Alabama

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Alabama

Alabama is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south; and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the “Heart of Dixie” and the “Cotton State”. The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama’s capital is Montgomery, and its largest city by population and area is Huntsville. Its oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana. Greater Birmingham is Alabama’s largest metropolitan area and its economic center.

Alabama is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south; and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the “Heart of Dixie” and the “Cotton State”. The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama’s capital is Montgomery, and its largest city by population and area is Huntsville. Its oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana. Greater Birmingham is Alabama’s largest metropolitan area and its economic center.

Alabama is the thirtieth-largest state in the United States with 52,419 square miles (135,760 km2) of total area: 3.2% of the area is water, making Alabama 23rd in the amount of surface water, also giving it the second-largest inland waterway system in the United States. About three-fifths of the land area is part of the Gulf Coastal Plain, a gentle plain with a general descent towards the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The North Alabama region is mostly mountainous, with the Tennessee River cutting a large valley and creating numerous creeks, streams, rivers, mountains, and lakes.

Alabama is bordered by the states of Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama has coastline at the Gulf of Mexico, in the extreme southern edge of the state. The state ranges in elevation from sea level at Mobile Bay to more than 2,000 feet (610 m) in the northeast, to Mount Cheaha at 2,413 ft (735 m).

Climate

The state is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa) under the Koppen Climate Classification. The average annual temperature is 64 °F (18 °C). Temperatures tend to be warmer in the southern part of the state with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern parts of the state, especially in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, tend to be slightly cooler. Generally, Alabama has very hot summers and mild winters with copious precipitation throughout the year. Alabama receives an average of 56 inches (1,400 mm) of rainfall annually and enjoys a lengthy growing season of up to 300 days in the southern part of the state.

Summers in Alabama are among the hottest in the U.S., with high temperatures averaging over 90 °F (32 °C) throughout the summer in some parts of the state. Alabama is also prone to tropical storms and hurricanes. Areas of the state far away from the Gulf are not immune to the effects of the storms, which often dump tremendous amounts of rain as they move inland and weaken.

Demographics

According to the 2020 United States census the population of Alabama was 5,024,279 on April 1, 2020, which represents an increase of 244,543 or 5.12%, since the 2010 census. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 121,054 (502,457 births minus 381,403 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 104,991 into the state.

Immigration from outside the U.S. resulted in a net increase of 31,180 people, and migration within the country produced a net gain of 73,811 people. The state had 108,000 foreign-born (2.4% of the state population), of which an estimated 22.2% were undocumented (24,000).

Language

Most Alabama residents (95.1% of those five and older) spoke only English at home in 2010, a minor decrease from 96.1% in 2000. Alabama English is predominantly Southern, and is related to South Midland speech which was taken across the border from Tennessee. In the major Southern speech region, there is the decreasing loss of the final r, for example the “boyd” pronunciation of “bird”. In the northern third of the state, there is a South Midland “arm” and “barb” rhyming with “form” and “orb”. Unique words in Alabama English include: redworm (earthworm), peckerwood (woodpecker), snake doctor and snake feeder (dragonfly), tow sack (burlap bag), plum peach (clingstone), French harp (harmonica), and dog irons (andirons).

Religion

Highlands United Methodist Church in Birmingham, part of the Five Points South Historic District Highlands United Methodist Church in Birmingham, part of the Five Points South Historic District Temple B’Nai Sholom in Huntsville, established in 1876. It is the oldest synagogue building in continuous use in the state. 

The Islamic Center of Tuscaloosa In the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 86% of Alabama respondents reported their religion as Christian, including 6% Catholic, with 11% as having no religion.  The composition of other traditions is 0.5% Mormon, 0.5% Jewish, 0.5% Muslim, 0.5% Buddhist, and 0.5% Hindu. Alabama is located in the middle of the Bible Belt, a region of numerous Protestant Christians. 

Alabama has been identified as one of the most religious states in the United States, with about 58% of the population attending church regularly. A majority of people in the state identify as Evangelical Protestant. As of 2010, the three largest denominational groups in Alabama are the Southern Baptist Convention, The United Methodist Church, and non-denominational Evangelical Protestant.

Economy

The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication. By 2006, crop and animal production in Alabama was valued at $1.5 billion. In contrast to the primarily agricultural economy of the previous century, this was only about one percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The number of private farms has declined at a steady rate since the 1960s, as land has been sold to developers, timber companies, and large farming conglomerates.

Agriculture

Alabama’s agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, cattle, fish, plant nursery items, peanuts, cotton, grains such as corn and sorghum, vegetables, milk, soybeans, and peaches. Although known as “The Cotton State”, Alabama ranks between eighth and tenth in national cotton production, according to various reports, with Texas, Georgia and Mississippi comprising the top three.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture is a large part of the economy of Alabama. Alabamians began to practice aquaculture in the early 1960s. U.S. farm-raised catfish is the 8th most popular seafood product in America. By 2008, approximately 4,000 people in Alabama were employed by the catfish industry and Alabama produced 132 million pounds of catfish. In 2020, Alabama produced ⅓ of the United States’ farm-raised catfish. The total 2020 sales of catfish raised in Alabama equaled $307 million but by 2020 the total employment of Alabamians fell to 2,442.

Industry

Alabama’s industrial outputs include iron and steel products (including cast-iron and steel pipe); paper, lumber, and wood products; mining (mostly coal); plastic products; cars and trucks; and apparel. In addition, Alabama produces aerospace and electronic products, mostly in the Huntsville area, the location of NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Materiel Command, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal.

Tourism and Entertainment

Alabama’s beaches are one of the state’s major tourist destinations. According to Business Insider, Alabama ranked 14th in most popular states to visit in 2014. An estimated 26 million tourists visited the state in 2017 and spent $14.3 billion, providing directly or indirectly 186,900 jobs in the state, which includes 362,000 International tourists spending $589 million.

The state is home to various attractions, natural features, parks and events that attract visitors from around the globe, notably the annual Hangout Music Festival, held on the public beaches of Gulf Shores; the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, one of the ten largest Shakespeare festivals in the world; the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, a collection of championship caliber golf courses distributed across the state; casinos such as Victoryland; amusement parks such as Alabama Splash Adventure; the Riverchase Galleria, one of the largest shopping centers in the southeast; Guntersville Lake, voted the best lake in Alabama by Southern Living Magazine readers; and the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the oldest museum in the state.

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