Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2024)

Memphis, TN, is a city buzzing with music, history, and some of the best barbecue you’ll ever taste. Living here means you’re never far from a live blues show or an interesting museum, making it a great place for those who love culture and entertainment. The question, “should I move to Memphis?” crosses many minds, especially when considering the city’s unique blend of urban life and southern charm. Memphis stands out for its strong sense of community and the famous Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, which attracts visitors from all over the world. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Memphis to help you decide if it’s the right place for you. Let’s dive in.

Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (1)

Memphis at a Glance

Walk Score: 35 | Bike Score: 41 | Transit Score: 22
Median Sale Price: $187,500 | Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1,065
Memphis neighborhoods | Houses for rent in Memphis | Apartments for rent in Memphis | Homes for sale in Memphis

Pro: Music lover’s paradise

Memphis, is synonymous with the soulful strains of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul music. The city is home to the legendary Sun Studio, where icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded their first tracks. Beale Street, with its vibrant nightlife and live music venues, offers an immersive experience into the city’s musical legacy. This cultural richness provides residents with a unique sense of pride and a plethora of entertainment options.

Con: Hot and humid summers

The climate in Memphis can be challenging, especially during the summer months. The city currently ranks #4 in the list of U.S. cities most at risk of extreme heat. The area experiences extremely hot and humid conditions, making outdoor activities and even daily commutes uncomfortable. This weather can also contribute to higher energy bills as residents crank up their air conditioning to find relief.

Pro: Affordable cost of living

The cost of living in Memphis is 10% lower than the national average. Housing is notably affordable, with average prices about $200,000 below the national average. This affordability extends to grocery and utility costs, making it easier for residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. This economic advantage attracts individuals looking to live in an urban area at a reasonable cost.

Con: Underdeveloped public transportation system

Memphis’ public transportation system can be a point of frustration for its residents. With a Transit Score of 22, the coverage is limited, and the efficiency of service often leaves much to be desired. This situation forces many to rely on personal vehicles, contributing to traffic congestion and parking challenges in the city. For those without cars, navigating the city can be difficult, impacting their ability to access employment and recreational activities easily.

Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2)

Pro: Vibrant culinary scene

The culinary scene in Memphis is a delightful exploration of flavors, with barbecue taking center stage. The city is famed for its unique style of barbecue, characterized by its slow-cooked ribs and pulled pork. The city’s barbecue culture is celebrated at events like the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, where pitmasters showcase their skills. Beyond barbecue, Memphis boasts a diverse array of dining options, from soul food to international cuisines, catering to all palates. Throughout the year, food festivals like the Memphis Food & Wine Festival and the World Championship Hot Wing Contest highlight the city’s diverse culinary landscape.

Con: High Allergen levels

For those with allergies, Memphis can pose significant challenges. The city is known for its high levels of pollen and other allergens, particularly during the spring and fall. This can lead to discomfort and health issues for sensitive individuals, affecting their quality of life. Residents often have to take extra precautions, such as installing air purifiers in their homes and monitoring air quality reports.

Pro: Strong sense of community

One of the standout advantages of living in this city is the strong sense of community. This advantage is showcased in events such as the Cooper-Young Festival, where locals gather to celebrate art, music, and food, fostering connections and camaraderie. Similarly, the monthly Trolley Night in the South Main Arts District brings people together for an evening of shopping, dining, and live entertainment. Moreover, Memphis is home to numerous grassroots initiatives and neighborhood associations dedicated to improving the lives of its residents.

Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (3)

Con: Limited job market in certain sectors

Memphis boasts a thriving logistics and transportation industry, thanks to its strategic location along the Mississippi River. However, the job market in other sectors can be limited. This can pose a challenge for people in fields such as technology, science, and the arts, who may find fewer opportunities within the city. As a result, some residents may need to look for employment in nearby cities or consider a broader range of job options.

Pro: Access to outdoor activities

Memphis offers a variety of outdoor activities that cater to nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike. The city is home to numerous parks, such as Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, offering hiking trails, biking paths, and water activities. The Mississippi River itself provides a scenic backdrop for jogging, picnicking, and sunset watching, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle among residents.

Con: Infrastructure needs

Like many cities, Memphis faces challenges with aging infrastructure. Roads, bridges, and public buildings often require maintenance and upgrades to meet the needs of the growing population. These infrastructure needs can lead to traffic delays, impact public services, and necessitate increased public spending. Addressing these issues is crucial for improving the quality of life and ensuring the city’s future prosperity.

