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 2017.

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

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.

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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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,532
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $557,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (1st best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,243
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $346,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (3rd best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 46,396
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $233,600 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
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: Wikipedia

Population: 25,652
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 13)
Home Values: $299,100 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (8th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,630
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $185,000 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (6th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,100
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Home Values: $268,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (13th best)
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


Population: 8,563
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Values: $153,400 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (4th best)
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,996
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $243,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (23rd best)
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: Wikipedia

Population: 24,295
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Values: $184,600 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (28th best)
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: Wikipedia

Population: 24,544
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Values: $162,400 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (31st best)
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 Cities In Alabama

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

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