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One study published in by Salary. A study by website bizjournals. Birmingham's sales tax , which also applies fully to groceries, stands at 10 percent and is the highest tax rate of the nation's largest cities.
Although Jefferson County's bankruptcy filing in was the largest government bankruptcy in U. Protective Life was bought by the Japanese company Dai-Ichi in and removed from public trading. Birmingham has a distinctly Deep South culture and a dynamic Upper South influence that has molded its culture from its beginning. This is due to the city's location as the gateway opening to and from both regions and their influences. During this period Birmingham solidified itself as the most diverse city in Alabama and the hub of a growing multi-cultural metropolitan area.
This blending of southern cultures with international flavors is most evident in the city's cosmopolitan Southside neighborhood.
As the city's hub for bohemian culture and a long frequented nightlife area it is among the most popular and fastest growing in the city. Due to the presence of UAB it is the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood in the city. Birmingham is the cultural and entertainment capital of Alabama, with numerous art galleries in the area including the Birmingham Museum of Art , the largest art museum in the Southeast.
Downtown Birmingham is currently experiencing a cultural and economic rejuvenation, with several new independent shops and restaurants opening in the area. Birmingham is home to the state's major ballet, opera and symphony orchestra companies such as the Alabama Ballet ,  Alabama Symphony Orchestra , Birmingham Ballet , Birmingham Concert Chorale , and Opera Birmingham.
Birmingham's nightlife is primarily clustered around the Five Points South, Lakeview, and Avondale districts. Birmingham is home to several museums. The largest is the Birmingham Museum of Art , which is also the largest municipal art museum in the Southeast.
The area's history museums include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute , which houses a detailed and emotionally charged narrative exhibit putting Birmingham's history into the context of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame is housed in the historic Carver Theatre and offers exhibits about the numerous notable jazz musicians from the state of Alabama. The center also houses a major collection of fossil specimens for use by researchers. Birmingham is home to numerous cultural festivals showcasing music, films, and regional heritage. The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival brings filmmakers from all over the world to Birmingham to have their films viewed and judged. This festival usually is scheduled in late August at eight venues around downtown.
Screenings are concentrated at the Alabama Theatre. Since it began in , the festival has attracted hundreds of national headliners as well as local bands. In its first year, Sloss Fest had approximately 25, attendees over its two-day span. This all-day festival features national and local jazz acts. In , the festival drew an estimated 6, people. The Birmingham Folk Festival is an annual event held since It moved to Avondale Park in In the festival featured nine local bands and three touring "headliner bands".
The Southern Heritage Festival began in the s as a music, arts, and entertainment festival for the African-American community to attract mostly younger demographics. Do Dah Day is an annual pet parade held around the end of May. The Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil, an annual music festival event held in May to benefit local charities, always includes an all-star cast of talent.
It typically draws more than 30, spectators for the annual two-day event. The Greek Festival draws 20, patrons annually. Magic City Brewfest is an annual festival benefiting local grassroots organization, Free the Hops, and focusing on craft beer. Alabama Bound is an annual book and author fair that celebrates Alabama authors and publishers. Hosted by the Birmingham Public Library, it is an occasion where fans may meet their favorite authors, buy their books, and hear them read from and talk about their work.
Book signings follow each presentation. The Vulcan statue is a cast-iron representation of the Roman god of fire, iron and blacksmiths that is the symbol of Birmingham. The statue, cast for the St. Louis Exposition and erected at Vulcan Park in , stands high above the city looking down from a tower at the top of Red Mountain. Open to visitors, the tower offers views of the city below. The Birmingham Zoo is a large regional zoo with more than animals and a recently opened interactive children's zoo.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a acre ,square-metre park displaying a wide variety of plants in interpretive gardens, including formal rose gardens, tropical greenhouses, and a large Japanese garden. The facility also includes a white-tablecloth restaurant, meeting rooms, and an extensive reference library.
Aldridge offers a place to stroll, but is to add unique displays in coming years. Alabama Splash Adventure formerly VisionLand and Alabama Adventure in Bessemer serves as the Birmingham area's water and theme park, featuring numerous slides and water-themed attractions.
Kelly Ingram Park is the site of notable civil rights protests and adjacent to historic 16th Street Baptist Church. Red Mountain is one of the southernmost wrinkles in the Appalachian chain, and a scenic drive to the top provides views reminiscent of the Great Smoky Mountains further north. The Summit is an upscale lifestyle center with many stores and restaurants. It is located in Southeast Birmingham off U. Highway , parallel to Interstate The folk song " Down in the Valley ", also known as "Birmingham Jail", contains the lines, "Write me a letter, send it by mail; Send it in care of the Birmingham jail.
