Birmingham is a city in the state of Alabama. Being the state’s most established city, it is the seat of Jefferson County. Jefferson County is the most populated county in the state. As of the 2020 census, Birmingham had a population of 200,733. This makes it the state’s most populated city after Huntsville.
The Birmingham metropolitan area had a population of 1,115,289 in 2020, becoming the largest metropolitan area in the state and the 50th most populated in the country. The thriving economy in the city and plenty of employment opportunities has enhanced real estate in Birmingham, Alabama.
The History of Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham was established on June 2, 1871. The city was founded by the Elyton Land Company, which was made up of investors in banking, cotton-planting, and railroad entrepreneurs. The company sold lots of its produce near the cross point of Alabama and Chattanooga railroads. This also included the land that was formerly part of the larger Benjamin P. Washington Plantation.
The Elyton Land Company first contacted businesses at the crossroads, triggering economic activities that saw the rise of Birmingham. The site of the railway crossing become popular for the presence of nearby coal, iron ore, and limestone deposits. These are three major components required in the production of steel. Birmingham remains the only place in the world where significant deposits of all three minerals are found within a short distance. The city started taking shape a few years later as it became the center of the steel industry.
As a marketing strategy, the founders of the city Elyton Land Company borrowed the name “Birmingham” from England to raise awareness. However, the city faced a great development blow as there was a cholera outbreak in 1873. Even though its operations were halted at this time, Birmingham resumed developing a few years later after the outbreak was contained. At this time, real estate for sale in Birmingham, Alabama, was a thriving business.
Birmingham, AL Geographic Location
The city of Birmingham strategically occupies the Jones Valley. It is flanked by the parallel Appalachian foothills that put the city directly in the line of the railroad running from southwest to northeast. The Jones Valley has small creeks (Valley Creek and Village Creek) that drain it. The small creeks flow into the bigger Black Warrior River. The valley overlooking Birmingham was bisected by the main railroad corridor, an area where most of the city’s operations began. A smaller ridge, sand mountain are some of the physical features flanking Birmingham City to the north.
These features also divide the Jones Valley from the city land to the east. The Nashville and Louisville Railroad, which is now known as CSX Transportation, enters the Jones Valley through a massive gap located in the low ridge. A few kilometers eastwards of Birmingham city center is Ruffner Mountain which is home to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. This nature center is one of the largest urban nature reserves in the country. It is also one of the city’s biggest attractions.
Demographics & Industry in Birmingham, AL
According to the 2000 census, Birmingham has a population of 242,820. There were 98,782 households and a total of 59,269 families living in the city. At that time, Birmingham’s population density was 624.6/km², which is equivalent to 1,618.6 individuals per square mile. With 111,928 housing units, the city had an average density of 746.6 per square mile, 288.1/km².
The racial makeup in Birmingham was 62.46% African American or Black, 35.08% White, 0.8% Asian, 0.18% Native American, 0.003% Pacific Islander, while 0.62% made up other races. About 1.55% of the population was people of Latino or Hispanic origin. Out of the 98,785 households, 27.6% had children under 18 years living there. 31.2% of the households were married couples living together, 40.3% were non-families, while 24.6% had a female householder living without a husband.
In terms of industrial development, Birmingham has had several of them doing well. Since the city’s early days, the steel industry has played a major role in the growth of the local economy. The industry has resulted in the creation of many job opportunities and high demand for real estate in Birmingham. Even though the steel industry no longer has massive influence and dominance in Birmingham, steel processing and production continue to play a crucial role in the local economy. Some of the top steel products manufacturers like Macwane and American Cast Iron Pipe Company are based in this city.
The banking industry is another thriving sector in Birmingham. The city is the headquarters of Regions Financial Corporation. Some of the banks with over 5% market share of deposits in the city are PNC Financial Services, Wells Fargo, and Servisfirst Bank. In addition, Birmingham is a local powerhouse of engineering and construction companies, including Brasfield & Gorrie, BE & K, B.L. Herbert International, and Robins & Morton, which are regularly included in the top international construction and design firms. These industries have contributed significantly to the development of the city of Birmingham.
Arts & Entertainment in Birmingham, AL
Birmingham is the entertainment and cultural capital of Alabama. It has numerous exhibition sites and art galleries, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the most popular and largest art museum in the region. Birmingham downtown is currently experiencing an entertainment and cultural rejuvenation, with several entertainment facilities and restaurants opening in the area. The creation of these facilities is expected to attract more people into the city, making it a good idea to invest in real estate for sale in Birmingham, Alabama. The city is also home to Alabama’s biggest opera, ballet, and orchestra companies.
Some of these companies include Birmingham Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Birmingham Opera. For those that enjoy festivals, Birmingham is home to a wide range of cultural festivals showcasing the regional heritage, films, and music. In addition, the annual Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival draws filmmakers from across the world to Birmingham to have their films watched and rated. This is a major festival held every August at eight venues within the city. Therefore, if you love arts and entertainment, Birmingham has a lot to offer.
Things To Do in Birmingham, AL
Birmingham is the most established city in Alabama, and there is plenty you can do while here. It is a beautiful historic destination with plenty of fun things to do and see, from historical landmarks and museums to theatre, sports, and great restaurants. One of the top attractions in the city is the Birmingham Museum of Art, which started its operations in 1951. Located at the heart of the city, this art museum has some of the best collections in the world. While here, you will have a beautiful exhibition of over 25,000 objects covering a wide range of traditions and cultures.
The artifacts come from America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and some from Native America. The museum has some of the finest Asian art collections in the southeast region, with a rear piece of Vietnamese ceramic that is considered the best worldwide. The presence of Vulcan Park and Museum has attracted lots of visitors to the city, driving up real estate for sale in Birmingham, Alabama. Designed by Giuseppe Moretti, the legendary Italian sculptor, this statue is made of solid iron and surrounded by a beautiful park. The park is an excellent place for nature walks, parties, weddings, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Birmingham.
The Vulcan Museum, another top attraction in the city, is found within the park. The museum is known for hosting lectures, exhibits, and other popular events. Therefore, if you decide to invest in real estate in Birmingham, this is a great place to spend time. The Vulcan Park is also the most popular spot from where city dwellers watch the mesmerizing 4th of July fireworks. If you love vintage cars, The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum at the heart of Birmingham is the place to be.
This facility features a rear and impressive collection of some of the best vehicles and motorcycles in the world. At this car museum, you will see the largest motorcycle collection in the world. The once-in-a-lifetime car collection features stunning exhibits of motorcycles, vehicles, and sports cars. The popularity of this motorsport exhibition facility has contributed to a thriving vehicle industry, something that has skyrocketed the city’s economy. With these developments, investing in real estate for sale in Birmingham, Alabama, has never been so lucrative!
Schools in Birmingham, AL
Birmingham is served by the Birmingham City Schools System. The system is managed by the Birmingham Board of Education and has an enrollment of 30,500 students in around 62 schools. The city has 33 elementary schools, 13 middle schools, nine kindergartens, and seven high schools. The Birmingham educational area is known to be home to some of the best high schools in Alabama. In 2005, the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School, which is within a short drive from Birmingham, was ranked the best high school in the country by Newsweek. Today, the school remains among the top 5 best high schools in the United States.
Birmingham is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in Alabama. The thriving local industries and steady economy make it profitable to invest in real estate in Birmingham, Alabama. Settling in this city comes with a wide range of benefits, including access to luxurious amenities and historical landmarks.