These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2018


We looked at 569 places in the Heart of Dixie to find the cream of the crop.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Sweet Home Alabama is a pretty fitting saying for a state that surpasses most other Southern states for its beauty and all-around charm. When you have the Gulf Shores and the Talladega National Forests in your backyard, it’s quite a super place to live.

But where is the best place to live in Alabama? That’s what we set out to find out.

Using science, we analyzed everything from crime, education, weather and amount of income per household to find out, once and for all, the best cities to make home in the Yellowhammer State. Apparently, living in the greater Birmingham region is a little slice of heaven.

After analyzing almost 600 places, we came up with this list as the top 10 places to live in Alabama:

  1. Mountain Brook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Vestavia Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Homewood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Hoover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Southside (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Fairhope (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Daphne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Northport (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Mountain Brook if you’re thinking of moving to Alabama — it’s the best the Heart of Dixie has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Alabama.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Alabama

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Montgomery with a population of 201,717 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 101 cities, 198 towns, and 214 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Alabama

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Alabama across a number of criteria from one to 101, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Alabama”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Alabama.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Mountain Brook at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Mountain Brook, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 20,532
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $557,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (1st best)
More on Mountain Brook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let’s take a look at why Mountain Brook is a great place to call home for 2018.

There’s low crime in Mountain Brook, and the residents here are gainfully employed (1.9% unemployment rate).

You can make Mountain Brook your home for only $557,300 which won’t be too hard on a $129,777 household salary.

Vestavia Hills, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 34,243
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $346,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (3rd best)
More on Vestavia Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who doesn’t want to live in Vestavia Hills? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 2.5%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Vestavia Hills in the news in the coming months.

Madison, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 46,396
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $233,600 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Alabama. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Madison is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Madison residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,652
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $299,100 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (8th best)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you don’t have a job in Homewood, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 3.2%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $66,573.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

Helena, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 17,630
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $185,000 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
More on Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Helena takes 5th place on our list of best places in Alabama for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (6th overall) and things to do.

Helena is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $185,000 at the median.

Hoover, AL

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 84,100
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $268,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (13th best)
More on Hoover: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hoover isn’t just the nicest place to live in Alabama – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 13th lowest unemployment rate, the 8th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Hoover definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.

Southside, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,563
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $153,400 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (4th best)
More on Southside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Southside’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 14th highest, making Southside a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Southside has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

Fairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,996
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $243,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 5.1% of Fairhope residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 23rd closest of any city in Alabama.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Fairhope also ranked well for crime (34th) and median income ($61,723).

Daphne, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,295
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $184,600 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (28th best)
More on Daphne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Daphne consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Daphne ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Daphne are the 15th most expensive in the state of Alabama, with the average home worth a whopping $184,600. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Daphne if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Daphne residents have the 20th highest income in the state, and the 12th lowest crime numbers in Alabama.

Northport, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,544
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $162,400 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (31st best)
More on Northport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you want to live in Alabama, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Northport area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $52,281 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Northport as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Northport.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Alabama

If you’re looking at areas in Alabama with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Mountain Brook made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Alabama

  1. Highland Lakes (Pop. 4,860)
  2. Indian Springs Village (Pop. 2,529)
  3. Lake View (Pop. 2,801)
  4. Priceville (Pop. 3,060)
  5. Mount Olive CDP (Jefferson (Pop. 4,237)
  6. Kimberly (Pop. 2,840)
  7. Shoal Creek (Pop. 1,448)
  8. Blue Ridge (Pop. 1,414)
  9. Trinity (Pop. 2,110)
  10. Springville (Pop. 4,199)

Best Small Towns To Live In Alabama

  1. Stockton (Pop. 687)
  2. Mooresville (Pop. 69)
  3. Sweet Water (Pop. 332)
  4. Lowndesboro (Pop. 95)
  5. Magnolia Springs (Pop. 740)
  6. McIntosh (Pop. 339)
  7. Eunola (Pop. 362)
  8. St. Florian (Pop. 429)
  9. Coker (Pop. 817)
  10. Grant (Pop. 961)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Alabama according to the data:

