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Is Alabama a Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Alabama

Is Alabama a Good Place to Live Pros and Cons of Living in Alabama

Is Alabama a Good Place to Live? Pros and Cons of Living in Alabama
Alabama is located in the southern part of the US. The state is also called the Heart of Dixie or the Cotton State. The state has some of the most elaborate inland waterways in Northern America. The capital city of Alabama is Montgomery but there are larger and more populated cities in the state like Huntsville. The state’s economy was primarily dependent on agriculture but is now diversified with other industries like manufacturing, finance, technology and aerospace. Alabama’s cities are a great option for any expat seeking to live in America.

Is Alabama a good place to live? Alabama enjoys great weather all year round. The state has great natural beauty including inland waterways and forests. The cost of living in Alabama is low and so are real estate prices. There are several highly rated colleges in the state and employment opportunities are plenty.

Alabama is a state of friendly people and closely-knit rural communities. The sunny hot weather provides a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities but it will take a while to get used to it if you are from a cold part of the country. The state’s tragic past of racial bigotry has long since passed and the population is quite diverse. You will pay lower taxes in Alabama than in most other states. The crime rate is low and the state is a great place to raise a family. The pace of life in Alabama is slow except in a few cities.

Is Alabama a good place to live?

Alabama is a state with a high degree of inequality. You will find pockets of opulence and pockets of poverty scattered across the state. There are a lot of neighborhoods in Alabama and you can find great suburbs in which to settle down. If the neighborhoods are ranked based on cleanliness, crime rate, population density, education levels and cost of living, the best neighborhoods in Alabama are Madison, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hoover, Auburn, Medowbrook, Indian Springs Village, Fairhope, Helena, Huntsville, Alabaster, Brook Highland, Pelham and Calera. The worst neighborhoods are Bessemer, Prichard, Anniston, Atmore, Talladega, Tarrant, Gadsden, Lanett, Clanton and Opp.

Alabama is one of the most dangerous states in the country. A study by 24/7 Wall Street in 2017 ranked Alabama as the 8th most dangerous state in the US. The overall crime rate in Alabama is 35 crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crime is especially prevalent in the state at stands at a rate of 5.24 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Property crime makes up the bulk of crime in Alabama. There are about 30 property crimes per 1,000 residents in Alabama. However, Alabama does have a crime per square mile that is lower than the national average. Insurances for your valuables is advised.

Despite all these, there are still some best cities to live in Alabama.

Public primary and secondary education in Alabama is managed by the Alabama State Board of Education. The board runs 1,496 schools with 744,637 students. The state also has 14 public universities, 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities and several two-year community colleges. There are law schools, medical schools, dental schools, pharmacy schools, veterinary colleges and they are all overseen by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. The most prominent tertiary education institution in the state is the University of Alabama with a student population of about 40,000 students. Several universities in Alabama have received accolades for being in the top 100 schools in the country.

Alabama is home to several commercial airports the main ones among them being Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Huntsville International Airport, Dothan Regional Airport, Mobiles Regional Airport, and Muscle Shoals–Northwest Alabama Regional Airport. As for rail transport, the Amtrak rail system passes through Anniston, and Tuscaloosa. Alabama is served by six main interstate highways. There are also several US highways passing through Alabama. Alabama has four toll roads namely Tuscaloosa Bypass, Emerald Mountain Expressway and Beach Express. Alabama also has several ports with the Port of Mobiles the largest among them and the only seawater port. Other ports are Port of Florence, Port of Decatur, Port of Guntersville, Port of Tuscaloosa and the Port of Montgomery.

There are many venues for social activities in Alabama. College football is especially popular in Alabama. The University of Alabama and Auburn games are attended by tens of thousands of fans. There are also professional minor league teams in the state. The Talladega Superspeedway motorsports complex holds Nascar racing events and is one of the largest stadiums in the world. The city has forests where you can go hiking.

Pros and cons of living in Alabama

Pros

  1. You will enjoy great food in Alabama including fresh seafood and incredible barbecue.
  2. You can enjoy over 60 miles of pristine sandy beaches along the Gulf coast whenever you feel like it.
  3. You will be living in college football heaven. College football is like a religion in Alabama.
  4. Alabama has many festivals all year round. The citizens of Alabama really know how to have fun at festivals.
  5. There are over 30 breweries in the state. You will find beer everywhere you turn which most Americans will enjoy.
  6. The weather is almost always sunny in Alabama. You can sunbathe all year round and partake in many outdoor activities.
  7. Alabama has deep musical roots. When you live in Alabama you will experience great music regardless of your taste.
  8. There are plenty of employment opportunities in Alabama. With the right qualifications, you are almost assured of employment.
  9. Housing costs in Alabama are really low. You can find great housing for prices you will not find elsewhere in the country.
  10. Alabama is very sparsely populated. You will rarely have to deal with big crowds except during college football season.

Cons

  1. Some neighborhoods in Alabama are infamous for cockroach infestation. You had better get used to living with cockroaches.
  2. Sundays in Alabama are stay at home days. Almost zero businesses are open on Sunday in Alabama.
  3. Some counties in Alabama have completely banned the sale of alcohol. You may have to search far to find a drink in these places.
  4. Alabama citizens are quite quirky. You will have to get used to insults that sound like sincere expressions in Alabama.
  5. Sometimes the weather in Alabama can be erratic. A heavy downpour in the morning can be followed by humid heat in the afternoon.
  6. The state authorities in Alabama are some of the most corrupt in the country. Hence, there is an inefficient distribution of public services.
  7. The public schools in Alabama really need some work. Education is not a state priority so a family with young children will have problems.
  8. There are high poverty rates in Alabama.
  9. Expect to meet more obese people in Alabama than you are regularly used to.
  10. Alabama citizens, especially in rural areas, are very socially conservative.

