and people are generally opposed to significant changes that the Left tends to vote for. So, you need to decide personally if you are going to be okay with living here.
2. Rough Public Transportation
Knoxville’s public transportation system is barely running. In fact, the system essentially does not run often and will only travel to nearby connecting areas such as downtown and the university. If you need to go anywhere, you will need to have your own vehicle or have good friends that don’t mind driving you where you need to go. Also, you will likely need to travel outside of the city often, which public transportation likely wouldn’t cover anyway.
Overall, public transportation is minimal and below average at best because of its location.
3. Extreme Temperatures
For Knoxville, Tennessee, the high temperatures and humidity are what are going to drive many people away. During the summer, the average heat is 86° Fahrenheit, and during the winter, it can reach 10° Fahrenheit. So, you will definitely get extreme heat and extreme cold here. But, that means you will get to see and feel the seasons change, which is always fun.
One factor to mention is the average humidity, as it does impact how hot or cold the seasons will feel. If you are one to avoid high humidity with extreme seasonal conditions, then perhaps you should reconsider living in Knoxville, Tennessee.
4. High Crime Rates
In 2020, per 100,000 people only 379 people were victims of violent crimes, while 1,930 people were victims of property crimes. Compared to the national average, Knoxville has a somewhat higher crime rate. The crime rate skyrocketed around 2013 but has slowly gotten lower over time.
In terms of property crime, both Knoxville and the national average are roughly similar. So, you don’t have to stress too much about that. Simply make sure you have good locks, that your insurance will cover any damage that is done by criminals, and that you have security cameras around and in your home. There are many great security cameras and doorbell cameras on the market today.
5. Not So Friendly
What this means by this attribute of Knoxville is that those who are friendly may be doing it reluctantly towards outsiders. If you want to make friends or any kind of connection, you may need to live in Knoxville for a time before anyone there will genuinely appreciate you and your ideas.
Not all people are like this, but considering the conservative viewpoints, most will have a mindset that you are wanting to “change” them or try something new that they will not find appealing. In the end, making genuine connections with the people of Knoxville will take longer than it may in other cities, especially if you encounter a lot of people that were born and raised in Knoxville.
6. Barely Any Water
Knoxville is not lacking in their water supply, but there are few large bodies of water that can be used for recreational enjoyment. Though Tennessee is surrounded by great lakes, Knoxville itself is not easily accessible to any.
Knoxville is a landlocked city, which means that it is nowhere near any beach fronts or large bodies of water. Sure, there are smaller lakes in the vicinity, however, if you enjoy boating or going to the ocean, you will need to travel for at least five hours to the nearest beach or large body of water. For some people that is a deal breaker, so you should know that before you decide to move.
7. It is Part of the Bible Belt
Most of the population of Knoxville, Tennessee is religious, and they are not afraid to talk about and discuss religion, even with strangers. Knoxville is part of the “Bible Belt” along with 9 other southern cities in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Louisiana, and West Virginia.
This may not be a bad thing if you have similar beliefs, but if you have vastly different beliefs or are not comfortable with discussing religion with strangers, you will want to avoid living in Knoxville, Tennessee.
8. High Sales Tax
Although Knoxville is a relatively cheap place to live, you will find that it is not due to the sales tax. The sales tax in Knoxville, Tennessee is about 8.5%-9.75%, which is higher than the typical 6%-7% that is found in many other cities in the United States. Luckily, you won’t have to pay income taxes while living in Knoxville. So, though many things are not expensive, there are also things that can be more expensive here than in another state, so definitely look into the state and city economy before moving so that you know what to budget for.
9. Football Fanatics
Now, how can I talk about Knoxville, Tennessee without talking about one of the major events in the city and in the state, which is college football? The University of Tennessee Volunteers is one of the major sports teams of Tennessee at the college level and of course, the Tennessee Titans for the NFL. For college, in this case, it is no surprise that during game days, Knoxville will experience something that it rarely experiences, traffic, crowds, and general sports fanaticism. This is miserable for those not into sports or simply not into crowds or traffic. If you want to avoid a sport-crazed city, avoid Knoxville at all costs.
