Best Birmingham Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 42 places around Birmingham to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Birmingham suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Birmingham are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Birmingham? Mountain Brook ranks as the best suburb of Birmingham for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Mountain Brook, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Birmingham 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Alabama:

The 10 Best Birmingham Suburbs To Live For 2020

Mountain Brook, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 20,466
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $143,221
Unemployment Rate: 1.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Mountain Brook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mountain Brook is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Birmingham area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Mountain Brook."

Everyone here is rich; families average $143,221 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Birmingham region. And only 1.88% are out of work. Homes average more than $602,200 each.

Vestavia Hills, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 34,163
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $105,218
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Vestavia Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vestavia Hills is the second best 'burb we looked at near Birmingham for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 3.64% of residents lack insurance, good for 8th best.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,073
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Median Income: $78,625
Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Kimberly: Real Estate | Data

Here in Kimberly, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Birmingham metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Kimberly.

Helena, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 17,861
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $86,906
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Helena ranks as the 4th best suburb of Birmingham for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Helena and the schools are some of the best around.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,028
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $84,668
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Rate: 0.9%
More on Lake View: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Lake View.

Lake View gets kudos for having the 8th most expensive homes in the Birmingham area, where houses sell for an average of $203,500. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Trussville, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 21,721
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $88,371
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Trussville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Trussville is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 3.44% which is 13th best in the area.

According to online reports, Trussville is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Birmingham area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,595
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $77,269
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 9.8%
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Homewood.

Homewood schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 4.8 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Chelsea, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,643
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $95,060
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Chelsea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Chelsea is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 1.66% of people lack insurance, good for 1st in the area.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,195
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $78,958
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 2.1%
More on Springville: Real Estate | Data

Is 'Everything Better In Springville?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Hoover, AL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 84,480
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $84,042
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.7%
More on Hoover: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Hoover.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Review Of Hoover by HomeSnacks User

Hoover is a suburban community just outside the city of Birmingham. Crime is low, schools are consistently rated in Best Schools in America lists and there are many recreational options nearby, including many parks. Plenty of shopping from high-end to budget-friendly available. Residents take pride in their neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are cookie-cutter, but homes and lawns are maintained well and there is no littering or trash in public spaces. Its a small and safe place to live!

Oak Mountain is a favorite. You can hike, swim, fish, camp or go to a concert at the outdoor theater venue. Hoover is in a great location, so you have easy access to museums, botanical gardens, historic movie theaters, shopping, and the airport. Hoover has grown rapidly and the roadways havent kept up, so traffic is an inevitable frustration. Popular stores and restaurants seem to be on side of town and creates a lot of congestion. There is a lot of open space in the city, so building places in other parts of town would help.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Birmingham for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Birmingham was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

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

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 41 suburbs to evaluate around Birmingham.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 41 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

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

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Birmingham." We're lookin' at you, Mountain Brook. You can download the data here.

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

Welcome to the Best Birmingham 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Birmingham, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Birmingham Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Mountain Brook, AL 20,466 $143,221
2 Vestavia Hills, AL 34,163 $105,218
3 Kimberly, AL 3,073 $78,625
4 Helena, AL 17,861 $86,906
5 Lake View, AL 3,028 $84,668
6 Trussville, AL 21,721 $88,371
7 Homewood, AL 25,595 $77,269
8 Chelsea, AL 12,643 $95,060
9 Springville, AL 4,195 $78,958
10 Hoover, AL 84,480 $84,042
11 Clay, AL 9,653 $68,590
12 Pleasant Grove, AL 10,185 $69,524
13 Calera, AL 13,557 $64,325
14 Gardendale, AL 13,875 $66,983
15 Margaret, AL 4,752 $58,720
16 Pelham, AL 23,242 $76,107
17 Argo, AL 4,235 $70,439
18 Alabaster, AL 32,878 $78,071
19 Moody, AL 12,752 $62,611
20 Pinson, AL 7,121 $64,252
21 Leeds, AL 12,348 $62,094
22 Odenville, AL 3,751 $77,283
23 Fultondale, AL 9,097 $60,082
24 Wilsonville, AL 2,246 $58,306
25 Irondale, AL 12,474 $52,007
26 Hueytown, AL 15,583 $49,705
27 Sumiton, AL 2,586 $43,125
28 Center Point, AL 16,460 $43,635
29 Woodstock, AL 2,371 $75,500
30 Montevallo, AL 6,654 $41,720
31 Fairfield, AL 10,790 $37,304
32 Midfield, AL 5,158 $36,837
33 Columbiana, AL 4,420 $38,667
34 Lipscomb, AL 2,024 $28,472
35 Adamsville, AL 4,374 $46,937
36 Warrior, AL 3,209 $30,635
37 Brighton, AL 2,823 $26,700
38 Tarrant, AL 6,212 $29,981
39 Bessemer, AL 26,759 $31,610
40 Dora, AL 2,200 $35,261
41 Vincent, AL 2,162 $36,100

How Is Your Town In ?

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.