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 on 4-6-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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Where are the best places in the state of Alabama?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Heart of Dixie where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Alabama.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 101 places in Alabama, we came up with this list of the best places:

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

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:

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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, 201 towns, and 270 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.

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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.

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1. Mountain Brook

Mountain Brook, Alabama

Population: 20,532
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $557,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (1st best)
More on Mountain Brook: Real Estate | Data
At an umeployment rate of 1.9%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Mountain Brook. And the residents command high salaries ($129,777 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($557,300 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Alabama. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

2. Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Population: 34,243
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $346,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (3rd best)
More on Vestavia Hills: Real Estate | Data
Vestavia Hills is another gem in Heart of Dixie. The unemployment rate here is 3rd lowest in the entire state at 2.5%. Other factors that make Vestavia Hills so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $346,600, and parents earn a combined $93,178 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

3. Madison

Madison, Alabama

Population: 46,396
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $233,600 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data
Well, I guess technically 5.1% of Madison 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, Madison also ranked well for crime (19th) and median income ($95,423).

4. Homewood

Homewood, Alabama

Source: Public domain

Population: 25,652
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 13)
Home Values: $299,100 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (8th best)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Alabama, as there were only 84 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Alabama (3.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 3rd most expensive in Homewood ($299,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $66,573 a year.

5. Helena

Helena, Alabama

Population: 17,630
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $185,000 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
More on Helena: Real Estate | Data
Helena is known for having a great education system and has the 98th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Helena is the 6th lowest in Alabama and the median income is the 6th highest in the state.

6. Hoover

Hoover, Alabama

Population: 84,100
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Home Values: $268,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (13th best)
More on Hoover: Real Estate | Data
At an umeployment rate of 4.1%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Hoover. And the residents command high salaries ($78,056 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($268,100 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Alabama. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

7. Southside

Southside, Alabama

Population: 8,563
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Values: $153,400 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (4th best)
More on Southside: Real Estate | Data
At an umeployment rate of 2.6%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Southside. And the residents command high salaries ($65,561 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($153,400 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Alabama. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

8. Fairhope

Fairhope, Alabama

Population: 17,996
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $243,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Fairhope. Statistically the 34th safest place in the state, there were only 36 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Fairhope, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $61,723 a year, and homes are valued at more than $243,900.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the the good things in life?

9. Daphne

Daphne, Alabama

Source: Public domain

Population: 24,295
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Values: $184,600 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (28th best)
More on Daphne: Real Estate | Data
The crime is the 12th lowest in the state in Daphne, and there were only 35 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Alabama, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Daphne earn $61,508 a year.

10. Northport

Northport, Alabama

Source: Public domain

Population: 24,544
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $162,400 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (31st best)
More on Northport: Real Estate | Data
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Northport is by far, the best place in the state of Alabama.

We’re not saying that places where people are broke is a bad thing, inherently. But it’s certainly not desirable, right? Northport is the opposite of broke. The residents here earn way above the state average in household income, and the homes are among the most expensive in the state ($162,400). Plus, the unemployment rate is as close to zero as you can get.

Northport has it made.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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. Shoal Creek (Pop. 1,448)
  7. Kimberly (Pop. 2,840)
  8. Blue Ridge (Pop. 1,414)
  9. Springville (Pop. 4,199)
  10. Trinity (Pop. 2,110)

Best Small Towns To Live In Alabama

  1. Stockton (Pop. 687)
  2. Mooresville (Pop. 69)
  3. Bucks (Pop. 51)
  4. Megargel (Pop. 63)
  5. Sweet Water (Pop. 332)
  6. Spring Garden (Pop. 120)
  7. Lowndesboro (Pop. 95)
  8. Eunola (Pop. 362)
  9. Magnolia Springs (Pop. 740)
  10. McIntosh (Pop. 339)

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

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

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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