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5 Reasons to Avoid Alabama

While many people love Alabama, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and many choose to avoid it. Country musician Connor Smith may have been right when he wrote his song declaring how much he hated it.

Sure, it has some benefits, but there’s also a long list of cons. You might want to reconsider if you’re considering visiting or living in the Yellowhammer State.

Today, we’re sharing five reasons to steer clear and answering some hard questions about the area.

Let’s dive in!

What is Alabama Known For?

Like most southern states, Alabama has earned a reputation for its tremendous hospitality. While there are a few old soreheads, many visitors find Alabamians friendly, accommodating, and willing to lend a hand. They’re the true definition of southern hospitality.

They’re also famous for their rich history, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. It played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and the Birmingham Campaign were all pivotal for the movement.

In addition, it’s nearly impossible to talk about the Heart of Dixie without talking about their love for football. They’re home to two powerhouses, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Since the BCS took over the selection process in 1998, the schools have teamed up for seven national championships.

Alabama is also famous for producing peanuts. The city of Dothan is often called the “Peanut Capital of the World.” Considering they host a festival to the legume, it’s hard to argue the title. However, it’s also one of the leading cotton producers in the country.

Is Alabama A Good State To Live In?

Whether or not you’ll want to avoid living in Alabama depends on your preferences and circumstances. Like most states, some places are better than others. You’ll want to consider various factors if you’re considering a move.

For example, it has one of the country’s lowest living costs. Housing, food, and other bills tend to be some of the cheapest in the nation. However, finding a steady and reliable job can be challenging as many areas have limited options. 

Regarding natural beauty, you’ll find diverse scenery that includes mountains, forests, and beaches. You can find plenty of ways to enjoy outdoor activities and incredible views. On the other hand, the weather can be extreme. The area can experience hurricanes, tornadoes, and summers that are hot and humid.

Where the state shines is in its hospitality and delicious cuisine. The people are friendly and welcoming, especially to their neighbors. If you move into town, expect to enjoy BBQ, fried chicken, or biscuits with a neighbor soon.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to living here. Deciding where to live is a significant decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of the town or city where you plan to move.

Mobile Bay Alabama at sunset
From beaches to forests, Alabama has some stunning scenery.

Is Alabama Safe To Visit?

While there are some things to worry about, safety isn’t typically one of them here. Violence and property crimes occur, but they’re not nearly as rampant as in other parts of the country. Overall, crime rates are lower than the national average.

However, if you plan to spend time outside, you should know there are snakes and spiders. You can find rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, black widows, and brown recluse spiders. Watch where you step and put your hands in nature to stay safe.

What is the Biggest Problem in Alabama?

Alabama, as a whole, faces a few significant issues they can’t avoid. A 2020 study by the state’s Business Confidence Index showed the most critical problems facing locals were education and workforce training. Unfortunately, this isn’t a new problem. They’ve listed it as the primary issue for five years.

Other major issues include economic and business development. Finding and keeping a job isn’t easy in this neck of the woods. In addition, parents may struggle with moving their families to one of the worst education systems in the country. Some lists rank the state as low as 47th out of 50 regarding education.

Pro Tip: You’ll love exploring these 5 Cool Places in Alabama.

Sweet Home Alabama sign
Sweet Home Alabama is generally safe to visit, but does have a few problems.

5 Reasons to Avoid Alabama

While there are many reasons to love Alabama, there are also some reasons why some people choose to avoid it. Let’s look at five reasons why we think you should skip this destination. 

#1 The Unpredictable Weather 

While Alabama generally has warm weather, it can be a crapshoot. Winters can be cooler, but summers can be brutal. These weather conditions can create dangerous situations, especially for anyone sensitive to heat.

The state not only sits in “Tornado Alley” but also can experience hurricanes. They had a particularly awful storm season in 2011, and Katrina and Sally affected many residents.

When it comes to the weather, it’s nearly impossible to know what to expect. It’s constantly changing; you never know when you’ll be in a dangerous situation. If you visit, watch the weather forecast and stay aware of any changes.

#2 There’s No Lottery

If you hope to strike it rich by winning the lottery, it won’t happen here. Alabama is one of only a handful of states that totally avoids gambling. This is mainly due to the many religious groups living in the area.

There have been several efforts to establish a lottery system, but they’ve all failed. Their constitution, which dates back to 1901, prohibits gambling. However, in 2021, the state Senate passed an amendment for gaming laws.

Unfortunately, the bill ran out of time in the House as lawmakers disagreed on various aspects of the proposed legislation. However, revenue generated from the lottery could help the state fund essential improvements, especially in education. We suspect this isn’t the end of the discussion for a lottery.

#3 The Bugs

Like many other southern states, roaches are an inevitable part of life. You’ll likely find them no matter how clean you keep your home. Keeping them out of your living space will require you to never let your guard down in the battle against them.

Additionally, you’ll find deadly spiders, ticks, mosquitos, and more than 170 species of ants. One bite from many of these critters can ruin your day. It might even require a trip to see a medical professional.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for these 5 Dangerous Creatures in Alabama.

Man covered in bugs
Alabama is full of creepy crawlies.

#4 The Food (For Better or For Worse) 

Many people have a love-hate relationship with many of Alabama’s most popular food items. It’s a southern state with the taste buds that come with the region. While these dishes may be incredibly delicious, they’re not good for you.

Deep frying is practically a way of life here. If you’re not careful, you can easily pack on a few extra pounds by chowing down on the fresh seafood plucked from the Gulf of Mexico or enjoying fried catfish. Additionally, there’s a good chance you’ll wash it back with a large glass of southern sweet tea, which only makes it worse for your body.

#5 High Poverty Rates

Another reason to avoid Alabama is its poor population. Approximately 16% of people live below the poverty line, above the national average of 11%. The limited number of jobs throughout the state plays a significant role. The available options are typically low-paying, well below the national average.

As we’ve mentioned, the educational infrastructure has a bad rep. Bad schools can make it nearly impossible for people to work out of poverty. This creates a cycle that can affect generation after generation.

Should You Avoid a Trip to Alabama?

While we may be dogging on Alabama, there are plenty of exciting things to experience you don’t want to avoid. It’s full of natural beauty, delicious foods, and thrilling sports.

If you can plan around the heat of summer, you’ll even enjoy some relatively mild temperatures. So visiting Alabama can be worth it if you want to cheer on the Tigers or the Tide, spend time in nature, or grab a bite to eat.

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