The population inside Birmingham's city limits has fallen over the past few decades, due in large part to " white flight " from the city to the surrounding suburbs and loss of jobs following industrial and railroad restructuring. The city's formerly most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white,  has declined from By , Birmingham's population had reached ,, its lowest since the mids, but the city has since stopped losing residents.
New resources have been dedicated in reconstructing the downtown area into a hour mixed-use district. The market for downtown lofts and condominiums has increased, while restaurant, retail and cultural options have expanded. In , the visitors bureau selected "the diverse city" as a new tag line for the city. Recent developments have attracted national media. The New York Times has praised the city's food scene since Birmingham occupies Jones Valley, flanked by long parallel mountain ridges tailing ends of the Appalachian Mountains running from northeast to southwest.
The valley was bisected by the principal railroad corridor, along which most of the early manufacturing operations began. Red Mountain lies immediately south of downtown. Many of Birmingham's television and radio broadcast towers are lined up along this prominent ridge. The "Over the Mountain" area, including Shades Valley, Shades Mountain and beyond, was largely shielded from the industrial smoke and rough streets of the industrial city. Sand Mountain , a lower ridge, flanks the city to the north and divides Jones Valley from much more rugged land to the north.
Ruffner Mountain, due east of the heart of the city, is home to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve , one of the largest urban nature reserves in the U. According to the U. Census Bureau, the city has an area of Birmingham has numerous suburbs. As with many major areas, most of the metropolitan population lives outside the city boundaries. In , the metropolitan area was made up of 7 counties, cities, and 21 school districts.
Some analysts argue that the region suffers from having so many suburbs; companies play jurisdictions against each other to gain tax and other financial incentives for relocation, resulting in no net gain in the area's economy. Birmingham has a humid subtropical climate , characterized by hot summers, mild winters, and abundant rainfall. January has a daily mean temperature of Snow occasionally falls during winter, but many winters pass with no snow or only a trace. However, Average snowfall over the winter season, based on the — period, is 1. The spring and fall months are pleasant but variable as cold fronts frequently bring strong to severe thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes to the region.
The fall season primarily October features less rainfall and fewer storms, as well as lower humidity than the spring, but November and early December represent a secondary severe weather season. Birmingham is in the heart of a Tornado Alley known as the Dixie Alley due to the high frequency of tornadoes in Central Alabama. The greater Birmingham area has been hit by two F5 tornadoes; one in Birmingham's northern suburbs in , and second in the western suburbs in The area was hit by an EF4 tornado which was part of the Super Outbreak. In late summer and fall months, Birmingham experiences occasional tropical storms and hurricanes due to its proximity to the Central Gulf Coast.
The magnitude 5. Based on the census , there were , people, 98, households, and 59, families residing in the city. There were , housing units at an average density of The racial makeup of the city was There were 98, households, of which The city's population is spread out, with For every females, there were About According to the census : . Birmingham has hundreds of Christian churches, five synagogues, three mosques, and two Hindu temples.
The Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies published data showing that in , among metro areas with greater than one million population, Birmingham had the second highest ratio of Christians , and the greatest ratio of Protestant adherents, in the U. The Southern Baptist Convention has congregations and , members in the Birmingham metro area. The United Methodists have congregations and 66, members.
The headquarters of the Presbyterian Church in America was in Birmingham until the early s; the PCA has more than 30 congregations and almost 15, members in the Birmingham metro area, with megachurches such as Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
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The National Baptist Convention has congregations and 69, members. The city is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham , covering 39 counties and comprising 75 parishes and missions as well as seven Catholic high schools and nineteen elementary schools. There are three Eastern Orthodox churches in the metro area, representing the Greek , Russian , and American Orthodox churches. There is also a Unitarian Universalist church. With a crime rate of 85 per one thousand residents, Birmingham has one of the highest crime rates in the United States, ranked 20th, according to a study in for cities with a population over 25, Neighboring Bessemer also ranks high at 7th.
As the third most violent city in the country, the city's murder, robbery, and aggravated assault rates are each among the top five of all major U.
Birmingham, Alabama - Wikipedia
As in many high crime areas, poverty is relatively common in Birmingham. Birmingham was ranked th in crime rate in the U. Louis were ranked higher. Though the steel industry no longer holds the same prominence, steel production and processing continue to play a key role in the local economy. Steel , and Nucor , also have a major presence in Birmingham. Vulcan Materials Company , a major provider of crushed stone, sand, and gravel used in construction, is also based in Birmingham.
In the s and s, Birmingham's economy was transformed by investments in biotechnology and medical research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB and its adjacent hospital. UAB is now the area's largest employer and the second largest in Alabama, with a workforce of about 23, as of [update]. Caremark Rx was founded in the city. SouthTrust , another large bank headquartered in Birmingham, was acquired by Wachovia in The city still has major operations as one of the regional headquarters of Wachovia, which itself is now part of Wells Fargo.
They formed the eighth largest U. Nearly a dozen smaller banks are also headquartered in the Magic City, such as Cadence Bank. As of [update] , the finance and banking sector in Birmingham employed 1, financial managers, 1, loan officers, securities commodities and financial services sales agents, financial analysts, financial examiners, credit analysts, and loan counselors.
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Harbert International , which routinely are included in the Engineering News-Record lists of top design and international construction firms. The Buffalo Rock Company , founded in , has grown from making ginger ale to be a major bottler for the Pepsi Cola Company. Birmingham has seen a noticeable decrease in the number of Fortune companies headquartered in the city, due to mergers, moves, and buy-outs.
In , there were ten Fortune companies headquartered in the city, while in there was only one, Regions Bank. Birmingham also used to be home to more than 30 publicly traded companies, but in there were only The Birmingham metropolitan area has consistently been rated as one of America's best places to work and earn a living based on the area's competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses. 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. Shipt announced that it would add additional offices in the Wells Fargo Tower , which will be re-branded as the Shipt Tower in Shipt will then have its logo on two prominent high rises in downtown Birmingham.
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. The presence of UAB helps make it the city's most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood. 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. Elias Maronite Church. 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 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 , 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 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. Recently, [ when? Over the last several years, [ which? The U. Paralympic Training Facility in Birmingham 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.
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Birmingham is divided into 23 communities, and again into 99 individual neighborhoods with individual neighborhood associations. The main post office is 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: seven high schools, 13 middle schools, 33 elementary schools, and nine kindergarten -eighth-grade primary 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 high schools. Mountain Brook High School placed th on the list. The metro area also has three highly regarded private college-preparatory schools: Saint Rose Academy , in Birmingham proper; the Altamont School , also in Birmingham proper; and Indian Springs School in north Shelby County near Pelham.
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 directors of the Elyton Land Company developed a plan for the city's 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. In , The national average was 8. Birmingham averaged 1. 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 Amtrak operates one passenger train, the Crescent , each direction daily. Clair counties. 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. Most populous city in Alabama, United States. City in Alabama, United States. Storrs, Connecticut, USA. Washington, D. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. South Carolina, USA. Pennsylvania, USA. Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
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