Best Cities 2010: Birmingham, AL

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Best Cities 2010: Birmingham, AL

Visit Birmingham’s Ruffner Mountain, the second largest urban nature preserve in the country.

City: Birmingham

State: Alabama

Best Cities Overall Rank: 94

About Birmingham:

Birmingham’s annual “Miss Apollo Pageant” is now the second oldest continuously running drag queen pageant in the country. It is also the home of the country’s oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field.

Birmingham’s Ruffner Mountain is the second largest urban nature preserve in the country.


County: Jefferson

Population: 228,798

Official website for city visitors’ bureau/city: Visitors’ bureau website

Newspaper with the largest circulation: The Birmingham News


Birmingham blogs:

The Mommy Diaries
Birthplace of the Process of Illogical Logic
Incoherent Ramblings

Birmingham‘s Facebook page: Follow Birmingham on Facebook

Birmingham‘s Twitter page: Follow Birmingham on Twitter


Education rank: 61

High School graduation rate 2007: 79%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 0

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 20

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 8.74

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 255

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 15.6

Total Expenditures Per Student: $11,092


Health rank: 73

Quality children’s hospitals: 1

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.43

Quality Pediatricians: 0

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 3.33


Safety rank: 88

Violent Crimes, 2008: 3,249

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1,420.03

Sex Offenders: 535

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 233.83


Economy rank: 66

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 21.7

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 11

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 1,336.38

Median Home Sale Price: $119,100

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 18.34%

Recreation Rank: 64

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 2000

Parkland per 100,000: 874.13


Photo courtesy of Andre Natta