As a whole, Alabama is not one of the safest states. Violent and property crimes both are higher than the national average. However, the numbers have decreased in the past year, and some communities score very high in the livability and safety index.
The table below shows a quick list of statistics for the thirteen safest cities in Alabama in 2022:
|City||Population||Livability score||Avg. rent prices/month*||Owner-occupied housing|
Note: The cities are ranked from highest to lowest based on livability scores. Livability scores in this table are calculated based on several factors, including crime rates, employment rates, median household income, housing, cost of living, schools, and resident ratings for each area. Crime rate statistics were sourced from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Census and housing data were sourced from the United States Census Bureau. All data is correct as of June 2022.
*The median rent prices in the table above refer to 2-bedroom housing units.
- Safety score: 66% above national average
- Best for: Couples, young families
Located about 20 miles north of Birmingham, Kimberly is one of the safest cities in North-Central Alabama.
The small yet thriving community is home to numerous young families. About 79% of residents are married, even though most families don’t have children.
This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering the median age is only 34.7 years old. Moreover, most of the residents are working professionals, most likely dedicating time to their careers.
Despite its small size, Kimberly is home to a wealthy community. The median household income is $93,772 (around $31,214 per capita), and the poverty rate is about 16% lower than in the rest of Alabama.
Kimberly is also home to one of the most educated communities in Alabama, with 25% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Safety score: 53% above national average
- Best for: Young families, Black
Defining itself as a secluded city minutes from the busy metro areas, Margaret is only slightly larger than Kimberly.
Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, Margaret brags about a total crime rate of less than 80 per 10,000 people. This is undoubtedly one of the main traits that attract young families to the area.
Good schools, proximity to lakes and parks, as well as lots of playgrounds scattered throughout the city are other things that appeal to new parents.
Young couples and singles may be outnumbered in the area, but Margaret still has a lively entertainment scene. You can pick from nightclubs, cinemas, bars, and theaters.
With a thriving African heritage community (30% of the total population), Margaret is also one of the safest cities for black people in Alabama.
If you plan on moving here, expect to pay around $1,121 for a 2-bedroom house.
- Safety score: 73% above national average
- Best for: Families, professionals
Considered a Birmingham suburb and part of the Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area, Helena is the safest city in Alabama, according to the FBI. Like Margaret and Kimberly, it’s a great place for families to make and grow children.
With over 21,000 residents, Helena is a lot larger than both Kimberly and Margaret but still small enough to offer safe, quaint town vibes.
At the same time, the cultural and entertainment scenes are incredibly lively. The city has a great selection of eateries, diners, and cafes.
Nightclubs offer plenty of Friday night entertainment to adults, while children can choose from numerous playgrounds or visit the multiple attractions, such as the Vulcan Park and Museum or the Birmingham Zoo – both just a short drive from the city.
To get a better feel of the community, know that the median age in Helena is 38 years old, most families here own their homes, and 46% of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The median income per household is lower than Kimberly’s ($89,982), but residents here have a higher income per capita ($38,686).
- Safety score: 17% above national average
- Best for: Singles, couples, families, mixed heritage
With close to 93,000 residents, Hoover is one of the safest large cities in Alabama and an ideal choice for people from all walks of life.
Like most big cities, it is home to diverse communities that welcome Caucasians, Asians, Afro-Americans, and Hispanics, but also people with a mixed heritage.
Crime-wise, Hoover has a low rate of fewer than 125 crimes per 10,000 residents. Most offenses in the area were petty crimes, including theft and stolen property. Burglary and drug crimes come next, but there were few reported cases of assault and other serious offenses.
From a livability standpoint, the city has excellent schools and amenities. Finding jobs in the area is fairly easy, and the only less-than-ideal point is housing.
While 70.4% of residents own their homes, rent prices are relatively high compared to the rest of Alabama. However, they are undeniably more affordable than nearby Birmingham.
- Safety score: 35% above national average
- Best for: Families, veterans
Small but wealthy, Satsuma earns a position in the top 5 safest cities in Alabama. The crime rate in this city is 83.8 per 10,000 people, only slightly higher than Margaret’s and a lot lower compared to the rest of the state.
The city has a middle-aged population (39.6 median age) consisting mostly of married couples and families.
The median household income in Satsuma is comparable to Helena’s, but what makes a big difference is housing affordability. A 2-bed apartment here costs under $800 on average. New residents can choose from a variety of unoccupied housing units, and those who want to buy can also find affordable properties.
Families aside, Satsuma is also one of the best places for veterans in South Alabama. The city has a relatively large community of formerly military employees – almost 10% – and offers quick access to numerous organizations and support groups located in the nearby Mobile and other adjacent cities.
6. Vestavia Hills
- Safety score: 51% above national average
- Best for: Families, veterans
Nestled in-between Hoover and Birmingham, Vestavia Hills is another city worth considering if you want to move to Alabama.
It has almost 40,000 residents, which is enough if you don’t like small towns, but don’t like crowded cities either. Like the cities above, it is a great choice for families but also for veterans.
Children can thrive in this area, thanks to the many natural and man-made attractions. From outdoor and indoor playgrounds, swimming pools, picnic spots, and quick access to museums, Vestavia Hills is a great place to grow.
The city also has excellent schools and a noteworthy community library.
For the grown-ups, the town offers plenty of eateries, casual chain restaurants, and a lively shopping area with upscale designer brands.
Residents in Vestavia Hills enjoy a good quality of life with a household median income of $110,478 and a per capita income of $57,608 – one of the highest incomes in the entire state. Add low crime rates according to Alabama’s crime rate map, and you’ve got a great place to consider.
7. Rainbow City
- Safety score: 65% above national average
- Best for: Young professionals, retirees
A city of contrasts, Rainbow City, is one of the few places in Alabama that attracts young professionals and seniors alike. Together with families and young couples.
