Demographics of Alabama

Demographics of Alabama
Historical populations

1800 1,250
1810 9,046
1820 127,901
1830 309,527
1840 590,756
1850 771,623
1860 964,201
1870 996,992
1880 1,262,505
1890 1,513,401
1900 1,828,697
1910 2,138,093
1920 2,348,174
1930 2,646,248
1940 2,832,961
1950 3,061,743
1960 3,266,740
1970 3,444,165
1980 3,893,888
1990 4,040,587
2000 4,447,100



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alabama's 2000 population was 4,447,100. As of 2006, Alabama has an estimated population of 4,599,030, which is an increase of 50,703, or 1.1%, from the prior year and an increase of 151,679 or 3.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 87,818 people (that is 375,808 births minus 287,990 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 73,178 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 30,537 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 42,641 people.

As of 2004 Alabama had 108,000 foreign-born (2.4% of the state population), of which an estimated 22.2% were illegal aliens (24,000).

In 2006, Alabama has a larger percentage of tobacco smokers than the national average, with 23% of adults smoking.[1]

Race and ancestry

The racial makeup of the state and comparison to the prior census:

Demographics of Alabama (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 72.56% 26.33% 1.00% 0.89% 0.07%
2000 (Hispanic only) 1.48% 0.18% 0.04% 0.02% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 72.14% 26.70% 0.98% 1.02% 0.07%
2005 (Hispanic only) 2.08% 0.17% 0.05% 0.03% 0.01%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 1.90% 3.95% -0.06% 17.43% 4.90%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 1.02% 3.97% -0.55% 17.47% 6.67%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 43.85% 1.05% 11.46% 16.20% -2.17%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

The largest reported ancestry groups in Alabama: African American (26.0%), English (23.6%), Irish (7.7%), German (5.7%), and Scots-Irish (2.0%). 'American' includes those reported as Native American or African American. [2][3]


Historically, African Americans were brought to Alabama as slaves, in greatest numbers in the cotton-producing plantation region known as the Black Belt. This region remains predominantly African American, where many freedmen settled to work at agriculture after the Civil War. The northern part of the state, originally settled by small farmers with fewer slaves, is predominantly European American. The Port of Mobile, founded by the French and subsequently controlled by England, Spain, and the United States, has long had an ethnically diverse population. It has long served as an entry point for various groups settling in other parts of the state. Those citing "American" ancestry in Alabama are of overwhelmingly English extraction, however most English Americans identify simply as having American ancestry because their roots have been in North America for so long, in many cases since the early sixteen hundreds. Demographers estimate that a minimum of 20-23% of people in Alabama are of predominantly English ancestry and state that the figure is probably much higher. In the 1980 census 1,139,976 people in Alabama cited that they were of English ancestry out of a total state population of 2,824,719 making them 41% of the state at the time and the largest ethnic group.[4][5][6][7][8] There are also many more people in Alabama of Scots-Irish origins than are self-reported.[9] Many people in Alabama claim Irish ancestry because of the term "Scots-Irish", but most of the time in Alabama this term is used for those with Scottish roots, rather than Irish.[10]


Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Alabama ranks:
  • 32nd in its percentage of Whites
  • 7th in its percentage of Blacks
  • 43rd in its percentage of Hispanics
  • 44th in its percentage of Asians
  • 26th in its percentage of American Indians
  • 48th in its percentage of people of Mixed race
  • 47th in its percentage of males
  • 5th in its percentage of females


The religious affiliations of the people of Alabama are as follows:[11]


As of 2000, 96.7% of Alabama residents age 5 and older speak English at home and 2.2% speak Spanish. German speakers make up only 0.4% of the population, French/French Creole at 0.3%, and Chinese at 0.1%.

Age & Sex

As of 2000, 25.3% of residents of the state were under 18, 6.7% were under 5, and 13.0% were over 65.

51.7% of Alabamians are female and 48.3% are male, there is a surplus of 600,000 women in the prime marriage age range of 25-44.

See also


  1. ^ CDC's STATE System - State Comparison Report Cigarette Use (Adults) – BRFSS for 2006, lists the state as having 23.3% smokers. The national average is 20.8% according to Cigarette Smoking Among Adults --- United States, 2006 article in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
  2. ^ Data on selected ancestry groups.
  3. ^ 1980 United States Census
  4. ^ Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980 - Table 3
  5. ^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic J. Pulera.
  6. ^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
  7. ^ Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44-6.
  8. ^ Stanley Lieberson and Mary C. Waters, 'Ethnic Groups in Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 487, No. 79 (September 1986), pp. 82-86.
  9. ^ Alabama - Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2006-2008
  10. ^ Census 2000 Map - Top U.S. Ancestries by County
  11. ^

External links

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