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Alabama is known for its low cost of living (CoL) compared to other states, but in some cities, that can come at the expense of higher crime.

Since crime can drive down property values, the most affordable places to live are often the most crime-ridden.

But which Alabama cities have the best ratio of CoL to crime?

According to Costofliving.org, Alabama was only the 39th-most expensive state in the country. 

Though detailed crime statistics have been lacking in recent years, Alarms.org measured Alabama’s crime rate to be 44.95 per 1,000 people as of December 2020 using the latest data from the FBI.

1819 News used statistics from Costofliving.org and Alarms.org to examine a list of 24 popular Alabama towns and cities.

Costofliving.org uses several factors to determine the cost of living for an individual person per month, such as rent, utilities, food and transportation. 

Some cities, such as Huntsville, were excluded from our list because they failed to submit a crime report to the FBI.

We ranked these 24 cities from cheapest to most expensive and also ranked them from lowest to highest crime rate. By averaging each city’s respective ranks, we gave them a score from 1 to 24, 1 being the best possible ratio of CoL to crime rate and 24 being the worst.

What we found was that some of the more expensive cities in the state, such as Mountain Brook and Vestavia, had considerably better ratios and ranked much higher in the list than they would if only the CoL was considered simply by having well below average crime rates. 

Other cities, such as Dothan and Tuscaloosa, ranked higher on the list due to their extremely low CoL, despite having a relatively high crime rate.

Here are Alabama cities with the best CoL to crime ratio:

Auburn

  • CoL: $1,372

  • CoL rank: 13

  • Crime rate (2020): 11.98

  • Crime rate rank: 1

  • Score: 4

Mountain Brook

  • CoL: $1,936

  • CoL rank: 12

  • Crime rate (2020): 18.5

  • Crime rate rank: 3

  • Score: 7

Pelham

  • CoL: $1,933

  • CoL rank: 13

  • Crime rate (2020): 11.98

  • Crime rate rank: 1

  • Score: 7.5

Moody

  • CoL: $1,936

  • CoL rank: 14

  • Crime rate (2020): 19.95

  • Crime rate rank: 5

  • Score: 9.5

Enterprise 

  • CoL: $1,891

  • CoL rank: 10

  • Crime rate (2020): 32.88

  • Crime rate rank: 9

  • Score: 9.5

Florence

  • CoL: $1,512

  • CoL rank: 5

  • Crime rate (2020): 46.81

  • Crime rate rank: 16

  • Score: 10.5

Vestavia

  • CoL: $1,943

  • CoL rank: 20

  • Crime rate (2020): 13.53

  • Crime rate rank: 2

  • Score: 11

Daphne

  • CoL: $1,939

  • CoL rank: 18

  • Crime rate (2020): 18.75

  • Crime rate rank: 4

  • Score: 11

Dothan

  • CoL: $1,376

  • CoL rank: 2

  • Crime rate (2020): 50.62

  • Crime rate rank: 20

  • Score: 11

Decatur

  • CoL: $1,850

  • CoL rank: 9

  • Crime rate (2020): 46.78

  • Crime rate rank: 15

  • Score: 12

Tuscaloosa

  • CoL: $1,528

  • CoL rank: 18

  • Crime rate (2020): 48.44

  • Crime rate rank: 18

  • Score: 12

And here are the Alabama cities with the worst CoL to crime ratio:

Anniston

  • CoL: $1,928

  • CoL rank: 11

  • Crime rate (2020): 108.47

  • Crime rate rank: 1

  • Score: 17.5

Homewood

  • CoL: $1,944

  • CoL rank: 22

  • Crime rate (2020): 40.39

  • Crime rate rank: 12

  • Score: 17

Oxford

  • CoL: $1,937

  • CoL rank: 16

  • Crime rate (2020): 44.84

  • Crime rate rank: 17

  • Score: 16.5

Opelika

  • CoL: $1,940

  • CoL rank: 19

  • Crime rate (2020): 44.84

  • Crime rate rank: 17

  • Score: 16.5

Prattville

  • CoL: $1,943

  • CoL rank: 21

  • Crime rate (2020): 36.53

  • Crime rate rank: 11

  • Score: 16

Athens

  • CoL: $1,946

  • CoL rank: 24

  • Crime rate (2020): 29.84

  • Crime rate rank: 8

  • Score: 16

Other scores across the state:

Northport: 12.5

Mobile: 12.5

Gadsden: 12.5

Montgomery: 13

Alabaster: 14.5

Foley: 15

Birmingham: 15.5

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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