Madison County and Baldwin County top charts for population growth in Alabama
New data shows that Madison County and Baldwin County continue to drive population growth in the Yellowhammer State.
Alabama’s 67 counties had a net population increase of 15,504 citizens in the most recent available year. Of the increase, 11,284 were in Madison and Baldwin counties, which is 73% of the total.
The data, based on new U.S. Census data that reflects estimated population changes between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019, was organized and mapped out by the nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA).
Madison County, driven by the city of Huntsville, continues to be Alabama’s biggest county experiencing strong growth. The county saw 5,905 people move there in the year measured by the new statistics, which was the most of any county. That was a 1.6% uptick in just a year for a county that now has 372,909 residents.
Of Alabama’s big counties (population more than 200,000), Baldwin had the highest percentage growth with 2.5%. The home to cities like Orange Beach, Daphne and Fairhope gained 5,379 people to give it a total of 223,234 residents.
Limestone County, which borders Madison to the west, had the largest percent increase of all Alabama counties. Between 2018 and 2019, Limestone County’s population increased by 2,738 people or 2.8%.
Alabamians do not have much reason to expect the area to slow down its growth. The massive Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing facility will be in a portion of Limestone County that is within the city limits of Huntsville.
Dallas County and the larger black belt area were the biggest losers in Alabama’s population checkup.
Dallas County, home to Selma, lost almost 3% of its population in just the last year as part of a 15% decrease the county has suffered in the last decade. Since July 1, 2010, 6,617 residents have left the county.
Monroe, Perry, Sumter, Conecuh, Choctaw, Wilcox and Lowndes counties all saw year over year decreases of more than 1.5%.
Both of Alabama’s college towns continued to see solid growth in the new data, growing by half a percent each. Lee County slowed a bit in the 2019 numbers; it has increased by 17.3% in the last decade.
The decade as a whole saw similar changes to the year 2019; big increases in Madison and Baldwin along with strong growth in college towns and the suburbs.
Some observers have noted that the city of Huntsville and Madison County appear to be driving growth for North Alabama as a whole, while the towns in Baldwin County appear to be pulling population away from their neighboring counties.
Shelby and Limestone are considered similar by some state observers in that they house many residents of nearby Birmingham and Huntsville, respectively.
In raw population totals, Jefferson County still dominates the rest of the state. The county with its seat in Birmingham has a population of 658,573, which is more than 200,000 more than second-place Mobile.
The official 2020 Census that will give even more accurate numbers is currently being conducted. Officials at all levels of government in Alabama are urging participation.
Individuals who have not yet taken the estimated ten minutes or less to fill out the form can go here.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.