Best Affordable Place in Tennessee: Hamilton County

Population: 340,877
Median family income: $58,045
Households spending more than 30 percent income on housing: 29.7 percent
Unemployment: 8.7 percent
Adult population with bachelor's degrees: 26.9 percent
Major cities: Chattanooga, East Brainerd, East Ridge

Southeast Tennessee's Hamilton County is home to a Volkswagen plant (VOW:GR) in Chattanooga, its largest city. Chattanooga has won several awards for quality of life, as well as nine Gunther Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence in housing and consolidated planning, according to the city website. The county's cost of living is about 15 percent lower than the U.S. average, according to Sperling's BestPlaces.
 
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