Mobile, Alabama is a town that is mostly famous for being a place where a “leprechaun” was spotted years ago. As people start to leave major cities like New York and San Francisco, almost every other small to medium city gained a little bit of interest as a place where people can move to. Mobile can potentially be a little slice of “Sweet Home, Alabama.” But, it can also be a bad place to live. So, what’s the deal?
Mobile, AL, has excellent diversity, decent school systems, and a very affordable cost of living. However, high crime rates, low incomes, and urban flight have made this place a pretty bad area for people to move to. Most people do not want to live in Mobile due to the decline in jobs.
If you are considering getting a place in this Alabama city, we strongly suggest you get a better idea of what’s up there. This article will give you the pros and cons of living here.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Living In Mobile, AL?
- What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Mobile, AL?
- Related Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Living In Mobile, AL?
Mobile is the kind of place where things are done slower and where people prefer to kick back and relax. That’s a good thing in today’s day and age. If you move here, you can expect these benefits to show up right at your door.
The South is known for being fairly segregated, but this isn’t really the issue in this city. Mobile is one of the few Southern cities that remains fairly mixed. The demographics are fairly evenly split, with half of the city being black and the other half being white. Though there isn’t a very strong Hispanic or LatinX community, things are in the process of changing.
Overall, inclusivity seems to be the name of the game here. If you want to feel included, this friendly city will definitely do a good job of showing you what Southern hospitality means.
Decent School Systems
This is somewhat of a surprise for a lot of people, especially those who aren’t very well acquainted with Mobile. However, we gotta give credit where credit is due. Mobile has pretty decent schools. In fact, both test scores and high school graduation rates are above the national average. So, you will be able to get your kids a good education through the public schools here.
With that said, Mobile also boasts a couple of highly-rated private schools, too. So if you prefer to have a more religious upbringing for your kids or a private school experience, it’s still available to you.
Affordable Cost Of Living
Another major reason why people appreciate Mobile is the fact that living here won’t destroy your budget. This is especially true when it comes to homeownership. The median home price in this city is $123,600. This puts it at around half the price of the national median of $230,000 to $260,000. (Sources on the national median home price vary widely, so we’re just reporting what we’ve seen it to be in a number of different articles.)
The overall cost of living index in Mobile is 81.1. This means that a person who earns $81,100 a year will have a lifestyle that would cost $100,000 per year in an average American city. So if you want to have a nicer standard of living, then you will find Mobile to be a pretty decent place to live.
What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Mobile, AL?
Mobile is a good place to live if you want to have a low cost of living, but the truth is that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here. In fact, the city is currently undergoing a massive exodus of residents. It’s pretty rough, but when you see the pitfalls of living here, things become pretty understandable.
High Crime Rates
On a national level, the average crime rate is decreasing. In Mobile, the crime rate has stayed steady or increased in many parts of the city. High crime rates plague virtually every neighborhood in the town, and it’s a mix of different issues. Some of it is property crime done by people who are desperate for money or otherwise addicted to drugs. Other parts of the crime rate deal with gang activity.
The current violent crime rate is around 1.75 times the national rate, and the murder rate is double the average. Property crime is particularly bad, with around two times the national rate of theft. When it comes to matters of calling the police, you may need to be aware of the fact that they are rather slow to act. Part of this is because they are underfunded. The other part is because they just don’t have enough resources.
As much as Mobile has struggled to try to get better in recent years, the truth is that the unemployment rate is still pretty high and incomes are still low. The official unemployment rate is 5.4 percent, but this doesn’t take into account that underemployment is high here. In terms of the jobs available, the truth is that it doesn’t get better. They’re fairly low paying, even for working-class families.
The median household income is $43,521, which is about $20,000 below the national median. Even though Alabama generally has lower wages than the rest of the country, Mobile stands out as one of the most low-income cities in the nation. So while the standard of living here is cheaper, it’s still hard for many to make rent.
To make matters worse, this area seems to be in a downward spiral. People aren’t making much money, so they can’t pay for treats. Since people can’t pay for treats, businesses are closing down. Since businesses are closing down, fewer people can afford stuff. Needless to say, companies are starting to look elsewhere despite a revitalization effort going underway.
If you were hoping for an opportunity to work with a major corporation or business, this is not a good place to go. The city is seriously suffering from low wages which don’t seem to be going away any time soon.
The Mass Exodus
Due to the terrible employment prospects here, many people are trying to leave Mobile in hopes of finding greener pastures elsewhere. I mean, it’s really not looking good. No one wants to be in a town where crime is on the rise and wages are stagnant. As a result, the homes in this area are increasingly being sold off to whoever will take them.
In recent years, people have called Mobile a “dying city,” but this isn’t quite accurate. While there is a steady exodus of people who no longer feel like Mobile has a lot to offer, this isn’t a case where full-scale flight is happening. There is a negative population growth rate, yes. However, the truth is that you’ll still see plenty of homes that are occupied and the streets are still fairly busy.
With that said, this tends to be a matter where long-term investors might end up feeling uncomfortable with the concept of buying property here. After all, if the town is at risk of becoming a ghost town, any money that you spend in property in the area will probably not see a return on investment.
Does Mobile, AL have a pest problem?
Like much of Alabama, the city of Mobile tends to have more pest problems than the national average. This is mostly due to the fact that Mobile is in a hot, humid area that is perfect for most insects to multiply. The worst issues that people in the area deal with include cockroaches, termites, as well as mayflies.
Along with standard creepy-crawly pests, the city also occasionally has snakes in the suburbs. So if you choose to live in the outskirts, make sure that you know how to handle having snake nests near your home.
What is the quality of life like in Mobile, Alabama?
Mobile’s quality of life could be better, but like with any place, it’s what you make of it. The majority of people who have been polled on life quality in the area rate Mobile as a place that has a fair to poor quality of life. Top issues include high crime rates, low wages, as well as drug addiction in the population. Many people also note that they feel a strong racist undertone in many local conversations.
Honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that you can do better. You probably can.
Does Mobile celebrate any regional holidays?
Mobile might be a part of Alabama, but that doesn’t mean that it’s immune to the awesomeness that is Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras celebrations here tend to take on a life of their own, which means that you can expect crazy parades, King cake, as well as a bunch of mini-celebrations at top clubs in the area.
If there was ever a time to visit Mobile, it would be during Mardi Gras. Things get turned up a notch and while it’s not as wild as in Baton Rouge, it could give many areas a run for their money.