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
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2019
Mountain Brook ranks as the 1st best place in Alabama for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.
Mountain Brook has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Mountain Brook’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $129,777 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
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 $346,600. 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 4th highest income in the state, and the 2nd lowest crime numbers in Alabama.
Madison isn’t just the nicest place to live in Alabama – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.
It’s got the 23rd lowest unemployment rate, the 2nd highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you’re looking at science and data, Madison definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Homewood so high on the list. Unless you live in Homewood.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 3.2%, Homewood residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Alabama. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Homewood is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Homewood is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Helena is another gem in Heart of Dixie. The unemployment rate here is 6th lowest in the entire state at 2.9%. Other factors that make Helena so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $185,000, and parents earn a combined $84,888 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
In Hoover, everyone loves to call Hoover home! The median home value is the 4th highest in Alabama.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 13th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Heart of Dixie.
Hoover should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
Looks like little Southside might be a hidden gem in Alabama. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($153,400) and crime is really low (6th lowest in the state).
Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.
Fairhope has a really low crime rate (34th lowest) and only 5.1% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($61,723). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Fairhope.
We think the motto in Daphne should be “Everything is greater in Daphne,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Daphne has some of the highest home values in Alabama, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Daphne only has 1180.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Daphne a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
Northport has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Northport has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 5.8% and lowering. And the Northport police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 36th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
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
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Alabama