These Are The 10 Cities In Alabama With The Least Income Inequality

by David Luther
Study - 3 years ago

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Ah, Alabama — home of Leprechauns, Conecuh sausage, and an obscene amount of Houndstooth and Cat Head (fabric and biscuits). But in addition to all of that and Channing Tatum, it’s also home to something else: the sixth highest rate of income inequality in America, and it’s been on the rise in Alabama for the past few decades.

Even more than poverty alone, income inequality is strongly correlated to violent crime, child well-being, and high school graduation rates. It’s a very real problem for most Alabamians, but there are some cities in the Yellowhammer State where the income inequality rate is shockingly low.

We have the top fifty best at the bottom of the article — scroll down for a description of each, but first, here’s a quick look.

  1. Helena
  2. Calera
  3. Pinson
  4. Southside
  5. Chelsea
  6. Pleasant Grove
  7. Pike Road
  8. Robertsdale
  9. Alabaster
  10. Fultondale

We’ve also got the ten worst cities for income equality in Alabama, but read on to see what else makes these cities special.

A measurement for income inequality in Alabama, other than college football games attended

We looked to the most recent Census data to get the Gini coefficient for our inequality metric. Pronounced like genie, it’s a statistical measurement of dispersion used to measure income disparities in countries.

A zero would indicate income equality, and a 1 represents perfect inequality. Neither of these is actually a thing in the real world.

Of the 105 cities we studied in Alabama with a population over 5,000, the lowest Gini was a .31 and the highest was a .58 — to give you some perspective, Alabama’s Gini is the sixth highest in the country at 47.2, which is a little above the US average of 46.1.

And in case you were wondering, these are the cities in Alabama with the worst income inequality rates:

  1. Demopolis
  2. Auburn
  3. Childersburg
  4. Selma
  5. Troy
  6. Lanett
  7. Center Point
  8. Tuscaloosa
  9. Jackson

Here are the cities in the Heart of Dixie that buck the trend. Remember, a lower score is better.


Gini coefficient: .312
With the expansion of Birmingham, Helena has become sort of a suburb of Birmingham — and it is just a pretty fantastic small town to live in. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per capita in the US and has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to live in America.

It also has the lowest Gini coefficient in the state of Alabama, which is particularly interesting given that it’s somewhat of a suburb. The median income for a household in the city was $62,908 and it’s unemployment rate is around 5 percent — all of this indicates is that it’s a stable community, and a great place to raise a family, with a rock-bottom poverty rate.

2. Calera

Gini coefficient: .324
Another city close to Birmingham, this small town is benefiting from the larger city’s economy — and is also one of the fastest-growing cities in Alabama, tripling its population in recent years.

And Calera can use it. Unlike Helena, it’s got a nearly 10 percent family poverty rate, with the median income for a family sitting at $42,885. Income equality here may mean that people are struggling at the same rate — but with the recent growth that Calera has seen and its small-town feel, it’s likely that the people of Calera are going to raise each other up.


Gini coefficient: .327
Another beautiful small town on the outskirts of Birmingham, Pinson is home to a beautiful series of parks — and the Butterbean Festival!

The median income for a family was $48,707, which is robust for a town that just recently incorporated with a population just over 7,000.

4. Southside

Gini coefficient: .328
This idyllic riverside town, complete with a lighthouse, epitomizes Southern charm. Southside is a relatively small, but progressive, area that recently incorporated and supports a robust local economy.

It manages to maintain a very high level of civic engagement and community involvement, as well as a 2 percent family poverty rate median income for a family sitting at $58,427, this is clearly one of the best places to make a home in the state.

5. Chelsea

Gini coefficient: .348
City Description: Chelsea is one of the fastest growing cities in one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama, and its economy is strong enough to shoot the family median income up to $72,206.

And it’s also home to one of the cutest small town Christmas parades out there, just saying.

6.Pleasant Grove

Gini coefficient: .358
City Description: Also known as the Good Neighbor City, with a population of about 10,000, Pleasant Grove offers the best “small-town” life quality but within only a 25 minute drive of Alabama’s largest metropolitan area.

Its high school also has one of the highest graduation rates in the country — this is a community “rich with uniqueness for tradition and family values,” in the words of its mayor.

7. Pike Road

Gini coefficient: .361
City Description: Pike Road barely makes our minimum population threshold. The young town now has 1,933 households as of the latest census, and 1,606 families, who have relative income equality and also voted nearly unanimously to split away from a neighboring city twenty years ago.

Despite the growing pains that a young municipality faces, it’s maintained its character amidst the recent and rapid growth.


Gini coefficient: .362
City Description: Nestled in the middle of Baldwin County, Robertsdale is a quickly growing city with a small town atmosphere — yet it offers perks that you usually find in larger cities, like movies in the park and city-sponsored utilities.

Robertsdale is growing both with industry and residential dwellings. A good hometown atmosphere is evident here and a growing number of people are calling it home.

9. Alabaster

Gini coefficient: .371
City Description: Alabaster is somewhat of an outlier in this list, as it’s more of a mid-sized city with its population well over 31,000 people. It’s got a high median income and low poverty rate, making it all the more impressive that its residents also enjoy relatively equal income dispersion.

10. Fulton

Gini coefficient: .373
Finally on our list is Fultondale, another small community in the middle of an expansion boom due to its desirability for families.

Fultondale is also experiencing strong growth as a result of commercial development and the accompanying residential developments. I now features a Target, and upon completion of Interstate 22, Fultondale will become the fourth Alabama city “to be directly served by more than one two-digit interstate highway,” according to its Wikipedia page — quite the honor.

Wrapping Up

That’s all for this one, but there’s more to see here at Zippia.

Are you looking for a booming industry in Alabama? Find out which Alabama jobs are growing as fast as these young cities.

Or are you looking for something a bit smaller to match your small town? Find out which small colleges in Alabama would put you in the best position for jobs upon graduation.

These are the 50 cities in Alabama with the best income equality

City Gini Population
Helena 31.28% 17,589
Calera 32.43% 12,593
Pinson 32.73% 7,448
Southside 32.89% 8,514
Chelsea 34.8% 11,386
Pleasant Grove 35.87% 10,270
Pike Road 36.19% 7,178
Robertsdale 36.26% 5,656
Alabaster 37.17% 31,905
Fultondale 37.38% 8,733
Pelham 37.75% 22,346
Moody 37.81% 12,292
Satsuma 37.88% 6,152
Rainbow City 38.52% 9,608
Midfield 38.73% 5,284
Wetumpka 39.2% 7,406
Clay 39.3% 9,682
Oxford 39.5% 21,243
Northport 39.67% 24,339
Attalla 40.22% 5,965
Hueytown 40.55% 15,894
Spanish Fort 41.0% 7,578
Daleville 41.01% 5,188
Leeds 41.05% 11,881
Lincoln 41.29% 6,391
Millbrook 41.43% 14,983
Prattville 41.54% 34,706
Madison 41.56% 45,590
Trussville 41.58% 20,351
Saraland 41.7% 13,715
Daphne 41.73% 23,559
Smiths Station 41.81% 5,165
Glencoe 41.85% 5,139
Hartselle 42.0% 14,455
Muscle Shoals 42.02% 13,492
Foley 42.19% 16,345
Tuscumbia 42.69% 8,537
Hoover 42.89% 83,547
Enterprise 43.1% 27,785
Scottsboro 43.48% 14,775
Gardendale 43.65% 13,763
Roanoke 43.8% 6,013
Chickasaw 44.07% 6,005
Oneonta 44.98% 6,633
Tallassee 45.18% 5,380
Alexander City 45.57% 14,787
Albertville 45.6% 21,406
Greenville 46.1% 7,912
Homewood 46.25% 25,535
Bay Minette 46.28% 8,843
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