According to the 2000 national census, Alabama had a population of 4,875,100 inhabitants, ranking it 23rd among the states. The population was an increase of 10.1 percent over that recorded in the 1990 census. The average population density in 2006 was 35 people per sq km (91 per sq mi). Whites make up the largest share of the state’s population at 71.1 percent of the people. However, at 26 percent, the share of blacks in the state is among the highest in the nation. Some 0.7 percent of the people are Asians, 0.5 percent are Native Americans, and 1.6 percent are of mixed heritage or did not report race. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders number 1,409. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 1.7 percent of the people. The black population is largely concentrated in the larger cities and in the central and southern counties. Blacks make up about three-fourths of the total population in Greene, Lowndes, and Macon counties. Comparatively fewer blacks live in the northern counties.
In 2000, 55 percent of the state’s inhabitants lived in cities, towns, and villages of more than 2,500 people.
The largest cities are Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Huntsville. Birmingham, the largest with 229,424 inhabitants in 2006, is set in a long valley flanking Red Mountain. It is known as the Pittsburgh of the South for its complex of skyscrapers, steel mills, factories, and railroad yards. Montgomery, the state capital, had a population of 201,998. It is an important manufacturing city and a marketplace for lumber and cattle.
Mobile has 192,830 inhabitants and is an industrial center and seaport whose tree-lined streets and historic buildings evoke its French and Spanish past. Huntsville had 168,132 people. It is a major aerospace center. Other major cities include Tuscaloosa, Dothan, Decatur, Gadsen, Florence, Prichard, Bessemer, and Anniston.
More than 90 percent of all church members in Alabama are Protestants. About 5 percent are Roman Catholics, and less than 1 percent are Jewish. Among the Protestant congregations the Baptists and Methodists have the largest memberships. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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