Pro: Diverse cultural events

Memphis is a melting pot of cultural events that celebrate the city’s diverse heritage and artistic talent. From the Beale Street Music Festival to the Memphis in May International Festival, the city’s calendar is packed with events that cater to a wide range of interests. These events not only provide entertainment but also foster a sense of pride among residents, showcasing the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (4)

Jenna is a Midwest native who enjoys writing about home improvement projects and local insights. When she’s not working, you can find her cooking, crocheting, or backpacking with her fiancé.

Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider (2024)


Should I Move to Memphis, TN? 11 Pros and Cons to Consider? ›

As one of the most affordable U.S. cities, Memphis' cost of living is 19% lower than the national average, making this Southern city a great, budget-friendly place call home! While living in Memphis, people don't have to pay state income tax, either, helping residents save even more.

Is it a good idea to move to Memphis? ›

As one of the most affordable U.S. cities, Memphis' cost of living is 19% lower than the national average, making this Southern city a great, budget-friendly place call home! While living in Memphis, people don't have to pay state income tax, either, helping residents save even more.

What is the best place to live in Memphis TN? ›

  • Central Gardens. In the Midtown area, you'll find the charming Central Gardens neighborhood. ...
  • Cooper-Young. Cooper-Young is an artsy neighborhood known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. ...
  • Cordova. ...
  • Downtown Memphis. ...
  • East Memphis. ...
  • Frayser. ...
  • Harbor Town. ...
  • Hickory Hill.
Jan 18, 2024

Is it expensive to live in Memphis, Tennessee? ›

The cost of living in Memphis, TN is same as the state average and 10% lower than the national average. Memphis, TN housing is 18% cheaper than the U.S average, while utilities are about 11% less pricey.

Is Memphis a fun city to live in? ›

It's a great place for families and anyone who loves being part of a community. Jobs are Growing: There are more and more jobs in Memphis, especially in healthcare, tech, and other cool areas. It's a great spot for finding new work opportunities. So Much to Do: There's always something to do in Memphis.

How much do you need to make to live comfortably in Memphis? ›

The hourly wage needed for a single adult to live comfortably in Memphis is $41.20. The salary needed for a single adult to live comfortably in Memphis is $85,696.

Where is it safe to live in Memphis? ›

Midtown. Midtown in Central Memphis is one of the best neighborhoods in Memphis for singles and young professionals. Located just east of Downtown Memphis, this artsy neighborhood is full of nightlife and restaurants, making it a great option for those who want to live, work, and play close to the city center.

What is the nice side of Memphis? ›

East Memphis offers the laid-back lifestyle of the suburbs with all the amenities of the metro, making it a popular place to live in Memphis for families. This large neighborhood is on the eastern edge of Memphis, just 20 minutes from downtown, where parents can easily commute for work or date night.

What is the crime rate in Memphis, Tennessee? ›

In 2022, around 2,420.86 violent crimes per 100,000 residents were reported in Memphis, Tennessee.

Which part of Memphis is best to stay? ›

Downtown Memphis is the place to stay to be in the heart of the Beale Street Entertainment District. The Elvis Statue, Memphis Rock'n'Soul Museum, Sun Studio, Blues Hall of Fame Museum, and Stax Muse-um of American Soul Music offer a sense of the past, present, and future of the music industry in Memphis.

How much money do I need to move to Memphis? ›

Typical Expenses
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What is the racial makeup of Memphis TN? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Memphis, TN are Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (64.1%), White (Non-Hispanic) (24.1%), Other (Hispanic) (3.53%), White (Hispanic) (2.38%), and Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (1.75%).

How much do you need to live comfortably in TN? ›

Average Cost of Living in Tennessee: $42,469 per year

10, according to MERIC data gathered in 2022.

Should I move to Memphis TN? ›

Memphis offers a vibrant music and arts scene, delicious southern cuisine, and a rich cultural history. The city also provides affordable housing and a lower cost of living compared to other major cities. However, Memphis does have higher crime rates and limited job opportunities in certain industries.

Why do people move to Memphis? ›

Warm weather, awesome food, and low cost of living, are just a few reasons why you may want to consider moving to Memphis.

Is Memphis a clean city? ›

Memphis is the only city in the nation to win the award for the nation's cleanest city five times.

Is Memphis a good place to buy a house? ›

House values have increased by about 22.1 percent from 2022. Home values have actually increased by roughly 93.2 percent in the past five years. Median sales prices for a Memphis house is about $221,000, which is based on reports from MAAR (Memphis Area Association of Realtors).

Does Memphis have a good job market? ›

Memphis comes up across the board as one of the new, top cities to move to for its job market. As a result, Memphis movers have been moving a ton of young families and millennials into the area.

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