These are Alabama’s 17 shrinking cities

By Ramsey Archibald 

New, federal population totals released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week showed 17 larger cities in Alabama lost people over the last decade.

And three of the state’s largest cities are included in that list. Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery all lost significant amounts of people, but they weren’t the fastest shrinking.

That distinction went to Atmore, a city in Escambia County in South Alabama. Among cities that were home to at least 10,000 residents at the last full Census count in 2010, Atmore shrank the fastest, losing 18% of its total population by 2020.

Here’s the rest of the list:

Alabama’s fastest shrinking cities (2010-2020)

Among cities with at least 10,000 people in 2010.

 Page 1 of 2  

City2010 Census2020 CensusChange 2010-2020Percent change
1Atmore10,1948,391−1,803−18%
2Prichard22,65919,322−3,337−15%
3Selma20,75617,971−2,785−13%
4Fairfield11,11710,000−1,117−10%
5Gadsden36,85633,945−2,911−8%
6Anniston23,10621,564−1,542−7%
7Pleasant Grove10,1109,544−566−6%
8Birmingham212,237200,733−11,504−5%
9Bessemer27,45626,019−1,437−5%
10Mobile195,111187,041−8,070−4%

Table: Ramsey Archibald  Source: U.S. Census Bureau  Get the data  Created with Datawrapper

Alabama’s fastest shrinking cities (2010-2020)

Among cities with at least 10,000 people in 2010.

  Page 2 of 2 

City2010 Census2020 CensusChange 2010-2020Percent change
11Ozark14,90714,368−539−4%
12Center Point16,92116,406−515−3%
13Montgomery205,764200,603−5,161−3%
14Eufaula13,13712,882−255−2%
15Troy18,03317,727−306−2%
16Sylacauga12,74912,578−171−1%
17Alexander City14,87514,843−320%

Table: Ramsey Archibald  Source: U.S. Census Bureau  Get the data  Created with Datawrapper

Atmore’s population fell below 10,000 by 2020. It’s now home to fewer than 8,400 people.

Prichard, in Mobile County, was second on the list, losing 15% of its population and bringing its total population just below 20,000.

Selma, the historic Civil Rights city in fast-shrinking Dallas County, and Fairfield, in the Birmingham Metro, were the only other cities to lose at least 10% of their populations in the last decade.

Birmingham, which was long the biggest city in the state, lost 11,500 people since 2010, the biggest total loss of any city, and roughly 5% of its total population. It was passed by rapidly growing Huntsville as the largest city in the state, and nearly fell fast enough to sink below Montgomery for third place on the state’s list of most populous cities.

But Montgomery shrank significantly, too, losing nearly 5,200 people, or around 3% of its population. Montgomery and Birmingham are now nearly tied in total population, with Birmingham sitting at 200,700 people and Montgomery at 200,600.

Mobile lost about 8,100 people, or 4%. Of the state’s “Big Four” cities, Huntsville is the only one that actually grew over the last decade.