The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2022


We looked at 569 places in the Heart of Dixie to find the cream of the crop.

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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 99 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.

What’s the best place to live in Alabama for 2022? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Mountain Brook ranks as the best place to live in Alabama for 2022 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Alabama reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Alabama For 2022

It’s hard to know where to begin with a city as awesome as Mountain Brook, which appears in the top five statewide for just about every category we measured. The economy of Mountain Brook is as solid as it gets, with the 2nd lowest unemployment rate and 6th lowest poverty in Alabama, at 1.1% and 4.3% respectively. There’s also very little to fear in terms of criminal activity, seeing as Mountain Brook has the 3rd lowest crime rate in the state. And if you do run into an unfortunate situation, you should be just fine, seeing as Mountain Brook has the highest rate of health insurance coverage in Alabama at 98.7%.

Education is also taken very seriously in Mountain Brook. The city spends about 20% more than the statewide average per student and it shows. Of the six schools in Mountain Brook’s district, half have received a Blue Ribbon award. And that love of learning isn’t just for the kids; over 40% of adults living in Mountain Brook have a master’s degree or higher. This obviously raises the earning potential of residents, who enjoy the highest median household income in the state, $152,646/year. Which is good when homes cost about $666,500, the 1st costliest in Alabama.

There are some other perks that come along with being a Birmingham ‘burb. The first of which is that Mountain Brook employees enjoy the 2nd shortest commute time in the state at just 17 minutes. The other is having access to the best of B-ham, like the Vulcan Park and Museum, without having a weaker economy and more crime.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 20,178
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $666,500
Unemployment Rate: 1.1%
More on Mountain Brook: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Mountain Brook, AL

Another affluent Birmingham suburb, Vestavia Hills has held the top spot on this list more than once over the years. For starters, it’s one the safest places in Alabama, so there’s no need to fear Amazon porch pirates here. If you’re moving here with children, you’re in luck, because GreatSchools gave Vestavia Hills public schools an average score of 9/10.

Of course, all these awesome things don’t come free of charge. Homes in Vestavia Hills are the 2nd most expensive in Alabama at $380,600. Residents don’t sweat it much, though, since they also earn a median household income of $110,478/year, the 2nd highest in the state. And it’s not like Vestavia Hills leaves some people in the dust while the 1% celebrate, because at 4.3%, it has the 5th lowest poverty level in Alabama.

Not to mention that, with the Birmingham Zoo right down the road, you’ll always have something to do when out-of-towners come for a visit.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 34,482
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $380,600
Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
More on Vestavia Hills: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Vestavia Hills, AL

Our 3rd best city in Alabama, Homewood, is a suburb of 25,170 located between Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills. The median age in Homewood is 30, making it the youngest city we’ll be covering. That’s part of the reason we named Homewood one of the best cities for singles in Alabama. It also helps to have great things to do around, like hiking in nearby Red Mountain Park.

Homewood is also the 2nd most densely populated city in Alabama, so you know you’ll never lack for action here. It also cuts down on commute times, seeing as Homewood residents have an average commute of just 17 minutes, the 1st shortest in the state. Just be warned that Homewood comes with a steep price tag; by housing costs, Homewood’s cost of living is nearly triple the Alabama average.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 25,170
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $379,800
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
More on Homewood: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Homewood, AL

Source: Public domain

We’re taking our first foray outside of the Birmingham area to reach our 4th best city in Alabama, Madison. A suburb of Huntsville, Madison has a much lower cost of living than the top three cities on this list, making it an attractive budget choice. Homes are a tad cheaper, but the median household income in Madison is still the 5th highest in Alabama at $94,214/year.

You may want to brush up on your trivia before making the move to Madison, though, because people here are no dummies. About a quarter of the population has a master’s degree, PhD, or professional degree, which does help explain the high pay here. In terms of entertainment, being surrounded by the rapidly growing economic hub of Huntsville does a lot for your choices. But between Rainbow Mountain and a top-notch local farmer’s market, you don’t have to leave Madison for a good time.

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 50,717
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $263,800
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
More on Madison: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Madison, AL

Let’s take a trip down the Gulf Shore for our 5th best city in Alabama, Fairhope. The median age in Fairhope is 42, making it the oldest city on this list. Depending on your priorities, this might be a positive or a negative thing. Living on Mobile Bay, however, is a positive for anyone and everyone. Who wouldn’t like shopping and strolling down Fairhope Avenue, grabbing a pint from the local brewery, followed up by catching a gorgeous sunset from the pier?

Word to the wise, though; Fairhope ranks among the most expensive cities in Alabama, so you might want to make sure you lock down a job paying $80,106/year before packing your bags. But Fairhope is worth every penny in our opinion. Evidently, people agree, because Fairhope is one of the fastest growing places in Alabama. Safe streets, top schools, and a job market that works for everyone — it’s hard to put a price tag on all that.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,035
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $321,900
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
More on Fairhope: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Fairhope, AL

We’re heading back to the Mobile suburbs to reach our 6th best place to call home in Alabama, Daphne. Here you’ll find Blue Ribbon schools, low unemployment, and streets that are safe for everyone. In fact, Daphne experienced the 5th least amount of violent crime in Alabama for 2022. At $71,105/year, Daphne has the lowest median household income on this list, but that’s still about 40% higher than the Alabama average.

