Moving to Decatur, AL

Moving to Decatur, AL

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    Are you considering moving to Decatur, Alabama, whether it be for work, settling down, or vacation? We can help you. This blog post will tell you all the ins and outs of the “River City” of Alabama. 

    River City, because the city was earlier a river crossing west of the Appalachian Trail for settlers. It has now become an import-export hub in Alabama’s southeast. 

    For all Alabamians, Decatur is known as the “City of Opportunities.” It has consistently met the needs of its citizens and maintained its growth and prosperity.

    Let’s not just sum up everything here; we have a long way to travel through the blog to know more about relocation to Decatur, AL.

    Population & Diversity of Decatur, AL

    Home to about 57,922 residents as of 2022, Decatur is the biggest city in northern Alabama, which sits in Morgan County.

    The city is a part of the Decatur Metropolitan Area and Huntsville-Decatur Statistical Area, along with Madison and Huntsville, the other important towns in the CSA. 

    Based on the World Population Review, the following is a synopsis of the Decatur, AL population.

    • The median age of the population of Decatur is 40.6 years.
    • Decatur has a poverty rate of 15.23%.
    • The most spoken languages in Decatur are English and Spanish.
    • The diversity score of Decatur is 85 out of 100

    The population of Decatur, AL, is divided into the following ethnic groups:

    • White-65%
    • Black or African American- 23.1%
    • Other races-14.1%

    Is Decatur, AL,  safe?

    Due to the high incidence of property crimes, caution should be exercised when acquiring or possessing property in Decatur, such as automobiles, real estate, businesses, or commercial property. 

    The city has an overall crime rate of 40 per 1000 residents, higher than other American cities. 

    Briefing the crime stats and safety precautions, you must take care of living in Decatur.

    • The most common crimes residents of Decatur witness are burglary, theft, robbery, shoplifting, and arson. 
    • The chances of getting trapped by violent and property crime in Decatur are 1 in 257 and 1 in 25, respectively.
    • About 78% of residents feel safe living in Decatur. 

    The crime rate in Decatur in comparison with the state and national average are mentioned as follows:

    Crime typeDecaturAlabamaUS
    Violent crime15.826.822.7
    Property crime61.74335.4


    The safest neighborhoods in Decatur, AL, are :

    • Priceville
    • Wolftown
    • Burningtree Estates / Burningtree Mountain
    • Basham / Longleaf Estates
    • Decatur East

    Cost of Living in Decatur, AL

    Decatur is a cost-effective place to live in Alabama, with a cost of living index 19.6% lower than the US average.  

    Compared to other Alabama cities, Decatur has a 30.5% lower and 16.5% lower cost of living than Huntsville and Birmingham, respectively. 

    According to the cost of living calculators, a single individual’s average cost of living in Decatur is $2,800  per month. For a family of 4, it is $5,800 monthly for a comfortable life in Decatur. 

    The minimum salary needed to meet all these expenses averages around $53,000 annually.

    Here is a table comparing the cost of living in Decatur, Alabama, with other cities in Alabama:

    CityCompared to the National AverageCompared to Decatur
    Decatur14% lowerN/A
    Huntsville4.6% higher30.5% higher
    Birmingham1.7% higher16.5% higher

    Here is a table for the average cost of living in Decatur, AL, in comparison with the national average:

    CategoryDecatur, ALAlabamaUS average
    Overall 80.484.1100
    Food and groceries 9494.4100
    Healthcare 116118.9100
    Housing 5356.6100


    Job Market in Decatur, AL

    The job market in Decatur is better than the US average and offers a lot of job vacancies in various sectors every year. 

    If you are moving here to acquire a job or as a job transfer, check out the summary below regarding the job market, income, and salary in Decatur, AL.

    • The average annual salary in Decatur is $60,239, compared to the US average yearly wage of $58,000.
    • The median hourly wage in Decatur is $29, compared to the US average of $28.16.
    • Healthcare, manufacturing, tourism, and poultry are the popular industries that help boost the state’s economy, labor demand, and labor market.
    • The city will witness job growth of 32.5% over the upcoming years.
    • The job market in Decatur has been growing by 2.4% year-over-year. 
    • Decatur’s unemployment rate is 1.9%.

    Top employers in Decatur, AL

    • Nucor Steel Decatur, LLC
    • Wayne Farms
    • Cook’s Pest Control
    • Alabama Farmers Cooperative
    • United Launch Alliance
    • GE Appliances
    • 3M Company
    • Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation
    • Praxair
    • Pepsi Cola Bottling Co.

    The most common job titles in Decatur, AL

    • Assistant Manager
    • Customer Service Representative
    • Production Worker
    • Sales Associate
    • Server
    • Delivery Driver
    • Certified Nursing Assistant
    • Shift Supervisor
    • Warehouse Worker
    • Merchandising Associate

    The highest-paying job profiles in Decatur

    Job TitleMedian Salary
    Family Medicine Physician$188,162
    Senior Manager$107,881
    Real Estate Agent$95,854
    Licensed Professional Counselor$89,326
    Chemical Engineer$82,103

    Tax rates in Decatur, AL

    Decatur imposes higher sales and income taxes on its earning residents, while property tax rates are lower than the national average. 

    Here’s a quick brief of Decatur, AL tax rates:

    • Sales tax- 9% (a combination of 4% of Alabama sales tax, 4% of Decatur sales tax, and 1% of Morgan County sales tax), US average – 7.3%
    • Income tax- 5%, US average – 4.6%
    • Property tax- 0.41% of the asserted value, US average – 1.11%

    Housing market in Decatur, AL

    If buying a home and settling in the US is your dream for a lifetime, then your move to Decatur, AL, will make it happen with its super affordable housing prices!

     Here’s what you need to know regarding Decatur’s real estate and rental market.

    • The housing market in Decatur is competitive, with a score of 70 out of 100.
    • The median sale cost of an apartment in Decatur is $297k as of 2023.
    • Decatur’s housing and rental prices have risen by 12.1% since last year and are trending up by 10.1 each year.
    • The average home price in Decatur is around $208,956, almost half the national average of $338,100. 
    • The annual appreciation rate of homes in Decatur is 6.55%.
    • The median home price per square foot in Decatur is $149, compared to the national average of $222. 

    Here is a clear picture of the housing and rental prices of apartments in Decatur; look at it in comparison with the US average in the table below. 

    Housing costsDecatur ALUS
    Median home cost$150,000$338,100
    Rental cost of a studio$699$1080
    Rental cost of 1 bedroom$850$1180
    Rental cost of 2 bedroom$960$1430
    Rental cost of 3 bedroom$1150$1860


    Top neighborhoods in Decatur, AL

    Here is a list of the best places to live in Decatur, Alabama. 

    • Westmead
    • Delano Park
    • Burningtree
    • Priceville
    • Trinity
    • Mooresville
    • Oak Ridge
    • Belle Mina
    • Hartselle
    • Fish Pond
    • Flower Hill

    Education system in Decatur, AL

    Decatur has a robust and well-inspired education system that ranks #47 out of 137 school districts in the state.

    The city has 20 schools in the Decatur city school system, including four high schools, 21 elementary schools, and six middle schools. About 8,679 students are enrolled in it, with a teacher-student ratio 1:18.

    These schools have a minority enrollment of 68% and economically disadvantaged students of about 52.3%.

    Here is a list of top-rated public, private, and elementary schools in Decatur, AL.

    Elementary Schools in Decatur, AL

    • Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary School
    • Benjamin Davis Elementary School
    • Priceville Elementary School
    • Eastwood Elementary School
    • Walter Jackson Elementary School

    Public Schools in Decatur, AL

    • Hartselle High School
    • Priceville High School
    • Decatur High School
    • Falkville High School
    • Austin High School

    Private Schools in Decatur, AL

    • St. Ann School
    • Decatur Heritage Christian Academy

    Top universities and colleges in Decatur, Alabama

    • Athens State University
    • Calhoun Community College
    • Faulkner University
    • Oakwood University 

    Public Transportation in Decatur, AL  

    Getting around Decatur is easy thanks to its two interstate highways, several state highways, and a four-lane North-South highway. 

