Alabama Population 2021

4,934,193
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Alabama's population was recently eclipsed by South Carolina's, pushing Alabama to 24th in state rank by population. Alabama's population growth is at 0.26% a year, which ranks it as the 36th fastest growing state.

Alabama Area and Population Density

Based on current population estimates, there are 94.4 people per square mile (36 per square kilometer) over a total surface area of 52,420 square miles, which ranks Alabama 27th in population density in the United States.

Alabama Gender and Religion Statistics

Alabama has a median age of 38.6 years for the overall population in 2018, with gender percentages currently at 51.5% Female and 48.5% Male (see chart further below).

A large majority of Alabamans - 86% - associate themselves with any variation of Christianity, the remaining 12% are unaffiliated to a particular religion in general.

Alabama Boundary, Census and Statehood History

Most of present-day Alabama was part of Georgia until the south-central part was included in Mississippi Territory, whose establishment was authorized by Congress in 1798 and agreed to by Georgia in 1802. In 1804, Mississippi Territory was expanded to include the rest of Alabama except for the Gulf Coast portion, which was added in 1812 although still in dispute with Spain until 1819. Alabama became a territory in 1817, and was admitted as the 22nd State on December 14, 1819 with substantially its present boundaries (Encyclopedia of Alabama, 2018).

Census coverage of Alabama began in 1800, included much of the State by 1820, and added the rest by 1840. The totals for 1800 and 1810 are for areas then in Mississippi Territory. In 1820 the official State total (127,901) did not include the population (16,416) of three counties whose census returns only arrived in Washington in 1822.

Alabama Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Alabama was:

  • White: 68.09%
  • Black or African American: 26.64%
  • Two or more races: 1.89%
  • Other race: 1.45%
  • Asian: 1.36%
  • Native American: 0.52%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%

Alabama Population History

Like other states across the US, the population of Alabama exploded at the start of the 19th century. Recorded figures from 1800 show the number of residents at just 1,250 but by 1810, that had grown by no less than 623.7% to 9,046.

Further substantial population growth was recorded throughout the 1800s, and although the larger increases had settled down by the start of the next century, growth has continued to be recorded at every following census.

However, in the years between 1990 and 2000, that percentage increase was on the move once again, and at the start of the new millennium, Alabama’s numbers had grown by 10.1% to 4,447,100.

Alabama Population Growth

With regards to Alabama’s natural growth, the state recorded 502,457 births minus 381,403 deaths and an increase in net migration of 104,991 in the years between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses.

Overall, like most of the US, Alabama’s growth has been on a reliable upward trend, but it’s also been a little unremarkable. Further growth at its current rate will bring the population of the state to nearly 5 million by 2020.

Alabama Population Projections

Alabama's population has grown considerably but rather than this being a steady growth, the increase in citizens has been quite variable in recent years. For example, between 1970 and 1980 the population grew by an impressive 13.1% but in the ten years that followed, a mere 3.8% rise was recorded.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the influx of major metropolitan areas, such as the city of Birmingham and the counties of Baldwin (16%), Lee (14%), and Limestone (13%). Jefferson County remains the top populated county with a total current estimate of over 650,000 and a growth rate of .17%.

Alabama has one of the largest populations of African American residents in the United States. With over 26% of the population identifying as black or African American, this state ranks 7th when compared to the other 49 states plus Washington D.C. This large population is a result of slaves that were brought to the region, which was known as the "Black Belt." Following the abolishment of slavery after the Civil War, many African Americans settled in this region to work in agriulture.

Alabama has a very low percentage of residents that identify with two or more races -- accounting for just over 1% of the population. This puts Alabama in 48th place when compared to other states. It also has a lower population of Asians and Hispanics than the majority of other states, while its population of whites and American Indians fall about squarely in the middle when compared to other states. Alabama did, however, see 145% growth in its Hispanic population between the years 2000 and 2010, which led to a total population increase of 27.7% from 2000 to 2009.

While there is a high percentage of white residents, the median age of whites is 41.2 years, according to data from 2010. Hispanics and African Americans have median ages of 24.8 and 32.2 years, respectively, which could indicate a change in future demographics.

Alabama Growth Rate

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Alabama Population Rank

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Alabama Population 2021

  • The State Constitution of Alabama is one of the longest in the US, containing over 700 amendments.
  • Magnolia Springs, Alabama, has mail delivered by boat and the only all-water mail route in the country.
  • Alabama is the largest supplier of steel pipe and cast-iron products, and the state has all of the natural resources needed to make these products.
  • Alabama was the 4th state to secede from the Union on January 11, 1861.
  • The Unclaimed Baggage Center of Scottsboro is where all unclaimed airline luggage is sent.
  • The Saturn V rocket, which was used during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, was built in Huntsville.
  • The first Mardi Gras was originally celebrated when Mobile was founded in 1702. Now, the annual celebration is held in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • The East Gulf Coastal Plain covers two-thirds of the state.
  • The state of Alabama has had five capitals throughout its history.

Alabama Facts

Alabama's easternmost county, Russell County, is experiencing the most rapid population growth in the state, increasing by 11.94% since 2010. Lee County, located directly north of Russell County, has experienced similar growth of 11.51%. To the south, Baldwin County has seen population growth of 11.2%, while Limestone County to the north has also experienced growth that exceeds 10%.

Some of the state's central counties, including Perry, Dallas, Lowndes, Macon, Coosa, and Greene, have seen declines in population since 2010, with Macon County topping the list with an 11.33% decline since 2010 based on 2015 US Census Bureau estimates. Many of Alabama's western counties have also seen declines, including Sumter, Choctaw, and Washington located on the western border.

Alabama Population Growth Rate by County

Alabama Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White3,320,24768.09%
Black or African American1,299,04826.64%
Two or More Races92,2201.89%
Some Other Race70,6621.45%
Asian66,2701.36%
American Indian and Alaska Native25,5650.52%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,2380.05%
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Alabama Population by Race

Alabama Population Pyramid $2021

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Alabama Median Age

39


Total

38


Male

41


Female

Alabama Adults

There are 3,779,874 adults, (804,881 of whom are seniors) in Alabama.

Alabama Age Dependency

64

Age Dependency Ratio

27

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37

Child Dependency Ratio

Alabama Sex Ratio

Female

2,516,895

51.62%

Male

2,359,355

48.38%

Alabama Population by Age

Alabama Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Alabama Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married85%16%
All69%31%
Male61%39%
Non Family56%44%
Female49%51%

69.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Alabama Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All1,867,893369
Married883,521385
Non Family640,385156
Female264,617449
Male79,370361

3

Average Family Size

3

Average Household Size

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Alabama Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade142,9994.31%
9th to 12th Grade315,9239.51%
High School Graduate1,022,83930.80%
Some College711,02821.41%
Associates Degree282,3168.50%
Bachelors Degree529,17815.93%
Graduate Degree316,5949.53%
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Alabama Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Alabama Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White2,288,8142,022,536643,416
Black831,045691,558149,196
Hispanic103,07463,80216,205
Asian44,44038,41622,685
2+ Races39,43533,74811,265
Other Race34,41518,3253,452
Native American18,05014,3253,252
Islander1,4221,084252

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 88.37%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 51.05%.

Alabama Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,567$44,249$30,067
Less Than 9th Grade$22,172$26,478$16,189
High School Graduate$29,892$36,172$22,350
Some College$33,590$44,083$27,354
Bachelors Degree$50,516$64,767$41,331
Graduate Degree$60,823$83,273$53,388

$36,567

Average Earnings

$44,249

Average Male

$30,067

Average Female

Alabama Earnings by Educational Attainment

Alabama Language by Age

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Alabama Language

94.66% of Alabama residents speak only English, while 5.34% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.35% of the population.

Alabama Language

Alabama Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White3,129,248367,61111.75%
Black1,251,793338,10227.01%
Hispanic203,80460,90829.89%
Other69,39123,82434.33%
Multiple89,84819,90622.16%
Asian64,9288,62313.28%
Native24,8604,21016.93%
Islander2,17454525.07%

16.74%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.94%

Male Poverty Rate

18.41%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Alabama

The race most likely to be in poverty in Alabama is Other, with 34.33% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Alabama is White, with 11.75% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.43%. Among those working part-time, it was 20.08%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.92%.

Alabama Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade29.42%
High School15.83%
Some College11.14%
Bachelors or Greater4.32%

Alabama Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed43.57%
Male Unemployed31.15%
Female Employed9.20%
Male Employed5.84%

Alabama Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Alabama Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$50,536$69,842
Families$64,430$83,896
Married Families$79,819$99,369
Non Families$27,335$40,857
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Income by Household Type

Alabama Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

48.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

50.0%

Male Marriage Rate

46.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Alabama Married by Age and Sex

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Alabama Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Alabama Marital Status by Race

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Alabama Marital Status

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330,207

Number of Veterans

296,507

Male Veterans

33,700

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam119,623
First Gulf War81,396
Second Gulf War71,063
Korea23,824
World War II7,166

Alabama Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 7486,584
35 to 5483,094
55 to 6467,976
75+66,459
18 to 3426,094

Alabama Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White244,3369.30%
Black75,7687.78%
Hispanic6,6775.36%
2+ Races5,07210.05%
Native American2,02810.00%
Other Race1,4233.41%
Asian1,3242.61%
Islander25616.93%

Alabama Veterans by Race

Alabama Veterans by Education

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7.42%

Veteran Poverty Rate

32.65%

Veteran Disability Rate

Alabama Veterans by Education

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57%

Labor Force Participation

54%

Employment Rate

6%

Unemployment Rate

Alabama Employment by Age

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Alabama Employment by Race

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Alabama Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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69.55%

Born in Alabama

96.45%

Native Born

3.55%

Foreign Born

2.16%

Non Citizen

1.39%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

96.45% of Alabama residents were born in the United States, with 69.55% having been born in Alabama. 2.16% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Alabama Place of Birth

  1. Alabama State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)

Sources