Moving to Alabama A Complete Relocation Guide 2021

This is a complete guide for Moving to Alabama.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Alabama

Are you considering moving to Alabama?

The Yellowhammer State is currently one of the fastest-growing states in the country. The reason for that is simple.

Alabama is one of the states with the lowest costs of living in the country. The state’s housing market and rental market are below the national average in terms of costs.

If you’d like to live in a state where unemployment rates are lower than the national average, with more sunny days throughout the year, and with a shorter commuting time, moving to Alabama is right for you.

Alabama’s median age is 38 making it a state of Millenials and one of the best states for young families. If you’re mulling over moving to Alabama and wondering if the state is right for you or not, this guide contains key information about the state to help you make the right decision.

Quick facts to know before moving to Alabama

  • Alabama’s cost of living is lower than the U.S. average
  • Housing costs in Alabama is lower than the U.S. average
  • Alabama gets 213 sunny days in a year on average
  • The unemployment rate in Alabama is lower than the U.S. average
  • The average annual pay for average jobs in Alabama is $53,786
  • Alabama averages 1 inch of snow in a year

What’s the population of Alabama?

The population of Alabama is 510 million people. The Heart of Dixie state stretches across 52,420 square miles. Since you’re considering moving to Alabama, here’s a breakdown of the state’s population:

  • Alabama is the 24th largest state by population
  • Alabama is one of the fastest-growing state and the 27th in population density
  • Alabama has a median age of 38.6 years
  • The ratio of female to male in Alabama is 51.5% Female and 48.5%, Male

How fast can you commute in Alabama?

Alabama’s average one-way commute time is 24.6 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. Moving to Alabama most likely means spending less time on the road with less stress which means a longer lifespan. Since you’re considering moving to Alabama, here’s how people in the state commute to work:

Here’s how people in the Granite State commute to work:

  • About 85.9% of Alabamans drive their own car alone
  • Around 8.6% of Alabamans carpool with others
  • Up to 3.1% of Alabamans work from home
  • Around 0.4% of Alabamans take mass transit

How is the weather like in Alabama?

Alabama gets 213 sunny days in a year on average. The national average is 205 sunny days in a year. If you’re moving to Alabama, you’ll most likely be interested in the state’s weather. Here’s a quick summary of Alabama’s weather to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Alabama summer high in July is around 91 degrees
  • Alabama winter low in January is about 33 degrees
  • Alabama averages 56 inches of rain a year
  • Alabama averages 1 inch of snow in a year
moving to alabama

Top 10 Reasons to move to Alabama

There are several reasons why you should consider moving to Alabama.

The state is appealing to many people for various reasons. If you’re considering moving to Alabama, here are the top ten reasons why people have been moving to the Yellowhammer state:

  • The weather is mostly summer in Alabama

    Alabama has the 4th hottest summer in the US and those who hate chilling winters can seriously think about moving here. The temperatures average over 90 °F throughout the summer in most of the state but in the extreme south, winds from the Gulf of Mexico tempers it down to a little.

  • Football is like a religion in Alabama

    The people in Alabama are the most football-crazed in the US. Recent studies prove that the Yellowhammer state spends more time discussing football on social media or outside than the neighboring states and for them, the battle on the turf is a major part of the culture.

  • Alabama has a booming job market

    Alabama is one of the richest states in the US with great investments in automobile, aerospace, education, healthcare, banking, heavy industries, and metal extraction. And despite the economy facing a backlash worldwide, Alabama recorded growth in 2020-2021, adding up more jobs. Even tourism is booming in Alabama, opening up more job opportunities.

  • The cost of living in Alabama is lower than the U.S. average

    Alabama records the 7th lowest cost of living in the US. The housing index in the state is 70.2. The median home price is $129,300, and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $772 per month. The livable wage in Alabama is $45,824, and the median household income is $48,486. Read more about Alabama cost of living

  • The state isn’t overcrowded

    Despite being the 30th largest state in the US, Alabama records a low population which means it is one of the least crowded states in the country. Alabama has just 99 people per square mile, which promises better ownership of state resources.

  • Housing costs in Alabama is low

    You can own a home in Alabama by spending $129,300 which is lower than the national average of $231,200. Even the average rent is lower than the national average. The average rent in Alabama is $1,050. With an average apartment size of 1,397 square feet, the average price per square foot in Alabama is $0.752.

  • Top-quality higher education

    Alabama has over 1,541 individual schools for 743,364 elementary and secondary students. There are also 17 private, undergraduate, and graduate universities in the state. The public primary and secondary education in Alabama is under Alabama State Board of Education and the state has top-notch colleges and schools.

  • Alabama has a beautiful landscape

    The Yellowhammer State is famous for its pretty landscapes and has an edge over neighboring states for serene and scenic surroundings. From diverse landscapes ranging from mountains and farmland to rivers and coastlines, Alabama boasts of the most picturesque towns and villages in the South.

