Alabama

Alabama (/ˌæləˈbæmə/) is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered by Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south; and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.[9]

Alabama
State of Alabama
Nickname(s): 
The Yellowhammer State, The Heart of Dixie, and The Cotton State
Motto(s): 
Latin: Audemus jura nostra defendere
(We dare defend our rights)
Anthem: "Alabama"
Map of the United States with Alabama highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodAlabama Territory
Admitted to the UnionDecember 14, 1819 (22nd)
CapitalMontgomery
Largest cityHuntsville
Largest metro and urban areasGreater Birmingham
Government
  GovernorKay Ivey (R)
  Lieutenant GovernorWill Ainsworth (R)
LegislatureAlabama Legislature
  Upper houseSenate
  Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciarySupreme Court of Alabama
U.S. senatorsRichard Shelby (R)
Tommy Tuberville (R)
U.S. House delegation6 Republicans
1 Democrat (list)
Area
  Total52,419 sq mi (135,765 km2)
  Land50,744 sq mi (131,426 km2)
  Water1,675 sq mi (4,338 km2)  3.2%
Area rank30th
Dimensions
  Length330 mi (531 km)
  Width190 mi (305 km)
Elevation
500 ft (150 m)
Highest elevation2,413 ft (735.5 m)
Lowest elevation0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total5,024,279[4]
  Rank24th
  Density99.1/sq mi (38.4/km2)
  Density rank27th
  Median household income
$48,123[5]
  Income rank
46th
Demonym(s)Alabamian,[6] Alabaman[7]
Language
  Official languageEnglish
  Spoken languageAs of 2010[8]
  • English 95.1%
  • Spanish 3.1%
Time zones
entire state (legally)UTC−06:00 (Central)
  Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
Phenix City area (unofficially)UTC−05:00 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
AL
ISO 3166 codeUS-AL
Traditional abbreviationAla.
Latitude30°11' N to 35° N
Longitude84°53' W to 88°28' W
Websitealabama.gov
Alabama state symbols
Living insignia
AmphibianRed Hills salamander
BirdYellowhammer, wild turkey
ButterflyEastern tiger swallowtail
FishLargemouth bass, fighting tarpon
FlowerCamellia, oak-leaf hydrangea
Horse breedRacking horse
InsectMonarch butterfly
MammalAmerican black bear
ReptileAlabama red-bellied turtle
TreeLongleaf pine
Inanimate insignia
BeverageConecuh Ridge Whiskey
ColorsRed, white
DanceSquare dance
FoodPecan, blackberry, peach
FossilBasilosaurus
GemstoneStar blue quartz
MineralHematite
RockMarble
ShellJohnstone's junonia
SloganShare The Wonder,
Alabama the beautiful,
Where America finds its voice,
Sweet Home Alabama
SoilBama
State route marker
State quarter
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols
Interactive map

Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State". The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery, and its largest city by population and area is Huntsville.[10] Its oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana.[11] Greater Birmingham is Alabama's largest metropolitan area and its economic center.[12]

The state's geography is diverse, with the north dominated by the mountainous Tennessee Valley and the south by Mobile Bay, a historically significant port. Politically, as part of the Deep South, Alabama is now a predominantly conservative state, and it is known for its Southern culture. Today, American football, particularly at the college level at schools like Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Troy University, the University of South Alabama, and Jacksonville State University is a major part of the state's culture.

Originally home to many native tribes, present-day Alabama was a Spanish territory beginning in the sixteenth century until the French acquired it in the early eighteenth century. The British won the territory in 1763 until losing it in the American Revolutionary War. Spain held Mobile as part of Spanish West Florida until 1813. In December 1819, Alabama was recognized as a state. During the antebellum period, Alabama was a major producer of cotton, and widely used African American slave labor. In 1861, the state seceded from the United States to become part of the Confederate States of America, with Montgomery acting as its first capital, and rejoined the Union in 1868.

From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on few agricultural cash crops. Similar to other former slave states, Alabamian legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until the 1960s. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. High-profile events such as the Selma to Montgomery march made the state a major focal point of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy diversified. The state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.[13]