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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 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 101 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.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Alabama for 2019:
- Mountain Brook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Vestavia Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Homewood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Helena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hoover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Southside (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fairhope (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Daphne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Northport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
What's the best place to live in Alabama for 2019? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Mountain Brook ranks as the best place to live in Alabama for 2019 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.
For more Alabama reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alabama
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alabama
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama
The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2019
When you're looking at the best places you could live in Alabama, Mountain Brook came in 1st. Let's see why.
It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.
Plus, Mountain Brook has an impressive history for a place of just over 20,532 people. The median home costs a cool $557,300 and households make $129,777 which is good for 1st in Alabama.
Vestavia Hills comes in at a close 2nd. They have the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 4th highest median income as well, which means the people in Vestavia Hills are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 2nd best in the state.
If you don't have a job in Madison, you're most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get -- 5.1%. 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 $95,423.
That's actually not a bad idea...
Homewood had the 8th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (3.2%) and the 42nd lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Homewood is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it's like to live there.
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.
Who doesn't want to live in Hoover? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.1%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.
Expect to see more of Hoover in the news in the coming months.
Southside 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 Southside 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 Southside residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Fairhope is known for having a great education system and has the 76th shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Fairhope is the 23rd lowest in Alabama and the median income is the 19th highest in the state.
Perhaps what makes Daphne so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.
However, quality education isn't all that makes Daphne great. They also have the 20th highest median income and the 90th shortest commute time.
The Town of Northport 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 Northport ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Northport are the 22nd most expensive in the state of Alabama, with the average home worth a whopping $162,400. 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 Northport if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Northport residents have the 32nd highest income in the state, and the 36th lowest crime numbers in Alabama.
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'.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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
- Highland Lakes (Pop. 4,860)
- Indian Springs Village (Pop. 2,529)
- Lake View (Pop. 2,801)
- Priceville (Pop. 3,060)
- Mount Olive CDP (Jefferson (Pop. 4,237)
- Kimberly (Pop. 2,840)
- Shoal Creek (Pop. 1,448)
- Blue Ridge (Pop. 1,414)
- Trinity (Pop. 2,110)
- Springville (Pop. 4,199)
Best Small Towns To Live In Alabama
- Stockton (Pop. 687)
- Mooresville (Pop. 69)
- Sweet Water (Pop. 332)
- Lowndesboro (Pop. 95)
- Magnolia Springs (Pop. 740)
- McIntosh (Pop. 339)
- Eunola (Pop. 362)
- St. Florian (Pop. 429)
- Coker (Pop. 817)
- Grant (Pop. 961)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Alabama according to the data:
- Anniston (Pop. 22,441)
- Bessemer (Pop. 26,856)
- Prichard (Pop. 22,340)
For more Alabama reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Alabama
- 10 Safest Places In Alabama
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama