Huntsville is the largest city in Alabama by population. The city is located in the Appalachian Region of northern Alabama and experienced significant growth after WWII due to the development of the Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Today, the main industries in Huntsville are aerospace and military technology, manufacturing, retail, and automobiles. The city is also full of diverse cultural attractions, from the Huntsville Botanical Garden to the Huntsville Museum of Art.
Montgomery is the capital of Alabama and the second-largest city in the state. The city is famous for being a major center for the civil rights movement. Several museums and monuments in Montgomery are dedicated to the subject, including the Legacy Museum and Civil Rights Memorial. It also boasts one of the largest arts scenes for a mid-sized city with institutions like the Montgomery Fine Arts Museum or events like the annual Shakespeare Festival. With a median property value of $164,000, Montgomery is an affordable city with plenty to offer families and young professionals.
Birmingham is the country seat of Jefferson County and the third-largest city in Alabama. It’s a major economic and cultural hub in the Deep South and was the primary industrial center for the region until the 1960s. Today, the major industries are banking, telecommunications, transportation, healthcare, insurance, and education. It’s also home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including the School of Medicine and School of Dentistry, as well as several other private colleges and universities. It’s one of the most affordable of the top 50 largest cities in the US, with a median property value of $173,000, making it ideal for those searching for economic opportunity and great college sports.
Mobile is a city located along the Gulf Coast of southwestern Alabama. The Port of Mobile has been a significant hub for trade since the city’s founding and continues to play a major role in the local economy. Mobile is also home to several art museums, a symphony orchestra, and one of the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. With family-friendly neighbors, southern hospitality, and the cost of living roughly 16% lower than the national average, Mobile has much to offer residents of all backgrounds.
Tuscaloosa is another one of the biggest cities in Alabama. Tuscaloosa is located in western Alabama located on the banks of the Black Warrior River. The city is famous for being the home of the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide football team, one of the top athletic programs in the NCAA. Education, healthcare, and government are the primary industries in Tuscaloosa, followed by manufacturing with major plants like BF Goodrich Tire and the Mercedes-Benz International assembly plant.
Hoover is a suburban city in north central Alabama and the 6th largest municipality in Alabama by population. Considered a part of the Birmingham metro area, Hoover is located along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Riverchase Galleria is a major shopping and retail center in Hoover, featuring numerous retail outlets, hotels, and office complexes. It’s also home to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, a baseball stadium that once served as the home stadium of the Birmingham Barons minor league team and still hosts SEC and high school games.
Auburn is a city in Lee County and the largest city in Eastern Alabama (7th overall in the state). It’s known for being the home of Auburn University, the second-largest university in Alabama. Auburn is a peaceful college town and one of the fastest-growing areas in the state due to its natural beauty, affordable homes, and abundance of opportunity. In addition to the university, it also has a high-ranking public school system, a low crime rate, and an abundance of job opportunities, ranking it among the top places to live in the US by many major publications.
Dothan is also one of the biggest cities in Alabama by population. Doran is located in the southeast corner of Alabama, about 20 miles west of Georgia and 16 miles north of Florida. Known as the peanut capital of the world, nearly ¼ of the peanuts sold in the US are harvested in Dothan. The city even hosts the National Peanut Festival, a three-day event that includes a pageant, parade, and grand peanut ball. With a median property value of $230,000, great weather, and low crime, Dothan is a great place to settle down.
Madison is a city in northern Alabama, located about 11 miles outside of Huntsville. With a median household income of $105,335, Madison is an affluent suburb with the charm of a small town but the amenities of a big city. The largest employer in the city is Intergraph, a computer software company, although many residents also work at Cummings Research Park and Redstone Arsenal in Huntington. Madison offers abundant economic opportunity and a low cost of living, making it an attractive location for a diverse array of residents.
Decatur is a city in Morgan County and the 10th largest in the state. Nicknamed “the River City,” Morgan is situated on the banks of Wheeler Lake, which flows into the Tennessee River. Several high-tech companies have a presence in Decatur, including Vulcan Materials, Toray, and United Launch Alliance, as well as Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, 3M, and the Tennessee Valley Company. With plenty of job opportunities and a median property value of $239,500, Decatur is an excellent place to live for families and young professionals alike.