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Birmingham now Alabama's 3rd largest city after losing population in 2021 Census estimate

WIAT Birmingham logo WIAT Birmingham 5/26/2022 Drew Taylor
Birmingham now Alabama's 3rd largest city after losing population in 2021 Census estimate © Provided by WIAT Birmingham Birmingham now Alabama's 3rd largest city after losing population in 2021 Census estimate

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham’s population is continuing to drop, now making it the third biggest city in Alabama behind Huntsville and Montgomery, the U.S. Census Bureau report.

On Tuesday, the bureau released estimates for 2021, which placed Huntsville at approximately 216,963; Montgomery at 198,665 and Birmingham with roughly 197,575. Behind the Magic City is Mobile, whose population was estimated to be 184,952 last year. Meanwhile, Tuscaloosa’s population is estimated to be 100,618.

In the 2020 Census, there were approximately 130 people separating Montgomery and Birmingham. In the latest estimate, Montgomery topped Birmingham as Alabama’s second-largest city.

Birmingham’s latest drop represents a 1.6% drop since the 2020 Census report was released, as well as the first time the city’s population has dipped below 200,000 since the 1920 Census. Mobile lost the second-highest number of people behind Birmingham with a 1% drop in population. In the 2010 Census, the city had roughly 195,111 people.

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Huntsville and Tuscaloosa were the only two major Alabama cities whose populations are estimated to have risen, with Huntsville’s rising 1.2% and Tuscaloosa’s population rising 0.9%.

Although Birmingham was Alabama’s biggest city for decades, the city has been slowly losing population over the years, first starting in 1960, when the city was at its largest with nearly 341,000 people.

In 2010, Huntsville was the fourth largest Alabama city with approximately 180,105 people. By the 2020 Census, the city had claimed the top spot with an estimated 215,006 residents.

However, the population of the different cities’ metropolitan areas tell a different story. As of 2020, Birmingham’s metro population stands at nearly 1.1 million, making it the most populous metro area in Alabama and consists of towns and communities in Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties. Meanwhile, Huntsville’s metro population is estimated at approximately 481,681, the second largest in the state, and includes Madison and Limestone counties. Mobile’s metro population stands at roughly 428,692 while Montgomery’s is approximately 372,583.

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