    However, the city has limited public transportation options and more traffic jams. 

    The average commute time in Decatur is 24 minutes.

    The several other public transportation options available in Decatur are as follows:

    • NARCOG Regional Transit Agency: Offers transportation services to the general public, retirees, and people with disabilities in the Decatur area.
    • Dial-A-Ride: A public transportation service offered by the Decatur regional transit agency over a call to the trancessed office number (256)-580-2088.
    • ALTRANS: Fixed route bus services and on-request vans.
    • Railways and waterways system.

    Weather and climate in Decatur, AL

    Decatur has a humid subtropical climate with sweltering and humid summers and mild cold winters. The city gets higher temperatures, reaching 89°F on average, and mild cold temperatures drop to 33°F. 

    Check out the compiled weather statistics of Decatur, AL, using the data from Weather Spark.

    • On average, Decatur gets 215 sunny days, 2 inches of snowfall, and 54 inches of precipitation throughout the year.
    • The city is also prone to occasional thunderstorms in summer and spring.
    • The best time to visit Decatur, Alabama, in a year is during April, May, and October when the temperature ranges between 70-85°F.
    • From May to September, July is considered the hottest month in December, with an average high-low temperature of 89°F to 70°F.
    • From November to February, January is considered the coldest month in Decatur, with an average high-low temperature of 50°F-34°F.

    Here is a table showing the average weather in Decatur, Alabama, for each month of the year:

    MonthAverage High Temperature (°F)Average Low Temperature (°F)Average Precipitation (inches)Average Snowfall (inches)

    Things to Do in Decatur, AL

    Check out the list of things to do and places to see in Decatur, Alabama. 

    • Learn about some art at the Carnegie Visual Art Center. 
    • Go shopping at Abdaroka, Threaded, Bank Street Art and Antiques. 
    • Locomotive enthusiasts can take a weekday Historic Depot And Railroad Museum tour.
    • Explore the bestowed exhibits of the Cook Museum of Natural Science.
    • Go on a nature adventure at Point Mallard Park.
    • Watch a concert at the Princess Theatre Centre for the Performing Arts.
    • Visit Old State Bank to witness Alabama’s rich history, architecture, and landscape.
    • Go bird-watching, hiking trails, and animal-watching at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. 
    • Enjoy your day walking trails, Clicking pictures at the Rose Garden, and playing with your kids at Delano Park.
    • Shop locally grown fruits and vegetables at the Decatur farmers market.

    Pros and Cons of Living in Decatur, AL

    While moving to Decatur can be a life-changing experience, not knowing its shortcomings might create inconveniences while leading a confident life in the city. 

    So, look closer at the pros and cons of living in Decatur, AL, in the table below:

    Pros of Living in Decatur, ALCons of Living in Decatur, AL
    Diverse populationHigh risk of severe storms and tornadoes
    Low cost of livingWet weather
    Plenty of parks and outdoor activitiesHigh sales tax
    Scenic setting and natural beautyHigh poverty rate in some areas
    Good job opportunitiesLess comfortable weather
    Affordable housingLow educational attainment rates
    Friendly peopleRelatively low median income compared to the national average
    Good healthcare facilitiesLimited nightlife options
    A slower pace of life compared to big citiesRelatively high crime rate compared to the national average

    Final Verdict

    Decatur is an incredible city to live in if you’re moving to Alabama. Everyone has different priorities when choosing a place to live, but Decatur has much to offer families, singles, and seniors. It has a low crime rate, a relatively low cost of living, and various housing options. It has an excellent healthcare system, a top-notch education system, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Decatur should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a great place to live.

    Image Credit: Brent Moore on Flickr