THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Alabama For 2020


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

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

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 to find out based on the most recent FBI and Census data.

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 a home in the Yellowhammer State. Apparently, living in the greater Birmingham region is a little slice of heaven.

And since Alabama is one of the cheapest states to live in America, you'll definitely be able to afford a great place to live.

After analyzing almost 100 places, we came up with this list as the top ten places to live in Alabama. So grab some fried catfish and bbq and read on.

What's the best place to live in alabama for 2020? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Mountain Brook ranks as the best place to live in alabama for 2020 based on general quality of life factors.

It seems that none of the largest cities in Alabama made the top ten, 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 2020

Mountain Brook, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 20,466
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $602,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (2nd best)
More on Mountain Brook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mountain Brook has it made. In fact, according to science, it's one of the best places to live in the state of Alabama.

The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in the state at 1.9%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $143,221, and the average cost of a home is $602,200. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn't be surprised if more and more publications call Mountain Brook one of America's gems.

Vestavia Hills, AL

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 34,163
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $364,000 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (6th best)
More on Vestavia Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Vestavia Hills 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 Vestavia Hills ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Vestavia Hills are the 2nd most expensive in the state of Alabama, with the average home worth a whopping $364,000. 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 Vestavia Hills if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Vestavia Hills residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 5th lowest crime numbers in Alabama.

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,595
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $333,600 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (11th best)
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Homewood makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Alabama mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.1% of folks are jobless, you can bet Homewood residents are glad to live where they do.

Madison, AL

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 48,275
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $245,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (30th best)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 53rd lowest in the state in Madison, and there were only 201 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 Madison earn $89,522 a year.

Fairhope, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,327
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $256,400 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (25th best)
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fairhope is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It's quite a gem tucked away in Alabama.

Helena, AL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,861
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $189,900 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (8th best)
More on Helena: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Helena comes in 6th in our best places to live in Alabama analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (8th overall) and crime rate (2nd overall), Helena is the exact kind of place you'd want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Helena in our lists for years to come.

Daphne, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,361
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $190,900 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (27th best)
More on Daphne: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Daphne is known for having a great education system and has the 91st shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Daphne is the 27th lowest in Alabama and the median income is the 17th highest in the state.

Southside, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,788
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $157,300 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (1st best)
More on Southside: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Southside has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Southside had the 14th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $71,224.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Trussville, AL

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,721
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $241,700 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (14th best)
More on Trussville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Trussville 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 Trussville.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,185
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $154,400 (31st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (57th best)
More on Pleasant Grove: Real Estate | Data

We think the motto in Pleasant Grove should be "Everything is greater in Pleasant Grove," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Pleasant Grove has some of the highest home values in Alabama, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Pleasant Grove only has 4.6% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Pleasant Grove a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

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 200,156 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 100 cities, 198 towns, and 214 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Alabama 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 100, 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. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

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. Tarrant (Pop. 6,212)
  2. Bessemer (Pop. 26,759)
  3. Prichard (Pop. 21,927)

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Alabama?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mountain Brook 20,466 1.9% $602,200
2 Vestavia Hills 34,163 2.2% $364,000
3 Homewood 25,595 3.1% $333,600
4 Madison 48,275 4.8% $245,000
5 Fairhope 20,327 4.4% $256,400
6 Helena 17,861 2.6% $189,900
7 Daphne 25,361 4.5% $190,900
8 Southside 8,788 1.7% $157,300
9 Trussville 21,721 3.4% $241,700
10 Pleasant Grove 10,185 6.7% $154,400

How Is Your Town 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.

4 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Alabama For 2020

  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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