What Are The 5 Safest Neighborhoods In Birmingham, AL?

Paige Hanawalt
by Paige Hanawalt

Birmingham, Alabama is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is the state’s largest city. With a population of just over 200,000, Birmingham is nicknamed “The Magic City.” The growing metropolis is steeped in historical significance and is considered to be one of the best kept secrets of the South. In fact, Birmingham consistently ranks as one of the top 100 places to live in the U.S. year after year.

If you’re looking to move to Birmingham for fun, a change of scenery, work, or family, there are approximately 99 neighborhoods in 23 communities to choose from.

The top five safest neighborhoods in Birmingham are Vestavia Hills, Brook Highland, Highland Lakes, Hoover, and Mountain Brook. Each of these boasts a crime rate no more than 2% which is well below both the national and state average. With safety being a concern whenever moving somewhere new, it’s important to look at a neighborhood’s overall livability before taking the plunge.

As the home to the Civil Rights Movement in America, Birmingham has never been the kind of city to shy away from controversy. By moving to “The Pittsburgh of the South ” you’ll have every day access to a plethora of educational and historical sites, a booming job market, and a wide variety of up-and-coming restaurants and shops. Birmingham offers the allure of the urban lifestyle without the hefty price tag you might find in other similarly sized metro areas.

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5 Safest Neighborhoods in Birmingham, AL

With real estate prices sitting at 32% below the state average, Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods offer a wide range of places to live. Safety, of course, is going to be a top concern whenever renting or buying a new home. There are three neighborhoods in Birmingham that you would want to consider based on their high livability scores and low crime rates. Even though crime rates in Birmingham are higher than the national average, don’t let that deter you. There are several safe pockets to choose from.

1. Vestavia Hills

  • Population: 34,243
  • Median Income: $93,178
  • Violent Crime Rate per 100K: 87
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.7%

Without a doubt, Vestavia Hills is the safest neighborhood in Alabama. With a crime rate that is 65% lower than the national average, you can feel safe and secure walking your dog at night in this neighborhood. Rubbing elbows with Shades Mountain, Vestavia Hills is a lively and culturally diverse suburb of Birmingham.

With highly-rated public schools, Vestavia Hills is a great place to raise a family. The community also caters to the family lifestyle by offering a wide array of club sports for both girls and boys. There are several community parks dotting the neighborhood, including:

  • Wald Park – 5 baseball fields, community track, and swimming pool, plus a skatepark
  • Byrd Park – picnic areas and playgrounds
  • McCallum park – open field for community events

2. Brook Highland

  • Population: 6,604
  • Median Income: $59,223
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 1,036
  • Unemployment Rate: 2%

A suburban neighborhood, Brook Highland is a community where most either own or rent medium-sized to small single-family homes. Having been built between 1970 and 1999, the residents of Brook Highland are neither young or old, but a generous mix of the two. This neighborhood also has a huge draw for college students. Its walkability and low crime is a big plus for prospective and already enrolled undergraduates of the University of Alabama and Samford University.

With a total crime rate 58% below the national average, you won’t feel unsafe walking home from a restaurant or bar at night. Leaving your car unlocked isn’t going to be a big deal here, especially since property crime rates are 59% below the national average.

Minutes away from Oak Mountain State Park, Brook Highland also offers some of the best fishing in the state of Alabama. With a fully stocked fishing lake, Brook Highland is also within driving distance of Veteran’s Park and Lake Purdy where fishermen from all over the state flock for seasonal fishing expeditions.

3. Highland Lakes

  • Population: 4,860
  • Median Income: $134,315
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 827
  • Unemployment Rate: 1%

Highland Lakes is one of Birmingham’s more beautiful communities. With its stately tree-lined sidewalks and 1,700 acres of green space, you’re sure to find a home that fits your lifestyle easily. Spread out from the Appalachian rides of Oak Mountain to the surrounding forest and lake-filled valley, Highland Lakes is a gated neighborhood where safety is a top priority.

Luxury living is a big draw for residents of Highland Lakes. Homeowners have access to:

  • 4 stocked fishing lakes dotted with white gazebos for community events
  • Private walking trails
  • 2 Key-pad protected entrances/exits
  • Mountain view or Lake view

Privacy is also important to Highland Lake residents. With privacy comes safety. Crime is almost non-existent here, with the chance of being a victim an astonishingly low 1 in 121.

4. Hoover

  • Population: 84,100
  • Median Income: $78.056
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 2,377
  • Unemployment Rate: 3%

One of the more densely populated cities on our list, Hoover is best known for its wide scale shopping experience. Arguably the epicenter of shopping in the whole of Alabama, Hoover gives residents access to big box retailers as well as hip and stylish boutiques as far as the eye can see. A real down-home community with an upscale vibe, Hoover has an overall score of 83/100 when it comes to livability.

Spacious but not crowded, Hoover also offers a high quality of education, perfect for newcomers looking to grow or start a family. There are also several attractions in and around Hoover, giving you plenty of unique options when it comes to quality time spent with loved ones. Here are just a few:

  • Moss Rock Preserve and Waterfalls
  • Aldridge Gardens
  • Riverchase Galleria – premier shopping experience
  • Cigars & More – cigar bar

5. Mountain Brook

  • Population: 20,532
  • Median Income: $129,777
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 1,198
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.2%

Rounding our list at number five is the community of Mountain Brook. With 52% lower overall crime rate than the national average, Mountain Brooks is a safe place to settle down. One of Birmingham’s hidden gems, this historic suburb is a quaint combination of big-city-Birmingham and sleepy little village.

Southern Living named Mountain Brooks as one of the prettiest parts of Birmingham, if not the whole state of Alabama. Rife with style and culture, you’re sure to find something for everyone in the family in this small neighborhood. Upscale shopping, fine dining, and beautiful rolling green spaces set this area apart. The downtown area is every foodie’s, photographer’s, and fashionista’s dream with pit stops like:

  • Church Street Coffee & Books
  • Jemison Park
  • The Grand Bohemian Hotel
  • Chez Lulu

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Summing It Up

Crime rates should be considered whenever visiting or moving somewhere new. Luckily, Birmingham has quite a few safe neighborhoods to choose from that will easily cater to your particular lifestyle and needs. As always, we recommend fully vetting areas and neighborhoods before moving, avoiding any areas that might be unsafe. Take a look at crime statistics before settling into suburbia in Brook Highland or buying a quaint two story in Mountain Brooks. Enjoying The Magic City should be a breeze!

Paige Hanawalt
Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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