The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alabama For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Alabama have the most for people looking to make the move to Alabama.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Alabama.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Alabama a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in Alabama.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Heart Of Dixie based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Alabama, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 67 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Heart Of Dixie for 2021.

Shelby County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Alabama. And you might want to avoid Greene County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move Alabama, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Alabama and the cheapest places to live in Alabama.

The Best Counties To Live In Alabama For 2021

1. Shelby County

Alabaster, AL

Biggest Place: Birmingham

Population: 213,432
Median Income: $77,799 (best)
Median Home Price: $211,900.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 362.0% (4th best)
More on Shelby County: PhotosData

2. Madison County

Huntsville, AL

Biggest Place: Huntsville

Population: 362,276
Median Income: $65,449 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $186,100.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 501.4% (17th best)
More on Madison County: PhotosData

3. Autauga County

Millbrook, AL

Biggest Place: Prattville

Population: 55,380
Median Income: $58,731 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $154,500.0 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 367.7% (5th best)
More on Autauga County: PhotosData

4. St. Clair County

Argo, AL

Biggest Place: Trussville

Population: 87,989
Median Income: $58,308 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $154,900.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 533.7% (23rd best)
More on St. Clair County: PhotosData

5. Elmore County

Millbrook, AL

Biggest Place: Prattville

Population: 81,144
Median Income: $60,891 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $166,600.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 461.0% (14th best)
More on Elmore County: PhotosData

6. Tuscaloosa County

Moundville, AL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Tuscaloosa

Population: 207,305
Median Income: $53,326 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $170,400.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 581.4% (29th best)
More on Tuscaloosa County: PhotosData

7. Lauderdale County

Florence, AL

Biggest Place: Florence

Population: 92,556
Median Income: $48,094 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $145,000.0 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 471.4% (15th best)
More on Lauderdale County: PhotosData

8. Baldwin County

Bay Minette, AL

Biggest Place: Daphne

Population: 212,830
Median Income: $58,320 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $197,900.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 425.5% (10th best)
More on Baldwin County: PhotosData

9. Morgan County

Decatur, AL

Biggest Place: Decatur

Population: 119,213
Median Income: $52,156 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $137,000.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 508.0% (18th best)
More on Morgan County: PhotosData

10. Coffee County

Elba, AL

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Enterprise

Population: 51,662
Median Income: $55,637 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $147,400.0 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 574.0% (28th best)
More on Coffee County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Alabama county is the best?

To give you the best county in Alabama, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Alabama across each of the criteria from one to 67, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In Alabama".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Heart Of Dixie.

Read on to see why Shelby County is the best county, while Greene County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Alabama.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In Alabama To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Alabama can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in Alabama according to the data:

  1. Greene County
  2. Dallas County
  3. Wilcox County

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Alabama

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Shelby County 1 213,432 $77,799 $211,900.0
Madison County 2 362,276 $65,449 $186,100.0
Autauga County 3 55,380 $58,731 $154,500.0
St. Clair County 4 87,989 $58,308 $154,900.0
Elmore County 5 81,144 $60,891 $166,600.0
Tuscaloosa County 6 207,305 $53,326 $170,400.0
Lauderdale County 7 92,556 $48,094 $145,000.0
Baldwin County 8 212,830 $58,320 $197,900.0
Morgan County 9 119,213 $52,156 $137,000.0
Coffee County 10 51,662 $55,637 $147,400.0
Lee County 11 161,152 $51,463 $169,300.0
Limestone County 12 94,727 $59,686 $158,800.0
Colbert County 13 54,771 $48,065 $120,800.0
Houston County 14 104,702 $47,580 $137,600.0
Blount County 15 57,681 $49,358 $127,800.0
Cherokee County 16 25,903 $41,919 $123,400.0
Cullman County 17 82,853 $44,918 $128,600.0
Lawrence County 18 33,058 $44,886 $110,500.0
Henry County 19 17,133 $50,017 $118,800.0
Jefferson County 20 659,680 $53,901 $159,100.0
Montgomery County 21 226,941 $50,124 $129,800.0
Coosa County 22 10,757 $38,990 $84,000.0
Fayette County 23 16,494 $39,856 $88,500.0
Randolph County 24 22,647 $43,395 $96,100.0
Crenshaw County 25 13,844 $43,163 $81,000.0
Marion County 26 29,866 $35,930 $92,800.0
Etowah County 27 102,748 $44,637 $113,700.0
Tallapoosa County 28 40,541 $45,828 $109,300.0
Mobile County 29 414,114 $47,583 $130,200.0
Franklin County 30 31,466 $43,514 $95,000.0
Dale County 31 49,277 $47,214 $112,000.0
Jackson County 32 51,852 $41,769 $104,900.0
Bibb County 33 22,493 $47,542 $92,800.0
Marshall County 34 95,643 $45,983 $128,800.0
Chambers County 35 33,660 $42,289 $97,100.0
Calhoun County 36 114,618 $47,255 $118,000.0
Pickens County 37 20,243 $39,848 $96,000.0
Cleburne County 38 14,916 $44,741 $116,500.0
Dekalb County 39 71,310 $40,440 $106,100.0
Russell County 40 57,952 $42,443 $122,000.0
Chilton County 41 44,055 $47,468 $107,300.0
Butler County 42 19,828 $40,688 $95,900.0
Marengo County 43 19,321 $33,241 $84,400.0
Geneva County 44 26,417 $41,732 $100,900.0
Pike County 45 33,333 $37,446 $120,000.0
Clay County 46 13,337 $40,845 $107,800.0
Lamar County 47 13,885 $38,364 $80,900.0
Covington County 48 37,200 $42,189 $97,600.0
Walker County 49 64,110 $43,629 $104,300.0
Talladega County 50 80,387 $41,325 $105,300.0
Clarke County 51 24,128 $37,404 $112,500.0
Washington County 52 16,541 $41,370 $89,100.0
Sumter County 53 12,797 $24,320 $74,400.0
Conecuh County 54 12,394 $37,837 $81,000.0
Escambia County 55 37,057 $36,275 $99,400.0
Macon County 56 18,708 $33,370 $80,800.0
Hale County 57 14,809 $34,046 $89,300.0
Bullock County 58 10,248 $37,785 $70,300.0
Monroe County 59 21,270 $30,441 $102,200.0
Winston County 60 23,784 $35,788 $86,100.0
Barbour County 61 25,361 $32,525 $90,700.0
Choctaw County 62 12,925 $35,892 $74,100.0
Perry County 63 9,293 $23,447 $65,000.0
Lowndes County 64 10,079 $30,036 $70,000.0
Wilcox County 65 10,681 $31,014 $79,400.0
Dallas County 66 39,149 $33,845 $83,300.0
Greene County 67 8,324 $24,145 $80,400.0

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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