Why People Are Leaving These 7 Alabama Towns Behind?

Alabama, known for its rich history and Southern charm, has countless picturesque towns that draw visitors far and wide. However, not all corners of the Yellowhammer State are experiencing the same influx of residents.
Seven specific towns in Alabama have seen a surprising trend – people are fleeing them as soon as possible. From economic challenges to social issues and environmental concerns, these communities grapple with various factors that have led to a mass exodus. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the departure from these 7 Alabama towns and the implications of this significant population shift on the state’s landscape and prospects.

Alabama Towns Facing Exodus: Summary of Challenges and Demographics

Town Poverty Rate (%) Median Household Income ($) Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000) Population Decline (2010-2019) (%)
Selma 41.9 23,283 1,450 12.9
Anniston 31.7 30,085 1,381 8.5
Bessemer 29.9 31,308 2,986 5.6
Prichard 33.9 24,883 1,026 9.8
Fairfield 35.8 28,590 2,014 11.5
Lanett 30.4 26,938 1,274 7.9
Tarrant 28.6 31,250 1,647 10.4

1. Selma

Selma, a town that played a crucial role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, is unfortunately struggling in the present day. Despite its historical significance, Selma has not experienced economic prosperity. With a poverty rate of 41.9%, it stands as one of the highest in the nation, and its median household income of $23,283 is amongst the lowest.

Additionally, Selma faces challenges such as a high violent crime rate of 1,450 per 100,000 residents and a low graduation rate of 79.1%. These factors have led many individuals to leave Selma in search of better opportunities, resulting in a population decline of 12.9% between 2010 and 2019.

2. Anniston

Anniston, once a thriving industrial center known for its production of iron, steel, and munitions, has experienced significant challenges in recent years. The town has been impacted by deindustrialization, environmental contamination, and economic decline.

With a poverty rate of 31.7% and a median household income of $30,085, many residents face financial hardships. Additionally, Anniston has a high violent crime rate of 1,381 per 100,000 residents. The town’s quality of life index is also remarkably low, ranking last among the 228 cities in Alabama. This decline has been further exacerbated by a population decrease of 8.5% between 2010 and 2019, as individuals seek opportunities elsewhere.

3. Bessemer

Bessemer, once known as “The Marvel City,” was a bustling mining and manufacturing hub. However, it has faced significant challenges including racial segregation, urban decay, and high unemployment rates. Currently, Bessemer has a poverty rate of 29.9% and a median household income of $31,308. The town also struggles with a high violent crime rate, standing at 2,986 incidents per 100,000 residents.

In terms of education, Bessemer lags behind with only 13.9% of adults holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. The town has experienced a decline in population, with a decrease of 5.6% from 2010 to 2019, as many individuals have chosen to leave.

4. Prichard

Prichard, once a prosperous suburb of Mobile that attracted middle-class families and businesses, has unfortunately fallen into a state of decline due to fiscal mismanagement, corruption, and bankruptcy. The town now faces significant challenges, including a poverty rate of 33.9%, a median household income of $24,883, and a high violent crime rate of 1,026 per 100,000 residents. Additionally, Prichard’s livability score is quite low, ranking 222nd out of 228 cities in Alabama. As a result of these issues, the population of Prichard has experienced a decline of 9.8% from 2010 to 2019, with many residents choosing to leave the town.

5. Fairfield

Fairfield, once a thriving community and home to the headquarters of U.S. Steel and baseball legend Willie Mays, has faced significant challenges in recent years. The decline of the steel industry, loss of major employers, and deterioration of infrastructure and services have taken a toll on the town.

With a poverty rate of 35.8% and a median household income of $28,590, Fairfield has struggled to provide for its residents. The town also grapples with a high violent crime rate of 2,014 per 100,000 residents and a low graduation rate of 77.4%. These difficulties have led to a population decline of 11.5% from 2010 to 2019, as many people have chosen to leave Fairfield in search of better opportunities.

6. Lanett

Lanett, a once-thriving textile manufacturing center on the border of Alabama and Georgia, has faced significant challenges in recent years. The closure of mills, job losses, and the rise of drugs and crime have taken a toll on the town. With a poverty rate of 30.4% and a median household income of $26,938, Lanett struggles to provide a high standard of living for its residents.

The violent crime rate, standing at 1,274 per 100,000 residents, further adds to the challenges faced by the community. In fact, Lanett ranks 226th out of 228 cities in Alabama in terms of quality of life index. The town has experienced a population decline of 7.9% from 2010 to 2019, as many individuals have chosen to leave in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

7. Tarrant

Tarrant, a town once brimming with industry and residential life, now grapples with a multitude of challenges including poverty, pollution, and blight. With a poverty rate of 28.6%, a median household income of $31,250, and a violent crime rate of 1,647 per 100,000 residents, Tarrant bears the weight of these issues. Moreover, the town struggles with low educational attainment, as only 11.4% of adults possess a bachelor’s degree or higher. As a result, Tarrant has experienced a decline in population, shrinking by 10.4% from 2010 to 2019.

Conclusion

People are leaving these towns in Alabama as quickly as they can for a variety of reasons including crime, poverty, education, and limited opportunities. Although these towns do have some positive aspects and potential for growth, they are also burdened by numerous challenges and hardships that deter people from wanting to live or visit. As a result, many individuals are opting to abandon these towns in search of better lives elsewhere.

FAQs about Population Decline in 7 Alabama Towns

Why are people leaving these towns in Alabama?

The towns are grappling with various challenges, including economic struggles, high poverty rates, elevated crime levels, and limited opportunities, prompting residents to seek better prospects elsewhere.

Which town has the highest population decline?

Selma experienced the highest population decline of 12.9% between 2010 and 2019.

What common issues do these towns face?

Shared challenges include high poverty rates, economic decline, environmental concerns, elevated crime rates, and low educational attainment.

Are there any positive aspects in these towns?

While these towns have historical significance and potential for growth, they are burdened by numerous challenges that currently deter people from living or visiting.

What are the primary economic challenges in these towns?

Economic challenges include deindustrialization, job losses, fiscal mismanagement, and the decline of major industries, contributing to financial hardships for residents.

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MBS Staff
Articles: 4044

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