The state of Alabama can accommodate everyone, regardless of likes and dislikes, whether they want to live in a large, exciting city like Montgomery or Birmingham or a peaceful, quaint small town like Glencoe or Rainsville. There are plenty of cities to choose from with lots of artificial amenities or natural splendors that will give you plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. Chances are that you won’t have trouble finding a city in Alabama that fits with your way of life and lifestyle.
As we can not fathom what each individual is looking for in particular when thinking about relocating to a new city, we focused on the fastest-growing cities in Alabama. The reason behind that growth might be enough motivation as some are slowly becoming important economic hubs while others are focusing on their recreational opportunities.
The following are the fastest-growing cities in Alabama based on cold hard facts. Opinions can differ, which is why we consider facts to be important. Many people relocating to a new city or state look at these facts to guide them towards picking the best city for them. The selection is based on the last census estimates for 2021, which are approximations. The census data has yet to be determined.
As the best place to live in the Montgomery Area of the state of Alabama, Pike Road, AL, captured our attention instantly. With approximately 11,000 residents, the small town of Pike Road, Alabama, has experienced an intense growth of 100.54% with an annual rate of 3.25%. Despite its small size, Pike Road is not a destination for retirees, quite the contrary as the town’s median age is 37. Its population is relatively diverse, with 62% of the population Caucasian, 32% African American, 4% Asian, and 2% two or more races. The small town’s residents have a median household income of $105,000, while the median property value is at $306,000, providing an affordable balance between income and expense. Having been incorporated only in 1997 as one of the closest Montgomery suburbs, the town of Pike Road, Alabama, still has some growing to do but the quality of life here and the big town amenities only 25 minutes away by car places it on the top of our list.
The similarly sized Chelsea, Alabama, is the fifth best suburb to buy a house in the Birmingham Area. Since the last census, this growing small town doubled its population, having an annual growth of 4%. Currently, around 15,000 people call Chelsea, Alabama, their home after the influx of population brought by the last decade, making the town’s median age drop to 34. While still having some diversity, it doesn’t quite reach Pike Road’s numbers as around 90% of the town’s population are Caucasian, 6% are African American, 2% are Asian, and the remaining 2% pertain to other races. With a slightly higher cost of living than Pike Road, Chelsea, AL, has a median household income of $95,000, while the median property value is around $292,000. Belonging to the fastest growing county in Alabama, Shelby County, Chelsea is considered the fastest-growing city in that county. Some of the best pastime activities include the seasonal campsite, Hargis Retreat, which those living in and around the town enjoy anytime they can.
While slightly larger than the other two cities already mentioned above, the city of Fairhope, AL is located in Baldwin County and is considered the best place to live in the Mobile Area. Over the past decade, the city of Fairhope’s population has increased from 16,000 to almost 24,000 at a 56% growth rate and an annual rate of 2.6%. The city’s residents have a median age of 43 out of which 90% are Caucasian, 5% are African American, 3% are Asian and the remaining 2% pertain to other races. The city’s median household income is around $70,000 with a median property price of $256,000 which is relatively affordable, however, the 6.8% poverty rate does lead people to draw some conclusions about the quality of life in the city. Just a 30 minute car ride from Mobile, AL, the proximity to the bigger city coupled with the peace and quiet of a small town attracts people who want to live in waterfront homes on the Mobile Bay.
Having been incorporated in 1915, the city of Foley, Alabama, is thought to be the sixth best suburb for young professionals in the Mobile Area as well as one of the most diverse places to live in Baldwin County. While Foley, AL, is located closer to Fairhope than Mobile, the city of approximately 23,000 is still influenced by the big city’s amenities having a median age of 47. Over the past decade, Foley’s population grew by 60%, from 15,000 to 23,000, but in 2000, there were only 7,600 people who called Foley their home. While the diversity of Pike Road is not reached in Foley, the city’s diversity is substantial as around 85% of the population is Caucasian, 12% are African American, 2% of the population pertains to other races, and 1% are of Asian descent. The city’s median household income is around $46,000 with a 9% growth over the last year, while the median property value is $209,000. For those thinking about relocating here, contacting the local real estate agents in Foley AL is a great way to start.
The resort city of Gulf Shores, Alabama, is considered the third best place to retire in Alabama and the fifth best place for young professionals in the Mobile Area. The city of Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the furthest away from Mobile, its residents having to drive around one hour to reach the larger city, but this did little to hinder the city’s population growth. In 2010, there were around 10,900 residents in Gulf Shores, but the latest census data states that its population grew to around 13,000 through a 36% growth rate with an annual rate of 1.72%. The city’s median age is around 50 making it our senior pick for this list. The city’s diversity is rather limited as well with over 98% of the population being Caucasian. The local realtors in Gulf Shores AL told us that the city’s median household income is $50,000, while the median property value is around $324,000. The city’s lifestyle revolves around some of the most amazing beaches in Alabama making it the ideal vacation spot for the state. Some consider this city as the best kept secret on the Gulf Coast.
Living in Alabama, the Heart of the Dixie, more often than not, includes astonishing shorelines, an affordable cost of living and some of the Southern hospitality that we are all familiar with. The mouth-watering food is another great reason to relocate to this part of the country as the Alabama cuisine will increase your appetite for purely American comfort food. While Birmingham, AL, was considered the most affordable city in the country by Forbes in 2019, many other cities offer similar affordability while not necessarily being the biggest cities in the state.
The list above was designed to show some of the most important facts about these cities. However, the thing we need to keep in mind is that, while these cities are all relatively small to medium in size, their location close by the beach or their proximity to larger cities influence their quality of life and growth substantially. Take a closer look at the cities mentioned above and determine which will be a better fit for you, your family, and your way of life.