Cost of Living in Birmingham, Alabama


Formerly known as “Pittsburgh of the South” for its industrial economy, Birmingham, Alabama now features a very diverse economy with banking and financial services as the centerpiece. Employees also work in large numbers in telecommunications, transport and electric power. Higher education is a particularly important employment sector, with the University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham Law School, Samford University and many other institutions located in the region.

Birmingham, founded in the 1870s, owes its name to Birmingham, England. Birmingham Alabama has an estimated population of around 212,000, with over one million people living in the metro area. According to the various cost of living sites, half or more of the city’s residents live in rental housing, which is something to keep in mind when assessing the cost of living in Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham, Alabama, has an indexed cost of living score of 74.1 on a scale where the national average is 100. This compares to 82.3 for Alabama as a whole. It is cheaper to live in Birmingham than in other cities in Alabama. For example, Mobile, Alabama has a cost of living score of 81.9.

How much does an apartment cost in Birmingham, Alabama?

The vast majority of apartments in Birmingham, Alabama and the surrounding areas are renting between $ 500 and $ 1,300 per month. Overall, rents are slightly higher in Birmingham compared to other areas in Alabama, but slightly lower than US averages.

According to our rent research, the current median rents by apartment category in Birmingham, Alabama are:

  • Studio: $ 675 per month
  • One bedroom apartment: $ 900 per month
  • Two bedroom apartment: $ 900 per month
  • Three bedroom apartment: $ 1,022 per month
  • Four bedroom apartment: $ 1,315 per month

Keep in mind that there are some variables that will affect rental costs. The apartments will become more or less expensive, depending on the proximity or distance from the city center of an apartment. Determining the rent that perfectly fits your budget is also very personal and based on a variety of factors.

How do you find cheap apartments in Birmingham, Alabama?

The ability to find affordable housing is a challenge everywhere. But technology has transformed some elements in favor of the tenant. What is important in your research is knowing what you are looking for, where you are looking and exactly what you can afford.

In general, market forces will set the level of rent; your challenge in finding cheap apartments and lowering the cost of living in Birmingham, Alabama is choosing the tradeoffs carefully. You can take steps to reduce your housing costs by adjusting your housing conditions. If you prefer a two-bedroom apartment in Birmingham, but can’t afford the total rent of $ 900 or more, consider looking for a roommate. You can then divide the costs of the rent, as well as utilities and other living expenses.

Even in the rental market, real estate rule number one applies: location, location, location. Where you are looking to rent will determine how much you will pay. Some neighborhoods in Birmingham, Alabama will have higher rents than others. If prices are too high in one area, consider another part of town if you can. Here are some specific current rentals to show you some of the most affordable segment rental prices on the market:

  • One bed and one bath apartment for $ 350 available in the Smithfield area
  • One bedroom, one bathroom apartment for $ 450 in the Bessemer area
  • Studio at $ 400 in the Fairfield neighborhood
  • Two bedroom home at $ 625, also in the Fairfield neighborhood
  • Three bedroom house at $ 765, near Birmingham Airport

Sometimes lifestyle can make a difference in your price considerations. Apartment buildings with additional amenities such as swimming pools and fitness centers will cost more than renting a house or part of a house without the same features. The type of accommodation you decide to rent will help you determine your monthly cost of living in Birmingham.

Carefully calculate what you can afford and don’t overdo it. Most financial experts advise limiting your rent costs to around 30% of your gross income. Be sure to factor in the total cost of living, including things like utility costs and commute times, when deciding what’s right for you.

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What is the cheapest rent in Birmingham, Alabama?

Statistically, the cheapest rents in most cities are in studios, and the same is true in Birmingham, Alabama. You can currently find a studio just outside Birmingham for $ 515 per month, while inside Birmingham studios are renting for $ 600 or more.

Studios, of course, are the smallest spaces – your prices will gradually increase as you add more rooms. One-bedroom apartments in Birmingham, for example, are currently listed for as low as $ 535. Two bedrooms can be found for as little as $ 550, while three bedrooms can be found for $ 675 near Birmingham Airport. With enough patience and determination, you can find the right place for you.

Keep in mind the concept of the total cost of living. You can find a place to rent very inexpensively that is far from your office or family or other services. Factoring in the additional travel costs, you might find that something a little more expensive than the cheapest apartment rental could work for your budget.

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