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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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’.
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