Is Birmingham Alabama safe Is Birmingham Alabama safe

Is Birmingham Alabama Safe? – 5 Amazing Facts to Know!

Birmingham is located in Alabama, in the center of northern America, and is also known as the Magic City. It is said to have the third largest population and consists of mainly the banking sector.

Birmingham is the center of industry and tourism and southern hospitality and college football is almost a way of life here. It got the name ‘magic city’ due to its impressive growth in the early 1900s.

It imprinted its name in the Guinness Book for having a collection of 1400 motorcycles and is also famous as the first location in the USA to have a Mercedes Benz showroom.

The world’s largest iron statue of Vulcan is located here symbolizing the abundant availability of iron minerals in Birmingham.

Is Birmingham Alabama Safe to Visit? – A Short Guide With All You Need to Know Prior to Your Visit

Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Photo by Zach Searcy on Unsplash

Despite being one of the largest cities and more famous and renowned than other cities, Birmingham has had a notorious history that affected the city’s safety levels. Birmingham was racially segregated in 1960 and experienced bombings and non-violent protests.

Things started to become better in recent years and this city in Alabama now witnesses about 3.6 million tourists annually. The location of the city gives a warm taste to the pleasant weather and a vibrant outdoor life which is one of the reasons to visit Birmingham.

Birmingham is one of the most attractive cities in Alabama and features beautiful landscapes, valleys, and ridges that spread across the neighborhood.

But the city is yet to improve its security and safety levels. For a long time, it is ranked among the most dangerous cities in Alabama.

1. How Safe is it to Visit Birmingham Alabama?

How Safe Is Birmingham?

With an average crime rate of 112 percent, Birmingham Alabama is one of the most dangerous cities to visit in America which dates back to decades, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports.

However, there are certain in Birmingham that make it a beautiful and safe city. Taking into regard some proper safety tips, you can enjoy the music and nightlife in Birmingham, Alabama.

1.1 Birmingham Violent Crime Rates

Homicides in Birmingham

The population in Birmingham counts to 200,000 and it reports 524 violent crimes per 100,000 every year. In the year 2018, about 70 percent of violent crimes reported were aggravated assaults whereas in 2020 Birmingham reported 3,166 violent crimes

The national average for violent crime is 366.7 per 100,000 residents which is 4.3 times more than the national average. The violent crime rate on average in Alabama is 453.6 per 100,000 which makes Birgmingham’s violent crime rate 3.5 times greater than Alabama’s national average.

These violent crimes include homicides, rape, robbery, and aggravated assaults. It is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population and multiplying the result by 100,000.

In 2018 it reported 88 homicides which was lower than most of the cities. But taking population into account, it has the third highest homicide rate in the country.

1.2 Birmingham Property Crime Rates

With a total of 8,221 property crimes reported in 2020, the property crime rate of 4,095.5 per 100,000 people. The national average property crime rate is 2,109.9 per 100,000 residents. This makes Birmingham’s property crime rate 1.9 times greater than the national average.

The property crime rate in Birmingham ranks 32nd place out of the hundred most populated cities in the USA.

These property crimes include burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and larceny theft. This rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total and multiplying the result by 100,000.

2. Risks, Warnings, and Dangers in Birmingham, Alabama

2.1 Overall Risk: Medium

Overall, Birmingham is a safe city and in fact used to be the safest city in Alabama. The neighborhoods are still a hit-or-miss with safety, some of them like North Birmingham, The Ensley, West End, Mason City, Woodlawn, East Lake or Bay Area, Kingston or K Town among various others should be avoided by travelers.

The city and the neighborhood have been involved in many violent crimes in the past few years, ranking second in violent crimes. The increased racist incidents, criminal activities, and general insecurity tarnish the city’s good reputation.

The city is also facing an increasing rate of gun crime and homicides. Thus, the city has a moderate overall risk, especially for travelers and those visiting Birmingham.

2.2 Pickpocketing Risk: Medium

Pickpocketing in Birmingham
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Pickpocket theft is not as rampant as you would have expected. However, you should keep an eye on your purse or wallet and make sure that your bag is on your chest.

Especially during holidays, in public transport, and in crowded areas, keep your belongings close to yourself because there is a moderate risk of this petty theft.

2.3 Transport and Taxi: Low

Taxis and buses are easily available public transport in Birmingham- one of the most crucial things a traveler seeks in a new area. Both public and private transport is safe, secure, and reliable with Uber and rideshares to travel to remote areas.

The transportation risk is overall low, but you should take care of the shady characters, thieves, and pickpockets who look for possible crime opportunities. Also, make sure you check the authenticity of the cab drivers who might sometimes fake their documents.

The bus service in Birmingham is MAX Transit. Avoid roaming and traveling at night and you will just be fine.

2.4 Natural Disasters Risk: Medium

Severe storms bring heavy rainfall flooding to Birmingham area

Tornadoes and floods are known to disturb Alabama. Since 2019, the city has witnessed a series of tornadoes which lead to its natural vulnerability and hindered the trips of tourists.

Birmingham ranks 17th in the chart of disastrous natural cities. In addition to tornadoes and floods, the city is also facing snow and icy storms in winter as well as hurricanes.

Hurricanes reduce to tropical storms before they hit and the tropical climate of Alabama dumps in quite a good amount of rain in the city.

2.5 Women Travelers Risk: Low

Birmingham- a safer place for women travelers
Photo by Jennifer Coffin-Grey on Unsplash

Birmingham is quite a safe place for women travelers and offers a good number of shopping centers and outdoor sites to enjoy. But it would be wise to explore these areas during daylight hours.

Cases of assaults and rapes in Birmingham are lower than the national average.

It is necessary to take precautions to prevent anything going wrong. Also, the risk increases after dark, so avoid walking around at night time.

2.6 Terrorism Risk: Low

Terrorism in Birmingham
Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

The 9/11 terror attack in Birmingham encouraged the government to establish the headquarters for nationwide crime-solving and prevention, including atrocities such as acts of terror.

With the government’s efforts, the city has remained out of the scope of terrorism from international attackers but can be a target of local terrorism.

The enforcement of law and order is strict in the city but it still remains vulnerable as violent crimes occur in and around the neighborhood and metro area.

2.7 Mugging Risk: Medium

North Birmingham neighborhoods are the most dangerous places for violent street crimes and being risky to visit, they pose a great danger to those visiting the area.

The robbery rate is 55 percent higher than the national average which means you may get mugged on the streets if you wander around the dangerous areas. You won’t be a victim if you travel to tourist places during the day hours.

These cases of robbery and snatching are not so common in crowds.

2.8 Scam Risk: Low

Scam risks are low in Birmingham. But if you put on sparkling clothes, and jewelry and show off wealthy accessories, people are likely to approach you to scam you.

Always be careful of strangers, especially while operating the ATM and double-check the details before spending money on anyone. A fake contract company and a group of scammers faking to be with the police are some recent scams reported in Birmingham.

Have some trusted and reliable people to reach out to whenever you need help and avoid distractions and suspicious people from getting too close to you.

3. Safest places in Birmingham, Alabama

Living, working and studying in Birmingham (UK)

The furnished condos, nightclubs, and five-star restaurants make the South Side and Downtown Birmingham safe as well as relatively less crime-prone.

3.1 Vestavia Hills

One of the best and safest cities in Birmingham with amazing infrastructure is Vestavia Hills. Owing to the safety levels, the suburb has a population of about 40,000 people.

The city’s violent crime, property crime, and overall crime rates are 10.3, 21.9, and 32.2, respectively, much lower than the state average.

The high-rated neighborhood is safe for locals and visitors to visit the tourist landmarks like Liberty Park, Wald Park, and Old Overton Club.

3.2 Homewood

Homewood is an incredible location in Birmingham that will actually compel you to extend your stay in the city. Approximately 25,170 residents live free of fear in Homewood in attractive homes.

The violent, property, and overall crime rates are quite low as rates are 2.00, 34.76, and 37.76 per 1000 individuals. It boasts some of the most excellent restaurants, parks, and coffee shops.

Overton Park, Homewood Forest Preserve, and The Christenberry Planetarium are some of the beautiful places in the Jefferson County Birmingham suburb that you should visit during your vacation.

3.3 Pelham

Pelham is one of the safest neighborhoods that you should visit when traveling to Birmingham. The city is home to about 23,400 individuals.

Pehlam’s violent, property, and total crime rates are as low as 1.27, 13.08, and 14.35 per 1000 individuals which makes it safe for both the residents and visitors. These crime rates are considerably lower than the U.S. average crime rate.

Oak Mountain State Park, the Alabama Wildlife Center, and Oak Mountain Amphitheatre are some of the beautiful places that you should not miss to visit.

4. Most Dangerous Places to Avoid in Birmingham

Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Birmingham Alabama For 2022

According to the most recent census data, Airport Highlands looks to be the worst neighborhood in Birmingham.

4.1 Anniston

Anniston is ranked as the most dangerous city in Alabama according to the researchers at the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St.

The reports say that in 2017 violent crimes occur per 100,000 residents while the state average violent crime rate is 524. The poverty rate is 29.5 percent against 18 percent of the average.

Murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are violent crimes in Anniston which is inordinately high. Authorities have started taking significant measures to avert crimes and make this a safe place.

4.2 Gadsden

Gadsden County is a spot of attraction for nature lovers owing to the beautiful Noccalula Falls located here. But this area is known to be among the very dangerous cities in Alabama due to increased murder and overall crimes.

The violent crime rate in Gadsden is 52.15 per 1,000 residents during a standard year and generally, the northeastern part of this city is considered the safest area.

Airports, parks, schools, and recreational areas are more unsafe because of the large number of people and low population around.

4.3 Lanett

One of the smallest and most dangerous cities in Alabama with just 6,000 inhabitants. Owing to the increased crime rate and low income, the population has declined over the years.

Property crimes were high in 2018 with 7,878 per 100,000. The residents and visitors are advised to avoid the east side of the city because it is the most unsafe area.

Lanett is located on the shores of the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia line and serves as a beneficial spot for industry and small businesses.

5. Safety Tips While Visiting Birmingham

5.1 Know Your Surroundings and Stay Aware

Do not get distracted and keep track of who is walking in front and back of you. Avoid music on headphones or reading the mobile screen to stay alert to suspicious people. Make sure your yards or porches are well-lighted and locked.

5.2 Know the City Layout

Study the layout of the city before visiting and travel with a map so that you are aware of the dangerous places and avoid venturing into the red-marked areas. Beware of your neighborhood.

5.3 Install and Use the Safety App in Birmingham

Birmingham Police Department has launched a safety app with which you can directly contact the officers. It allows you to ask questions or solve queries and submit safety tips. A good tool to use!

5.4 Avoid Wandering Alone

Walking alone, especially at night will make you an easy target for thieves and police arrest if you don’t have your documents. Consider self-driving or hiring a taxi to avoid thugs and police.

5.5 Doors, Locks, and Windows

Always lock and double-check your doors since this city has the highest burglary rate in America. Installing deadbolt locks in your doors and windows can save you from such trouble

See more tips here.

10 Best Tourist Attractions in Birmingham, Alabama


I hope that through this article, now you know that simple guidelines can help maintain your safety. Birmingham is an interesting place to visit and features botanical gardens, parks, museums, historical structures, and family spots.

This city is dangerous, but there are many safe and enjoyable areas. Check some locations here. The neighborhood is quite prone to violent crimes which makes Birmingham an infamous city.

If you have more queries about Birmingham, drop them in the comment section below.

Read more from us here.

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by somya909