Randy Newman wrote a song titled "Birmingham" about a man living in the city. It was released as a track on his album Good Old Boys. The country band Blackhawk recorded the song "Postmarked Birmingham". Birmingham has no major professional sport franchises. The University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB Blazers has a popular basketball program and football program,  and Samford University , located in Homewood , has basketball and football teams.
The Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Hoover is home to the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament which drew more than , spectators in There is also an amateur soccer association, known as La Liga, and the Birmingham area hosts the Alabama Alliance basketball teams.
Birmingham was home to the Black Barons , a very successful Negro League baseball team. The Black Barons played home games at Rickwood Field , which is still standing in the Rising-West Princeton neighborhood, and is verified as being the oldest baseball field in America. Scenes from the movies Cobb , Soul of the Game and 42 were filmed at Rickwood. The city has had several pro football franchises.
A CFL franchise, the Birmingham Barracudas , played one season and then folded as the league ended its American franchise experiment. In , Legion Field hosted early rounds of Olympic soccer where it drew record crowds.
The field has also hosted men's and women's World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. A switch from natural grass to an artificial surface has left the stadium's role as a soccer venue in doubt. Motorsports are very popular in the Birmingham area and across the state, and the area is home to numerous annual motorsport races.
In the tournament was replaced by The Tradition , one of the Champions Tour's five "major" tour events. Birmingham has been selected to host the World Games in It will be the first time that an American city has hosted the event since the inaugural World Games were held in Santa Clara, California , in Birmingham is the home of a professional ice hockey team, the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
They play at the Civic Center in nearby Pelham. The Birmingham Bulls was also the name of a team that played in the World Hockey Association from to and the Central Hockey League from to This franchise was later sold to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Recreational fishing is popular in the Birmingham area. Over the last several years, [ which? Paralympic Training Facility is located in Birmingham and was a primary filming location for the documentary film Murderball , about wheelchair rugby players. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, was founded by Dr.
James Andrews in The institute's mission is to understand, prevent, and treat sports-related injuries. ASMI turned Birmingham into a major medical destination for professional athletes around the country. His orthopedics practice is frequently mentioned in books and articles. Birmingham has a strong-mayor variant mayor—council form of government, led by a mayor and a nine-member city council.
The current system replaced the previous city commission government in primarily as a way to remove Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor from power. By Alabama law, an issue before a city council must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote. Birmingham's current mayor is Randall Woodfin. In Birmingham established a structured network of neighborhood associations and community advisory committees to insure public participation in governmental issues that affect neighborhoods.
Neighborhood associations are routinely consulted on matters related to zoning changes, liquor licenses, economic development, policing and other city services. Neighborhoods are also granted discretionary funds from the city's budget to use for capital improvements. Each neighborhood's officers meet with their peers to form Community Advisory Committees, which are granted broader powers over city departments.
The presidents of these committees, in turn, form the Citizens' Advisory Board, which meets regularly with the mayor, council, and department heads. Birmingham is divided into a total of 23 communities, and again into a total of 99 individual neighborhoods with individual neighborhood associations. The main post office is located at 24th Street North in downtown Birmingham. This center is one of only seven in the United States that process Social Security entitlement claims and payments.
Birmingham's recent political history has gained national attention. During his term as mayor, Larry Langford was arrested on charges of bribery.
The banker, Bill Blount, and a lobbyist, Al la Pierre, pled guilty and were sentenced to brief prison sentences. Former mayor William A. Bell has also been the subject of national scrutiny. In , the mayor got into a physical altercation with city councilman Marcus Lundy. The fight sent both men to the hospital.
The city is served by the Birmingham City Schools system. It is run by the Birmingham Board of Education with a current active enrollment of 30, in 62 schools: Birmingham Public Library administers 21 branches throughout the city and is part of a wider system including another 19 suburban branches in Jefferson County, serving the entire community to provide education and entertainment for all ages.
The greater-Birmingham metropolitan area is the home of numerous independent school systems, because there has been a great deal of fragmentation of educational systems in Alabama and especially Jefferson County. Some of the school systems only have three to five schools.
However, there are many smaller school systems. The Birmingham area is reputed to be the home of some of Alabama's best high schools, colleges and universities.
