Alabama (State)

State of Alabama
Coordinates 32°42’N, 86°42’WL
General
Surface 135,765 km²
(3.2% water)
Inhabitants 4,779,745 (2010)
(35.21 inhabitant/km²)
Capital city Montgomery
Politics
Governor Kay Ivey (R)
Other
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC−6)
Joined Dec 14, 1819
Nickname The Yellowhammer State
ISO 3166-2 US-AL
Website alabama.gov

Alabama is one of the states of the United States. Its standard abbreviation is AL, nicknamed Yellowhammer State (golden ground woodpecker state). The capital is Montgomery.

History

The area that now forms the state of Alabama was originally settled by Native American tribes. The French, the Spaniards and the English lay claim to (pieces of) the area. The first permanent European settlement in Alabama was Mobile which was founded by the French in 1702.

Alabama formally became the 22nd state of the United States of America on December 14, 1819. Tuscaloosa was the capital between 1826 and 1846, and the University of Alabama was established there in 1831.

Alabama, with an economy based on cotton farming, was rich in slaves and sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War. In 1865, the state, like the other former Confederate states, underwent reconstruction. Racism was also a major problem after the war in the state, where some racist laws were passed at the end of the 19th century, causing the black population to lose the right to vote, among other things. These laws were overturned by the Federal Supreme Court in the 1960s.

In the 1950s, the federal Supreme Court outlawed segregation in education. This led to great tensions as the Alabama government continued to refuse to admit black children to white schools. The federal army had to step in to get children to school safely. With his stubborn politics, Governor George Wallace became very popular among the white population.

Rosa Parks, who was born in Alabama, became world famous for her refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white person after a long day at work.

In the second half of the 20th century, cotton cultivation lost significance and the economy became more diverse and prosperity increased.

Nevertheless, in the elections of November 2, 2004, the population voted in favor of formally maintaining the apartheid laws. This concerns segregation in education and the poll tax, a poll tax, which gives taxpayers the right to vote. The laws are not applied because federal law prohibits it.

Geography

The state of Alabama covers 135,765 km² of which 3.19% is water. The state belongs to the Central time zone (CT).

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama is bordered by the state of Tennessee to the north, Mississippi to the west, Georgia to the east, and Florida to the south.

The major rivers are the Mobile, the Tensaw, the Tombigbee, the Alabama, the Chattahoochee, the Coosa, the Tallapoosa, and the Tennessee. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway connects shipping with the Tennessee River to the north. Alabama has many large lakes, such as Martin Lake and Lewis Smith Lake. The northeast of the state belongs to the Appalachians, with the highest point being the top of Cheaha Mountain (734 m); the rest is flatter.

The state is crossed by six major Interstates: I-10, I-20, I-22, I-59, I-65, and I-85. The state’s main airport is Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Demography and Economics

  • Birmingham
  • Montgomery
  • Mobile
  • Huntsville

In 2018, Alabama had a population of 4,888,745 (36 per km²) of which 26% were black and approximately 67% white. Christianity is by far the largest religion in Alabama at 92%.

According to TRACKAAH, the top 10 largest cities by population are:

Place City Population
(2008)
1 Birmingham 210.710
2 Montgomery 199,450
3 mobile 190.022
4 Huntsville 176,645
5 Tuscaloosa 90.221
6 Hoover 71,020
7 Dothan 66,505
8 auburn 56,088
9 Decatur 56,068
10 Madison 38,714

The gross product of the state in 2001 was $121 billion.

Administrative division

According to COUNTRYAAH, Alabama is administratively subdivided into 67 counties that generally have little self-government.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Autauga 49.960 Prattville 32.034
Baldwin 171.769 Bay Minette 7726
Barbour 27.941 Clayton 1371
Bibb 21.535 Centreville 2526
Blount 56.614 Oneonta 6880
Bullock 10.781 Union Springs 4601
Butler 20.157 Greenville 7002
Calhoun 113.103 Anniston 23.689
Chambers 34.764 La Fayette 3036
Cherokee 24.560 Centre 3462
Chilton 42.299 Clanton 8742
Choctaw 14.173 Butler 1724
Clarke 26.496 Grove Hill 1348
Clay 13.788 Ashland 1873
Cleburne 14.700 Heflin 3511
Coffee 46.793 Elba 4129
Colbert 54.588 Tuscumbia 8241
Conecuh 13.160 Evergreen 3423
Coosah 10.864 Rockford 396
Covington 37.007 Andalusia 8705
Crenshaw 13.805 Luverne 2755
Cullman 80.554 Cullman 14.984
Dale 48.150 Ozark 14.639
Dallas 43.079 Selma 18.949
DeKalb 68.016 Fort Payne 13.916
Elmore 77.525 Wetumpka 7585
Escambia 37.600 Brewton 5281
Etowah 103.217 Gadsden 36.936
Fayette 17.648 Fayette 4696
Franklin 30.439 Russellville 8780
Geneva 25.707 Geneva 4401
Greene 9201 Eutaw 2973
Hale 18.111 Greensboro 2562
Henry 16.621 Abbeville 2944
Houston 97.171 Dothan 65.447
Jackson 53.030 Scottsboro 14.863
Jefferson 658.779 Birmingham 229.800
Lamar 14.447 Vernon 1913
Lauderdale 88.561 Florence 37.449
Lawrence 34.229 Moulton 3263
Lee 130.516 Opelika 25.836
Limestone 73.898 Athens 22.936
Lowndes 12.686 Hayneville 1117
Macon 22.336 Tuskegee 11.370
Madison 312.734 Huntsville 171.327
Marengo 21.276 Linden 2285
Marion 29.580 Hamilton 6381
Marshall 87.644 Guntersville 8267
Mobile 404.406 Mobile 191.411
Monroe 22.764 Monroeville 6425
Montgomery 225.791 Montgomery 204.086
Morgan 115.050 Decatur 55.741
Perry 10.602 Marion 3171
Pickens 19.651 Carrollton 935
Pike 29.925 Troy 14.482
Randolph 22.425 Wedowee 815
Russell 50.183 Phenix City 30.663
Shelby 182.113 Columbiana 3779
St. Clair 78.054 Ashville
Pell City
2511
12.492
Sumter 13.306 Livingston 3002
Talladega 80.255 Talladega 16.991
Tallapoosa 40.747 Dadeville 3218
Tuscaloosa 177.906 Tuscaloosa 88.722
Walker 68.816 Jasper 13.978
Washington 17.226 Chatom 1160
Wilcox 12.779 Camden 2214
Winston 24.240 Double Springs 983

Politics and Governance

Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the country. From the end of the American Civil War to about the 1960s, the Democratic Party dominated the state, but in the 1964 election, the far-right Republican Barry Goldwater won. Since 1980, Republicans have begun to gain ground in the state, especially among conservative Christians. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won the state with more than 62% of the vote.

State level

The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. The current governor is Kay Ivey of the Republican Party. She succeeded her party colleague Robert Bentley in 2017, after he had to resign after a financing scandal. Ivey was elected to a full term of his own in 2018. She is the second female governor in Alabama history, after Lurleen Wallace in the 1960s.

The state legislature consists of the Alabama House of Representatives with 105 members and the Alabama Senate with 35 members.

Flag of Alabama