Best counties to raise a family in Tennessee

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Photo illustration / Canva / Stacker

Known in other parts of the world as shires, provinces, or territories, the United States’ counties (also known in certain states as boroughs or parishes) date back to the 1600s, when settlers first came to find freedom from British rule. Today, those counties remain, with the 50 states divided into several, each with its own unique makeup.

For people looking to find a home to raise a family in, choosing a county is an important decision. Most families place affordable homes, safe neighborhoods, a quality school system, and family-friendly activities at the top of their wishlists.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Tennessee using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, healthcare, recreation and weather.

The list features counties that boast some of the top schools and fun, family-friendly activities for every season. Keep reading to explore the best counties to raise a family, and explore this list of rentals by zip code. Maybe you’ll find one that suits your brood.

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Weakley County

– Population: 33,510
– Median home value: $97,800 (65% own)
– Median rent: $626 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $39,937
– Top public schools: Martin Elementary School (A-), Greenfield School (B), Dresden Middle School (B)
– Top private schools: Liberty Christian Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Martin (B+), Sharon (B), Gleason (B)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Coffee County

– Population: 55,209
– Median home value: $141,900 (68% own)
– Median rent: $737 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $50,351
– Top public schools: New Union Elementary School (A-), Tullahoma High School (B+), Robert E. Lee Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: St. Paul the Apostle School (unavailable), Temple Baptist Christian School (unavailable), Tullahoma Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Manchester (B+), Tullahoma (B), New Union (B)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Gibson County

– Population: 49,228
– Median home value: $98,600 (68% own)
– Median rent: $680 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $43,171
– Top public schools: Medina Middle School (A), Medina Elementary School (A-), Rutherford Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Milan Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Medina (A-), Milan (B), Dyer (B)

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#22. Maury County

– Population: 91,976
– Median home value: $184,800 (70% own)
– Median rent: $895 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $57,170
– Top public schools: Columbia Central High School (B), Spring Hill Middle School (B), Marvin Wright Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Columbia Academy (B+), Zion Christian Academy (B+), Agathos School of Columbia (A)
– Top places to live: Spring Hill (A-), Columbia (B), Mount Pleasant (B-)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Anderson County

– Population: 76,061
– Median home value: $146,200 (68% own)
– Median rent: $750 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $50,392
– Top public schools: Oak Ridge High School (A), Woodland Elementary School (A), Jefferson Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: Faith Christian School (B-), St. Mary’s School (unavailable), Christian Academy of Oak Ridge (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Oak Ridge (A), Norris (B), Clinton (B-)

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#20. Madison County

– Population: 97,625
– Median home value: $131,500 (62% own)
– Median rent: $877 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $48,161
– Top public schools: Madison Academic Magnet High School (A), Community Montessori School (B), South Side High School (B-)
– Top private schools: University School of Jackson (A+), Sacred Heart of Jesus High School (A), Trinity Christian Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Three Way (B), Jackson (B), Medon (B-)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Lincoln County

– Population: 33,924
– Median home value: $135,700 (75% own)
– Median rent: $685 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $49,485
– Top public schools: Highland Rim School (B+), South Lincoln School (B+), Fayetteville High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Riverside Christian Academy (A-)
– Top places to live: Park City (B), Fayetteville (B), Petersburg (C+)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Sullivan County

– Population: 157,050
– Median home value: $141,300 (72% own)
– Median rent: $668 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $46,684
– Top public schools: Dobyns-Bennett High School (A), Andrew Johnson Elementary School (A), John Adams Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Tri-Cities Christian School (B+), Tennessee Avenue Christian Academy (B), Cedar View Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Kingsport (A-), Colonial Heights (B+), Bristol (B+)

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Henderson County

– Population: 27,977
– Median home value: $102,000 (73% own)
– Median rent: $648 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $43,305
– Top public schools: South Side Elementary School (A-), Scotts Hill Elementary School (A-), Scotts Hill High School (B+)
– Top private schools: Lexington Christian Academy (B-)
– Top places to live: Lexington (B-), Scotts Hill (B-), Parker’s Crossroads (B-)

GamblinMonkey // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Dyer County

– Population: 37,416
– Median home value: $103,800 (62% own)
– Median rent: $680 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $44,185
– Top public schools: Dyersburg Middle School (A), Holice Powell Elementary School (A), Three Oaks Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: Christ Classical Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Dyersburg (B), Newbern (B-), Trimble (B-)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Putnam County

– Population: 77,447
– Median home value: $159,600 (61% own)
– Median rent: $715 (39% rent)
– Median household income: $44,259
– Top public schools: Capshaw Elementary School (A-), Prescott South Elementary School (A-), Northeast Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Highland Rim Academy (A-), Heritage Academy (B+), Heavenly Host Lutheran School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Cookeville (B+), Algood (B-), Baxter (C+)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Chester County

– Population: 17,190
– Median home value: $121,900 (77% own)
– Median rent: $682 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $51,946
– Top public schools: East Chester Elementary School (A-), Jacks Creek Elementary School (A-), Chester County Middle School (A-)
– Top private schools: Tennessee Children’s Home – West Campus (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Henderson (B+)

AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Hamblen County

– Population: 64,132
– Median home value: $137,900 (67% own)
– Median rent: $735 (33% rent)
– Median household income: $43,619
– Top public schools: Morristown West High School (A), Alpha Elementary School (A-), Witt Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Lakeway Christian School (B+), Cornerstone Academy/Lakeway Christian Academy (B+), All Saints’ Episcopal School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Morristown (B-)

