17 Reasons Not to Move to Memphis, Tennessee (Voted by the Locals!)

Many people choose to move to Nashville, Tennessee rather than Memphis, Tennessee, even though they are only about a 3 hours drive away from each other, but many people enjoy living in Memphis. However, Memphis, Tennessee has a lot of issues that will make you not want to move there. We have listed 17 of them below.

1. Crime

Memphis, Tennessee has one of the highest crimeOpens in a new tab. rates in the country. In fact, it is considered the most dangerous city in the United States, which means it is more dangerous than big cities like New York and San Francisco, even though Memphis is much less busy.

Many people consider downtown Memphis to be relatively safeOpens in a new tab. during the day, but that definitely changes as the sun sets, and many other people don’t consider the city to be safe during the day. Memphis, Tennessee even has a crime index of 0 out of 100 with 100 being the safest place in the United States. That just screams, “Danger! Avoid at all costs!'” to me.

The crime is so bad in Memphis, Tennessee that the mayor started enforcing a curfewOpens in a new tab. for children under 18 in June of 2020. Also, the crime rate in Memphis, Tennessee is 24.20 out of 1,000 people when it comes to violent crimes. The property crime rate is 57.71 out of 1,000 people.

About 15,318 violent crimes, including murder, happen in Memphis every year. Also, about 36,538 property-related crimes happen in this city every year, so if you do choose to move to Memphis, you likely won’t be able to avoid being the victim of a crime.

2. Number of Tourists

If you don’t like dealing with touristsOpens in a new tab., you definitely don’t want to move to Memphis, Tennessee. About 10 million tourists visit Memphis every year, and they all seem to come around the same time frames.

Most of the tourists that visit Memphis, Tennessee every year visit during the summer so they can attend various events and festivals. However, there are many different tourist attractions in the area as well, including horse-drawn carriage rides, so tourists have plenty to do during the day.

However, these tourist attractions likely won’t appeal to you if you are a local, especially if you have visited in the past, which may limit the things you can do in the area for fun. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid dealing with tourists if you move to Memphis, Tennessee, which is not always pleasant.

3. Weather

The weatherOpens in a new tab. in Memphis, Tennessee is hot and humid during the summer and relatively mild for the rest of the year. It doesn’t often snow during the winter, but when it does, people freak out and don’t leave their homes, which makes it kind of hard to fully enjoy the snow. However, the winter season in Memphis is no picnic, as it is often wet, windy, and cold.

During the summer, you will need to invest in air conditioning if your home doesn’t already have it installed. It is extremely hot during the summer in Memphis, often reaching temperatures of 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and the stifling humidity makes the temperature feel higher than it actually is.

4. Cost of Housing

Although the cost of housingOpens in a new tab. is much lower in Memphis, Tennessee than it is in many other cities, that doesn’t mean that housing is cheap. On average, it costs between $845-$2,000 per month to rent an apartment, not including utilities and the various fees that apartments often charge their tenants.

Houses are much more affordable in Memphis, Tennessee than in other cities, as the average cost of a house is $215,000. However, the cost of housing in Memphis is steadily increasing, including the cost of homes, and many homeowners know this, so the number of houses that are on the market is somewhat limited.

5. Lack of Good Public Schools

If you have children and can’t afford to send them to a private school, you do not want to move to MemphisOpens in a new tab., Tennessee, as the public school system is not very good. The high school graduation rate of schools in Memphis, Tennessee is only 82.50%, which is quite dismal in my opinion. The teacher shortage that is prevalent in Memphis does not help the graduation rates or test scores in the slightest.

Also, many high school students are not ready to attend college and choose not to, after they graduate high school, which limits the type of jobs that they can get in the future. In fact, only about 4.4 out of 10 high school graduates in Memphis, Tennessee are ready for college, which means that less than half of high school graduates are ready to attend college.

The schoolsOpens in a new tab. in Memphis, Tennessee are dangerous, as there have been multiple school shootings in the city’s schools in the past few years. The issue has gotten so bad that some schools have considered allowing their teachers to carry guns while teaching so they can protect their students.

6. Homelessness

Memphis, Tennessee has a massive issueOpens in a new tab. with homelessness. However, it is luckily getting better, even though it is happening somewhat slowly. In 2019, there were more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness. In 2021, there were only about 740 homeless people on the streets. While this is a massive improvement, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

About 1/4 of the people that live in Memphis, Tennessee live in poverty, which makes Memphis one of the poorest cities in the United States when you compare it to cities of similar sizes.

If you move to Memphis, Tennessee, it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid encountering homeless peopleOpens in a new tab., and because most salaries are lower than the salaries that people earn in other cities, you likely won’t save as much money as you would hope to save when you move to a city where apartments and housing are relatively cheap.

7. Lack of Public Transportation

Although there is public transportationOpens in a new tab. in the downtown area of Memphis, Tennessee, it is extremely limited in the suburbs, so if you plan on living outside of the downtown area and using the public transportation system to commute to and from work, you will likely be out of luck.

