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State of Alabama
Flag of Alabama State seal of Alabama
Flag of Alabama Seal
Nickname(s): Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie
Motto(s): Audemus jura nostra defendere
Map of the United States with Alabama highlighted
Official languageEnglish
Spoken languagesEnglish 96.17%, Spanish 2.12%
Largest cityBirmingham
AreaRanked 30th
 • Total52,419 sq mi
(135,765 km2)
 • Width190 miles (306 km)
 • Length330 miles (531 km)
 • % water3.20
 • Latitude{{{Latitude}}}
 • Longitude84°51'W to 88°28'W
PopulationRanked 23rd
 • Total4,779,736[1]
 • Density94.4/sq mi  (36.4/km2)
Ranked 29th
 • Highest pointMount Cheaha
2,408 ft (734 m)
 • Mean499 ft  (152 m)
 • Lowest pointSea level
Admission to UnionDecember 14, 1819 (22nd)
GovernorKay Ivey (R)
Lieutenant GovernorWill Ainsworth (R)
 • Upper house{{{Upperhouse}}}
 • Lower house{{{Lowerhouse}}}
U.S. SenatorsRichard Shelby (R)
Doug Jones (D)
U.S. House delegationList
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/DST-5
Alabama state symbols
Flag of Alabama.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianRed Hills salamander
BirdYellowhammer, Wild Turkey
ButterflyEastern Tiger Swallowtail
FishLargemouth bass, Fighting tarpon
FlowerCamellia, Oak-leaf Hydrangea
InsectMonarch Butterfly
MammalAmerican Black Bear, Racking horse
ReptileAlabama red-bellied turtle
TreeLongleaf Pine
Inanimate insignia
BeverageConecuh Ridge Whiskey
ColorsRed, White
DanceSquare Dance
FoodPecan, Blackberry, Peach
GemstoneStar Blue Quartz
ShellJohnstone's Junonia
SloganShare The Wonder,
Alabama the beautiful,
Where America finds its voice,
Sweet Home Alabama
SongAlabama (song)
State route marker
Alabama state route marker
State quarter
Alabama quarter dollar coin
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols

Alabama is a state in the United States. Its capital city is Montgomery. The largest city is Birmingham. It became a state in 1819.

Geography[change | change source]

Alabama terrain map: it shows lakes, rivers, and roads. Mount Cheaha can also be seen in the right center, east of Birmingham.

Alabama is the thirty-first largest state in the United States with 52,423 square miles (135,775 km²) of total area. 3.19% of the area is water, making Alabama twenty-third 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 a plain with a general downward slope towards the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. North Alabama has mostly mountains, with the Tennessee River cutting a large valley creating many creeks, streams, rivers, mountains, and lakes.

The states bordering Alabama are 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 very southern edge of the state. Alabama ranges in elevation from sea level at "Mobile Bay" to over 1,800 feet (550 m) in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast. The highest point is "Mount Cheaha", at a height of 2,407 ft (734 m). Alabama's land has 22 million acres (89,000 km2) of forest or 67% of total land area. "Suburban Baldwin County", along the Gulf Coast, is the largest county in the state in both land area and water area.

Climate[change | change source]

The state is classified as subtropical Cfa under the Koppen Climate Classification. The normal annual temperature is 64 °F (18 °C). Temperatures are often warmer in the southern part of the state because it is close to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern parts of the state, mostly in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, tend to be slightly cooler. Most of the time, Alabama has very hot summers and mild winters with copious rain 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 United States, with high temperatures averaging over 90 °F (32 °C) throughout the summer in some parts of the state. Alabama also gets many tropical storms and even hurricanes. Areas of the state far away from the Gulf can still feel the effects of the storms, which often dump big amounts of rain as they move inland and weaken.

Population[change | change source]

Population density map of Alabama.

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, estimated Alabama's population at 4,661,900, which is an increase of 214,545, or 4.8%, since the 2000 census. This is a natural increase since the last census of 121,054 people (that is 502,457 births minus 381,403 deaths) and an increase because of net migration of 104,991 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 31,180 people, and migration within the country got 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 illegal immigrants (24,000).

Economy[change | change source]

According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 2008 total gross state product was $170 billion, or $29,411 per capita. Alabama's 2008 GDP increased (went up) 0.7% from the past year. The single largest increase came in the area of information. In 1999, per capita income for the state was $18,189.

Alabama's agricultural outputs are poultry and eggs, cattle, plant nursery items, peanuts, cotton, grains (such as corn and sorghum), vegetables, milk, soybeans, and peaches. Although known as "The Cotton State", many reports say that Alabama is between eight and ten in national cotton making, with Texas, Georgia and Mississippi making up the top three.

Alabama's company outputs are iron and steel products (like cast-iron and steel pipe); paper, lumber, and wood items; mining (mostly coal); plastic things; cars and trucks; and apparel. Alabama also makes aerospace and electronic things, mostly in the "Huntsville" area, location of NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the US Army Aviation and Missile Command, headquartered at "Redstone Arsenal."

Education[change | change source]

Primary and secondary education[change | change source]

"Public primary and secondary education" in Alabama is under the review of the Alabama State Board of Education as well as local oversight by 67 county school boards and 60 city boards of education. Together, 1,541 separate schools have education for 743,364 elementary and secondary students.

Colleges and universities[change | change source]

Alabama's programs of higher education are 14 four-year public universities, two-year community colleges, and 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities. In the state are two medical schools, University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of South Alabama, two veterinary colleges, Auburn University and Tuskegee University, a dental school, University of Alabama, an optometry college, two pharmacy schools, Auburn University and Samford University, and five law schools, University of Alabama School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Miles Law School, and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. Public, post-secondary education in Alabama is overseen by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Colleges and universities in Alabama offer degree programs from two-year associate degrees to 16 doctor level programs.

Government[change | change source]

The governor of Alabama is Kay Ivey, a Republican. The lieutenant governor of Alabama is Will Ainsworth, a Republican, and the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is Sue Bell Cobb, a Democrat.

Notable people from Alabama[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Resident Population Data". Retrieved 30 December 2010.