Discover Alabama’s 10 Fastest-shrinking Cities: A Closer Look at 2023 Census Data


In 2023, the Birmingham metro region had the majority of Alabama’s fastest-shrinking cities, which continued the trend of a diminishing population around what was formerly the state’s largest metropolis.

However, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the Jefferson County cities are not losing population as quickly as Selma, the famous civil rights town in the Black Belt, which was the fastest-shrinking city from 2022 to 2023.

Selma lost 341 people from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, bringing the official population estimate to 16,666. Of Alabama cities with more than 10,000 population, that represents the biggest reduction of 2% in a single year. Center Point, the city with the second fastest declining rate, decreased by 1.1%. Center Point, which is in Jefferson County, is now home to 15,705.

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Birmingham’s home county of Jefferson included six additional communities among the ten that shrank the quickest. The population of Birmingham dropped by 243 in a single year to 196,444. Still, Montgomery is getting smaller far more quickly. At this most recent count, Birmingham also moved ahead of Montgomery to rank as Alabama’s second-most populous city. For the moment.

Like Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile had population declines. Montgomery fell 1,667 and Mobile lost 695 to lag behind Birmingham. But Mobile just approved a plan to bring in almost 20,000 more people. When the next federal statistics are released at this time the following year, Mobile will formally rank as Alabama’s second-largest city.

The largest city in Alabama, Huntsville, had 225,564 people living there in 2022–2023—a growth of 3,534.

Alabama’s beach and college towns grew quickly, but the state’s Black Belt and three of its four largest cities witnessed population declines.

  1. Selma -2% After losing 341 people in 2023, the city in Dallas County now has 16,666 people living in it.
  2. Center Point  -1.1% The city in Jefferson County with the smallest population dropped 175 people in 2023, bringing the total to 15,705 people.
  3. Alexander City-1% The city is in Tallapoosa County and has 14,470 people living in it now. It lost 150 people in 2023.
  4. Bessemer – 1% for Bessemer In Jefferson County, too, the city of North Birmingham lost 251 people, bringing the total number of people living there to 25,037.
  5. Hueytown -.9% Hueytown lost 154 people in 2023, making it another Jefferson County city whose population fell. There are now 16,202 people living in the city.
  6. Mountain Brook -.9% The wealthy city has lost 204 residents, bringing the total number of people living there to 21,737.
  7. Montgomery -.8% In 2023, 1,657 people moved out of Alabama’s main city, which now has 195,287 people living there.
  8. Gardendale -.7%: Gardendale dropped 117 people, bringing its population down to 16,096 in 2023. It is another city in Jefferson County to see a drop.
  9. Vestavia Hills -.7% Vestavia now has 38,020 people living in it, down from 2,666 in 2023.
  10. Eufaula -.7%: Eufaula, which is in the southeast of Barbour County, lost 84 people, making its number 12,451.

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In summary, the Birmingham metropolitan area and numerous Jefferson County cities saw large population reductions in 2023, with Selma leading the way. Despite the reductions, Huntsville grew to become Alabama’s largest city. While some places, such as beaches and college towns, experienced expansion, the Black Belt region and big cities like Montgomery and Mobile encountered difficulty, while Mobile intends to expand its population. Overall, Alabama’s urban areas are experiencing significant demographic shifts.

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