The school remains among the nation's top five high schools. Mountain Brook High School placed th on the list. The metro area also has three highly regarded private college-preparatory schools: Birmingham is served by one major newspaper, The Birmingham News circulation , , which changed from daily to thrice-weekly publication on October 1, The Birmingham News' Wednesday edition features six subregional sections named East , Hoover , North , Shelby , South , and West that cover news stories from those areas.
The newspaper has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes , in and The Birmingham Post-Herald , the city's second daily, published its last issue in The Birmingham Times, a historic African-American newspaper, also is published weekly. Birmingham is served by the city magazine, Birmingham magazine , owned by The Birmingham News. Birmingham is home to EWTN Eternal Word Television Network , the world's largest Catholic media outlet and largest religious network of any kind, broadcasting to about million homes worldwide as of [update].
Before the first structure was built in Birmingham, the plan of the city was laid out over a total of 1, acres 4. The streets were numbered from west to east, leaving 20th Street to form the central spine of downtown, anchored on the north by Capital Park and stretching into the slopes of Red Mountain to the south. A "railroad reservation" was granted through the center of the city, running east to west and zoned solely for industrial uses.
As the city grew, bridges and underpasses separated the streets from the railroad bed, lending this central reservation some of the impact of a river without the pleasant associations of a waterfront.
In the early 20th century professional planners helped lay out many of the new industrial settlements and company towns in the Birmingham District, including Corey now Fairfield , which was developed for the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company subsequently purchased by U. At the same time, a movement to consolidate several neighboring cities gained momentum. Although local referendums indicated mixed feelings about annexation, the Alabama legislature enacted an expansion of Birmingham's corporate limits that became effective on January 1, The Robert Jemison Company developed many residential neighborhoods to the south and west of Birmingham which are still renowned for their aesthetic quality.
A plan for a system of parks, commissioned from the Olmsted Brothers , is seeing renewed interest with several significant new parks and greenways under development. Birmingham officials have approved a City Center Master Plan developed by Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh, which advocates strongly for more residential development in the downtown area. The plan also called for a major park over several blocks of the central railroad reservation: Railroad Park , which opened in The city of Birmingham has a higher than average percentage of households without a car.
The national average was 8. The city is served by four Interstate Highways: Beginning in downtown Birmingham is the Elton B. Highway 31 and U. Highway to, through, and over Red Mountain. Interstate 22 connects I and Memphis, Tennessee. Construction has begun on the first segment of I, a Northern Beltline Highway that will serve the suburbs on the opposite side of Birmingham from I Birmingham is served by three major railroad freight lines: Amtrak operates one passenger train, the Crescent , each direction daily.
Jefferson County Environmental Services serves the Birmingham metro area with sanitary sewer service. Sewer rates have increased in recent years  after citizens concerned with pollution in area waterways filed a lawsuit that resulted in a federal consent decree to repair an aging sewer system.
Because the estimated cost of the consent decree was approximately three times more than the original estimate, many blame the increased rates on corruption of several Jefferson County officials. Electric power is provided primarily by Alabama Power , a subsidiary of the Southern Company. Bessemer also operates its own water and sewer system. Cable television service is provided by Bright House Networks within the cities of Birmingham and Irondale, and Charter Communications in the rest of the metro area.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. City in Alabama, United States. Timeline of Birmingham, Alabama. List of corporations with a major presence in Birmingham, Alabama. List of songs about Birmingham, Alabama. Sports in Birmingham, Alabama. List of newspapers in Alabama , List of television stations in Alabama , and List of radio stations in Alabama.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. List of people from Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, see Threadex. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 7, Retrieved April 17, Retrieved March 24, Birmingham city, Alabama; Alabama". Archived from the original on July 4, Retrieved July 4, City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, — University of Virginia Press.
Retrieved August 19, University of Alabama Press. The Valley and the Hills: Retrieved April 26, Archived from the original on August 18, Civil Rights Movement Veterans.
Retrieved July 14, Earliest Census to ". Archived from the original on August 6, Retrieved April 21, Retrieved November 9, Retrieved March 10, City chosen as site for World Games". Retrieved February 4, The New York Times. With revitalized neighborhoods and a ramped-up food culture, Alabama's largest city boldly returns to the stage and sings to a bigger audience". Retrieved April 18, Archived from the original PDF on January 15, Retrieved July 21, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Archived from the original on October 27, Retrieved November 24, Archived from the original on June 28, Retrieved September 20, Retrieved November 29, Archived from the original on January 6, Continued racial discrimination and lynchings , agricultural depression, and the failure of the cotton crops due to boll weevil infestation led tens of thousands of African Americans from rural Alabama and other states to seek opportunities in northern and midwestern cities during the early decades of the 20th century as part of the Great Migration out of the South.
