Best known for Southern literature, building rocket ships and its love of college football, the state of Alabama is rich in culture, history and Southern hospitality. Overall, Alabama is a pretty great place to live and visit.
But, as with all states, certain cities in Alabama are less safe than others.
Using data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, we’ve put together a list to help you determine how safe your current or future community is.
Here are the top 5 most dangerous cities in Alabama:
Note: The cities above were selected due to having the highest rates of violent crimes and property crimes out of all cities in Alabama with a population of at least 5,000. We used varying reports and studies, including information published by RoadSnacks.
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Starting off the list is Fairfield, Alabama. The median annual household income averages just over $36,000 and more than a quarter of Fairfield’s residents live below the poverty line. In addition, employment growth in the city has slowed dramatically over the last 5 years.
The typical home in Fairfield is worth just $96,100 (less than half the median home price nationwide). Because real estate markets often reflect what residents can afford, it comes as no surprise that many people in Fairfield are struggling financially.
That being said, Fairfield is still a very popular place to live due to its proximity to Birmingham. Living in Fairfield allows easy access to all of the big city’s attractions, not to mention a variety of local markets, waterparks, and golf courses.
Fairfield’s Crime Stats:
Next up, is Anniston, Alabama.
Out of Anniston’s 22,000 residents, 30% live below the poverty line. The city has seen a decline in population over the last 5 years and the unemployment rate is higher than ever. With the typical household only earning around $32,000 a year, the population decline can be attributed to low incomes and the city’s high rate of violent crime. In 2017, there were 3,434 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Anniston, the most of any city in the country at that time.
But if you ask a resident of Anniston why they live there, they’ll likely give you some pretty good reasons. For example, Anniston offers a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, from hiking and mountain biking to wine tasting and tubing.
Anniston’s Crime Stats:
One of Alabama’s smallest cities, Lanett, is also one of its most dangerous. Home to just over 6,000 people, it’s seen a population decline of 5.7% since 2010, which can likely be attributed to low incomes and high crime rates.
In Lanett, property crimes were high in 2018 with 7,878 per 100K. The majority of crimes occur in Lanett’s east side, so it’s well-known by residents and visitors to avoid that area if at all possible.
On the other hand, compared to the rest of the country, Lanett's cost of living is 31.3% lower than the U.S. average. Lanett also sits on the shores of the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia line and serves as a hotbed for industry, small business and recreation.
Lanett’s Crime Stats:
With a crime rate that sits 112% higher than the national average, Birmingham is one of Alabama’s most dangerous cities. In 2018, nearly 70% of violent crimes reported were aggravated assaults. Although the city only saw 88 homicides in 2018 (which is a much lower number than other cities throughout the country), Birmingham has the 3rd highest homicide rate in the country when population is taken into account.
Now, don’t get us wrong—certain areas in Birmingham are actually quite safe and beautiful. Once known as “The Magic City”, Birmingham is the most populous city in Alabama, one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. and is known for its amazing restaurants, nightlife and music scene.
Birmingham’s Crime Stats:
Tarrant is a small city in Jefferson County. According to 2018 data, residents in Tarrant have a 1 in 56 chance of being attacked, raped, or murdered each year. Also, 1 in 16.8 residents have reported some type of property crime.
That being said, Tarrant is an integral part of Alabama’s largest metropolitan area. It’s well-known in Alabama as a very close-knit and friendly community. Residents, business owners and elected officials are often on a first name basis.
Tarrant’s Crime Stats:
If you’re considering a move to one of these cities, don’t let the crime rates ruin your peace of mind. For over 50 years, Ackerman Security has been keeping homeowners safe and protected with customized home security systems.