Daphne also has the good fortune to be on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay, meaning that the sunsets from Daphne Bayfront Park are truly a sight to behold. One last thing to note is that Daphne’s median age is 39, making it the second youngest city on this list. So if living in a vibrant, youthful city is a priority, Daphne might make an excellent choice.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 26,578
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $218,900
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
More on Daphne: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Daphne, AL

Source: Public domain

Helena is a Birmingham suburb of 18,631 with a penchant for awesomeness. The crime rate in Helena is roughly 60% lower than the national average and ranks as the 2nd lowest in Alabama. So you won’t have to worry about scoundrels picking your pocket when you’re catching a show at the Helena Amphitheater.

The economy in Helena is super strong, with the 7th lowest poverty level and 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state. Residents of Helena are also among the richest in Alabama, with a median household income of $89,982/year. And with homes going for a reasonable $203,100, Helena also enjoys the best home price to income ratio on this list.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 18,631
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $203,100
Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
More on Helena: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Helena, AL

Next up on our list of best places to live in Alabama is Trussville, a Birmingham suburb of 22,590. GreatSchools gave public schools in Trussville an average rating of 9.5/10, so you know that you’re giving your kids the best possible start if you’re living here. In fact, Trussville has the 2nd lowest high school dropout rate in Alabama.

That level of excellence extends to all facets of life in Trussville. For example, at 97.8%, Trussville has the 2nd highest rate of residents with health insurance anywhere in Alabama. And the poverty level in Trussville is just 4.0%, the 3rd%. Not to mention that most people in Trussville are far from living in poverty, seeing as the city enjoys the 3rd highest median household income in the state at $104,976/year.

To reward yourself for living in the 8th best place in Alabama, we recommend spending a day at Cosby Lake Park; trails for hikers and cyclists, bass and catfish galore, and an abundance of delightful picnic spots make it a local favorite.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,590
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $273,100
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
More on Trussville: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Trussville, AL

Pelham, a Birmingham suburb located 25 miles south of the city off of I-65, ranks as the 9th best place to live in Alabama. Pelham offers a fantastic blend of things to do, quality schools, a strong economy, and safety. The city is home to the largest park in Alabama, Oak Mountain State Park, which continues to grow in stature each year. Other big attractions include several high quality golf courses like Ballantrae, South City Theatre, and several community rec centers.

On the numbers side of things, Pelham City schools are ranked #1 by Niche for the Best School Districts in Shelby County and earn an A grade. The median income in town stands at $79,268 and the average house costs $198,500. And the crime rate is 25% better than the national average. Add it all up and it’s easy to see why Pelham landed a spot on this list.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 23,707
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $198,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
More on Pelham: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Pelham, AL

Pleasant Grove’s inclusion on this list means that more than half of the best places to live in Alabama are in Jefferson County, so that’s definitely a good place to start looking if you’re moving soon. At $157,400, this Birmingham ‘burb has the cheapest homes you’ll find on this list. In fact, the overall cost of living in Pleasant Grove is only a hair higher than the statewide average. And with the 4th lowest poverty level in Alabama, you’d better believe that everyone gets in on the good times in Pleasant Grove.

We also named Pleasant Grove one of the best cities for families in Alabama. Things live having great schools, the 6th lowest crime rate statewide, and access to family-friendly activities like the The Market at Pepper Place all work to make Pleasant Grove an awesome place for kids and parents alike.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,625
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $157,400
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
More on Pleasant Grove: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

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 199,054 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 99 cities, 198 towns, and 214 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Alabama have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: 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 99, 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

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.

Summary: 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 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Alabama

  1. Highland Lakes (Pop. 4,860)
  2. Indian Springs Village (Pop. 2,529)
  3. Lake View (Pop. 2,801)
  4. Priceville (Pop. 3,060)
  5. Mount Olive CDP (Jefferson (Pop. 4,237)
  6. Kimberly (Pop. 2,840)
  7. Shoal Creek (Pop. 1,448)
  8. Blue Ridge (Pop. 1,414)
  9. Trinity (Pop. 2,110)
  10. Springville (Pop. 4,199)

Best Small Towns To Live In Alabama

  1. Stockton (Pop. 687)
  2. Mooresville (Pop. 69)
  3. Sweet Water (Pop. 332)
  4. Lowndesboro (Pop. 95)
  5. Magnolia Springs (Pop. 740)
  6. McIntosh (Pop. 339)
  7. Eunola (Pop. 362)
  8. St. Florian (Pop. 429)
  9. Coker (Pop. 817)
  10. Grant (Pop. 961)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Alabama according to the data:

