The 10 Worst Nashville Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which Nashville suburbs are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Nashville.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Nashville.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Nashville 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Nashville area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Nashville proper, although Belle Meade certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Nashville are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 26 biggest suburbs of Nashville to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in tennessee lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Nashville in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Nashville for 2021:

  1. White Bluff
  2. Springfield
  3. Lebanon
  4. Ashland
  5. Greenbrier
  6. La Vergne
  7. Millersville
  8. Smyrna
  9. Fairview
  10. Gallatin

What's the worst suburb of Nashville? White Bluff ranks as the worst suburb of Nashville for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Nashville that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in tennessee check out the best places in tennessee overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Nashville too.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Nashville Suburbs To Live For 2021

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,517
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,250 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (highest)
Median Home Value: $143,300 (lowest)
More on White Bluff:  Data

We'll get the ball rolling with White Bluff, the absolute worst place to live around Nashville according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, White Bluff beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Nashville area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's White Bluff.

You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Springfield, TN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,092
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $46,897 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $154,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Springfield:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Springfield. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 22.8 miles to Nashville. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $46,897 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Lebanon, TN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 33,159
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,228 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $223,600 (13th lowest)
More on Lebanon:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Nashville suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lebanon on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Nashville suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Ashland

Ashland Location In Virginia

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,750
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $55,000 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $191,900 (7th lowest)
More on Ashland:

If you live in Ashland, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Nashville suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 9th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Nashville. Remember, we looked at 26 cities for this study.

Ashland is about 15.8 miles to downtown.

Greenbrier, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,818
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $58,446 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $178,900 (4th lowest)
More on Greenbrier:  Data | Photos

Greenbrier has the distinction of being a Nashville suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Greenbrier has the 4th lowest home values in the metro Nashville area, where the median price is $178,900. To put that into perspective, in Belle Meade, the median income is $250,001, which is the best in the area.

Greenbrier has an unemployment rate of 5.41% which ranks 3rd worst.

La Vergne, TN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 35,411
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $64,531 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,900 (3rd lowest)
More on La Vergne:  Data | Photos

La Vergne has 35,411 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 10.22514071294559%.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,350
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $65,063 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (22nd highest)
Median Home Value: $186,300 (5th lowest)
More on Millersville:  Data

Ah, Millersville. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Nashville.

It's the place with the 22nd most out of work residents in the Nashville metro area (1.75%).

Smyrna, TN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 49,552
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $62,635 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $189,800 (6th lowest)
More on Smyrna:  Data | Photos

Smyrna is a city about 19.4 miles from Nashville, but Nashville probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Smyrna has the 6th most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 6th highest unemployment rate (4.89%) in the entire Nashville metro area.

Homes only cost $189,800 for a reason. That's cheap for Nashville standards.

Fairview, TN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,762
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $69,300 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $225,900 (14th lowest)
More on Fairview:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near Nashville, then Fairview might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Nashville suburb.

About 3.38% of residents are out of work.

Gallatin, TN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 38,156
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $59,745 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $222,800 (12th lowest)
More on Gallatin:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Nashville suburbs to call home is Gallatin.

Located 21.8 miles outside the city, Gallatins is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 15th highest unemployment rate (2.63%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Nashville for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2015-2019, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Nashville.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 26 suburbs to evaluate around Nashville.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 26 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near Nashville." We're lookin' at you, White Bluff. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

The areas around Nashville where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Nashville with White Bluff casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Nashville aren't all bad. Belle Meade takes the cake as the best place to live around Nashville.

  • Belle Meade
  • Oak Hill
  • Nolensville

For more Tennessee reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Nashville Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 White Bluff 3,517 $44,250 $143,300
2 Springfield 17,092 $46,897 $154,800
3 Lebanon 33,159 $54,228 $223,600
4 Ashland 7,750 $55,000 $191,900
5 Greenbrier 6,818 $58,446 $178,900
6 La Vergne 35,411 $64,531 $160,900
7 Millersville 6,350 $65,063 $186,300
8 Smyrna 49,552 $62,635 $189,800
9 Fairview 8,762 $69,300 $225,900
10 Gallatin 38,156 $59,745 $222,800
11 Goodlettsville 16,870 $60,268 $218,800
12 Murfreesboro 136,366 $62,003 $238,000
13 Pleasant View 4,480 $84,715 $204,700
14 Pegram 2,597 $77,634 $231,300
15 Ridgetop 2,230 $67,463 $209,400
16 Kingston Springs 2,741 $80,880 $249,200
17 White House 11,843 $78,041 $215,600
18 Hendersonville 57,083 $72,539 $266,100
19 Mount Juliet 34,377 $91,303 $274,800
20 Franklin 77,939 $98,231 $412,400
21 Thompson's Station 5,456 $104,250 $420,400
22 Forest Hills 4,939 $203,056 $853,000
23 Brentwood 42,407 $168,688 $655,400
24 Nolensville 8,390 $134,740 $455,700
25 Oak Hill 4,587 $171,500 $694,100
26 Belle Meade 2,280 $250,001 $1,524,400

How Is Your Town In ?