Thus far, I've lived in Birmingham 19 years and only recently have I become aware of how corrupt the city truly is. All-in-all, if you live in a decent part, e.g. Mountain Brook, Forest Park, and places of that caliber, you should be fine; however, Southside, Five Points South (despite the beautiful Highlands United Methodist Church), Woodlawn, and other places of that nature are rather dangerous. The crime rate is high, but if you live in one of the higher caliber places you hardly notice it-- until it bites you in the butt and you're made to realize that even though you live in the beautiful, lush Forest Park you're on the cusp of Avondale and the "black gang neighborhood"... Or simply... "the hood". Drug deals aren't uncommon and Five Points South is one of the sketchiest places you could go in the after-dark hours. The homeless population, and the addict population, reside there and panhandle relentlessly.
All of the aforementioned stated, it's still a nice place to visit and it has proven to be a nice place to live.
Birmingham, Alabama was once a beautiful city with a booming economy... Now, included in Jefferson County, it is corrupt and bankrupt and the population is comprised of more poor-to-do people than not.