Is Cookeville, TN a Good Place to Live? (15 Pros and Cons)

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What You Need To Know Before Moving To Cookeville, Tennessee

I have outlined the positives and negatives to answer the question: Is Cookeville, TN, a good place to live? Let’s dive into today’s topic, including my top pros and cons of living in Cookeville.

Is Cookeville, TN A Good Place to Live?

Cookeville, located on the eastern edge of middle Tennessee, is an excellent place to live. Nearly 35,000 residents love the modest cost of living, low taxes, and mild climate. The city has a rich cultural scene anchored by Tennessee Tech University and offers easy access to fun outdoor activities.

Before moving to Cookeville, I recommend carefully considering all the pros and cons.

Living In Cookeville, Tennessee: Pros And Cons Comparison Table

Living in Cookeville ProsLiving in Cookeville Cons
1. Low cost of living9. Lacking diversity
2. Favorable tax environment10. Homelessness
3. Four-season weather11. Higher crime
4. Mild winter climate12. Limited economy
5. Great outdoor activities13. Low wages
6. Golfers paradise14. Risk of tornados
7. Lots of arts and culture15. Price of popularity
8. Conveniently located
Table 1: Cookeville Pros and Cons Compared Head To Head

Cookeville is today’s focus. Let’s delve into the above facts about living here, one at a time.

Tennessee Map: Cookeville pros and consPin

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Pros Of Living In Cookeville, TN

1. Low Cost Of Living: Make Your Dollars Go Farther

Cookeville’s cost of living index is about 11% less than the U.S. average. Housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation all contribute to your savings. (Source:

Pro tip: Use Rakuten to save money on your online purchases

2. Benefit From Tennessee’s Favorable Tax Environment

Cookeville residents do not pay individual state income tax. The favorable tax environment is one of the great things about Tennessee living.

Cookeville real estate taxes are some of the lowest in the country. Homeowners pay $0.92 per $100 of assessed value. (Source:

3. Enjoy The Four Seasons After Moving To Cookeville

Cookeville’s seasonal weather patterns are enjoyable. You will love the changing of all four seasons.

Spring rains bring the greenery and blooms to life. Summers are warm. But highs rarely exceed 90 degrees. The changing leaves of fall put on a spectacular color display.

More reading: low cost of living areas in Tennessee

4. You Can Leave The North Behind: Mild Winter Climate

Cookeville doesn’t have harsh winters.

High temperatures during the peak winter season routinely reach the low to mid-50s. The area gets about 8 inches of snowfall during a typical year.

Better yet, the nice weather brings us to the next benefit of living in Cookeville…

5. Great Outdoor Activities Amidst The Scenic Beauty

Cookeville residents enjoy the varied outdoor activities the area has to offer.

Waterfalls, gorges, lakes, golf courses, and dozens of trails are available. Outdoor enthusiasts can bike, hike, swim, fish, or hunt.

Cookeville has three state parks within a 30-60 minute commute, including:

  • Burgess Falls
  • Falls Creek
  • Edgar Evins

6. Golf Enthusiasts Will Be Thrilled

Cookeville residents have access to excellent golf courses in nearby Crossville. The city is known as “The Golf Capital of Tennessee.” Nine championship golf courses await golfers of all skill levels.

The next pro is for anyone who has indoor leisure interests.

7. A Robust And Active Arts And Culture Scene

Cookeville offers plenty of cultural activities and is home to a thriving arts community. Tennessee Tech University contributes to the city’s arts and culture in a big way.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is part of the university and hosts “The Art Prowl” studio tour each year. Both the Craft Center and the Bryan Fine Arts building offer workshops that locals enjoy.

Next, the city has a great theatre scene.

Cookeville Performing Arts Center produces quality plays several times a year. The local public schools take their productions seriously and spare no expense.

The Historic Cumberland County Playhouse is a short drive to the east. Theatre artists live and work there, producing many excellent live performances.

The Backdoor Playhouse also offers several productions annually.

8. Residents Are Close To The Best Tennessee Offers

pros and cons of living in Cookeville TN explainedPin
Cookeville in Eastern Tennessee

Cookeville is centrally located for access to everything Tennessee offers.

The city is a short drive from Nashville, where live music, nightlife, and pro sports are readily available.

Head east to explore Knoxville, home to the University of Tennessee, also the gateway to the Smoky Mountains.

Okay. So far, I bet you can see that living in Cookeville can be very nice. However, I must highlight the potential pitfalls of moving to Cookeville to balance out the pros and cons.

Let’s do that now.

Cons Of Living In Cookeville, TN

9. Not Much Racial And Ethnic Diversity

Cookville doesn’t offer much in the way of diversity.

First, nearly 85% of the population is white. Second, residents lean to the republican side of the political spectrum. Third, the area is located in the Bible Belt and has many practicing Christians.

To summarize these points, the locals have mostly conservative viewpoints about life and politics. So, if you don’t fit the demographic, you may have difficulty fitting in and making friends here.

10. Homelessness Has Become A Bigger Problem

Cookeville attracts a high number of homeless people. Officials attribute it to the city’s location along Interstate 40 near Nashville and centrally located between Memphis and Knoxville.

The location makes for a greater concentration of homeless people. Homelessness has increased panhandling in and around Cookeville’s downtown.

11. The Crime Rate Is Nothing To Be Proud Of

Cookeville’s crime rate is higher than desired, especially for a small east Tennessee town. ranks Cookeville at only 9 out of a possible top score of 100 for its crime.

Statistics show that property crime is the primary issue. Fortunately, the violent crime rate is low.

12. The Limited Economy May Leave You Wanting For More

Cookeville has a limited economy. Thus, the city is not the best place for young professionals looking to advance their careers.

The local economy has many important but lower-paying jobs. Workers are in demand at restaurants, factories, and lower-skilled service-oriented businesses.

Jobs in banking, finance, and management are in short supply. This is one of the common problems in smaller towns.

13. Below Average Wages Hit Workers Right In The Wallet

Cookeville’s median household income is well below the national average. Locals looking for work say employers are persistent in keeping wages low.

Are you looking for a good place to live in Tennessee with a vibrant economy and better pay? If yes, check out Chattanooga.

Next up, one of the worst things about living in Cookeville.

14. Troubling Tornado Activity Is No Joking Matter

Cookville’s weather is nice but not perfect. Tornado activity is prevalent here.

When deciding to live in Tennessee, be aware that the state is part of Dixie Alley. Dixey Alley refers to the southeastern United States with a higher risk of tornados.

As recently as 2020, Cookeville took a direct hit, resulting in severe property damage. As a result, ensure you have good insurance after moving to Cookeville.

15. Cookeville’s Popularity Has Come At A Price

Cookeville’s popularity has increased in recent years.

National publications have ranked the city highly as a retirement destination. The attention has brought more people to the area.

More people have meant increased development of shopping areas, apartment housing, and chain restaurants. Some long-time residents are disappointed with the changes.

Okay. That’s it for today. Please allow me to wrap up.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Cookeville, TN: Wrap-Up

living in Cookeville TN pros and consPin

Cookeville is a great place to live, but the city isn’t for everyone.

Hopefully, this article will help you answer some important questions. Such as…

  1. What is it like to live in Cookeville, TN?
  2. Should I move to Cookeville?
  3. Is Cookeville a good retirement destination?

No matter what, best of luck when choosing a new place to settle down.

More Reading About Living In Cookeville And Beyond

We have a robust group of articles about the best places to live. Be sure to check them out before you go.

Other closely related articles include:

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Living In Cookeville, TN Fully Explained