At the same time, many rural people migrated to the city of Birmingham to work in new industrial jobs. Birmingham experienced such rapid growth that it was called the "Magic City". Its residents were under-represented for decades in the state legislature, which refused to redistrict after each decennial census according to population changes, as it was required by the state constitution.
This did not change until the late s following a lawsuit and court order. Beginning in the s, when the courts started taking the first steps to recognize the voting rights of black voters, the Alabama legislature took several counter-steps designed to disfranchise black voters. The legislature passed, and the voters ratified [as these were mostly white voters], a state constitutional amendment that gave local registrars greater latitude to disqualify voter registration applicants.
Black citizens in Mobile successfully challenged this amendment as a violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. The legislature also changed the boundaries of Tuskegee to a sided figure designed to fence out blacks from the city limits. The Supreme Court unanimously held that this racial " gerrymandering " violated the Constitution.
Industrial development related to the demands of World War II brought a level of prosperity to the state not seen since before the civil war. One example of this massive influx of workers occurred in Mobile.
Between and , more than 89, people moved into the city to work for war-related industries. Despite massive population changes in the state from to , the rural-dominated legislature refused to reapportion House and Senate seats based on population, as required by the state constitution to follow the results of decennial censuses.
They held on to old representation to maintain political and economic power in agricultural areas. One result was that Jefferson County , containing Birmingham's industrial and economic powerhouse, contributed more than one-third of all tax revenue to the state, but did not receive a proportional amount in services.
Urban interests were consistently underrepresented in the legislature. A study noted that because of rural domination, "a minority of about 25 per cent of the total state population is in majority control of the Alabama legislature. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims , the court ruled ruled that the principle of " one man, one vote " needed to be the basis of both houses of state legislatures as well, and that their districts had to be based on population, rather than geographic counties, as Alabama had used for its senate.
In , for the first time since , the legislature completed the congressional redistricting based on the decennial census. This benefited the urban areas that had developed, as well as all in the population who had been underrepresented for more than 60 years. African Americans continued to press in the s and s to end disenfranchisement and segregation in the state through the civil rights movement , including legal challenges. Board of Education that public schools had to be desegregated, but Alabama was slow to comply.
During the s, under Governor George Wallace , Alabama resisted compliance with federal demands for desegregation. Legal segregation ended in the states in , but Jim Crow customs often continued until specifically challenged in court. In addition, the rural Black Belt called that for its soil that stretches across the middle of the state is home to largely poor counties that are predominantly African-American. These counties include Dallas , Lowndes , Marengo and Perry.
Alabama has made some changes since the late 20th century and has used new types of voting to increase representation. In the s, an omnibus redistricting case, Dillard v. Crenshaw County , challenged the at-large voting for representative seats of Alabama jurisdictions, including counties and school boards. At-large voting had diluted the votes of any minority in a county, as the majority tended to take all seats. Despite African Americans making up a significant minority in the state, they had been unable to elect any representatives in most of the at-large jurisdictions.
As part of settlement of this case, five Alabama cities and counties, including Chilton County , adopted a system of cumulative voting for election of representatives in multi-seat jurisdictions. This has resulted in more proportional representation for voters.
In another form of proportional representation, 23 jurisdictions use limited voting, as in Conecuh County. In , limited voting was first tested in Conecuh County. Together use of these systems has increased the number of African Americans and women being elected to local offices, resulting in governments that are more representative of their citizens.
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. Additionally, Alabama has four National Forests: Conecuh , Talladega , Tuskegee , and William B.
A notable natural wonder in Alabama is "Natural Bridge" rock, the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies , located just south of Haleyville.
This is the Wetumpka crater , the site of "Alabama's greatest natural disaster. The state is classified as humid subtropical Cfa under the Koppen Climate Classification. 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.
Summers in Alabama are among the hottest in the U. Alabama is also prone to tropical storms and even 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.
South Alabama reports many thunderstorms. The Gulf Coast, around Mobile Bay, averages between 70 and 80 days per year with thunder reported. Occasionally, thunderstorms are severe with frequent lightning and large hail ; the central and northern parts of the state are most vulnerable to this type of storm.