Most of the public transportation that is available outside of downtown Memphis goes to and from tourist attractions and hotels rather than to the suburbs, which is great if you are a tourist, but not so great if you don’t own a car.

Even when you are in downtown Memphis, the public transportation system is unreliable. To many residents, it seems like the bus drivers run on and make their own schedules, so the busses are almost always late or early. You will never know when the bus will come until it gets to your bus stop, which is extremely frustrating, especially if you need to get to work in the morning or simply want to go home after a long day.

8. Potholes

The roads in Memphis, Tennessee are riddled with potholes that are extremely hard to avoid at times. In fact, there are thousands of potholes in Memphis that never seem to get fixed, even if multiple people report the potholes to the city and tell them exactly where they are.

Luckily, it seems like the city is trying to fill potholes in a reasonable amount of time, but it is unlikely that they will be able to keep up with the potholes that are growing day by day any time soon, so if you choose to move to Memphis, make sure your pothole avoiding skills are up to par.

9. Traffic

Although traffic is not as bad in Memphis, Tennessee as it is in bigger cities, it is pretty bad, especially during the day. Rush hour doesn’t simply last for a few hours in the morning and a few hours during the afternoon or evening. Instead, it lasts from 5 am to 7 pm. However, after 7 pm, especially during the winter, you likely don’t even want to be driving because of how much crime increases as the sun sets.

10. Taxes

If you don’t enjoy paying sales tax, you don’t want to move to Memphis, Tennessee. The sales tax in Memphis is 9.75%Opens in a new tab., which is much higher than the sales taxes charged in many cities that are similar in size or larger. Even though there is no income tax, you will be paying quite a bit of money in taxes every time you go shopping.

11. The Job Market is Stagnant

The job marketOpens in a new tab. in Memphis, Tennessee is relatively stagnant, and it is hard to find a well-paying job when living in this city. The job market hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand and need for jobs, and many of the jobs that are available pay low wages and salaries to their employees. There is a reason why so many people that live in Memphis live in poverty, and the job market is one of them.

Although there are many jobs in the hospitality, administration, business intelligence, and web development industries, if you don’t have a job offer ready for you when you move there, it will likely take you a few months to get a job unless you want to work for a major companyOpens in a new tab. or in retail.

12. The Airport Sucks

The airport in Memphis, Tennessee is horrible because of how busy and crowdedOpens in a new tab. it is throughout the year. It is poorly designed, even though it was partially redesigned and renovated recently, and the foot traffic doesn’t flow well. You will likely be rushing to get to your gate so you can make your flight if your flight leaves from the Memphis airport, even if you arrive at the airport a few hours early.

Even though the Memphis airport has flights that go to many different places around the world, as it is an international airport, many of the terminals are taken up by delivery planes for large companies like FedEx. This means that flights out of the Memphis airport are expensive and somewhat limited, even though it is quite a large international airport.

13. Bugs are Everywhere

If you don’t like swatting bugs away from your face, you definitely don’t want to move to MemphisOpens in a new tab., Tennessee. Bugs run rampant in Memphis, especially mosquitos and chiggers.

There are things that you can do to avoid both of these annoying bugs, but during the summer and end of spring, you will want to invest in a bug net to put on your porch or simply avoid going outside so you don’t become an itchy mess, as both chiggers and mosquitos cause itchy, red bumps to appear on the skin.

14. Religion is a Big Part of Life

MemphisOpens in a new tab., Tennessee is part of the Bible Belt, which means that religion is a big part of the lives of many of the residents. While this is not inherently bad, if you are uncomfortable talking about religion or do not want to live in an area where religion is quite prevalent, you definitely don’t want to move to Memphis.

15. Allergies

If you have allergiesOpens in a new tab. and don’t want to spend your springs and summers sneezing and staying indoors, you do not want to move to Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is part of what is known as the allergy capital of the United States, so your allergies will be extremely bad, especially during the spring and summer when the trees and flowers are releasing a large amount of pollen.

People’s allergies are so bad while living there that many people have started wearing face masks when outside so they aren’t breathing in pollen rather than so they can avoid catching Coronavirus.

16. History of Segregation and Racism are Still Prevalent

Memphis, Tennessee has a history of racismOpens in a new tab. and segregation, and although it has been more than 60 years since the Civil Rights Movement ended, the history of segregation is still extremely prevalent, and many people of different races encounter racism in their day-to-day lives.

17. Lack of Diverse Food

If you enjoy eating a variety of different foods and dislike BBQ, you definitely don’t want to move to Memphis, Tennessee. Most restaurants feature BBW foods, so it will likely be hard for you to find a really good Mexican or Thai restaurant to frequent. Although there are many different fast food restaurants in Memphis, they mainly serve burgers and fries rather than burritos or tacos.

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