The Rocket City is officially the Yellowhammer State’s largest city in terms of population, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Huntsville now holds a population in excess of 215,000 people.
Huntsville leads the state in total population at 215,006, with Birmingham and Montgomery following at second and third respectively, with populations of 200,733 and 200,603. Mobile comes in at a distant fourth with 187,041 residing in the coastal city.
The population change reflects a 19.4% increase from 2010 Census statistics, while Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile all recorded decreases in total population. Birmingham recorded a loss of 11,504 residents. Montgomery recorded a 5,161 decrease, and Mobile showed a loss of 8,070.
Alabama as a whole gained a total of 244,543 residents, bringing the state’s population to 5,024,279.
Huntsville’s newly-cemented position as the state’s largest metropolitan city reflects the enormous growth North Alabama has experienced over the past decade, particularly in recent years. The city continues to benefit from surging investment from the private sector, as industry has flooded the city in droves. Additionally, the public sector has consistently increased its presence in the Rocket City, as the federal government elects to station assets in what has become the national security hub of the United States.
UPDATE 5:15 p.m.:
Mayor Tommy Battle issued a statement regarding Huntsville’s updated population statistics.
“The numbers released today by the Census Bureau are not surprising and reflect what we’ve known for a long time – the Rocket City is on the move,” said Battle. “The investments we’ve made in our infrastructure, public safety and quality-of-life make us attractive to job creators, from the largest industries to the smallest retail startups. Jobs bring people. We’re happy they’ve chosen to make Huntsville their home, and together we’ll build on our strong foundation in the years to come.”
He concluded, “The numbers validate predictions we’ve heard for a while. And while we may be the biggest city in the state, we’re not going to stop striving to be the best in everything we do. We’ll continue to work with our regional, state and national partners to strengthen our infrastructure and attract more businesses and industries. Collaboration helped make the Rocket City what it is today, and we’ll continue to build on our successes as we move forward.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL