State of Our State

How does Tennessee stack up? Now in its fourth year, ThinkTennessee’s State of Our State dashboard provides an at-a-glance look at how our state ranks nationally across 100 of the indicators that matter most.

As a presidential election year, 2020 marks an important civic milestone for the country. In Tennessee, we will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of our state’s deciding vote to ratify the 19th Amendment. Thanks to the leadership of the Tennesseans who came before us, that vote provided millions of women across the country access to the ballot box for the very first time.

This year more than ever, voters and elected officials alike want to see our state once again lead the nation. These rankings paint a picture of how our state is doing on the issues that affect Tennesseans’ daily lives – where we’re leading the way, and where we’ve fallen behind.

Interested in ideas about how to move our state forward from here? Our research shares success stories from other states and pragmatic recommendations for how Tennessee can continue to make progress.

Notes on Methodology:

For the sake of consistency, rankings have been standardized so low numbers always reflect positive outcomes. In other words, being ranked first is always better than being ranked fiftieth.

Metrics were compiled using publicly available data and are current as of Jan. 31, 2020. Where possible, we favored U.S. government data over other sources for consistency and reliability.

Some voting-related indicators will be updated throughout the year as newer information becomes available.

Voter Registration (Presidential Election)



Cost of Childcare (Infants)

Affordable Rental Shortage

Medical Debt

Wage Gap

High School Graduation

Public School Teacher Salary

Electricity Prices

Felon Disenfranchisement

Voter Turnout (Presidential Election)

Able-Bodied Seniors

Adult Obesity

Adults on Probation & Parole

Adults Who Smoke

Adults with Diabetes

Adults with Heart Disease

Adults Without a High School Diploma

African-American Incarceration

Air Pollution

Auto Loan Delinquency Rate

Average ACT Score

Average Commute

Breastfed Infants

Broadband Access (25 MBPS)

People With No Choice Among Broadband Providers

Broadband Subscriptions

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Childhood Obesity

Children in Poverty

Children Living Apart from Parents

Children Receiving Public Assistance

Commuters Taking Transit to Work

Corrections Spending

Cost of Living

Deficient Bridges

Drug Deaths

Educational Attainment

Effective Property Tax Rate

Eighth-Grade Reading Proficiency

Energy Expenditures Per Capita

Extremely Low-Income Renters

Female Incarceration

Food-Insecure Seniors


GDP Growth

Highest Gasoline Tax

Highway Traffic Fatalities


Home Ownership

Households without Computers or Smartphones

Infant Mortality

Labor Force Participation Gender Gap

Leed Certified Buildings

Low Birthweight

Low-Wage Jobs

Median Home Value

Median Household Income

Mental Health Providers

Minority Representation in Elected Office

Nursing Home Quality

Opioid Prescriptions


Prison Incarceration

Provisional Ballots Cast

Public Library Funding

School Districts with Internet Connectivity

Seniors (65+) Voter Registration

Seniors (65+) Voter Turnout

Seniors in Good Health

Seniors Living in Poverty

Small Business Employment Rate

Solar Energy Systems

State Corporate Tax

State Public School Spending Per Pupil

Student Loan Debt

Student Loan Holders in Default

Student-Teacher Ratio

Unbanked Households



Uninsured Children

Uninsured Women (19-64)

Urban-Rural Employment Gap

Victimized Children

Violent Crime


Voter Registration (Midterm Election)

Voter Registrations Rejected

Voter Registration – Women

Voter Turnout (Midterm Election)

Voter Turnout – Women

Wind Energy Capacity

Women Judges

Women Holding Elected Office

Women Living in Poverty

Women Receiving Annual Checkup

Youth (18-24) Voter Registration

Youth (18-24) Voter Turnout