Best counties to live in Alabama

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it’s a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in Alabama using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

Rivers Langley SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Russell County

– Population: 57,952
– Median home value: $122,000 (60% own)
– Median rent: $803 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $42,443
– Top public schools: Lakewood Elementary School (A), Sherwood Elementary School (B+), Ladonia Elementary School (B)
– Top private schools: Phenix Christian School (unavailable), St. Patrick’s School (unavailable), Columbus Girls Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Phenix City (B), Ladonia (B), Hurtsboro (B)

Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Henry County

– Population: 17,133
– Median home value: $118,800 (83% own)
– Median rent: $627 (17% rent)
– Median household income: $50,017
– Top public schools: Headland High School (B), Headland Elementary School (B), Headland Middle School (B)
– Top private schools: Abbeville Christian Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Headland (B+), Haleburg (B), Abbeville (B)

Dailynetworks // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Colbert County

– Population: 54,771
– Median home value: $120,800 (72% own)
– Median rent: $697 (28% rent)
– Median household income: $48,065
– Top public schools: Muscle Shoals Middle School (A), McBride Elementary School (A), Muscle Shoals High School (A)
– Top private schools: Covenant Christian School (A)
– Top places to live: Muscle Shoals (A), Tuscumbia (B+), Sheffield (B)

Canva

#22. Marshall County

– Population: 95,643
– Median home value: $128,800 (70% own)
– Median rent: $649 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $45,983
– Top public schools: Arab Elementary School (A), Arab Junior High School (A), Union Grove Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Marshall Christian Academy (C+)
– Top places to live: Guntersville (B+), Albertville (B), Arab (B)

Prestinian // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Etowah County

– Population: 102,748
– Median home value: $113,700 (73% own)
– Median rent: $669 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $44,637
– Top public schools: Eura Brown Elementary School (A), Mitchell Elementary School (A), Glencoe Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Westbrook Christian School (B+), Coosa Christian School (B), St. James Catholic School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Rainbow City (A), Southside (B+), Glencoe (B+)

Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Covington County

– Population: 37,200
– Median home value: $97,600 (74% own)
– Median rent: $612 (26% rent)
– Median household income: $42,189
– Top public schools: Andalusia High School (A), Straughn Elementary School (A), Straughn High School (A)
– Top places to live: Andalusia (B), Opp (B), Heath (B)

Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Crenshaw County

– Population: 13,844
– Median home value: $81,000 (75% own)
– Median rent: $537 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $43,163
– Top public schools: Brantley High School (B), Highland Home High School (B), Luverne High School (B)
– Top private schools: Crenshaw Christian Academy (C+)
– Top places to live: Luverne (B), Glenwood (B), Rutledge (B)

Kreeder13 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Pike County

– Population: 33,333
– Median home value: $120,000 (62% own)
– Median rent: $669 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $37,446
– Top public schools: Banks School (B), Troy Elementary School (B), Charles Henderson Middle School (B)
– Top private schools: Pike Liberal Arts School (B), New Life Christian Academy (unavailable), Covenant Christian School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Troy (B), Banks (B), Brundidge (B)

Michael Rivera // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Dale County

– Population: 49,277
– Median home value: $112,000 (60% own)
– Median rent: $730 (40% rent)
– Median household income: $47,214
– Top public schools: GW Long Elementary School (B+), George W. Long High School (B+), Newton Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Harvest Christian School (A)
– Top places to live: Newton (B), Daleville (B), Ozark (B)

Chris Pruitt // wikicommons

#16. Montgomery County

– Population: 226,941
– Median home value: $129,800 (58% own)
– Median rent: $884 (42% rent)
– Median household income: $50,124
– Top public schools: Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School (A+), Booker T. Washington Magnet High School (A), Brewbaker Tech Magnet High School (A)
– Top private schools: The Montgomery Academy (A+), Saint James School (A+), Trinity Presbyterian School (A)
– Top places to live: Pike Road (A)

Altairisfar // Wikicommons

#15. Mobile County

– Population: 414,114
– Median home value: $130,200 (65% own)
– Median rent: $853 (35% rent)
– Median household income: $47,583
– Top public schools: Saraland Elementary School (A), Saraland Middle/Nelson Adams (A), Saraland High School (A)
– Top private schools: UMS-Wright Preparatory School (A+), St. Paul’s Episcopal School (A+), McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (A)
– Top places to live: Saraland (A), Satsuma (B+), Mobile (B+)

MPearsallArt // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Morgan County

– Population: 119,213
– Median home value: $137,000 (73% own)
– Median rent: $658 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $52,156
– Top public schools: Hartselle High School (A), Barkley Bridge Elementary School (A), Hartselle Junior High School (A)
– Top private schools: Decatur Heritage Christian Academy (B+), Cornerstone Christian School (A), Bethel Baptist School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Hartselle (A), Priceville (A), Decatur (B+)

M Floyd // Flickr

#13. Jefferson County

– Population: 659,680
– Median home value: $159,100 (63% own)
– Median rent: $900 (37% rent)
– Median household income: $53,901
– Top public schools: Homewood High School (A+), Mt. Brook High School (A+), Vestavia Hills High School (A+)
– Top private schools: The Altamont School (A+), Briarwood Christian School (A), John Carroll Catholic High School (A)
– Top places to live: Homewood (A+), Hoover (A+), Vestavia Hills (A+)

Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Autauga County

– Population: 55,380
– Median home value: $154,500 (73% own)
– Median rent: $986 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $58,731
– Top public schools: Prattville Junior High School (A), Daniel Pratt Elementary School (A), Prattville Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Autauga Academy (C+), Camellia Baptist Weekday Education Ministry (WEM) (unavailable), First Baptist Kindergarten (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Prattville (A), Pine Level (B+), Marbury (B)

Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Calhoun County

– Population: 114,618
– Median home value: $118,000 (70% own)
– Median rent: $716 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $47,255
– Top public schools: Coldwater Elementary School (A), Kitty Stone Elementary School (A), Oxford Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: The Donoho School (A), Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School – Anniston (A), Faith Christian School (B+)
– Top places to live: Oxford (A), Alexandria (A), Jacksonville (A)

Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Coffee County

– Population: 51,662
– Median home value: $147,400 (66% own)
– Median rent: $803 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $55,637
– Top public schools: Enterprise High School (A), Dauphin Junior High School (A), Holly Hill Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Wiregrass Christian Academy (unavailable), Enterprise Preparatory Academy (unavailable), Mt. Calvary Christian Academy (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Enterprise (A), New Brockton (B+), Elba (B)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Houston County

– Population: 104,702
– Median home value: $137,600 (66% own)
– Median rent: $754 (34% rent)
– Median household income: $47,580
– Top public schools: Carver Magnet School for Math, Science & Tech (A), Montana Street Acadc Magnet School (A), Rehobeth Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Houston Academy (A), Providence Christian School (A), Emmanuel Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Taylor (B+), Rehobeth (B+), Dothan (B)

Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Elmore County

– Population: 81,144
– Median home value: $166,600 (73% own)
– Median rent: $892 (27% rent)
– Median household income: $60,891
– Top public schools: Holtville Elementary School (A), Eclectic Elementary School (B+), Redland Elementary School (B+)
– Top private schools: Prattville Christian Academy (A), Edgewood Academy (B), Victory Baptist School (B)
– Top places to live: Blue Ridge (A), Millbrook (A), Coosada (B+)

Jodybwiki // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Baldwin County

– Population: 212,830
– Median home value: $197,900 (75% own)
– Median rent: $1,020 (25% rent)
– Median household income: $58,320
– Top public schools: Fairhope High School (A), Gulf Shores Middle School (A), Fairhope Primary School (A)
– Top private schools: Bayside Academy (A+), Bayshore Christian School (A), Central Christian School (B)
– Top places to live: Fairhope (A+), Daphne (A), Spanish Fort (A)

Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Limestone County

– Population: 94,727
– Median home value: $158,800 (78% own)
– Median rent: $691 (22% rent)
– Median household income: $59,686
– Top public schools: Athens High School (A), Brookhill Elementary School (A), Julian Newman Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Athens Bible School (B)
– Top places to live: Athens (A), Elkmont (B), Lester (C+)

Wayne James // Shutterstock

#5. Lauderdale County

– Population: 92,556
– Median home value: $145,000 (68% own)
– Median rent: $663 (32% rent)
– Median household income: $48,094
– Top public schools: Forest Hills School (A), Kilby Laboratory School (A), Florence High School (A)
– Top private schools: Shoals Christian School (A), Mars Hill Bible School (B+), St. Joseph Regional Catholic School (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Florence (A), Killen (B+), St. Florian (B+)

Tracy Burroughs Brown // Shutterstock

#4. Tuscaloosa County

– Population: 207,305
– Median home value: $170,400 (64% own)
– Median rent: $846 (36% rent)
– Median household income: $53,326
– Top public schools: Tuscaloosa Magnet School – Middle School (A), Northridge High School (A), Tuscaloosa Magnet School – Elementary School (A)
– Top private schools: Tuscaloosa Academy (A+), Holy Spirit Catholic School (A), American Christian Academy (B+)
– Top places to live: Northport (A), Tuscaloosa (A), Lake View (B+)

Library of Congress

#3. Lee County

– Population: 161,152
– Median home value: $169,300 (62% own)
– Median rent: $856 (38% rent)
– Median household income: $51,463
– Top public schools: Cary Woods Elementary School (A+), Dean Road Elementary School (A+), Richland Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: Lee-Scott Academy (A), Glenwood School (B+), Auburn University Early Learning Center (unavailable)
– Top places to live: Auburn (A+), Opelika (A), Smiths Station (B)

Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Shelby County

– Population: 213,432
– Median home value: $211,900 (81% own)
– Median rent: $1,047 (19% rent)
– Median household income: $77,799
– Top public schools: Oak Mt. High School (A), Calera Elementary School (A), Helena High School (A)
– Top private schools: Indian Springs School (A+), The Westminster School at Oak Mountain (A+), Evangel Classical Christian School (A)
– Top places to live: Indian Springs Village (A+), Meadowbrook (A+), Pelham (A+)

Pixabay

#1. Madison County

– Population: 362,276
– Median home value: $186,100 (67% own)
– Median rent: $857 (33% rent)
– Median household income: $65,449
– Top public schools: Bob Jones High School (A+), James Clemens High School (A+), Madison Elementary School (A+)
– Top private schools: Randolph School (A+), St. John Paul II Catholic High School (A+), Madison Baptist Academy (A)
– Top places to live: Madison (A+), Huntsville (A), Meridianville (A)

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