The 10 cities in Alabama that experienced the largest population decline in 2023

Several of the cities experiencing the most rapid population decline in Alabama in 2023 were located within the Birmingham metro area. This follows the ongoing pattern of a shrinking population in and around what was once the state’s largest city.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Selma, the iconic civil rights town in the Black Belt, experienced the fastest population decline from 2022 to 2023. However, the cities in Jefferson County are also seeing a decrease in population, although not as rapid as Selma.

Selma experienced a decline in its population from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023. The city lost 341 residents during this period, resulting in an official population estimate of 16,666. This represents a 2% decrease in population, making it the largest drop among Alabama cities with more than 10,000 residents.

Center Point, which is located in Jefferson County, experienced a 1.1% decline in population, making it the second fastest-shrinking city. It currently has a population of 15,705.

Six other cities in Jefferson County, where Birmingham is located, were among the top 10 fastest-shrinking cities. In just one year, Birmingham lost 243 residents, bringing its current population to 196,444. However, Montgomery is experiencing an even faster decline. Despite this, Birmingham has managed to surpass Montgomery in population and is once again the second most populous city in Alabama, at least for now.

Both Mobile and Montgomery experienced a decline in population, similar to Birmingham. Mobile saw a decrease of 695 people, while Montgomery’s population dropped by 1,657, causing it to fall behind Birmingham. However, Mobile has recently approved a plan to incorporate nearly 20,000 new residents within its city limits. By next year, when the next federal estimates are released, Mobile will officially become the second largest city in Alabama.

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Huntsville, the largest city in Alabama, experienced a population growth of 3,534 residents from 2022 to 2023, bringing the total population to 225,564.

Alabama experienced population declines in the Black Belt and three out of the four major cities. However, the state’s beach and college towns witnessed significant growth.

    1. Selma -2% The Dallas County city now has a total population of 16,666 after losing 341 residents in 2023.
    2. Center Point -1.1% Jefferson County’s fastest-shrinking city lost 175 people in 2023 bringing the total population to 15,705.
    3. Alexander City -1% Located in Tallapoosa County, the city now has 14,470 residents. In 2023, it lost 150 people.
    4. Bessemer -1% Also in Jefferson County, the North Birmingham city lost 251 residents, bringing the total population to 25,037
    5. Hueytown -.9% Another Jefferson County city to dwindle in population, Hueytown lost 154 people in 2023. The city now has a population of 16,202.
    6. Mountain Brook -.9% The affluent city now has a population of 21,737 after losing 204 residents.
    7. Montgomery -.8% Alabama’s capital city lost 1,657 people in 2023 and now has a population of 195,287.
    8. Gardendale -.7% Another Jefferson County city to see a decline, Gardendale lost 117 residents for a 2023 population of 16,096.
    9. Vestavia Hills -.7% Vestavia’s population of 38,020 came after the city lost 266 in 2023.
    10. Eufaula – .7% Located in southeastern Barbour County, Eufaula lost 84 people for a population of 12,451.

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