Moving to Tuscaloosa, AL

Moving to Tuscaloosa, AL

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    Are you contemplating becoming a T-Town dweller, the city of the millennials? The audacious and snuggly ”Tuskaloosa” gesticulates its southern glamour and burgeoning opportunities, making it a desirable metropolis to call home.

    If so, this relocation blog post will become your trusted companion in enriching this journey. 

    Once the capital of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a hub for healthcare, industry, commerce, entertainment, and education. Home to the University of Alabama, the Crimson Tide football team, and Bryant-Denney Stadium, Tuscaloosa has a lot to offer. 

    Let’s roll into the city and see if moving to Tuscaloosa, AL, will be worth it for you or not!

    Population & Diversity of Tuscaloosa, AL

    The city of Tuscaloosa is situated in Tuscaloosa County in west-central Alabama. 

    Home to about 101,947 Tuscaloosians, the city is known to be the fifth most populous city in Alabama. 

    It’s also the prime metropolis of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which incorporates Pickens, Hale, and Tuscaloosa County.

    Let’s take a quick tour of the population and diversity stats of Tuscaloosa, AL:

    • Tuscaloosa’s diversity score is 81 out of 100. 
    • Tuscaloosa has a male-female ratio of 48.3% males and 51.7% females.
    • The poverty rate in Tuscaloosa is 23%.
    • The median age in Tuscaloosa is 29.5 years
    • The most spoken language in the city is English.
    • The population of Tuscaloosa has risen by 3% since 2021.
    • Currently, the city has a population growth of 1% annually.
    • Tuscaloosa comprises 97.3% of US citizens.

    The total population of Tuscaloosa, AL, is characterized by the following:

    • White (Non-Hispanic)-49.3%
    • Black or African American (Non-Hispanic)- 43.9%
    • Asian (Non-Hispanic)-2.41% 
    • White (Hispanic)-1.85%
    • Other races-1.02%

    Is Tuscaloosa, AL, safe?

    As a metropolis, Tuscaloosa pays a price for its high crime rate. However, the neighborhoods remain 89% crime-free compared to the other areas in the city.

    • The most common crimes that happen in Tuscaloosa are motor vehicle theft, armed robbery, assault, suicide, and hostage situations. 
    • The chance of becoming a violent and property crime victim in Tuscaloosa averages 1 in 183 and 1 in 26, respectively. 

    Let us look at the crime rate in Tuscaloosa, AL, compared with the state and national averages on a scale of 1 to 100, as mentioned in the table below.

    Crime typeTuscaloosaAlabamaUS
    Violent crime29.926.822.7
    Property crime59.74334


    The safest neighborhoods in Tuscaloosa, AL:

    • Community Park
    • Munny Sokol Park
    • Stokes
    • Sherwood Drive / The University of Alabama
    • Buttermilk Rd / Bradford Blvd
    • Rice Mine

    Cost of Living in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Living affordably by 11.4% more than the US average in a US metropolis just got much easier when you moved to Tuscaloosa. 

    Leading a comfortable life in Tuscaloosa might charge you an average annual salary of $36,720 for a family and $33,600 for a single individual. 

    This signifies that the average cost of living in Tuscaloosa, AL, is $1456 per month, including rent for a single individual and a family of four.

    The table below describes the cost of living in Tuscaloosa, AL, in comparison with the state and the national average:

    CategoryTuscaloosaAlabamaUS average
    Overall 88.684.1100
    Food and groceries 95.694.4100
    Healthcare 114.7118.9100
    Housing 63.156.6100


    Here is a table comparing the cost of living in Tuscaloosa, AL, with Houston, TX:

    CityCost of Living Index
    Tuscaloosa, AL87.5
    Houston, TX95.5

    The table below compares the cost of living expenses in Tuscaloosa, AL :

    Expense CategoryCost in Tuscaloosa, AL
    Housing24% lower than the national average
    Utilities7% higher than the national average
    Transportation5% higher than the national average
    Groceries4% higher than the national average
    Healthcare19% lower than the national average

    Job Market in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Historically, Tuscaloosa was known for its automotive and manufacturing industries, which dominated its economy and employment. Now, the manufacturing, healthcare, and business sectors are providing high-paying jobs to the residents of Tuscaloosa.

    Here’s a breakdown of Tuscaloosa’s job market and salary scene. 

