These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Alabama that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Alabama does this very well. Families love the Heart Of Dixie’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Alabama that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Alabama for 2018:

  1. Fairhope (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Daphne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Foley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Huntsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Saraland (Homes For Sale)
  7. Mobile (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Scottsboro (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Albertville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Atmore (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So hopefully Gadsden (the cheapest place to live in Alabama) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out the best places to live in Alabama or the cheapest.

1. Fairhope

Fairhope, Alabama

Population: 15,599
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 128
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Fairhope: Homes For Sale | Data
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.

2. Madison

Madison, Alabama

Population: 42,925
Services: 103
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 96
Housing: 118
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 106
More on Madison: Homes For Sale | Data
Madison is a city located primarily in Madison County, near the northern border of the State of Alabama. Madison extends west into neighboring Limestone County. The city is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the second-largest in the state, and is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 42,938. Madison is bordered by Huntsville on all sides.

3. Daphne

Daphne, Alabama

Public domain

Population: 21,800
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 107
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Daphne: Homes For Sale | Data
Daphne is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay. The city is located along I-10, 11 miles east of Mobile and 170 miles southwest of the state capital of Montgomery. The 2010 United States Census lists the population of the city as 21,570, making Daphne the most populous city in Baldwin County. It is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County.

4. Foley

Foley, Alabama

Population: 14,603
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 88
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Foley: Homes For Sale | Data
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.

5. Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Population: 179,855
Services: 103
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 96
Housing: 84
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 106
More on Huntsville: Homes For Sale | Data
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville’s population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area’s population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro’s population reached 441,000 by 2014.

6. Saraland


Population: 13,407
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 75
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Saraland: Homes For Sale | Data
Saraland is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, and a suburb of Mobile. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 13,405. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan area. Saraland is the third largest city in Mobile County.

7. Mobile

Mobile, Alabama

Public domain

Population: 195,239
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 74
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Mobile: Homes For Sale | Data
Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

8. Scottsboro

Scottsboro, Alabama

Public domain

Population: 14,804
Services: 103
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 96
Housing: 62
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 106
More on Scottsboro: Homes For Sale | Data
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.

9. Albertville

Albertville, Alabama

Population: 21,079
Services: 103
Groceries: 95
Health Care: 96
Housing: 59
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 106
More on Albertville: Homes For Sale | Data
Albertville is a city in Marshall County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 21,160.

10. Atmore

Atmore, Alabama

Public domain

Population: 10,103
Services: 96
Groceries: 103
Health Care: 88
Housing: 54
Transportation: 96
Utilities: 107
More on Atmore: Homes For Sale | Data
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Heart of Dixie For 2018

Cheapest And Most Expensive Places To Live In Alabama Map
There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Alabama to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 61 places in Alabama that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Alabama that have the highest cost of living, with Fairhope ranking as the most expensive city in the Heart of Dixie.

If you’re curious, here are the least expensive cities in Alabama:

  1. Gadsden
  2. Talladega
  3. Anniston

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Alabama

Rank City Population Services Groceries Health Care
1 Fairhope 15,599 96 103 88
2 Madison 42,925 103 95 96
3 Daphne 21,800 96 103 88
4 Foley 14,603 96 103 88
5 Huntsville 179,855 103 95 96
6 Saraland 13,407 96 103 88
7 Mobile 195,239 96 103 88
8 Scottsboro 14,804 103 95 96
9 Albertville 21,079 103 95 96
10 Atmore 10,103 96 103 88
11 Prichard 22,844 96 103 88
12 Auburn 53,817 110 101 87
13 Athens 22,198 96 96 89
14 Mountain Brook 20,398 99 102 81
15 Vestavia Hills 33,831 99 102 81
16 Opelika 26,738 110 101 87
17 Homewood 25,123 99 102 81
18 Hoover 81,132 99 102 81
19 Trussville 19,521 99 102 81
20 Decatur 55,664 96 96 89
21 Cullman 14,801 96 96 89
22 Helena 16,504 99 102 81
23 Chelsea 10,161 99 102 81
24 Hartselle 14,242 96 96 89
25 Phenix City 33,555 110 101 87
26 Pelham 21,321 99 102 81
27 Alabaster 30,372 99 102 81
28 Gardendale 13,743 99 102 81
29 Northport 23,372 99 102 81
30 Pleasant Grove 10,148 99 102 81
31 Tuscaloosa 90,766 99 102 81
32 Calera 11,579 99 102 81
33 Moody 11,724 99 102 81
34 Alexander City 14,848 110 101 87
35 Irondale 12,323 99 102 81
36 Muscle Shoals 13,182 98 94 83
37 Leeds 12,160 99 102 81
38 Prattville 33,429 97 98 81
39 Jasper 14,332 99 102 81
40 Florence 39,288 98 94 83
41 Fort Payne 14,068 97 95 103
42 Millbrook 14,593 97 98 81
43 Hueytown 16,060 99 102 81
44 Troy 17,864 97 98 81
45 Center Point 16,908 99 102 81
46 Enterprise 26,635 87 101 84
47 Sylacauga 12,778 99 102 81
48 Montgomery 205,516 97 98 81
49 Fairfield 11,135 99 102 81
50 Birmingham 213,180 99 102 81
51 Dothan 66,355 87 101 84
52 Bessemer 27,516 99 102 81
53 Eufaula 13,086 87 101 84
54 Selma 20,559 97 98 81
55 Ozark 14,879 87 101 84
56 Pell City 12,723 94 94 80
57 Jacksonville 12,304 94 94 80
58 Oxford 21,234 94 94 80
59 Anniston 23,067 94 94 80
60 Talladega 15,753 94 94 80
61 Gadsden 36,888 94 94 80

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