Alabama is a state with plenty of history. As a key state in both the U.S. Civil War and the Civil Rights movement, Alabama has plenty of historic sites to visit. Popular sites include the Montgomery Civil Rights Monument and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Alabama is also famed for its musical history, as the birthplace of Nat King Cole, W.C. Handy and Hank Williams. Visitors and residents can enjoy blues, country and jazz music played in local bars across the state or head over to the W.C. Handy Home and Museum to learn more.
Beyond historical and cultural sites, Alabama has plenty of natural beauty for fans of the outdoors. Locals and visitors can enjoy the Mobile Bay coastline, the Gulf State Park or Mount Cheaha, a scenic mountaintop retreat which is the highest point in Alabama. Alabama is home to plenty of attractions and a growing population of just under 5 million people in towns large and small. Let’s take a look at which of Alabama’s cities are the safest to live in or visit.
How We Determined the Safest Cities in Alabama
We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.
Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:
*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).
- Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
- Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
- Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:
- Annual rent – Annualized median rent
- Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
- Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
- Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
- Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
- Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance
2 Safest Cities in Alabama
No. 1 Tuscaloosa
Located in west-central Alabama, Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama and has plenty to see and do. Visitors can explore some of the many museums, including the Alabama Museum of Natural History or the Paul W. Bryant Museum. Queen City Park is one of the many popular parks in the city, overlooking William Bacon Oliver Lake. Popular activities in Tuscaloosa include taking a boat trip down the river, following the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk or watching a show at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Tuscaloosa has a large population of over 101,000 people and, although relatively safe, does have a high unemployment rate and high levels of property crime.
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Total Violent Crime Aggravated Assault Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 9.237058 (1st) 15.62439 (1st) 205.5737 (2nd) 0 (1st) 0 (1st) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 10116 (1st) 44120 (2nd) 0.076 (1st) 0.171 (1st) 0.014 (1st) 0.309 (2nd)
No. 2 Huntsville
Huntsville sits in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northern Alabama. This city was key in the space race as the site where some of the first rockets were developed to put satellites into orbit. Visitors and residents can learn more in Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Huntsville has plenty of other attractions on offer such as the Alabama Constitution Village, which gives a glimpse into life in the 1800s, and The Huntsville Museum of Art. Huntsville has the largest population on this list, at 196,620 residents, but unfortunately has higher levels of violent crime and assault.
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Total Violent Crime Aggravated Assault Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 12.71488 (2nd) 31.63463 (2nd) 196.0126 (1st) 0 (1st) 0 (1st) 0.406876 (2nd)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 9648 (2nd) 53840 (1st) 0.062 (2nd) 0.15 (2nd) 0.009 (2nd) 0.424 (1st)
Alabama State Safety
Natural Disaster Safety
In the Insurance Journal’s natural hazard risk rankings, Alabama is listed at 29th. The most common natural hazards likely to affect Alabamans include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and storms. Some of the most dangerous natural disasters to affect Alabama include Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused 22 counties in Alabama to be declared disaster areas. Just six years later, Alabama experienced the 2011 Tornado Outbreak, which was one of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history and caused 238 fatalities in Alabama alone.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death in Alabama is heart disease, followed by cancer. America’s Health Rankings ranks the state in 19th place for its rate of drug-related deaths and 36th place for its high rates of air pollution. When it comes to healthcare, Alabama ranks low, in 42nd place, for its number of primary care physicians. Alabama’s availability of mental health care providers also puts it in last place in the U.S.
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Top 2 Safest Cities in Alabama