Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Alabama.

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The most family friendly places in a state are the places that have the best neighborhoods, the best schools, the best shopping, and the most family friendly amenities; and, folks, Alabama has some of the best in the South.

Where are the most family friendly places in the The Yellowhammer State? You're going to have to take a look below at HomeSnacks list of the best places to raise your family in Alabama for 2020 to find out.

But first, how did we determine the most family friendly places in Alabama? We consulted the US Census on places in The Heart of Dixie with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 42 family friendly Alabama places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Matter of fact, if you ask any Alabamian, they will tell you that Alabama is the best and that their corner of the state is above the rest. They will also tell you that what the state doesn't make up in wealth, they make up in friendly people and fun things to do and see.

Speaking of family friendly entertainment, when Alabama families are ready for some fun in the sun, there is plenty of family friendly fun to be had. We think the best family day in this southern paradise would go something like this: first, a trip to the Birmingham Zoo; then, a visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

So, want to see a list of Alabama's best places for families? Read on.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it's hard to argue against the numbers. We've had more than ten million people read our published articles and we've been featured in hundreds of media outlets for our best of the best rankings, including this Alabama Patch feature. So, yes, we know what we're talking about.

What city is the best place to raise a family in Alabama? Well according to the US Census Prattville is the best of the best if you care about a good education, low crime, and a high quality of life. And we're pretty sure that you do.

To see how your favorite places in Alabama compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Alabama and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama For 2020

Prattville, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 35,657
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Montgomery
Households with kids: 37.1%
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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,185
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 38
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 32.0%
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.

Helena, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,861
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 39.6%
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.

Cullman, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,558
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Cullman: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cullman is a city and the county seat of Cullman County, Alabama, United States. It is located along Interstate 65, about 50 miles north of Birmingham and about 55 miles south of Huntsville. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 14,775, with an estimated population of 15,496 in 2016.

Vestavia Hills, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 34,163
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 35.9%
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.

Pelham, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,242
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 33.2%
More on Pelham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Pelham is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in July 1964. It was named for Confederate American Civil War officer John Pelham.

The City of Pelham operates under the Mayor/Council Act. The Mayor serves as the city's chief executive and the City Council act much like a board of directors.

Athens, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 25,176
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 27.9%
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.

Jacksonville, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,654
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 29.2%
More on Jacksonville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Jacksonville is a city in Calhoun County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 12,548, which is a 49% increase since 2000. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jacksonville State University is located here, which is a center of commerce and one of the largest employers in the area.

Irondale, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on Irondale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Irondale is a city in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is a suburb of Birmingham, northeast of Homewood and Mountain Brook. At the 2010 census the population was 12,349. The setting of the book Fried Green Tomatoes, by Irondale native Fannie Flagg, is loosely based on the town and the landmark Irondale Cafe, known as The Whistle-Stop Cafe in the book & film. Irondale is also the location of Catholic radio/television broadcaster EWTN. The city's annual Whistle-Stop Festival attracts thousands to its eclectic mix of art, food and music.

Hartselle, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,405
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Birmingham
Households with kids: 32.9%
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.

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 42 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family 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. Scottsboro
  3. Mobile

For more alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Alabama?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Prattville, AL 35,657 43
2 Pleasant Grove, AL 10,185 43
3 Helena, AL 17,861 59
4 Cullman, AL 15,558 53
5 Vestavia Hills, AL 34,163 44
6 Pelham, AL 23,242 54
7 Athens, AL 25,176 40
8 Jacksonville, AL 12,654 46
9 Irondale, AL 12,474 39
10 Hartselle, AL 14,405 58

How Is The Area 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.

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