The richest “city” in Alabama is actually a suburb of Birmingham. It’s called Mountain Brook, and it’s an upscale community that boasts the wealthiest people in the entire state, with an average household income of $152,355, thanks to its large population of professionals and corporate executives.
Most of the residents of Mountain Brook, according to census data, work in the financial, scientific, and healthcare fields, which explains the significantly higher-than-average incomes.
In addition to an affluent population, Mountain Brook is home to trendy restaurants, top-notch schools, a plethora of job opportunities, and acres of green space – not to mention an average home value of $628,800.
It’s no wonder that Mountain Brook, which has a population of 20,178, attracts people who want to live in luxury and comfort while still enjoying a distinct Southern charm.
Table of Contents
According to AreaVibes, the cost of living in Mountain Brook is 60% higher than the Alabama average and 43% higher than the national average.
Living Cost says that this suburb is in the top 18% of the priciest cities in the world, ranking 1,712th out of 9,294.
Although the cost of goods and services, groceries, health care, transportation, and utilities in Mountain Brook is similar to that in the rest of Alabama and the US, the cost of housing and the overall cost of living in this suburb is much greater.
Also, housing in this area is 146% more expensive than in the rest of the US.
As a result, this suburb tends to attract wealthier crowds, people who can afford to live in this considerably expensive area.
Besides its wealth and affluence, Mountain Brook is also known for being the hometown of internationally acclaimed actors Wayne Rogers, Courteney Cox, and Kate Jackson.
Nature lovers and cultural aficionados alike will have a plethora of things to see and do in Mountain Brook.
Popular hangout spots include the Cahaba River Walk, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Zoo, and Vulcan Park and Museum.
There’s also a bevy of shopping and dining options, mostly at upscale boutique establishments.
People can find the area’s trendiest boutiques at English Village, which also happens to be home to some of the suburb’s finest restaurants and cafes.
Roughly 19% of Mountain Brook’s residents work in finance fields and higher-paying businesses, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The average age is 40.4 years, slightly higher than the national average, which is 38.5 years. The suburb is predominantly white, with white residents making up 96.98% of the population.
Next are Asian and Black residents, at 1.38% and 1.14%, respectively.
Mountain Brook’s population is quite educated. 47.79% of its residents hold a bachelor’s degree, and 37.47% have a graduate degree.
This is significantly higher than the national average of 34% for bachelor’s degrees and 13% for graduate degrees.
Even though poverty does exist in this suburb, the percentage of people living in households experiencing poverty is extremely low, at 3.04%.
This translates to 619 people out of the area’s 20,178 residents.
According to the World Population Review, the race most likely to experience poverty in this suburb is Black, with 7.83% of the area’s Black population living below the poverty line.
In Mountain Brook, there have been concerns about a lack of cultural and racial diversity but addressing the issue of diversity in this overwhelmingly white community has been met with opposition by many within the community.
For example, when Mountain Brook schools forged a partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to conduct diversity training, parents expressed concerns about their children being indoctrinated.
Still, efforts have continued to be made to diversify the community and make it more accepting and inclusive.
In fact, the Mountain Brook school board made the following statement: “We believe together, we can achieve a structure for respecting students so that all can feel included in an environment conducive to learning and future success.”
Mountain Brook has an A+ crime rating on the AreaVibes website, meaning it has a significantly lower crime rate than the national average.
Its total crime rate is 49% below the US average while its violent crime rate is 80% below.
People in Mountain Brook have a 1 in 84 chance of becoming a crime victim, which is substantially lower than the national average.
In addition, Mountain Brook is safer than almost three-quarters of cities in the US.
What’s also promising is the fact that year-to-year crime in Mountain Brook hasn’t really changed.
Residents enjoy the same amount of safety today as they did several years ago, and the data suggests that they’ll continue enjoying high levels of safety and security in the coming years.
As of 2019, there are 94,259 millionaire households in the state of Alabama, giving them a share of 4.87% of all Alabama households, according to a report by Phoenix Marketing International.
Compared to all the other states, Alabama is in the middle in terms of the number of millionaire households, at 26th place.
The top five states are California (1,147,251), Texas (650,216), New York (570,456), Florida (496,971), and Illinois (346,873).
Interestingly, Alabama is one of seven states with no billionaires. The other states are Alaska, Vermont, Delaware, Alabama, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
Despite having no billionaires, Alabama does have several multi-millionaires, including Jimmy Rane, who is Alabama’s wealthiest man.
Worth $900 million, Rane, nicknamed the “Yella Fella” of Great Southern Wood Preserving, built his fortune by turning his family’s backyard treating business into a billion-dollar company, along with his brother.
For years, Rane ran his business on the side while he was practicing law full time. It was when his business started to grow that he decided to turn it into a full-time venture.
Since then, Great Southern Wood Preserving has become one of the most trusted producers of pressure-treated lumber in the South.
Besides his business acumen, Rane is also known for his philanthropic endeavors, especially in the education space.
In 2000, he started the Jimmy Rane Foundation, which has awarded over 400 college scholarships since its inception.
In most states, including Alabama, real estate is the largest industry. In second place in Alabama is healthcare services, which is the state’s biggest industry when it comes to total economic output.
The healthcare industry in Alabama boasts a GDP contribution of $8.3 billion, or 4.6% of the state’s GDP, and includes dentists, primary care physicians, and other outpatient medical services.
The substantial size of this industry is largely due to the state’s sizable elderly population, which requires more medical care with more frequency.
16.1% of Alabama’s population is 65 or older, compared to 15.2% of Americans as a whole.
No. In fact, Alabama, as of 2018, has one of the lowest median household incomes in the US, with a median household income of $49,861.
Although Alabama is in 26th place in terms of the number of millionaire households, it’s all the way in 45th place (near last place) when it comes to average household income.
Alabama has a poverty rate of 16.8%, which is notably higher than most other states.
Selma ranks as the poorest town in Alabama, as well as one of the 10 poorest towns in all of the US.
The typical Selma household makes a yearly income of $23,283, which is about half the income a typical Alabama household earns.
Perhaps, it should come as no surprise that the town has a high poverty rate as well, at 41.4%.
This is more than double the poverty rate in the state as a whole, where the poverty rate is 18.4%, and in the US, where the rate is 15.1%.
Unlike Mountain Brook, Selma has a considerably high crime rate. It has a crime score of F on AreaVibes, and its total crime rate is 51% higher than the national average.
Violent crimes are also rampant in Selma (61% more than the US average).
In Selma, a person has a 1 in 29 chance of being a crime victim, compared to Mountain Brook’s 1 in 84 chance, and the suburb is only safer than 11% of US cities.