Tucked deep in the south of the United States lies Alabama aka The Heart of Dixie or Sweet Home Alabama. A state that’s rich in history and filled with small town charm, Alabama has produced legends like Harper Lee and her classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Rosa Parks and the spark to the civil rights movement, and - of course - good ol’ fashioned sweet tea. Although it falls on the higher end of the U.S. crime per capita spectrum, life set against the backdrop of Alabama can be a pleasant one, just check out our list of the safest cities below.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
Helena is made up of 17 square miles, 18,109 residents, and the lowest crime rates in the state. The average violent crime rate is five times lower than the state average and the average property crime rate is 4.7 times lower than the state average. Located in the middle of Alabama just south of Birmingham, Helena residents enjoy movies in the park, citywide softball competitions, an annual Christmas parade, and everything else that pairs nicely with a white picket fence. It is, after all, “Where you want to be.”
2. VESTAVIA HILLS
Decorated with sprawling hills and winding creeks, beautiful Vestavia Hills is home to 34,143 residents and some of the best schools in the state. It's neighborhoods are growing quickly and its culture truly embraces their motto of, “A life above.” Vestavia Hills’ crime rates are well below the state average with violent crime lower than approximately 90% of Alabama communities and property crime lower than about 70%.
3. MOUNTAIN BROOK
English Tudor architecture, manicured gardens, and wooded areas keep Mountain Brook true to its fairy tale-sounding name. Incorporated in 1942, Mountain Brook takes great care in maintaining its historical roots while at the same time offering their 20,801 residents things like free Wifi. Mountain Brook is one of Alabama’s more affluent towns and enjoys lower than average crime rates all around.
Fultondale is an old mining town located along the southern end of an Appalachian Mountain ridgeline. Its low crime rates keep it, “A friendly city” that’s also perfect for families. Fultondale’s population is on the smaller side (9,044 residents) along with its number of violent crimes - only eight were reported - just four percent of the state average (180).
Picturesque Southside is nestled in the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mountains. First settled in 1850 as a farming town, it’s now known for it’s hospitality and Southern character. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in northeast Alabama and its 8,583 residents enjoy a low cost of living along with low crime rates.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Alabama, 2017
11. Rainbow City
2. Vestavia Hills
3. Mountain Brook
6. Pleasant Grove
27. Spanish Fort
29. Bay Minette
To identify the safest cities in Alabama, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.