The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2019

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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Alabama.

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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.

It seems that none of the largest cities in Alabama made the top 10, but their suburbs are apparently more desirable, according to scientific data.

No one can argue that overall, almost every nook and cranny in Alabama has something special and awesome about it.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2019

Mountain Brook, AL

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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

Mountain Brook is unequivocally the best place to live in Alabama. Not only do they have the highest student expenditure in the state, meaning they place a very high value on their students’ education, but they also have the 1st highest median income.

Additionally, they have the 5th lowest crime rate, making it one of the safest city in Alabama. If that wasn’t enough, their unemployment rate is only 1.9%%.

Overall, Mountain Brook is the place to live in Alabama.

Vestavia Hills, AL

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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

If you live in Vestavia Hills, you probably know how great it is already.

Vestavia Hills has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($93,178). And the crime is really, really low (2nd lowest in Alabama).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Madison, AL

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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 broke into the top ten best places to live in Alabama on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 23rd overall for its low unemployment rate and the 2nd highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 22nd shortest average commute time of any place in Alabama.

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
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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

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.

Helena, AL

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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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Helena so high on the list. Unless you live in Helena.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 2.9%, Helena residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Alabama. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Helena is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Helena is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Hoover, AL

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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 is known for having a great education system and has the 62nd shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Hoover is the 13th lowest in Alabama and the median income is the 8th highest in the state.

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.

Southside, AL

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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 comes in at a close 7th. They have the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 14th highest median income as well, which means the people in Southside are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 26th best in the state.

Fairhope, AL

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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

Fairhope 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 Fairhope 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 Fairhope residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Review Of Fairhope by HomeSnacks User

This town is a very quaint and peaceful town. The downtown area is very friendly with lots of food and shopping options. The pier and bay area is a very nice place to take an evening walk and watch the most beautiful sunsets over the bay.

Bone and Barrel has the best food on Fairhope, Avenue. There’s also a very good ice cream shop called Mr. Gene’s Beans and several good coffee shops in the area.

Daphne, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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

Let’s take a look at why Daphne is a great place to call home for 2019.

There’s low crime in Daphne, and the residents here are gainfully employed (5.7% unemployment rate).

You can make Daphne your home for only $184,600 which won’t be too hard on a $61,508 household salary.

Northport, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Northport one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Northport.

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 Cities 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Alabama? That would be Mountain Brook.

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.

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 the best place to live in Alabama for 2019.

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:

Where Are The 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

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4 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2019

  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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