10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in Alabama have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Alabama? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Heart Of Dixie:

  1. Pleasant Grove (Homes For Sale)
  2. Prattville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Hoover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Hartselle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Vestavia Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Leeds (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Eufaula (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Athens (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Mountain Brook (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Alabama, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Alabama and the best places for families in the country:

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Alabama anyways?

To give you the places in Alabama which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Heart Of Dixie

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Alabama, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Alabama, that meant a total of 52 cities.

Read on to see why Pleasant Grove is where all the families are headed, while Ozark is probably a place made for singles.

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Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,284
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 35.4%
More on Pleasant Grove: Homes For Sale | Data

Pleasant Grove is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama. It is part of the Birmingham metropolitan area. Its nickname is “The Good Neighbor City”. At the 2010 census the population was 10,110.

Prattville, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,107
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Montgomery
Households with kids: 35.6%
More on Prattville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed “The Fountain City” due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as the county seat of Autauga County.

Helena, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,630
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 43.4%
More on Helena: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Helena is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th “Best Place to Raise Your Kids” in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine’s 2007 list of “Best Places to Live: Top 100” in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award.

Hoover, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 84,100
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 34.6%
More on Hoover: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hoover is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in north central Alabama, United States. The largest suburb around Birmingham, the population of the city was 84,848 as of the 2015 US Census estimate. Hoover is part of the Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area and is also included in the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL Combined Statistical Area. Hoover-s neighborhoods and planned communities are located along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

Hartselle, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,475
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Hartselle: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Vestavia Hills, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,243
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 35.4%
More on Vestavia Hills: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Vestavia Hills is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of the city of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, its population was 34,033, up from 24,476 in 2000. It moved up from the fifth largest city in Jefferson County in 2000 to the third largest in 2010, behind Birmingham and Hoover.

Leeds, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,701
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 34.5%
More on Leeds: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Leeds is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama and is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.

Eufaula, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,688
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Columbus
Households with kids: 34.4%
More on Eufaula: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Eufaula is the largest city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the city’s population was 13,137.

Athens, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,461
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 28.4%
More on Athens: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

Mountain Brook, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,532
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 40.1%
More on Mountain Brook: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Mountain Brook is a town in southeastern Jefferson County, Alabama, United States and an upper-middle-class suburb of Birmingham. Its estimated 2015 population is 20,691. It is one of the state’s most affluent places.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Grow Up In Alabama

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Alabama ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Alabama according to the data:

  1. Ozark
  2. Prichard
  3. Saraland

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Alabama

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Pleasant Grove 10,284 35
2 Prattville 35,107 50
3 Helena 17,630 35
4 Hoover 84,100 50
5 Hartselle 14,475 51
6 Vestavia Hills 34,243 42
7 Leeds 11,701 41
8 Eufaula 12,688 39
9 Athens 24,461 42
10 Mountain Brook 20,532 36
11 Pelham 22,596 49
12 Cullman 15,156 67
13 Moody 12,464 35
14 Fort Payne 14,101 48
15 Gardendale 13,750 43
16 Montgomery 201,717 106
17 Alabaster 32,269 58
18 Enterprise 28,025 39
19 Jacksonville 12,827 35
20 Daphne 24,295 49
21 Irondale 12,388 61
22 Dothan 68,066 46
23 Jasper 14,137 48
24 Fairfield 10,937 58
25 Talladega 15,793 45
26 Albertville 21,434 53
27 Sylacauga 12,696 48
28 Auburn 60,318 64
29 Hueytown 15,797 61
30 Homewood 25,652 48
31 Fairhope 17,996 66
32 Troy 18,944 49
33 Selma 19,650 56
34 Tuscaloosa 96,352 71
35 Muscle Shoals 13,585 51
36 Gadsden 36,235 57
37 Atmore 10,067 52
38 Oxford 21,202 42
39 Opelika 29,030 43
40 Madison 46,396 54
41 Northport 24,544 42
42 Florence 39,938 55
43 Gulf Shores 11,252 34
44 Decatur 55,419 43
45 Huntsville 188,973 100
46 Anniston 22,441 39
47 Mobile 193,717 100
48 Bessemer 26,856 50
49 Scottsboro 14,748 40
50 Saraland 13,778 36
51 Prichard 22,340 58
52 Ozark 14,721 36

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