Alabama ranks ninth in the number of deaths from lightning and tenth in the number of deaths from lightning strikes per capita. Alabama, along with Oklahoma , has the most reported EF5 tornadoes of any state, according to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center for the period January 1, , to June The state was affected by the Super Outbreak and was devastated tremendously by the Super Outbreak.
The Super Outbreak produced a record amount of tornadoes in the state. The tally reached The peak season for tornadoes varies from the northern to southern parts of the state.
Alabama is one of the few places in the world that has a secondary tornado season in November and December, along with the spring severe weather season. The northern part of the state—along the Tennessee Valley—is one of the areas in the U. The area of Alabama and Mississippi most affected by tornadoes is sometimes referred to as Dixie Alley , as distinct from the Tornado Alley of the Southern Plains.
Although snow is a rare event in much of Alabama, areas of the state north of Montgomery may receive a dusting of snow a few times every winter, with an occasional moderately heavy snowfall every few years. In the southern Gulf coast, snowfall is less frequent, sometimes going several years without any snowfall. Alabama is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna , due largely to a variety of habitats that range from the Tennessee Valley , Appalachian Plateau , and Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians of the north to the Piedmont , Canebrake and Black Belt of the central region to the Gulf Coastal Plain and beaches along the Gulf of Mexico in the south.
The state is usually ranked among the top in nation for its range of overall biodiversity. Alabama is in the subtropical coniferous forest biome and once boasted huge expanses of pine forest, which still form the largest proportion of forests in the state. It is home to nearly 4, pteridophyte and spermatophyte plant species. Indigenous animal species in the state include 62 mammal species ,  93 reptile species,  73 amphibian species,  roughly native freshwater fish species,  and bird species that spend at least part of their year within the state.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Alabama was 4,, on July 1, ,  which represents an increase of 79,, or 1. Immigration from outside the U. The center of population of Alabama is located in Chilton County , outside the town of Jemison. According to the Census , Alabama had a population of 4,, The racial composition of the state was The largest reported ancestry groups in Alabama are: Based on historic migration and settlement patterns in the southern colonies and states, demographers estimated there are more people in Alabama of Scots-Irish origins than self-reported.
Given the long history of slavery and associated racial segregation, the Native American peoples, who have sometimes been of mixed race, have insisted on having their cultural identification respected. In the past, their self-identification was often overlooked as the state tried to impose a binary breakdown of society into white and black. The state has officially recognized nine American Indian tribes in the state, descended mostly from the Five Civilized Tribes of the American Southeast.
The state government has promoted recognition of Native American contributions to the state, including the designation in for Columbus Day to be jointly celebrated as American Indian Heritage Day. Alabama English is predominantly Southern ,  and is related to South Midland speech which was taken across the border from Tennessee. 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: Alabama is located in the middle of the Bible Belt , a region of numerous Protestant Christians. As of [update] , the three largest denominational groups in Alabama are the Southern Baptist Convention , The United Methodist Church , and non-denominational Evangelical Protestant.
In Alabama, the Southern Baptist Convention has the highest number of adherents with 1,,; this is followed by the United Methodist Church with , adherents, non-denominational Evangelical Protestant with , adherents, and the Catholic Church with , adherents. Many Baptist and Methodist congregations became established in the Great Awakening of the early 19th century, when preachers proselytized across the South. The Assemblies of God had almost 60, members, the Churches of Christ had nearly , members.
The Presbyterian churches , strongly associated with Scots-Irish immigrants of the 18th century and their descendants, had a combined membership around 75, PCA — 28, members in congregations, PC USA — 26, members in congregations,  the Cumberland Presbyterian Church — 6, members in 59 congregations, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America — 5, members and 50 congregations plus the EPC and Associate Reformed Presbyterians with members and 9 congregations.
Jews have been present in what is now Alabama since , during the colonial era of Mobile, when Sephardic Jews immigrated from London. It was formally recognized by the state legislature on January 25, Jewish denominations in the state include two Orthodox , four Conservative , ten Reform , and one Humanistic synagogue.
Muslims have been increasing in Alabama, with 31 mosques built by , many by African-American converts. There are six Dharma centers and organizations for Theravada Buddhists. This area has attracted an influx of refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam during the s and thereafter. Dealy, who moved from Chicago to Fairhope. The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication.
