Birmingham is now the 3rd largest city in Alabama after losing its population in the 2021 census estimate


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham’s population continues to decline, making it now Alabama’s third-largest city behind Huntsville and Montgomery, the US Census Bureau reports.

On Tuesday, the office released estimates for 2021, which placed Huntsville at approximately 216,963; Montgomery at 198,665 and Birmingham with around 197,575. Behind the Magic City is Mobile, which had an estimated population of 184,952 last year. Meanwhile, the population of Tuscaloosa is estimated at 100,618.

At the 2020 census, there were about 130 people separating Montgomery and Birmingham. In the latest estimate, Montgomery overtook Birmingham as Alabama’s second largest city.

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

Huntsville and Tuscaloosa were the only two major cities in Alabama estimated to have increased in population, with Huntsville increasing 1.2% and Tuscaloosa’s population increasing 0.9%.

Although Birmingham was Alabama’s largest city for decades, the town slowly lost its population over the yearsfrom 1960, when the city was at its peak with nearly 341,000 residents.

In 2010, Huntsville was Alabama’s fourth largest city with approximately 180,105 residents. As of the 2020 census, the city had claimed the top spot with approximately 215,006 residents.

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

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