10. Population is Increasing
There are a couple of reasons why Knoxville may be increasing in population and why these will detract those from moving to Knoxville, Tennessee. One is the previously mentioned University of Tennessee. Naturally, college towns will grow and shrink in population to an extent because of old students leaving and new ones coming in, sometimes in greater numbers than before. The other reason is that Knoxville is near some common tourist places like Nashville.
The population may be increasing because of these reasons and we can see a trend of people moving to the Nashville area more than there are people moving out, so sooner or later, Knoxville may become overcrowded, and this may increase the cost of living as well.
11. You Need a Car
As we briefly touched on in the public transportation section, it is vital to have your own vehicle because of the confined area that Knoxville is in. The only main reason for this can possibly be for work. Knoxville may have plenty of job opportunities, but most menial jobs that are usually associated with family own businesses are for college students since it is nearby the University. So, if you live here, you might have to commute to work, and though traffic is not an issue, paying for and affording a car can be an issue. So, that may or may not be a big deciding factor if you move there.
12. Knoxville is Average
Knoxville does not offer any other unique quirks other than a university. Knoxville is only for those looking to find a peaceful and quiet place to enjoy life, maybe even a place for retirement. Other than the occasional university event, Knoxville isn’t anything more than just an average place to live. If you are an explorative individual and want to see more, Knoxville barely provides anything of interest.
Also, considering that lakes and other water activities are many hours away, you may want to choose another city in Tennessee that is closer to fun activities but still has a balance of country/city life.
13. College Town
Some people like to avoid cities with colleges/universities in them because it can feel like students are taking over the area. It affects housing, renting, grocery shopping, and more. There will be an influx of people and cars in these areas, and if you are not used to it, then moving to Knoxville will be an adjustment for sure. But, if you are a college kid moving to this city for school, then it works out great for you!
14. Country Based
The city is on the rural side with a bit of urban attached to it. There are green trees but not enough open space that some people may be used to. Again, because of the possible increase in population and lack of rural spaces, you may feel claustrophobic here. Some people find it hard to feel free with their neighbors and the community.
It is a quiet area to live in, but the occasional events that occur may disrupt someone’s perfect day and even a single-day event will sprout early visitors that will flood the city with nonsense. The environment of Knoxville is fair between heavily suburban and urban. Rural areas are barely anywhere and are not a good place for those needing the space.
15. Lack of Diversity
In the city of Knoxville, you would be surprised that though in the South, this one city lacks diversity. The races that are most prevalent in Knoxville are White (75.6%), Black (16.9%), Latino (5.4%), and all others are under roughly 3%. This could be because it is a college town, or it could be that the majority of people making this statistic were born and raised here for generations and simply haven’t moved out. (Source)
It is not a huge problem that you need to be worried about before moving there, but it is something that is relatively to know. If you personally only want to live in really diverse areas with people from a variety of cultures, this may not be the city for you.
16. Almost Southern Accent
Though most of Tennessee does not display the typical southern accent that we are familiar with, we can’t help but notice they still display some sort of variation of the southern accent that some non-southerners may not be used to. This may bother some people, but if you are moving to the South, you will have to get used to the southern accent. So, whether you love, like, don’t mind, or hate this accent, you will have to deal with it in some capacity.
17. Knoxville is Foreign to Traffic
Knoxville, Tennessee is a small city, you may not be surprised to know that those living in Knoxville may not be familiar with what true heavy traffic is. And, considering the city is growing, heavier traffic may come sooner than residents think, and they might not know how to effectively navigate a traffic-filled environment.
If you are expecting “perfect” drivers, well these “perfect” drivers may not be so perfect if they are going to experience a driving situation they are not familiar with. Assuming that the rate of the population keeps increasing in that area, Knoxville will surely require extra precautions to prevent heavy traffic and severe accidents.