Scott Basford // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Loudon County

– Population: 52,340
– Median home value: $222,500 (78% own)
– Median rent: $802 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $58,065
– Top public schools: North Middle School (A), Eaton Elementary School (A-), Highland Park Elementary School (A-)
– Top private schools: Crossroads Christian Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Tellico Village (B), Loudon (B), Lenoir City (B)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Bradley County

– Population: 105,749
– Median home value: $161,000 (66% own)
– Median rent: $777 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $51,331
– Top public schools: Michigan Avenue Elementary School (A-), North Lee Elementary School (A-), Walker Valley High School (A-)
– Top private schools: Cleveland Christian School (B), Tennessee Christian Preparatory School (B-), First Baptist Weekday Ministry (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Hopewell (B+), Cleveland (B+), Wildwood Lake (B-)

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#10. Shelby County

– Population: 936,374
– Median home value: $150,400 (55% own)
– Median rent: $942 (45% rent)
– Median household income: $51,657
– Top public schools: Tara Oaks Elementary School (A+), Sycamore Elementary School (A+), Collierville High School (A+)
– Top private schools: St. Mary’s Episcopal School (A+), Lausanne Collegiate School (A+), Memphis University School (A+)
– Top places to live: Germantown (A+), Collierville (A), Lakeland (A-)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Sumner County

– Population: 183,437
– Median home value: $234,200 (74% own)
– Median rent: $1,026 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $67,204
– Top public schools: Merrol Hyde Magnet School (A+), T.W. Hunter Middle School (A), Dr. William Burrus Elementary at Drakes Creek (A)
– Top private schools: Pope John Paul II High School (A+), Highland Academy (B+), Hendersonville Christian Academy (B)
– Top places to live: Hendersonville (A-), Shackle Island (B+), Gallatin (B+)

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#8. Davidson County

– Population: 687,488
– Median home value: $241,700 (54% own)
– Median rent: $1,102 (46% rent)
– Median household income: $60,388
– Top public schools: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School (A+), Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School (A+), Meigs Academic Magnet (A-)
– Top private schools: University School of Nashville (A+), Montgomery Bell Academy (A+), Harpeth Hall School (A+)
– Top places to live: Elliston Place (A+), Hope Gardens (A+), Music Row (A+)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Washington County

– Population: 127,805
– Median home value: $163,000 (64% own)
– Median rent: $757 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $48,334
– Top public schools: Fairmont Elementary School (A), Science Hill High School (A), Woodland Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Providence Academy (A), St. Mary School (unavailable), Central Baptist Preschool & Kindergarten (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Johnson City (A), Jonesborough (B+), Oak Grove (B-)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Wilson County

– Population: 136,666
– Median home value: $264,600 (77% own)
– Median rent: $1,065 (23% rent)
– Median household income: $75,991
– Top public schools: Rutland Elementary School (A), Springdale Elementary School (A), Lakeview Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Friendship Christian School (A-), Mt. Juliet Christian Academy (B+), McClain Christian Academy Preschool (B+)
– Top places to live: Mount Juliet (A), Green Hill (A-), Lebanon (B+)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Hamilton County

– Population: 360,919
– Median home value: $180,900 (64% own)
– Median rent: $868 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $55,070
– Top public schools: Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (A), Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (CSAS) – Upper School (A), STEM School Chattanooga (A-)
– Top private schools: McCallie School (A+), Baylor School (A+), Girls Preparatory School (A)
– Top places to live: Lookout Mountain (A), Signal Mountain (A), Collegedale (A)

Ɱ // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Knox County

– Population: 461,104
– Median home value: $183,200 (64% own)
– Median rent: $892 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $57,470
– Top public schools: Farragut High School (A+), L&N STEM Academy (A), Hardin Valley Academy (A)
– Top private schools: Webb School of Knoxville (A+), Knoxville Catholic High School (A), Christian Academy of Knoxville (A)
– Top places to live: Farragut (A+), Knoxville (A-), Mascot (B-)

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#3. Montgomery County

– Population: 200,180
– Median home value: $165,800 (60% own)
– Median rent: $971 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $57,541
– Top public schools: Rossview Elementary School (A), St. Bethlehem Elementary School (A), Sango Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Clarksville Academy (A-), Clarksville Christian School (B+), Immaculate Conception School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Clarksville (A-)

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#2. Rutherford County

– Population: 315,815
– Median home value: $213,200 (65% own)
– Median rent: $1,063 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $67,429
– Top public schools: Central Magnet School (A+), Thurman Francis Arts Academy (A), McFadden School of Excellence (A)
– Top private schools: Providence Christian Academy (A-), Lancaster Christian Academy (B+), Franklin Road Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Murfreesboro (A), Smyrna (A-), La Vergne (B+)

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#1. Williamson County

– Population: 225,389
– Median home value: $449,000 (81% own)
– Median rent: $1,500 (19% rent)
– Median household income: $112,962
– Top public schools: Brentwood High School (A+), Ravenwood High School (A+), Kenrose Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: Battle Ground Academy (A+), Brentwood Academy (A+), Franklin Classical School (A-)
– Top places to live: Brentwood (A+), Franklin (A+), Nolensville (A+)

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