  1. Talladega (Pop. 15,405)
  2. Bessemer (Pop. 26,063)
  3. Tarrant (Pop. 6,216)

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Alabama?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Mountain Brook 20,178 1.1% $666,500
2 Vestavia Hills 34,482 1.7% $380,600
3 Homewood 25,170 2.7% $379,800
4 Madison 50,717 3.0% $263,800
5 Fairhope 22,035 5.0% $321,900
6 Daphne 26,578 4.4% $218,900
7 Helena 18,631 1.7% $203,100
8 Trussville 22,590 3.0% $273,100
9 Pelham 23,707 2.4% $198,500
10 Pleasant Grove 9,625 5.5% $157,400
11 Spanish Fort 8,991 1.9% $227,000
12 Prattville 36,599 3.1% $170,600
13 Pike Road 9,745 2.1% $298,400
14 Northport 25,970 5.7% $187,500
15 Southside 8,801 3.8% $158,100
16 Alabaster 33,373 4.3% $178,300
17 Auburn 65,508 3.8% $270,400
18 Hartselle 14,421 3.1% $149,100
19 Gardendale 14,021 2.8% $184,200
20 Muscle Shoals 14,379 2.6% $151,300
21 Satsuma 6,163 5.6% $158,200
22 Hoover 85,386 4.0% $298,400
23 Millbrook 16,037 3.3% $157,100
24 Chelsea 13,599 4.9% $241,300
25 Moody 13,004 4.3% $171,800
26 Orange Beach 6,130 3.8% $325,700
27 Glencoe 5,125 3.3% $163,400
28 Enterprise 28,170 5.9% $174,500
29 Gulf Shores 12,550 3.5% $254,500
30 Cullman 16,072 3.9% $150,300
31 Huntsville 199,845 5.0% $184,500
32 Saraland 14,561 5.7% $159,000
33 Calera 14,327 0.4% $154,100
34 Athens 26,686 5.9% $171,900
35 Tuscaloosa 100,633 7.1% $190,100
36 Fultondale 9,247 3.2% $154,500
37 Oxford 21,282 3.4% $141,500
38 Opelika 30,589 3.8% $153,400
39 Foley 19,337 4.9% $194,900
40 Clay 9,936 2.3% $156,300
41 Tuscumbia 8,445 4.2% $114,300
42 Valley 9,195 3.3% $91,300
43 Arab 8,405 3.9% $153,900
44 Irondale 13,068 9.1% $156,300
45 Wetumpka 8,282 5.6% $147,700
46 Decatur 54,344 5.6% $141,000
47 Rainsville 5,038 2.8% $151,500
48 Florence 40,652 6.4% $142,000
49 Smiths Station 5,821 6.7% $156,800
50 Albertville 21,620 3.1% $125,700
51 Hueytown 15,446 9.2% $116,500
52 Leeds 12,555 1.7% $165,300
53 Jacksonville 12,796 9.4% $150,000
54 Pinson 7,108 3.5% $147,700
55 Dothan 68,608 5.9% $152,700
56 Jasper 13,584 5.9% $158,600
57 Montgomery 199,054 6.8% $121,100
58 Guntersville 8,531 4.9% $215,200
59 Troy 18,995 3.8% $160,800
60 Robertsdale 6,776 2.0% $126,500
61 Russellville 9,803 3.9% $97,400
62 Scottsboro 14,452 3.3% $121,400
63 Montevallo 6,829 6.7% $158,200
64 Semmes 5,780 3.8% $157,800
65 Attalla 5,885 4.4% $92,300
66 Oneonta 6,550 3.4% $161,900
67 Boaz 9,587 1.7% $108,000
68 Mobile 189,994 6.3% $134,100
69 Lincoln 6,805 7.1% $143,800
70 Demopolis 6,724 4.2% $143,000
71 Sheffield 8,925 5.3% $100,500
72 Brewton 5,210 7.2% $105,600
73 Daleville 5,125 9.8% $97,600
74 Roanoke 5,931 6.3% $109,000
75 Bay Minette 9,297 10.1% $124,600
76 Fort Payne 14,063 7.9% $130,400
77 Hamilton 6,662 4.0% $101,400
78 Center Point 15,971 7.9% $99,400
79 Sylacauga 12,132 8.9% $134,500
80 Andalusia 8,719 8.7% $117,200
81 Tuskegee 8,443 10.8% $81,300
82 Fairfield 10,749 7.9% $95,400
83 Greenville 7,478 7.2% $116,300
84 Chickasaw 5,757 3.6% $73,900
85 Monroeville 5,812 12.7% $107,600
86 Birmingham 210,928 8.3% $97,500
87 Lanett 6,220 4.2% $88,700
88 Ozark 14,350 12.3% $123,800
89 Selma 17,762 13.7% $90,500
90 Eufaula 11,878 6.1% $123,800
91 Clanton 8,719 8.7% $125,900
92 Gadsden 35,224 7.9% $80,400
93 Anniston 21,518 8.0% $117,500
94 Atmore 9,269 13.2% $96,100
95 Prichard 21,618 10.8% $66,100
96 Opp 6,405 8.9% $93,400
97 Talladega 15,405 11.1% $87,600
98 Bessemer 26,063 13.8% $100,100
99 Tarrant 6,216 7.4% $84,600

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in Alabama.

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.