    • The unemployment rate of 4.3% in Tuscaloosa is due to the absence of the IT and finance sectors.
    • The median household income in Tuscaloosa is $44,729, or an hourly rate of $23.80.
    • The job growth in Tuscaloosa is improving after the COVID-19 pandemic and has risen by 1.9%.
    • The city has yet to see a future % job growth of 31.2% in the next decade. 

    Top Employers In Tuscaloosa, Al

    • NHS Management, LLC
    • Peco Foods
    • McAbee Construction
    • DCH Health System
    • The University of Alabama
    • Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
    • City of Tuscaloosa
    • Tuscaloosa County Schools
    • Indian Rivers Mental Health Center
    • Phifer Incorporated

    Most Common Job Titles In Tuscaloosa, Al

    • Associate Professor
    • Head Of Department
    • Field Manager
    • Lab Assistant
    • Machine Operator
    • Associate Electrical Engineer

    Highest Paying Jobs In Tuscaloosa, Al 

    Job TitleSalary
    Hospitalist Physician$270,555
    Staff Physician$213,108
    Family Practice Physician$203,353
    General Internist$202,938
    Nurse Practitioner$102,300-$138,000 per year
    Cyber Security$99,500-$136,700 per year
    Radiology TechnologistSalary range not specified
    Nurse Anesthetist$167,790

    Tax rates in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Let’s see what percentage you must pay for taxes in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    • Sales Tax: 10 % (A combination of city sales Tax of 3%, county Sales taxes of 3%, and state Sales taxes of 4%).
    • Income tax: 2% and 5%. However, corporates must pay up to 6.5% income tax based on their revenue.
    • Property Tax: 0.34%-0.38% of the assessed value.
    • Gas tax: 24 cents per gallon for gasoline, 25 cents for diesel.

    Housing market in Tuscaloosa, AL:

    If you wish to buy a property to settle down in Tuscaloosa, the city makes it easier with its affordable housing market. Let’s make it easier for you to decide whether to take a rental house or a new home after moving to Tuscaloosa

    • The housing market of Tuscaloosa scores 54 out of 100. 
    • The median home price in Tuscaloosa is around $272,400. 
    • The growing housing market provides an impressive yearly appreciation of 11.6% for 2023.
    • Last year, the market grew positively, and selling prices saw a 5.2% rise. 
    • The average rental price in Tuscaloosa is $1350 per month.
    • On average, the new homes in Tuscaloosa stay on the market for 22 days before being sold.
    • The vacancy rates of apartments and rentals in Tuscaloosa are 2.5% and 6%, respectively.

    Let’s look at the entire Tuscaloosa home prices and rental costs table. 

    Housing costsTuscaloosa, ALUS
    Median home cost$255,000$338,100
    Rental cost of a studio$840$1080
    Rental price of 1 bedroom$845$1180
    Rental price of 2 bedroom$1020$1430
    Rental price of 3 bedroom$1310$1860


    Top neighborhoods in Tuscaloosa, AL

    As a new resident of Tuscaloosa, you can consider living in one of the six best places in Tuscaloosa, AL

    • Downtown Tuscaloosa
    • Northport
    • Forest Lake
    • Hillcrest
    • Riverchase

    Education system in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuscaloosa has a great education system, with top-quality schools rated highly by the state and the nation. 

    The city features two public school systems, each providing excellent academic standards, up-to-date amenities, and experienced teaching experts that help encourage students’ personal growth, thereby balancing academic excellence.

    The details regarding the two public school systems in Tuscaloosa, AL, are mentioned in the table below:

    Tuscaloosa County School SystemTuscaloosa City Schools
    58 schools23 schools
    19111 students10,964 students
    50% minority enrollment80% minority enrollment
    32% of economically challenged students42% of economically challenged students
    1:20 teacher-student ratio1:18 Teachers-student ratio
    87% licensed, experienced teachers69% licensed, experienced Teachers 
    $3-$4.50 for school meal fees.Free school meals


    Concerning higher education in Tuscaloosa, the city is home to the University of Alabama system, one of the largest universities and employers, an enticing economic and cultural growth in the state, and one of the best colleges for teaching degrees in Alabama. 

    Established in 1969, the system features three research universities and a medical center. It provides education to over 40,000 students and employs over 45,000, making the system the largest employer nationwide. 

