Alabama, located in the southeastern portion of the United States, is bordered by Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Tennessee and Georgia. The cost of living in Alabama is almost 19% lower than the national average. Affordability is one of the benefits of living in Alabama's cities.
Located in the southeastern corner of Alabama, Dothan is about 18 miles north of Florida and 20 miles west of Georgia. It is the largest town in the southeastern part of the state with a population of approximately 65,000. Since Dothan produces one-fourth of U.S. peanut crops, it is often referred to as "The Peanut Capital of the World." The city also produces tomatoes and cotton and is very close to the Ft. Rucker military base. Dothan has the lowest cost of living in Alabama and the 19th lowest cost of living in the U.S.
Decatur, located on Wheeler Lake in northern Alabama, is commonly referred to as "The River City" due to its proximity to the Tennessee River. Decatur's estimated population is around 55,000 with the larger Decatur metropolitan area boasting around 150,000 residents. Because the Port of Decatur is the largest port on the Tennessee River, several Fortune 500 companies such as 3M, BP and General Electric have plants in the city. Housing, utility and grocery costs in Decatur are consistently below the national average.
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Tuscaloosa, the fifth-largest city in Alabama with around 90,000 residents, is located in the western central part of the state along the Black Warrior River. Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama and Stillman College, both of which employ many people in the area. The university also brings Tuscaloosa a large number of temporary residents every year. Many major companies have offices or plants in Tuscaloosa, including Mercedes-Benz and BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing.