10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in Alabama go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Alabama.

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Alabama is home to Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, the USS Alabama in Mobile, and the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, but did you know that the Heart of Dixie is also home to some of the most affordable places in the country?

The experts say that the cost of living is on the rise, so HomeSnacks thought it would be a great idea to give Alabamans one of the best life hacks: we compiled a list of the most affordable places to live in Alabama for 2019.

How did we determine the most affordable places to live in Alabama for 2019? We consulted the latest Census data on cost of living.

It simple economics, folks. The folks in our most affordable Alabama places know that the less they spend on their cost of living, the more they have to spend on the fun things that Alabama has to offer. Like, swamp boat tours in Spanish Fort, the Birmingham Zoo, or Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure in Bessemer… you know, great, affordable Alabama staycations. Do we think it’s a coincidence that several of our top ten best places in Alabama to retire are also on our most affordable list? Absolutely not. The good ‘ol Alabamans that live in these places know the value of the Alabama dollar.

So, want to know where you can find a safe, affordable Alabama home? Keep reading.

To produce a comprehensive list of the most affordable places in Alabama for 2019, we took a look at the things that matter: low cost of living, blue ribbon schools, and an above average employment rate to name a few.

The cheapest place to live in alabama? Drum roll…the number one most affordable place to live in Alabama is Roanoke.

If you’re already in one of the most affordable Alabama places we’re about to highlight, odds are you don’t want to go anywhere. You should, however, scroll on down and see how your city compared.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Alabama and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama For 2019

Roanoke, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,925
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.7x (39th cheapest)
More On Roanoke: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Roanoke is a city in Randolph County, which is in the Piedmont region of eastern Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 6,074, down from 6,563 in 2000.

The median income in Roanoke comes in at $37,458 and the median home value is $79,300 for 2019.

Tuscumbia, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,452
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.4x (17th cheapest)
More On Tuscumbia: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Tuscumbia is a city in and the county seat of Colbert County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,423. The city is part of The Shoals metropolitan area.

The median income in Tuscumbia comes in at $48,047 and the median home value is $107,300 for 2019.

Attalla, AL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,884
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.0x (53rd cheapest)
More On Attalla: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Attalla is a city in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,048.

The median income in Attalla comes in at $40,375 and the median home value is $78,000 for 2019.

Hamilton, AL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,718
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (21st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.5x (22nd cheapest)
More On Hamilton: Homes For Sale | Data

Hamilton is a city in Marion County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1896. At the 2010 census the population was 6,885. The city is the county seat of Marion County and since 1980 has been its largest city, surpassing Winfield. It had previously been the largest town in 1910.

The median income in Hamilton comes in at $39,533 and the median home value is $97,700 for 2019.

Lincoln, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,544
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 17)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.3x (27th cheapest)
More On Lincoln: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Lincoln comes in at $58,182 and the median home value is $120,800 for 2019.

Russellville, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,715
Rank Last Year: 51 (Up 45)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (22nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.5x (31st cheapest)
More On Russellville: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.

The median income in Russellville comes in at $41,149 and the median home value is $101,800 for 2019.

Hartselle, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,395
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (18th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 87.6x (5th cheapest)
More On Hartselle: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad’s owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.

The median income in Hartselle comes in at $57,041 and the median home value is $135,100 for 2019.

Clay, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,685
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 84.1x (7th cheapest)
More On Clay: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Clay comes in at $74,712 and the median home value is $153,000 for 2019.

Gadsden, AL

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 35,832
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.9x (83rd cheapest)
More On Gadsden: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Gadsden is a city in and the county seat of Etowah County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is located on the Coosa River about 56 miles northeast of Birmingham and 90 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is the primary city of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 103,931. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 36,856, with an estimated population of 35,837 in 2016. Gadsden and Rome, Georgia, are the largest cities in the triangular area defined by the Interstate highways between Atlanta, Birmingham, and Chattanooga.

The median income in Gadsden comes in at $30,925 and the median home value is $68,800 for 2019.

Review Of Gadsden by HomeSnacks User

I live in gadsden and I like it!!

Glencoe, AL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,116
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (42nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 87.3x (6th cheapest)
More On Glencoe: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Glencoe is a city in Calhoun and Etowah counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city incorporated in 1939.

The median income in Glencoe comes in at $49,957 and the median home value is $133,000 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Alabama to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 102 places in Alabama that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Alabama according to the data is Roanoke.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Alabama Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Alabama, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in alabama for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Alabama according to the data:

  1. Gulf Shores
  2. Auburn
  3. Tuscaloosa

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Alabama?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Roanoke 17.33 5,925 2.1x 66.7x
2 Tuscumbia 17.67 8,452 2.2x 73.4x
3 Attalla 19.67 5,884 1.9x 63.0x
4 Hamilton 21.0 6,718 2.5x 70.5x
5 Lincoln 23.83 6,544 2.1x 69.3x
6 Russellville 25.33 9,715 2.5x 68.5x
7 Hartselle 26.33 14,395 2.4x 87.6x
8 Clay 27.67 9,685 2.0x 84.1x
9 Gadsden 31.33 35,832 2.2x 51.9x
10 Glencoe 33.67 5,116 2.7x 87.3x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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