Helena is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Greater Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan area. It is also one of three cities, along with Alabaster and Pelham, that make up the area known as "North Shelby" or "North Shelby County". As of the 2000 census the population was 10,296. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth lowest crime rate per population in the U.S. , and the city was ranked in Money Magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S. , placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).