Mountain Brook: a Wealthy Oasis With Rich History

Nestled in Jefferson County, southeast of Birmingham, Mountain Brook is a city steeped in history and opulence. Established in 1942, it operates under a council/manager government, carefully overseen by a city manager and guided by a mayor.

Originally conceived by Robert Jemison Jr. in the 1920s as a haven for the affluent, the city has flourished into a prosperous community. Its population of 20,178, predominantly white demographic, and median household income of $152,646 underscore its affluence.

Boasting a robust public education system through Mountain Brook Schools, access to higher education institutions, and strategic connectivity via highways and proximity to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, the city offers a blend of prosperity and cultural vibrancy.

Enriched by recreational facilities, annual events, and a thriving art scene, Mountain Brook provides residents and visitors with a multitude of opportunities to engage in the community and enjoy a high quality of life.

Key Takeaways

  • Mountain Brook is a city located in Jefferson County, southeast of Birmingham.
  • The city was incorporated in 1942 and operates under a council/manager form of government.
  • Mountain Brook City was developed in the 1920s to preserve natural surroundings for wealthy residents.
  • The city has a predominantly white population, with a high median household income and per capita income.

Location and Government

Mountain Brook, located in Jefferson County, operates under a council/manager form of government, with the city manager supervising city operations and a mayor overseeing the city's governance.

The city manager plays a crucial role in city management, being responsible for the efficient functioning of various municipal departments and services. This includes budget management, infrastructure development, and personnel oversight.

The mayor's role, on the other hand, is to provide leadership in governing the city, representing the community, and serving as the ceremonial head. The mayor also works with the city council to set policies, make decisions, and ensure that the city operates in the best interest of its residents.

Together, the city manager and the mayor play pivotal roles in ensuring the effective functioning and governance of Mountain Brook.


In the 1920s, Mountain Brook City originated from the Mountain Brook Estates community developed by Robert Jemison Jr., with the intention of preserving the natural surroundings for future wealthy residents. This historical development is marked by racial restrictions, as the community was initially limited to whites.

Robert Jemison Jr. also imposed constraints on the types of businesses permitted in the area. The name 'Mountain Brook' itself was derived from the Mountain Brook Store in Blount County, reflecting the area's deep roots and ties to its natural surroundings.

This history underscores the complex dynamics of wealth, race, and urban development, shedding light on the origins of Mountain Brook as a wealthy oasis with a rich, albeit nuanced, history.


The population of Mountain Brook, as estimated in the 2020 Census, was predominantly identified as white, comprising approximately 98.0 percent of the residents. This high percentage indicates a lack of racial diversity within the city. The median household income in Mountain Brook was reported to be $152,646, with a per capita income of $92,453, demonstrating the affluence of the community. Public education is overseen by Mountain Brook Schools, reflecting the emphasis on educational excellence within the city. The demographics point to a wealthy, predominantly white population with high median incomes, suggesting a lack of diversity in both race and income levels.

Demographic Percentage
White 98.0%
Other 2.0%


Overseeing four elementary schools, one junior high, and one senior high school, Mountain Brook Schools is responsible for the public education in the city.

Private Schools

The city also boasts a number of prestigious private schools, including The Altamont School and The Donoho School, offering alternative educational opportunities for families seeking non-public education. These private institutions provide rigorous academic programs, often with smaller class sizes and specialized curricula, catering to the diverse needs of the student population.

Higher Education Opportunities

Situated close to major institutions of higher learning, such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Samford University, Mountain Brook residents have access to top-tier college experiences. Additionally, the proximity to other educational institutions including Miles College, Birmingham School of Law, Lawson State Community College, and Southeastern Bible College, further enhances the city's reputation for providing diverse and enriching educational opportunities.

Transportation and Places of Interest

Responsibly managing the city's transportation infrastructure and showcasing its diverse attractions, Mountain Brook offers residents and visitors convenient access to major highways, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, golf courses, parks, and the Birmingham Zoo. The city's strategic location within the bounds of major highways and interstates makes it easily accessible. Additionally, the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport provides efficient air travel options. Mountain Brook boasts various recreational facilities, including well-maintained golf courses and scenic parks, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities. The Birmingham Zoo, home to a wide array of animal species, is a popular attraction for families and wildlife enthusiasts. The Mountain Brook Art Association hosts an annual art show, and the city also hosts a holiday parade in early December, offering cultural events that add vibrancy to the city's atmosphere.

Recreational Facilities Cultural Events Transportation
Golf Courses Annual Art Show Major Highways
Parks Holiday Parade International Airport
Birmingham Zoo

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Main Industries and Employment Opportunities in Mountain Brook?

Main industries in Mountain Brook include professional services, healthcare, finance, and retail. Employment opportunities are abundant in these sectors, contributing to the city's economic growth and fostering a need for continuous workforce development.

How Does Mountain Brook Support and Promote Local Businesses and Entrepreneurs?

Mountain Brook supports local businesses through economic development initiatives, fostering entrepreneurship opportunities, and promoting community involvement. The city provides resources, networking events, and mentorship programs to nurture and grow small enterprises.

What Are Some of the Cultural and Artistic Events or Organizations in Mountain Brook?

Mountain Brook offers a vibrant cultural scene, featuring annual cultural festivals and art shows organized by the Mountain Brook Art Association. The city also boasts several art galleries, enriching the community with diverse artistic experiences.

How Does Mountain Brook Address Environmental Conservation and Sustainability in the Community?

Mountain Brook has a proactive approach to environmental initiatives, fostering sustainability through community engagement. The city's picturesque landscapes and habitats are preserved through conservation efforts, promoting a harmonious coexistence with nature.

What Are Some Unique Local Traditions or Annual Events in Mountain Brook?

Local traditions and annual events in Mountain Brook include the Mountain Brook Art Association's annual art show, a holiday parade in early December, and various historical celebrations. These events foster community engagement and showcase the city's rich cultural heritage.


In conclusion, Mountain Brook's rich history, distinctive government structure, affluent demographic, strong public education system, and convenient transportation links make it a highly desirable community in Alabama.

The city's emphasis on preserving natural surroundings and offering cultural and recreational opportunities creates a sophisticated and vibrant oasis for its residents.

With its prosperous and culturally rich environment, Mountain Brook stands as a shining example of a well-rounded and thriving community.

Our Reader’s Queries

Why is Mountain Brook Alabama so expensive?

Mountain Brook has always been known as the wealthiest suburb in the state, with a high concentration of professionals and corporate executives. According to a recent article on, around 19 percent of the residents are employed in lucrative business and finance-related industries.

What is the ethnicity of Mountain Brook Alabama?

The population distribution by race is as follows: 97.7% white, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, and 1.0% Asian.

Is Mountain Brook AL a good place to live?

Mountain Brook, a Birmingham suburb, is home to 22,184 people and is situated in Jefferson County. It is widely considered one of the prime living spots in Alabama. Residents enjoy a tranquil suburban atmosphere and the majority own their homes. Mountain Brook boasts an abundance of dining establishments and parks, making it an ideal place to live for those who value quality living and leisurely amenities.

How many villages are in Mountain Brook?

The City boasts five unique shopping villages: Cahaba Village, Crestline Village, English Village, Mountain Brook Village, and Overton Village. It also has its own school system, featuring four elementary schools, a junior high for grades 7-9, and a high school for grades 10-12.

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