  • Shorter commuting time

    The average one-way commute time in Alabama is 24.6 minutes, which is less than the national average of 26.4 minutes. And this means you spend less time on the road.

  • Alabama is home to beautiful mountains and gorgeous beaches

    Fabulous mountains and breathtaking white sandy beaches make Alabama a paradise of beauty. Highly scenic, Alabama promises a laid-back life for both residents and visitors alike.

    Here are some of the best beaches and mountains in Alabama:

    • Orange Beach
    • Cotton Bayou Beach
    • Dauphin Island Beach
    • Florida Point Beach
    • Fort Morgan Beach
    • Cheaha Mountain
    • Lookout Mountain
    • Monte Sano Mountain
    • Red Mountain
    • McDill Point
    • Talladega Mountains
    • Bald Rock Mountain
alabama pros and cons

Pros & Cons of Living in Alabama

Great food, beaches, mountains, and an economy that is ever booming – Alabama has got reasons to call the new home.

The Yellowhammer state has a rich past, active present, and a bright future that’s sure to keep folks seriously thinking about moving here. However, Alabama has also got reasons to not move in. You need to weigh both the positives and negatives of living in Alabama before taking the final call. We have compiled the honest pros and cons of living in Alabama to help you make the right decision.

Here’s our list of the pros and cons of living in the Yellowhammer state since you’re considering moving to Alabama.

Pros of living in Alabama Cons of living in Alabama
You will love the food in AlabamaBe on the lookout for cockroaches
Access to beautiful 60 miles of beaches along the Gulf CoastSome places aren’t open on Sunday in Alabama
There are lots of fun festivals to enjoy in AlabamaSome of their kind phrases are actually insults
Alabama is rich in historyThe weather can easily take a bad turn
You’ll find some remarkable beer options in AlabamaYou’ll have to put up with tornadoes and hurricanes in Alabama
College football is a religion in AlabamaGetting beer isn’t that easy in Alabama
You can barbecue just about any food in AlabamaSome Alabama counties have banned the sale of alcohol
Alabama is a great place for military veteransThe state authorities in Alabama are corrupt
Alabama is home to deep musical rootsThere are high poverty rates in Alabama
There are top-quality educational opportunities in AlabamaSome of the public schools in Alabama are known for poor quality
Low housing costsYou’ll have to put up with many socially conservative people in Alabama
place in alabama to live

Best Places to Live in Alabama

Alabama is home to several beautiful cities that are suitable for families, single adults, retirees, and the likes. If you’d like to live in some of the best places in the state, moving to Alabama will be a great idea. Here are the ten best places to live in Alabama:

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1Madison49,3273.8%$253,000
2Mountain Brook20,4361.7%$628,800
3Homewood25,5342.7%$347,800
4Vestavia Hills34,3072.0%$376,200
5Fairhope21,0834.6%$299,200
6Pike Road9,3202.5%$300,000
7Daphne25,9013.4%$201,400
8Orange Beach6,0193.7%$297,800
9Muscle Shoals14,1033.5%$147,100
10Millbrook15,6453.0%$154,300
cost of living in alabama

Cost of Living in Alabama

The cost of living in Alabama is rated 82.3. The United States average is 100.

That means Alabama’s cost of living is lower than the national average. Since you’re considering moving to Alabama, here’s the average cost of living in the state:

Here’s a breakdown of the key costs of living in the Alabama:
Cost of Living Alabama United States
Overall82.3100
Grocery94.4100
Health102.2100
Housing55.9100
Median Home Cost$129,300$231,200
Utilities101.2100
Transportation85.9100
Miscellaneous94.5100

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Alabama Housing Market

Alabama’s median home cost is $129,300 which is lower than the national average of $231,200. Buying a home can be one of the best housing options if you’re moving to Alabama. Over the last 10 years, the value of homes in Alabama has increased by 13.7%. Currently, home prices have risen by 6.9%.

Median home rental costs in Alabama

There are several housing options to choose from if you’re moving to Alabama. One of such options is renting a home or an apartment. About 25.9% of the Alabama population are renters and up to 3.0% of homes and apartments in the state are available to rent. Here’s the average cost of home rental in the state if you’re moving to Alabama:

  • The average cost of a studio apartment in Alabama is $591
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Alabama is $639
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Alabama is $772
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Alabama is $1,021
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Alabama is $1,191
jobs in alabama

How is the job market in Alabama?

Alabama has a booming job market with an unemployment rate that is lower than the national average.

That means getting a job after moving to Alabama is fairly easy. Here’s a breakdown of the job market in the state if you’re moving to Alabama:

Employment Information Alabama United States
The income per Cap$25,746$31,177
Household Income$46,472$57,652
Unemployment Rate3.46.0
Recent Job Growth-3.24%-6.18%
Future Job Growth32.42%33.51%

What’s the average salary in Alabama?

You may be interested in getting a new job after moving to Alabama. The state’s average pay could be different from where you’re moving from. Check out a breakdown of the average pay in the state since you’re considering moving to Alabama:

  • The minimum wage in Alabama is $7.25
  • The average annual pay for average jobs in Alabama is $53,786
  • The average hourly pay in Alabama for the average job is $25.86
  • The average weekly pay for the average job in Alabama is $1,034
  • The average monthly pay for the average job in Alabama is $4,482

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Top career options in Alabama

The top career options in Alabama are also the highest-paying jobs in the state. Moving to Alabama could mean taking a shot at one of the top career options in the state. We’ve made a list of the top career options in the state since you’re considering moving to Alabama:

Rank Job Title AVERAGE SALARY ENTRY LEVEL SALARY # OF PEOPLE
1Obstetricians And Gynecologists$269,920$171,08080
2Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists$265,650$145,310430
3Anesthesiologists$264,480$145,670200
4Family Medicine Physicians$227,770$116,130780
5Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$213,410$59,3904,260
6General Internal Medicine Physicians$210,300$82,160160
7Psychiatrists$179,810$69,230380
8Chief Executives$174,910$49,4801,160
9Dentists, General$172,050$94,2901,320
10Nurse Anesthetists$170,560$93,2001,410

Top industries in Alabama

Alabama’s economy is powered by several top industries. Some of these industries are also some of the largest in the country. Moving to Alabama could mean getting a chance to be a part of these industries. Here are the largest industries in Alabama if you’re moving to the state:

  • Aerospace And Aviation
  • Bioscience
  • Agriculture
  • Beverage Production
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Metals
  • Tourism
taxes in alabama

Alabama tax info

Depending on where you’re moving from, you may end up paying higher or lower taxes by moving to Alabama.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a breakdown of the key taxes in Alabama:

  • Alabama state income tax is 2% - 5%
  • Local income tax is 0% - 2%
  • Alabama sales tax is 5% - 11.50%
  • Property tax in Alabama is 0.40 average effective rate
  • Alabama gas tax is 24 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • Gas tax per gallon of diesel is also 25 cents
things to know about alabama

Best things to do in Alabama

Moving to Alabama means you’ll get the chance to see or do so many exciting things.

More so, Alabama is home to several remarkable attractions, and moving to the Yellowhammer state gives you the chance to see as many as you can. Here are some of the best things to do in the state if you’re moving to Alabama:

  • Visit the US Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville)

    The world’s largest space museum exhibits more than 1,500 permanent rocketry and space exploration artifacts, which include rockets, engines, spacecraft, and simulators. Operated by the Government of Alabama, the museum is also the center for bus tours to nearby NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

  • Tour the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail (Opelika)

    Robert Trent Jones designed a collection of championship golf courses across Alabama. Initially, the Trail had 378 holes but now there are 468 holes around 11 sites.

  • Explore the Birmingham Zoo (Birmingham)

    A zoological park with 550 animals of 195 species, Birmingham Zoo also hosts different activities for visitors, such as a sea lion show. The animals in the zoo include sea lions, zebras, rhinos, and many endangered species from 6 continents.

  • Catch a glimpse of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park (Mobile)

    A military history park and museum, Battleship Memorial Park houses many aircraft and museum ships including USS Alabama and USS Drum, both National Historic Landmarks. There are gift shops, snack bars, picnic spots, and fishing areas for entertainment.

  • Visit the McWane Science Center (Birmingham)

    A science museum and archive, McWane Science Center has an aquarium and an IMAX Dome Theater. The aquarium has 50 species of marine and freshwater aquatic life including small sharks. Visitors to the museum can also view a shark tooth through a microscope.

  • Tour the Gulf Shores (Gulf Shores)

    Alabama’s beautiful beaches are famous for white sand and you cannot escape from their charm while in Alabama. There are a lot of activities to indulge in, including fishing, boating, trying different delicacies at some of the good restaurants.

  • Explore the Huntsville Botanical Gardens (Huntsville)

    The 112-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden with grassy meadows to woodland paths and aquatic habitats to stunning floral collections is worth exploring in Huntsville, Alabama. It also homes the largest open-air butterfly house in the US. Apart from offering the cool serenity of nature, the garden also hosts multiple exhibits and programs year round.

  • Visit the Cheaha State Park (Delta)

    The 2,800-acre public park got its name from Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in the state that is inside the park. There are numerous structures including a stone bathhouse, eleven stone cabins, two stone pavilions, Bunker Tower, and the Bald Rock Group Lodge inside the park along with many trailing points.

