Alabama, also known for its warm and welcoming nature and thriving college football programs, is a significant state in the Southern region of the United States. Boasting a population of more than 5 million, the Heart of Dixie is home to numerous major cities with a population exceeding 50,000. Let’s take a closer look at some of the largest cities in Alabama.
1. Huntsville (Population: 216,963)
With a populous of Alabama, Huntsville is the largest city. It is situated in the Appalachian Region of northern Alabama and saw remarkable growth after WWII, thanks to the Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center development. The key industries in Huntsville are manufacturing, retail, automobiles, and aerospace and military technology. Huntsville is also known for its diverse cultural attractions, including the Huntsville Botanical Garden and Huntsville Museum of Art.
2. Montgomery (Population: 198,665)
Montgomery, located in Alabama, is the state’s capital and the second-largest city. It is renowned for its significant role in the civil rights movement. It has several museums and monuments dedicated to this subject, such as the Legacy Museum and the Civil Rights Memorial. Despite being a mid-sized city, Montgomery has one of the most significant arts scenes, with institutions like the Montgomery Fine Arts Museum and events like the famous annual Shakespeare Festival. The city is also affordable for families and young professionals, with a median property value of $164,000, making it an ideal place to settle down.
3. Birmingham – (Population: 197,575)
Birmingham, located in Jefferson County, is the third largest city in Alabama and serves as a vital economic and cultural centre in the southern region of the United States. Previously known as the primary industrial hub of the area until the 1960s, the city now boasts major industries in banking, telecommunications, transportation, healthcare, insurance, and education. It is home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including the School of Medicine and School of Dentistry, and several other private colleges and universities. With a median property value of $173,000, Birmingham is one of the most affordable top 50 largest cities in the U.S., making it an excellent option for those seeking economic opportunity and exciting college sports.
4. Mobile: Population of 184,952
Located in the southwestern region of Alabama along the Gulf Coast, Mobile is a vibrant city that has been a hub for trade since its inception. The Port of Mobile plays a pivotal role in the local economy. Apart from that, Mobile boasts several art museums, a symphony orchestra, and one of the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. With friendly neighbours, southern hospitality, and a cost of living roughly 16% lower than the national average, Mobile is an ideal place for people from all walks of life to call home.
5. Tuscaloosa (Population: 100,618)
Located on the banks of the Black Warrior River in western Alabama, Tuscaloosa is renowned for being the residence of the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide football team, among the leading athletic programs in the NCAA. Tuscaloosa’s primary sectors include education, healthcare, and government, followed by manufacturing, with significant plants like BF Goodrich Tire and the Mercedes-Benz International assembly plant.
6. Hoover (Population: 92,589)
In north central Alabama, Hoover is a thriving suburban city that ranks as the 6th largest municipality in the state by population. As a part of the Birmingham metro area, Hoover is nestled along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. One of the city’s main attractions is the Riverchase Galleria, a prominent shopping and retail centre that includes a variety of retail outlets, hotels, and office complexes. Additionally, Hoover is home to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, a baseball stadium that was once the home field of the Birmingham Barons minor league team and is still used to host SEC and high school games.
7. Auburn (Population: 78,564)
Auburn, located in Lee County, is the largest city in Eastern Alabama and ranks 7th overall. It is most famous for being the home of Auburn University, the second-largest university in Alabama. Auburn is a serene college town that has quickly become one of the fastest-growing areas in the state due to its natural beauty, affordable homes, and numerous opportunities. The city boasts a top-ranked public school system, a low crime rate, and many job opportunities, which has earned it a spot among the top places to live in the U.S., according to several major publications.
8. Dothan (Population: 71,175)
The charming city of Dothan is located in the southeast corner of Alabama, just 20 miles west of Georgia and 16 miles north of Florida. Dubbed as the peanut capital of the world, Dothan is responsible for almost 25% of the peanuts sold in the United States. The city is home to the National Peanut Festival, a three-day event that features a pageant, parade, and grand peanut ball. With a median property value of $230,000, a mild climate, and low crime rates, Dothan is an ideal place to establish roots and call home.
9. Madison (Population: 58,357)
Located just 11 miles outside Huntsville, Madison is a charming city in northern Alabama. Despite its small-town feel, Madison boasts the amenities of a big city. With a median household income of $105,335, it’s an affluent suburb with abundant economic opportunities. The city’s largest employer is Intergraph, a computer software company. However, many residents also work at Cummings Research Park and Redstone Arsenal in Huntington. Madison’s low cost of living makes it an attractive location for diverse residents.
10. Decatur (Population: 57,804)
Located in Morgan County, Decatur is the 10th largest city in Alabama. Known as “the River City,” it sits on the banks of Wheeler Lake, which flows into the Tennessee River. High-tech companies like Vulcan Materials, Toray, and United Launch Alliance have a presence in Decatur, along with Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, 3M, and the Tennessee Valley Company. With a median property value of $239,500 and plenty of job opportunities, Decatur is ideal for families and young professionals to call home.
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