The number of private farms has declined at a steady rate since the s, as land has been sold to developers, timber companies, and large farming conglomerates. Non-agricultural employment in was , in management occupations; 71, in business and financial operations; 36, in computer-related and mathematical occupation; 44, in architecture and engineering; 12, in life, physical, and social sciences; 32, in community and social services; 12, in legal occupations; , in education, training, and library services; 27, in art, design and media occupations; , in healthcare; 44, in fire fighting, law enforcement, and security; , in food preparation and serving; 76, in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; 53, in personal care and services; , in sales; , in office and administration support; 20, in farming, fishing, and forestry; , in construction and mining, gas, and oil extraction; , in installation, maintenance, and repair; , in production; and , in transportation and material moving.
According to the U. Alabama's GDP increased 1. The single largest increase came in the area of information. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5. In February , the state passed legislation that prevents Alabama municipalities from raising the minimum wage in their locality.
As of , Alabama has the sixth highest poverty rate among states in the U. The five employers that employed the most employees in Alabama in April were: The next twenty largest employers, as of [update] , included: 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. 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. Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.
Army Materiel Command , headquartered at Redstone Arsenal. A great deal of Alabama's economic growth since the s has been due to the state's expanding automotive manufacturing industry. International , and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama , as well as their various suppliers.
Since , the automobile industry has generated more than 67, new jobs in the state. Alabama currently ranks 4th in the nation for vehicle exports. Automakers accounted for approximately a third of the industrial expansion in the state in The strongest model sales during this period were the Hyundai Elantra compact car, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class sport utility vehicle and the Honda Ridgeline sport utility truck.
Steel have facilities in Alabama and employ over 10, people. The company also operates terminals in Mobile, Melvin, and Moundville. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company operates a large plant in Gadsden that employs about 1, people. It has been in operation since Construction began in , with plans for it to become operable by and produce up to 50 aircraft per year by An estimated 20 million tourists visit the state each year.
Over , of these are from other countries, including from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Birmingham also serves as the headquarters for several large investment management companies, including Harbert Management Corporation.
The company has over 6, employees and more than 1, contract employees. Harbert International , which all routinely are included in the Engineering News-Record lists of top design, international construction, and engineering firms. The foundational document for Alabama's government is the Alabama Constitution , which was ratified in At almost amendments and , words, it is by some accounts the world's longest constitution and is roughly forty times the length of the United States Constitution.
There has been a significant movement to rewrite and modernize Alabama's constitution. Most counties do not have home rule. Any policy changes proposed in different areas of the state must be approved by the entire Alabama legislature and, frequently, by state referendum.
One criticism of the current constitution claims that its complexity and length intentionally codify segregation and racism. Alabama's government is divided into three coequal branches. The legislative branch is the Alabama Legislature , a bicameral assembly composed of the Alabama House of Representatives , with members, and the Alabama Senate , with 35 members.
The Legislature is responsible for writing, debating, passing, or defeating state legislation. The Republican Party currently holds a majority in both houses of the Legislature. The Legislature has the power to override a gubernatorial veto by a simple majority most state Legislatures require a two-thirds majority to override a veto.
Until , the state elected state senators on a geographic basis by county, with one per county. It had not redistricted congressional districts since passage of its constitution in ; as a result, urbanized areas were grossly underrepresented. It had not changed legislative districts to reflect the decennial censuses, either. Sims , the US Supreme Court implemented the principle of " one man, one vote ", ruling that congressional districts had to be reapportioned based on censuses as the state already included in its constitution but had not implemented.
Further, the court ruled that both houses of bicameral state legislatures had to be apportioned by population, as there was no constitutional basis for states to have geographically based systems. At that time, Alabama and many other states had to change their legislative districting, as many across the country had systems that underrepresented urban areas and districts. This had caused decades of underinvestment in such areas.
Through the legislative delegations, the Alabama legislature kept control of county governments. The executive branch is responsible for the execution and oversight of laws. It is headed by the Governor of Alabama. The current governor of the state is Republican Kay Ivey. The office of lieutenant governor is currently vacant. The members of the Legislature take office immediately after the November elections.
Statewide officials, such as the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and other constitutional officers, take office the following January. The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and applying the law in state criminal and civil cases.
The state's highest court is the Supreme Court of Alabama. Alabama uses partisan elections to select judges. Since the s judicial campaigns have become increasingly politicized.
There are two intermediate appellate courts , the Court of Civil Appeals and the Court of Criminal Appeals, and four trial courts: Some critics believe that the election of judges has contributed to an exceedingly high rate of executions. In some years, it imposes more death sentences than does Texas , a state which has a population five times larger. Alabama levies a 2, 4, or 5 percent personal income tax , depending upon the amount earned and filing status.
Taxpayers are allowed to deduct their federal income tax from their Alabama state tax, and can do so even if taking the standard deduction. Taxpayers who file itemized deductions are also allowed to deduct the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax Social Security and Medicare tax. Most states exempt groceries from sales tax or apply a lower tax rate.
Alabama's income tax on poor working families is among the highest in the United States. The corporate income tax rate is currently 6. The overall federal, state, and local tax burden in Alabama ranks the state as the second least tax-burdened state in the country. The current state constitution requires a voter referendum to raise property taxes. Since Alabama's tax structure largely depends on consumer spending, it is subject to high variable budget structure.
Alabama has 67 counties. Each county has its own elected legislative branch, usually called the county commission. It also has limited executive authority in the county. Because of the constraints of the Alabama Constitution , which centralizes power in the state legislature, only seven counties Jefferson, Lee, Mobile, Madison, Montgomery, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa in the state have limited home rule. Instead, most counties in the state must lobby the Local Legislation Committee of the state legislature to get simple local policies approved, ranging from waste disposal to land use zoning.
The state legislature has retained power over local governments by refusing to pass a constitutional amendment establishing home rule for counties, as recommended by the Alabama Constitutional Commission.
United States Supreme Court decisions in Baker v. Carr required that both houses have districts established on the basis of population, and redistricted after each census, in order to implement the principle of "one man, one vote".
Before that, each county was represented by one state senator, leading to under-representation in the state senate for more urbanized, populous counties. The rural bias of the state legislature, which had also failed to redistrict seats in the state house, affected politics well into the 20th century, failing to recognize the rise of industrial cities and urbanized areas.
Alabama's constitution has been amended more than times, and almost one-third of the amendments are local in nature, applying to only one county or city. A significant part of each legislative session is spent on local legislation, taking away time and attention of legislators from issues of statewide importance.
Alabama is an alcoholic beverage control state , meaning that the state government holds a monopoly on the sale of alcohol. The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board controls the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the state. Twenty-five of the 67 counties are " dry counties " which ban the sale of alcohol, and there are many dry municipalities even in counties which permit alcohol sales.
In , the political coalition of white Democrats known as the Redeemers took control of the state government from the Republicans, in part by suppressing the black vote through violence, fraud and intimidation.
After , a coalition of White Democratic politicians passed laws to segregate and disenfranchise African American residents, a process completed in provisions of the constitution. Provisions which disenfranchised blacks resulted in excluding many poor Whites. By more Whites than Blacks had been disenfranchised: The total effects were greater on the black community, as almost all of its citizens were disfranchised and relegated to separate and unequal treatment under the law.
From through the s, the state did not redraw election districts as population grew and shifted within the state during urbanization and industrialization of certain areas. As counties were the basis of election districts, the result was a rural minority that dominated state politics through nearly three-quarters of the century, until a series of federal court cases required redistricting in to meet equal representation.
Alabama state politics gained nationwide and international attention in the s and s during the civil rights movement , when whites bureaucratically, and at times violently, resisted protests for electoral and social reform.
Governor George Wallace , the state's only four-term governor, was a controversial figure who vowed to maintain segregation. Only after passage of the federal Civil Rights Act of  and Voting Rights Act of did African Americans regain the ability to exercise suffrage, among other civil rights.
In many jurisdictions, they continued to be excluded from representation by at-large electoral systems, which allowed the majority of the population to dominate elections. Some changes at the county level have occurred following court challenges to establish single-member districts that enable a more diverse representation among county boards.
In , the Alabama Legislature passed, and Republican Governor Bob Riley signed a resolution expressing "profound regret" over slavery and its lingering impact. In , Republicans won control of both houses of the legislature for the first time in years, after a nearly complete realignment of political parties, who represent different visions in the 21st century.
As of December , there are a total of 3,, registered voters, with 2,, active, and the others inactive in the state. With the disfranchisement of Blacks in , the state became part of the " Solid South ", a system in which the Democratic Party operated as effectively the only viable political party in every Southern state. Since the mid to late 20th century, however, there has been a realignment among the two major political parties, and white conservatives started shifting to the Republican Party.
In Alabama, majority-white districts are now expected to regularly elect Republican candidates to federal, state and local office. Members of the nine seats on the Supreme Court of Alabama  and all ten seats on the state appellate courts are elected to office. Until , no Republicans held any of the court seats. In that general election, the then-incumbent Chief Justice, Ernest C.