  1. Anniston (Pop. 22,441)
  2. Bessemer (Pop. 26,856)
  3. Prichard (Pop. 22,340)

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Alabama

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mountain Brook 20,532 1.9% $557,300
2 Vestavia Hills 34,243 2.5% $346,600
3 Madison 46,396 5.1% $233,600
4 Homewood 25,652 3.2% $299,100
5 Helena 17,630 2.9% $185,000
6 Hoover 84,100 4.1% $268,100
7 Southside 8,563 2.6% $153,400
8 Fairhope 17,996 5.1% $243,900
9 Daphne 24,295 5.7% $184,600
10 Northport 24,544 5.8% $162,400
11 Millbrook 15,045 2.8% $144,800
12 Alabaster 32,269 4.5% $166,300
13 Satsuma 6,159 6.4% $152,000
14 Enterprise 28,025 6.3% $166,500
15 Pelham 22,596 4.8% $169,600
16 Pleasant Grove 10,284 7.5% $151,000
17 Chelsea 11,706 4.0% $216,300
18 Pike Road 7,790 3.0% $244,900
19 Spanish Fort 7,825 2.2% $241,500
20 Prattville 35,107 5.6% $150,800
21 Auburn 60,318 6.0% $226,600
22 Moody 12,464 4.5% $150,100
23 Muscle Shoals 13,585 4.6% $135,000
24 Hartselle 14,475 9.0% $132,000
25 Gardendale 13,750 5.1% $158,400
26 Orange Beach 5,791 5.7% $248,200
27 Tuscaloosa 96,352 8.1% $170,800
28 Trussville 20,872 3.2% $233,500
29 Tuscumbia 8,506 5.6% $102,300
30 Clay 9,659 4.2% $151,800
31 Fultondale 8,854 4.2% $130,000
32 Saraland 13,778 6.9% $135,600
33 Huntsville 188,973 8.1% $168,900
34 Leeds 11,701 4.9% $141,600
35 Calera 12,839 3.5% $138,200
36 Athens 24,461 8.2% $139,400
37 Oxford 21,202 9.7% $129,100
38 Cullman 15,156 5.4% $142,300
39 Florence 39,938 7.6% $126,000
40 Smiths Station 5,235 4.8% $134,500
41 Hueytown 15,797 7.6% $112,600
42 Montgomery 201,717 8.8% $116,600
43 Wetumpka 7,654 14.7% $135,300
44 Dothan 68,066 8.6% $141,000
45 Gulf Shores 11,252 10.4% $236,600
46 Decatur 55,419 8.1% $127,100
47 Irondale 12,388 8.2% $127,300
48 Opelika 29,030 5.9% $153,400
49 Jacksonville 12,827 13.4% $149,400
50 Pinson 7,451 8.0% $131,000
51 Glencoe 5,122 10.8% $117,100
52 Attalla 5,934 15.1% $72,200
53 Montevallo 6,633 11.4% $148,500
54 Scottsboro 14,748 8.4% $128,600
55 Foley 16,741 10.3% $153,500
56 Oneonta 6,645 6.4% $153,500
57 Arab 8,247 7.9% $149,300
58 Valley 9,439 5.8% $82,900
59 Tallassee 5,657 12.9% $84,700
60 Guntersville 8,360 6.9% $167,500
61 Troy 18,944 9.0% $150,900
62 Albertville 21,434 5.8% $106,200
63 Mobile 193,717 9.4% $119,500
64 Robertsdale 5,776 3.3% $131,300
65 Fairfield 10,937 13.8% $95,100
66 Sheffield 9,067 7.5% $88,900
67 Lincoln 6,429 9.8% $125,500
68 Daleville 5,160 16.1% $99,400
69 Hamilton 6,784 9.5% $95,400
70 Boaz 9,639 7.6% $107,600
71 Bay Minette 9,019 7.1% $119,400
72 Demopolis 7,167 14.5% $115,100
73 Sylacauga 12,696 12.2% $117,000
74 Midfield 5,260 9.0% $75,600
75 Brewton 5,435 9.8% $97,400
76 Jasper 14,137 9.6% $136,000
77 Ozark 14,721 9.7% $97,400
78 Fort Payne 14,101 10.1% $115,600
79 Greenville 7,896 9.7% $105,400
80 Eufaula 12,688 14.3% $126,900
81 Andalusia 9,042 10.3% $97,900
82 Roanoke 5,987 8.0% $78,500
83 Tuskegee 9,050 19.0% $77,300
84 Center Point 16,711 14.1% $100,300
85 Opp 6,635 12.9% $87,900
86 Chickasaw 5,955 12.0% $78,200
87 Childersburg 5,062 9.6% $105,900
88 Russellville 9,804 10.2% $96,400
89 Birmingham 212,424 11.8% $87,100
90 Monroeville 6,203 26.1% $105,800
91 Jackson 5,002 15.8% $101,100
92 Talladega 15,793 19.5% $83,500
93 Gadsden 36,235 9.9% $72,700
94 Atmore 10,067 17.4% $96,100
95 Selma 19,650 18.2% $90,400
96 Clanton 8,730 11.3% $114,300
97 Lanett 6,454 12.5% $81,200
98 Tarrant 6,271 10.8% $72,900
99 Anniston 22,441 15.7% $98,500
100 Bessemer 26,856 14.3% $85,300

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2018

  1. Strange that Huntsville is rated as the 7th best places to live in the intire US but didn’t make your top 10 list. Give me a break.

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