The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama For 2021

Here are the places in the Heart Of Dixie that are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst places to live in Alabama.

People from Alabama are really passionate about being from Alabama. As a state, Alabama doesn't necessarily get a lot of media attention, but it's also a quiet gem, tucked away in the deep south.

This article isn't a knock on Alabama, it's just a scientific analysis on where the worst places to live there are. Of course, there are a lot of awesome places to live in Alabama. This is, though, isn't that. It's the opposite.

It's the places you don't want to live in.

After analyzing 100 of the largest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Alabama:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama For 2021

  1. Tarrant
  2. Bessemer
  3. Atmore
  4. Midfield
  5. Clanton
  6. Talladega
  7. Birmingham
  8. Prichard
  9. Anniston
  10. Center Point

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.

We understand there's a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Alabama? That would be Tarrant.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Alabama reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama For 2021

Tarrant, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,174
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $78,200 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (9th worst)
More on Tarrant:  Data | Photos

Tarrant, where there's absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the worst city in Alabama.

Besides the lack of pure amenities, Tarrant has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 11.4%, and families earn around $30,485 a year. It's also the 10th highest in Alabama for crime, where 1 in 44.3 people gets robbed every year.

Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?

Bessemer, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,680
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $86,500 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (3rd worst)
More on Bessemer:  Data | Photos

The city of Bessemer, a Birmingham suburb, has tried to rebound from a loss of manufacturing and railroad jobs, but its population has shrunk nearly 20% in the last 20 years.

The hometown for NFL quarterback Jameis Winston has very bad crime (10th worst) and an employment rate that's nearly the highest for cities of its size 14.9%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.

Atmore, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,495
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $94,300 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (2nd worst)
More on Atmore:  Data | Photos

Atmore, a Mobile suburb, is the smallest city on our entire list. As Alan Jackson says, "It's alright to be itty bitty", but when you have a high unemployment rate, 1 in 6 houses are vacant, and household incomes are far below the state average, it's not the first place you might want to move to.

On the bright side, Atmore has more sunny days a year than almost any other place in Alabama. And former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was born there, so they have that going for them.

Midfield, AL

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,085
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $73,600 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (26th worst)
More on Midfield:  Data | Photos

The unemployment rate in Midfield is a sky high 7.9%, which is the 26th highest in the state. Ouch.

The median income in Midfield is $38,750. That means 23.5% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 44.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.

Clanton, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,700
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $131,700 (43rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (33rd worst)
More on Clanton:  Data | Photos

The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Clanton. The only real difference is Clanton is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in Clanton is at 6.6%, which is the 33rd worst in Alabama. And households earn a combined $44,782 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Clanton is merely $131,700.

Clanton is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

Talladega, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,522
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $86,600 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (5th worst)
More on Talladega:  Data | Photos

Eric Church recently released a song praising Talladega as being a fun place for boyhood memories (not sure if he actually spent time there or not). Nowadays, Talladega is a fairly dangerous place, statistically, with a household income much lower than the state average.

Like other places on this list, Talladega has failed to adjust to a new economy, as the population and overall economic output has shrunk in the last 30 years.

Birmingham, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 212,297
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $91,100 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (19th worst)
More on Birmingham:  Data | Photos

If you live in Birmingham, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 7th worst place to live in the state.

You've got the 10th highest crime rate in Alabama, which saw 80 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 44.3 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 747 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of Birmingham.

Plus, folks are simply out of work. Birmingham sports the state's 19th highest unemployment rate (9.0%), and families bring in a combined $37,375 a year, which is far below the state average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $91,100.

Prichard, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,773
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $66,100 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (6th worst)
More on Prichard:  Data | Photos

Prichard, a Mobile suburb, has the 7th lowest income in Alabama. The unemployment rate here is almost higher than in any other place in Alabama, and nearly 1 in 5 homes is vacant.

Additionally, Prichard is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings, and has seen its population cut in half over the last 20 years.

Anniston, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,688
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $97,600 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (13th worst)
More on Anniston:  Data | Photos

Anniston is out in an area on its own, about an hour drive east of Birmingham. In 2002, it was determined by 60 Minutes that Anniston was one of the highest-contaminated cities in the country.

Crime is bad here, houses are vacant, and the unemployment rate is nearly 1 in 9.9. As several residents of Anniston said on City-Data, don't move there.

Center Point, AL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,353
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $97,800 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (10th worst)
More on Center Point:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Alabama, Center Point came in 10th. Let's see why.

When you're comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Alabama residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Alabama, you can see some really big differences. In Center Point, the number of people out of work is 11.1%

In Alabama, that's the 10th highest in the state.

The residents in Center Point have the 4lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Center Point average $43,515 a year. Which isn't too shabby in comparison to the other 'lowest' income cities in most other states.

Additionally, the homes are valued at $97,800 on average. That's the 20th lowest in the state.

How we determined the worst places to live in Alabama for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census's most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 100 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 100 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".

Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Alabama -- Tarrant. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Alabama. You can download the data here.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Alabama

If you're looking at areas in Alabama with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Tarrant ranks as the worst city to live in Alabama for 2021.

If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Alabama:

  1. Homewood (Pop. 25,534)
  2. Mountain Brook (Pop. 20,436)
  3. Madison (Pop. 49,327)

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Alabama?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Tarrant 6,174 11.4% $78,200
2 Bessemer 26,680 14.9% $86,500
3 Atmore 9,495 15.7% $94,300
4 Midfield 5,085 7.9% $73,600
5 Clanton 8,700 6.6% $131,700
6 Talladega 15,522 14.5% $86,600
7 Birmingham 212,297 9.0% $91,100
8 Prichard 21,773 12.2% $66,100
9 Anniston 21,688 10.1% $97,600
10 Center Point 16,353 11.1% $97,800

How Is The Area In ?

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.