The 10 Worst Birmingham Suburbs

The worst Birmingham suburbs are Brighton and Bessemer based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Birmingham to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Birmingham are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Birmingham ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Birmingham area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Birmingham proper, although Mountain Brook certainly tries.

We examined the 41 biggest suburbs of Birmingham to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Alabama lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Birmingham in terms of quality of life.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 worst suburbs around Birmingham for 2024

  1. Brighton
  2. Bessemer
  3. Tarrant
  4. Dora
  5. Adamsville
  6. Warrior
  7. Lipscomb
  8. Graysville
  9. Midfield
  10. Sumiton

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Birmingham? Brighton ranks as the worst suburb of Birmingham for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Alabama check out the best places in Alabama overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Birmingham too.

The 10 Worst Birmingham Suburbs To Live For 2024

1. Brighton

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,983
Median Income: $34,471 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (highest)
Median Home Value: $39,182 (lowest)
More on Brighton:

We’ll get the ball rolling with Brighton, the absolute worst place to live around Birmingham according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Brighton beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Birmingham area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Brighton.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Bessemer, AL

Source: Wikipedia User Bobak Ha’Eri | CC BY 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,890
Median Income: $34,953 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $113,657 (8th lowest)
More on Bessemer: Data | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Bessemer. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 14.7 miles to Birmingham. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $34,953 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Tarrant, AL

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,077
Median Income: $37,768 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $66,566 (3rd lowest)
More on Tarrant: Data | Cost Of Living

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Birmingham suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Tarrant on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other Birmingham suburbs.

But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Dora

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,718
Median Income: $55,189 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $163,638 (12th lowest)
More on Dora:

If you live in Dora, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 10th lowest Birmingham suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 11th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Birmingham. Remember, we looked at 41 cities for this study.

Dora is about 21.5 miles to downtown.

Adamsville, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,325
Median Income: $58,631 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $133,754 (9th lowest)
More on Adamsville: Data

Adamsville has the distinction of being a Birmingham suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Adamsville has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Birmingham area, where the median price is $133,754. The median income is $167,007.

Adamsville has an unemployment rate of 6.86% which ranks 12th worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,206
Median Income: $53,258 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $229,502 (18th lowest)
More on Warrior: Data | Crime

Warrior has 3,206 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom, and the poverty rate sits at 15.403882279273635%.

7. Lipscomb

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,390
Median Income: $46,767 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $59,070 (2nd lowest)
More on Lipscomb:

Ah, Lipscomb. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Birmingham.

It’s the place with the 16th most out of work residents in the Birmingham metro area (4.83%).

8. Graysville

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,700
Median Income: $65,671 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $103,093 (7th lowest)
More on Graysville:

Graysville is a city about 13.2 miles from Birmingham, but Birmingham probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse place to live. Graysville has the 18th most uninsured people, 17th worst incomes, and has the 6th highest unemployment rate (9.13%) in the entire Birmingham metro area.

Homes only cost $103,093 for a reason. That’s cheap for Birmingham standards.

9. Midfield

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,159
Median Income: $48,219 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $81,363 (4th lowest)
More on Midfield:

If you absolutely have to live near Birmingham, then Midfield might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Birmingham suburb.

About 6.78% of residents are out of work.

10. Sumiton

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,516
Median Income: $63,682 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $177,436 (13th lowest)
More on Sumiton: Crime

Rounding out the ten worst Birmingham suburbs to call home is Sumiton.

Located 20.9 miles outside the city, Sumitons is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 15th highest unemployment rate (5.91%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Birmingham for 2024

To figure out how bad a Birmingham suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Birmingham.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 41 suburbs to evaluate around Birmingham.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 41 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near Birmingham.” We’re looking at you, Brighton.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Birmingham.

Summary: The areas around Birmingham where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Birmingham with Brighton casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of Birmingham are .

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Birmingham aren’t all bad. Mountain Brook takes the cake as the best place to live around Birmingham.

  • Mountain Brook
  • Vestavia Hills
  • Kimberly

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Birmingham Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Brighton 2,983 $34,471 $39,182
2 Bessemer 25,890 $34,953 $113,657
3 Tarrant 6,077 $37,768 $66,566
4 Dora 2,718 $55,189 $163,638
5 Adamsville 4,325 $58,631 $133,754
6 Warrior 3,206 $53,258 $229,502
7 Lipscomb 2,390 $46,767 $59,070
8 Graysville 2,700 $65,671 $103,093
9 Midfield 5,159 $48,219 $81,363
10 Sumiton 2,516 $63,682 $177,436
11 Center Point 16,279 $49,886 $152,646
12 Montevallo 7,288 $56,500 $225,034
13 Hueytown 16,655 $64,176 $162,864
14 Fairfield 9,975 $45,646 $89,729
15 Irondale 13,455 $68,869 $266,185
16 Mount Olive 2,144 $46,824 $91,968
17 Columbiana 4,552 $58,214 $270,933
18 Leeds 12,292 $67,159 $237,534
19 Fultondale 9,756 $72,741 $220,246
20 Moody 13,235 $77,680 $257,342
21 Pleasant Grove 9,549 $72,917 $224,499
22 Margaret 5,294 $83,814 $259,656
23 Pinson 7,209 $83,673 $206,702
24 Westover 2,404 $87,772 $288,213
25 Clay 10,315 $74,198 $244,802
26 Calera 16,644 $73,775 $248,784
27 Argo 4,416 $87,134 $259,408
28 Gardendale 16,051 $78,719 $257,779
29 Springville 4,824 $62,386 $319,368
30 Morris 2,273 $91,750 $251,792
31 Alabaster 33,417 $89,423 $288,633
32 Lake View 3,611 $86,552 $269,961
33 Pelham 24,221 $94,108 $300,946
34 Chelsea 15,201 $102,344 $372,677
35 Hoover 91,995 $101,765 $423,088
36 Helena 21,036 $107,360 $344,616
37 Trussville 25,621 $118,028 $376,558
38 Homewood 27,557 $97,366 $496,963
39 Kimberly 4,045 $107,670 $285,863
40 Vestavia Hills 38,600 $127,582 $517,867
41 Mountain Brook 22,259 $167,007 $887,856
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *