Montgomery, Alabama

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Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama. The second largest city in Alabama, it is located on the Alabama River in Montgomery County (of which it is the seat) in south central part of the state. Montgomery is notable for its association with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.

Montgomery, Alabama
Flag of Montgomery, Alabama
Location of Montgomery,  Alabama
Location in Alabama

County Montgomery County
Mayor Bobby Bright
 - Total
 - Water

404.5 km² (156.2 mi²)
2.1 km² (0.8 mi²) 0.52% 
 - City (2000)
 - Density
 - Metropolitan

Time zone Central (UTC –5)
WGS-84 (GPS)
 32.3775° N 86.3006° W
Official Website



Montgomery was named for General Richard Montgomery, who died in the American Revolutionary War attempting to capture Quebec, Canada. Montgomery was made the capital of Alabama on the fourth try. The territorial capital, St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River, had been supplanted by Huntsville then Cahawba and Tuscaloosa [1]. It was the first capital of the Confederate States of America, whose president Jefferson Davis was inaugurated in its steps (illustration, right). It is located on the north portion of the Alabama River.

The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. gained national attention for civil rights issues during his tenure, 1954/1960, as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, two blocks from the State Capitol Building. A civil rights memorial has been erected near the still-active church. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks became a civil rights heroine in the city by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. The reaction to this arrest led to the 382-day Montgomery Bus Boycott which forced the city to desegregate its transit system on December 21, 1956. In 1965, Dr. King's nationally-publicized march for justice was conducted from Selma to Montgomery.

Country music pioneer and legend Hank Williams grew up and is buried in Montgomery. Country star Alan Jackson eulogizes Williams in a popular song, called Midnight In Montgomery, about a trip to Hank's gravesite.


The Alabama River at Montgomery in 2004
The Alabama River at Montgomery in 2004

Montgomery is located at 32°21'42" North, 86°16'45" West (32.361538, -86.279118)1.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 404.5 km² (156.2 mi²). 402.4 km² (155.4 mi²) of it is land and 2.1 km² (0.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.52% water..


In 1900, at the end of the nineteenth century, 30,346 people lived here. In 1910, 38, 136 occupants of Montgomery were enumerated; in 1920, 43,464; and in 1940, 78,084.

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 201,568 people, 100,784 households, and 100,784 families residing in the city. The population density is 500.9/km² (1,297.3/mi²). There are 86,787 housing units at an average density of 215.7/km² (558.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 49.63%Black, 47.67% White, 0.25% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.23% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 78,384 households out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% are married couples living together, 19.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% are non-families. 30.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.06.

City view from State Capitol
City view from State Capitol

In the city the population is spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 12.1% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $35,627, and the median income for a family is $44,297. Males have a median income of $31,877 versus $25,014 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,385. 17.7% of the population and 13.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.7% of those under the age of 18 and 13.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Notable Points

The State Capitol, built in 1850
The State Capitol, built in 1850

Higher Education

Montgomery is home to a variety of colleges and universities, including:


  • L. P. Powell (editor), in Historic Towns of the Southern States, (New York, 1900)

External links

City of Montgomery, Alabama

Flag of Alabama State of Alabama
Capital: Montgomery
Largest Metro: Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Metropolitan Area
Regions: Greater Birmingham | Black Belt | Central Alabama | Lower Alabama | Mobile Bay | North Alabama | South Alabama
Largest cities: Birmingham | Huntsville | Mobile | Montgomery
Major cities: Anniston | Auburn | Decatur | Dothan | Florence | Gadsden | Hoover | Tuscaloosa
All cities: List of cities in Alabama
Counties: Autauga | Baldwin | Barbour | Bibb | Blount | Bullock | Butler | Calhoun | Chambers | Cherokee | Chilton | Choctaw | Clarke | Clay | Cleburne | Coffee | Colbert | Conecuh | Coosa | Covington | Crenshaw | Cullman | Dale | Dallas | DeKalb | Elmore | Escambia | Etowah | Fayette | Franklin | Geneva | Greene | Hale | Henry | Houston | Jackson | Jefferson | Lamar | Lauderdale | Lawrence | Lee | Limestone | Lowndes | Macon | Madison | Marengo | Marion | Marshall | Mobile | Monroe | Montgomery | Morgan | Perry | Pickens | Pike | Randolph | Russell | Shelby | St. Clair | Sumter | Talladega | Tallapoosa | Tuscaloosa | Walker | Washington | Wilcox | Winston

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