  • Go to see the Point Mallard Park (Decatur)

    The 750-acre park has camping, hiking trails, biking trails, and a golf course. Open year-round, the park borders the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Along with an ice skating complex, the park homes a wave pool, Olympic-size diving pool, water slides, and kiddie pools.

  • Tour the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham)

    The institute has multimedia exhibitions focusing on the history of African-American life and the struggle for civil rights in the US in the 1950s and 1960s. Opened in 1992, the institute has 25,000 visitors every week.

  • Mobile History Museum (Mobile)

    Situated in downtown Mobile, the Mobile History Museum has over 117,000 objects displaying the rich, diverse, and often turbulent histories of Mobile and the surrounding area.

  • Paul W. Bryant Museum (Tuscaloosa)

    The museum focuses on the history of football in Alabama with special emphasis on the legendary coach Bear Bryant. There are hundreds of photographs, uniforms, and sports memorabilia on display along with videos of Bama coaches, players, and unforgettable plays.

  • Alabama Theater (Birmingham)

    The about hundred-year-old Alabama theater in Birmingham can seat up to 2,500 people and was once the largest in the Birmingham Theatre district. The theater was built during the silent film era, the theater was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in1977, and the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

  • Toomer’s Corner (Auburn)

    Toomer’s Corner at Auburn is a landmark of the city since 1896 and is the destination for thousands of revelers who engage in the long-standing tradition of “rolling Toomer’s Corner;” a celebration occurring after every significant Auburn sports victory.

How safe is Alabama?

How safe are the neighborhoods, towns, and cities of the Heart of Dixie state if you’re moving to Alabama? Since safety is always a top priority before moving to any state, we’ve collated key stats about the state’s crime rates to help you decide if moving to Alabama is right for you or not.

  • The violent crime rate in Alabama is rated 28.6. The national average is 22.7
  • The property crime rate in Alabama is rated 43.0. The national average is 35.4
  • Aggravated assault account for 75% of all violent crimes in Alabama
  • Larceny theft accounts for 71% of all property crimes in Alabama

10 Safest Cities in Alabama

Moving to Alabama means you’ll be interested in the safest cities in the state. We’ve made a list of the top ten cities in Alabama to make it easier for you to narrow down your house-hunting efforts:

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1Rainbow City, AL9,54610523
2Mountain Brook, AL20,373781,119
3Vestavia Hills, AL34,368871,265
4Daleville, AL5,0961561,098
5Southside, AL8,774170740
6Pleasant Grove, AL10,1051581,256
7Pelham, AL23,7851511,698
8Glencoe, AL5,1511551,688
9Daphne, AL26,6181351,739
10Satsuma, AL6,1532601,251
schools in alabama

Best Schools & Universities in Alabama

If you’re moving to Alabama, you may be interested in some of the best schools in the state.

We’ve made a list of the best universities, colleges, and elementary to high schools in the state. If you have school-age kids who are moving with you to Alabama, this can help you decide the best places to stay in the state.

Best Elementary Schools in Alabama

  • ClarkShaw Magnet School
    Mobile County, Public, 5-8 | 787 students, Rating: 10/10

  • MacMillan International at McKee
    Montgomery County, Public, K-5 | 371 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Mt Carmel Elementary School
    Madison County, Public, PK-3 | 548 students, Rating: 10/10

  • EicholdMertz School of Math and Science
    Mobile County, Public, PK-5 | 524 students, Rating: 10/10

  • W H Council Traditional School
    Mobile County, Public, PK-5 | 673 students, Rating: 10/10

Best Middle Schools in Alabama

  • ClarkShaw Magnet School
    Mobile County, Public, 5-8 | 787 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Baldwin County Virtual School
    Baldwin County, Public, 7-12 | 287 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Carver Magnet School
    Dothan City, Public, 6-8 | 411 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Phillips Preparatory Middle School
    Mobile County, Public, 6-8 | 755 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Floyd Middle School
    Montgomery County, Public, 6-8 | 505 students, Rating: 10/10

Best High Schools in Alabama

  • Booker T Washington Magnet High School
    Montgomery County, Public, 9-12 | 403 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Mountain Brook High School
    Mountain Brook City, Public, 10-12 | 1059 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Oak Mountain High School
    Shelby County, Public, 9-12 | 1552 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School
    Montgomery County, Public, 9-12 | 513 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
    Montgomery County, Public, 9-12 | 539 students, Rating: 10/10

Top 10 Best Colleges in Alabama

  • The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, AL

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL

  • Auburn University - Auburn, AL

  • Athens State University - Athens, AL

  • University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

  • University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

  • Jacksonville State University - Jacksonville, AL

  • Samford University - Birmingham, AL

  • University of North Alabama - Florence, AL

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