The lively community is made up of residents who tend to lean conservative. And this is most likely the reason why everybody feels at ease living here.
With a growing population of over 10,000 residents, Rainbow City is famous for its active lifestyle and inclusive events. Most are cultural or outdoors affairs, or you can opt to participate in bridge and Rubik’s cube tournaments.
Young professionals can pick from numerous employment opportunities, either in Rainbow City or in nearby Gadsden. A plethora of good schools and playgrounds make the place perfect for families with children.
Seniors can enjoy the parks and nearby fishing and hunting areas.
No matter which age group you belong to, rest assured living in Rainbow City is fun and peaceful at the same time. After all, this is one of the safest cities in northeast Alabama.
- Safety score: 35% above national average
- Best for: Families, retirees
Part of the Dothan Metropolitan Area, Ashford is one of the safest cities in southern Alabama. Like most suburbs, it is a place for families to thrive, although professionals who like the quaint life can also find their dream home here.
There aren’t a plethora of schools, but the small city offers plenty of recreational opportunities. Both adults and the young can play baseball, basketball, soccer, or softball. The Ashford Recreation Sports Association also raises funds to support different programs.
Ashford is also known for having the world’s smallest city block, and there are also a few museums.
The eat-out and entertainment scene is fairly lively for a community this size. There are plenty of eateries, bowling alleys, community gardens, and even a brewery.
Also home for retirees, Ashford has two city-owned senior center rentals with a capacity of 70 and 100 people, respectively.
- Safety score: 49% above national average
- Best for: Professionals
If we were to consider Alabama’s crime rate per city alone, Ragland would be much higher at the top. When considering the livability, though, it is lower than other small cities in the area due to the higher housing costs.
In fact, the home value in the area is $102,400 on average, and you can expect to pay over $1,100 for a 2-bed apartment. This wouldn’t be much higher compared to other cities this size, but considering the median income of only $18,895 per capita, it is quite expensive.
Despite the lower median income and higher poverty rate, Ragland has a very low crime rate – less than 65 per 10,000 people. This is the fourth-lowest crime rate in the state.
Attracting younger residents, Ragland is a good place to live if you like tranquility but at the same time want to stay close to entertainment areas.
There are fewer families here compared to other small cities in Alabama and a higher percentage of single professionals and young couples working in the manufacturing industry.
- Safety score: 36% above national average
- Best for: Empty-nesters, retirees
With a median age of 49.7 years, Cordova is one of the safest cities in Alabama for retirees and empty-nesters. The small yet thriving community attracts older couples with low costs of living and rental prices – around $750 per month for a 2-bed apartment.
Despite the lower median household income ($30,919) and lower-than-average poverty rate (about 1.5 times lower than the rest of the state), Cordova has an incredibly low crime rate.
Like other cities on this list, most crimes committed in Cordova are theft and other petty crimes.
Originally a textile town, the city is now a quaint place to live. Located in the heart of Walker County, it gives residents quick access to natural attractions, such as the Sleepy Holler or the Walker County Lake.
The city is also close enough to Birmingham, so you can get into the busy metropolis in under an hour. Perhaps the main downside is the poor employment opportunities this city offers, but it’s exactly this trait that makes it a good choice for senior citizens and retirees.
- Safety score: 44% above national average
- Best for: Seniors
With a crime rate of 119.7 per 10,000 inhabitants, Crossville is one of the top 10 safest cities in Alabama. However, it ranks lower on the livability list due to a lack of schools, housing, and employment opportunities.
The city has a little over 1,600 inhabitants, most of which are retirees and seniors – the average age is 44.4 years old, and this is one of the few cities in Alabama with almost 0% fertility rates.
In addition, housing units are rather expensive, despite the median household income of only $40,192. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that over 20% of people here live in poverty.
That said, Crossville is a quaint city close to many hunting and fishing spots in the state. It is a good choice for those who want a peaceful life.
- Safety score: 28% above national average
- Best for: Families, commuters
Located 36 miles from Tuscaloosa, Aliceville is one of the safest small cities in Alabama. At first glance, the settlement may not seem like much. Yet, Aliceville is one of Alabama’s best-kept secrets.
This town is infused with Southern charm and offers plenty of recreational opportunities all year round.
Visitors can play golf, go kayaking and water skiing, enjoy the nearby fishing and hunting areas, and more. This makes the town perfect for families with older kids and those who want to work in the hospitality industry.
Employment opportunities aren’t that high in Aliceville, but the proximity to Tuscaloosa makes it a great choice for those who want to work in the city but live in a quieter place.
Before you go, know that the poverty rate is high in the area, though. The median household income is $26,300, and almost 45% of residents live below the poverty line. However, this means that housing is affordable, with a median value of $88,600 for the occupied housing units.
In other words, Aliceville could be the right choice for low-budget buyers and investors.
- Safety score: 59% above national average
- Best for: Black people, families
Clayton, the last entry on our list of safest cities in Alabama, is another quaint town that attracts families in search of a quiet home, empty-nesters, and retirees.
The best things this city has to offer are affordable housing and very low crime rates. However, renting a home is more expensive than in other small cities in the state.
The higher rental prices are justified by the proximity to a variety of attractions. In fact, Clayton attracts numerous tourists who want to visit the nearby River Bluff Park and Lake Eufaula. Nevertheless, the median value of occupied housing units in the area is $71,000, affordable enough for most people.
Like other small cities in Alabama, Clayton has limited employment opportunities. However, if you don’t mind commuting, both Dohan and Montgomery are less than an hour and a half away by car.
With over 65% of residents sharing a black heritage, Clayton is also a great choice for black people looking for a peaceful place to live.