Is Alabama a good place to work?

Alabama has an unemployment rate of about 5% which is equal to the national average. The average annual salary in Alabama is $39,180 which is higher than the national average annual salary of $31,000. The average annual salary ranks 37th out of the 50 American states. The state of Alabama has no official minimum wage rate hence the minimum federal wage rate of $7.25 is implemented in the state.

Alabama has a very high poverty rate. In 2018, Alabama received credit for having the sixth-highest poverty rate among states in the country. A tour of Alabama will reveal some of the harshest living conditions you will ever see.

The Alabama economy was dependent on agriculture to a significant degree up to the Second World War. The economy has since been well diversified. In fact, as of 2006, agriculture was only 1% of the state’s GDP. Alabama has the 27th largest state economy in the US. Alabama had a GDP of $204 billion as of 2016.

A lot of people in Alabama are employed in management positions. Based on the number of people employed, the largest industries in Alabama are transportation and logistics, production, business and finance, computing and IT, architecture and engineering, physical and social sciences, community and social services, legal services, educational services, art and design, media, healthcare, security, hospitality, personal care and services and farming, fishing and forestry.

Pertaining to individual employers, the largest employers in the state of Alabama include Redstone Arsenal, University of Alabama, Maxwell Air Force Base, State of Alabama, Mobile County Public School System, Anniston Army Depot, AT&T, Auburn University, Baptist Medical Center South, Birmingham City Schools, City of Birmingham, DCH Health System, Huntsville City Schools, Huntsville Hospital System and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

Is Alabama a good place to buy a house?

Alabama is one of the best places in the country for an expat to buy a house. Alabama has one of the highest homeownership rates in the nation with 71.9%. Most of the homes owned are through mortgages. Are you planning on moving to Alabama? Alabama has great mortgage rates hence the high rate of homeownership. The average price of a house in Alabama is $131,200. The average rent in Alabama is $750.

Despite the low prices, you are encouraged to acquire home insurance if you purchase property in Alabama. Insurance applies whether you are buying a house to live in or to rent out.

The best neighborhoods in Alabama are Madison, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hoover, Auburn, Medowbrook, Indian Springs Village, Fairhope, Helena, Huntsville, Alabaster, Brook Highland, Pelham and Calera. The worst neighborhoods are Bessemer, Prichard, Anniston, Atmore, Talladega, Tarrant, Gadsden, Lanett, Clanton and Opp.

The average price of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $650 per month, of renting a two-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $775 per month, of renting a three-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $940, of renting a four-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $1,260, of renting a five-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $1,430.

The mean price of a one-bedroom house in Alabama is $116,500. The mean price of a two bedroom house in Alabama is $148,700. The mean price of a three-bedroom price in Alabama is $179,250. The mean price of a four-bedroom house in Alabama is $216,320. The mean price of a five-bedroom house in Alabama is $245,000.

Is Alabama a good place to retire?

Alabama deserves credit as a great place to retire for a plethora of reasons. One of the main reasons is the great weather. The sunny summers and mild winters attract many retirees to Alabama. Another reason is the low cost of living which helps retirees stretch their retirement funds.

Moreover, who would not want to retire and spend their days exploring over 60 miles of sandy beaches? Alabama also offers incredible tax breaks for seniors making it a great retirement location.

The best neighborhoods in Alabama are Madison, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hoover, Auburn, Medowbrook, Indian Springs Village, Fairhope, Helena, Huntsville, Alabaster, Brook Highland, Pelham and Calera. The worst neighborhoods are Bessemer, Prichard, Anniston, Atmore, Talladega, Tarrant, Gadsden, Lanett, Clanton and Opp.

Most retirees prefer to rent their property in Alabama. It does not make sense to take out a 30-year mortgage if you are 65 years old. Retirement properties are equally priced to other properties.

The average price of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $710 per month, renting a two-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $850 per month, of renting a three-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $1000, of renting a four-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $1,330, of renting a five-bedroom apartment in Alabama is $1,510.

The average price of a one-bedroom house in Alabama is $123,200, of a two-bedroom house in Alabama is $152,500, of a three-bedroom price in Alabama is $185,400, of a four-bedroom house in Alabama is $226,200 and of a five-bedroom house in Alabama is $251,100.

Is Alabama a good place to visit?

Alabama has great attractions and landmarks which attracts thousands of tourists to the state. The places you must see when visiting Alabama include:

Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island lies off the coast of Mobile and is the first piece of land that birds see when they migrate north from South America. There are several bird sanctuaries on the island.

The island offers visitors stunning sunsets, breathtaking beaches and pristine patches of grassland. A day on Dauphin Island is sure to relieve some stress.

Noccalula Falls Park

Noccalula Falls Park is a scene of great beauty. The falls are over 90 feet high and due to the sunny Alabama weather always have a rainbow.

The falls are famous for their tragic romantic history. Visitors can camp, play at the petting zoo or go hiking.

Cheaha State Park

Visiting Cheaha State Park and climbing Cheaha Mountain to the highest point in Alabama is quite an experience. The park is located inside Talladega National Forest.

The park offers visitors lengthy hiking trails, ATV trails and other trails. You can camp in the park and enjoy a meal in a beautiful outdoor setting of your choice.

Marta Kovachek

Marta is a true digital nomad, traveling across the USA for the last 10 years and sharing her expertise with a wide range of readers. Read more articles by Marta Kovachek

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