Hornsby , refused to leave office after losing the election by approximately 3, votes to Republican Perry O. Hornsby sued Alabama and defiantly remained in office for nearly a year before finally giving up the seat after losing in court.
This ultimately led to a collapse of support for Democrats at the ballot box in the next three or four election cycles. The Democrats lost the last of the nineteen court seats in August with the resignation of the last Democrat on the bench. In the early 21st century, Republicans hold all seven of the statewide elected executive branch offices. Republicans hold six of the eight elected seats on the Alabama State Board of Education.
In , Republicans took large majorities of both chambers of the state legislature, giving them control of that body for the first time in years. The last remaining statewide Democrat, who served on the Alabama Public Service Commission was defeated in Only two Republican Lieutenant Governors have been elected since the end of Reconstruction, when Republicans generally represented Reconstruction government, including the newly emancipated freedmen who had gained the franchise.
The two GOP Lt. Governors were Steve Windom — and Kay Ivey Many rural counties have voters who are majority Democrats, resulting in local elections being decided in the Democratic primary. Similarly many metropolitan and suburban counties are majority-Republican and elections are effectively decided in the Republican Primary, although there are exceptions. Alabama's 67 County Sheriffs are elected in partisan, at-large races, and Democrats still retain the narrow majority of those posts.
The current split is 35 Democrats , 31 Republicans , and one Independent Fayette. The state's two U. Shelby and Democrat Doug Jones. Shelby was originally elected to the Senate as a Democrat in and re-elected in , but switched parties immediately following the November general election.
House of Representatives , the state is represented by seven members, six of whom are Republicans: Bradley Byrne , Mike D. Rogers , Robert Aderholt , Morris J. Terri Sewell who represents the Black Belt as well as most of the predominantly black portions of Birmingham , Tuscaloosa and Montgomery. Public primary and secondary education in Alabama is under the purview 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, individual schools provide education for , elementary and secondary students. Public school funding is appropriated through the Alabama Legislature through the Education Trust Fund.
While Alabama's public education system has improved in recent decades, it lags behind in achievement compared to other states. Although unusual in the West, school corporal punishment is not uncommon in Alabama, with 27, public school students paddled at least one time, according to government data for the — school year.
Alabama's programs of higher education include 14 four-year public universities, two-year community colleges, and 17 private, undergraduate and graduate universities. Colleges and universities in Alabama offer degree programs from two-year associate degrees to a multitude of doctoral level programs. The largest single campus is the University of Alabama , located in Tuscaloosa , with 37, enrolled for fall Viewers in eastern Alabama are served by stations in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia.
In the season, Alabama averaged over , fans per game and Auburn averaged over 80, fans, both numbers among the top 20 in the nation in average attendance. Alabama has several professional and semi-professional sports teams, including three minor league baseball teams. It has a seating capacity of , and is the thirteenth largest stadium in the world and sixth largest stadium in America. For rail transport, Amtrak schedules the Crescent , a daily passenger train, running from New York to New Orleans with station stops at Anniston , Birmingham , and Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has six major interstate roads that cross the state: I enters the state from Mississippi and connects Birmingham with Memphis, Tennessee. In addition, there are currently five auxiliary interstate routes in the state: A sixth route, I , will be formed when I is rerouted along a new southern bypass of Montgomery.
A proposed northern bypass of Birmingham will be designated as I Since a direct connection from I to I will not be possible, I has been proposed, as well.
Highways also pass through the state, such as U. There are four toll roads in the state: The Port of Mobile , Alabama's only saltwater port, is a large seaport on the Gulf of Mexico with inland waterway access to the Midwest by way of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The Port of Mobile was ranked 12th by tons of traffic in the United States during From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 28 October This article is about the U. For other uses, see Alabama disambiguation. List of Alabama counties and Geology of Alabama. List of metropolitan areas of Alabama. List of cities and towns in Alabama. Further information on Christianity in Alabama: Alabama locations by per capita income. List of counties in Alabama. United States presidential election in Alabama, List of colleges and universities in Alabama. This section needs expansion.
You can help by adding to it. Alabama media and List of newspapers in Alabama. List of professional sports teams in Alabama. Retrieved 21 September The Battle of Gettysburg. Retrieved July 21, Retrieved June 22, Retrieved December 9, Retrieved October 20, United States Geological Survey.
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Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. Archived from the original PDF on January 17, Indian Place Names in Alabama. Dictionary of the Alabama Language. University of Texas Press. Archived from the original on October 24, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
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