    Public schools in Tuscaloosa, AL 

    • Tuscaloosa Magnet School – Elementary
    • Rock Quarry Elementary School
    • Skyland Elementary School
    • Northridge High School
    • Hillcrest High School

    Private Schools in Tuscaloosa, AL:

    • Holy Spirit Catholic Regional School
    • Tuscaloosa Academy
    • American Christian Academy

    Top colleges and universities in Tuscaloosa, AL 

    • The University of Alabama
    • Shelton State Community College
    • University of Montevallo
    • University Medical Center Tuscaloosa 

    Public Transportation in Tuscaloosa, AL  

    Tuscaloosa has one of Alabama’s most reliable public transportation options. 

    But you own a bike or car with an Alabama motorcycle license. In that case, you get privileged by the city highways and byways that keep humming, with 83% of Tuscaloosa’s residents driving their vehicles.

    The average one-way commute time taken by drivers in Tuscaloosa is 19 minutes.

    Those discerning an air journey can take quick flights to their destination from the Tuscaloosa National Airport.

    Let’s learn about several other public transportation options Tuscaloosa offers its riders.

    • Non-emergency transportation-  Affordable transit services from home to hospital and vice-versa.
    • Demand response service- Tuscaloosa’s demand response service offers service-on-call transportation services for retirees and disabled people.
    • UA shuttle- Shuttle service is provided to the students and employees of the University of Alabama with 40 stop locations.
    • TTA is a public bus system operated in Tuscaloosa, along with other options like trolleyes, shuttle buses, and cars. 

    Weather and climate in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuscaloosa, AL, features humid subtropical weather year-round, filled with warm, hot summers and mild, breezy, wet winters. The average temperature in Tuscaloosa ranges from 36°F to 91°F and is rarely below 22°F or above 97°F. 

    • Overall, the city gets 217 sunny days, 53 inches of rainfall, and no snowfall in a year. 
    • The hot season averages temperatures ranging from 72 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit, with July being the hottest month in Tuscaloosa.
    • The winter season averages temperatures between 56 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit, with January being the coldest month in Tuscaloosa. 
    • The best times to visit Tuscaloosa, AL, are April, May, October, and November.

    Here is a table showing the weather in Tuscaloosa, AL:

    MonthHigh Temperature (°F)Low Temperature (°F)Precipitation (inches)

    Things to Do in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Discover the best things to do in Tuscaloosa, AL, for all ages if you are planning a vacation or day trip in Tuscaloosa.

    • Go for study, fun activities, talent showcase, and cultural activities at the University of Alabama.
    • Watch exciting football matches and support the Alabama Crimson Tide football team in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
    • Coleman Coliseum is a paradise for basketball lovers, and the arena hosts yearly matches.
    • Taste delicious treats and mouthwatering grills at the unique sports-centric Rama Jama’s restaurant.
    • Kids will fall in love with one of its types, Children’s Hands-On Museum.
    • Dance on every beat with your family in multiple music events and concerts hosted in Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
    • Never miss watching movies or shows at one of the best, Bama Theatre.
    • Plan the most exciting and memorable night with your family at CMX Hollywood 16 & IMAX.
    • Enjoy mouth-watering cuisines in Thomasville’s Big Mike steakhouse in Tuscaloosa, AL.
    • Amaze yourself with the historical beauty, engineering, and architecture of Jemison-Van De Graaff Mansion.
    • Remember to relax and chill at one of the best bars in the city: Loosa Brews.
    • The Paul W. Bryant Museum is a perfect destination for vintage Alabama football lovers.

    Pros and Cons of Living in Tuscaloosa, AL

    Let’s look at the pros and cons of living in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    Lower cost of living than the US averageHigher than average sales tax rate
    Sturdy, diverse, and growing economySummers are often hot and humid
    Good public schools with above-average ratingsHigh risk of severe storms
    Amazing nightlifeHigher number of windy days
    Warm Southern hospitalitySome find the football culture overwhelming
    Vibrant college town atmosphereSome find the city boring if not a college student or young professional
    Rich history and cultureGrocery prices are slightly higher than the national average
    Outdoor recreation opportunities
    Friendly community
    Easy access to stunning outdoors like the Tuscaloosa River Walk
    Reasonable living costs without compromising on amenities

    Final Verdict

    If you’re preparing to move to Alabama, picking Tuscaloosa would be a great move, as there are several reasons why the college city is thriving, listed above. This is making expats, students, and young professionals from all over the country discover the authenticity of this small town with a big-city vibe. So, buckle up and step forward to the place where enchanting breweries flow freely, along with the comforting hospitality covering you as a warm blanket on the freezy southern town. 

    Image Credit: Poundersjason, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons