What are the fastest-growing cities in Alabama? (It's not Birmingham or Huntsville)

Welcome to Fairhope, AL sign

by Brooke Anguiano, LawnStarter Research Analyst
August 15, 2017

It comes as little surprise that the fastest-growing city in Albama is also located in the fastest-growing county in Alabama.

Baldwin County is the fastest growing county in Alabama and is predicted to have a 65.9 percent increase in population accounting for 118,634 new residents by 2040, University of Alabama research indicates.

Based on these trends Baldwin will jump from the seventh most populous county in Alabama to the fourth by 2040. Baldwin county has already increased by 13.85 percent from 2010 to 2016 gaining 25,364 new residents. This surge has increased new single family home building growth by 213.34 percent from 2010 to 2016, according to LawnStarter analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data –– totaling for nearly 9,000 new homes during the period.

The county’s unprecedented growth is in part due to county lines encompassing Alabama’s fastest growing city, Fairhope. At a growth rate of 25.84 percent from 2010 to 2016, Fairhope has received about 4,000 new residents and is expected to grow congruently with Baldwin County.

Here are the ten fastest-growing cities in Alabama and their 2010-16 growth rates (Note: This list features only cities of 10,000 or more people):

  1. Fairhope: growth rate of 25.84 percent, adding 3,988 new residents

  2. Daphne: 18.80 percent, adding 4,101 new residents

  3. Auburn: 17.42 percent, adding 9,364 new residents

  4. Chelsea: 16.62 percent, adding 1,759 new residents

  5. Foley: 15.39 percent, adding 2,348 new residents

  6. Athens: 15.31 percent, adding 3,372 new residents

  7. Calera: 15.02 percent, adding 1,761 new residents

  8. Opelika: 12.82 percent, adding 3,393 new residents

  9. Phenix City: 11.88 percent, adding 3,942 new residents

  10. Gulf Shores: 11.59 percent, adding 1,214 new residents

(For a complete list of Alabama cities and their 2010-16 population growth, see the graphic at the end of this story.)

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Fairhope's Continued “Fair Hope of Success”

As of 2016, more than 19,000 people lived in Fairhope.

Nestled on the shore of Mobile Bay, Fairhope is a historic beauty that families look at as home within just one visit. The city is known for having an artsy culture and environmentally friendly ideology.

As for the community, its residents are well off. The city has a median property value of $238,800 and a median household income of $61,489, according to Data USA. This stumps Alabama’s state averages at a median property value of $134,100 and the median household income at $44,765. High standards of living in Fairhope and picturesque atmosphere are drawing in a flood of people.

The city’s homepage says the city is working towards “a new Comprehensive Plan that seeks to maintain the city’s high quality of life through controlled growth and development.”

The population density of Fairhope is 1,365 percent more dense than the average for the state of Alabama. A staggering 1,383 people per square mile reside in Fairhope and this number will continue to grow.

Just last year in 2016, Fairhope passed a six-month ban on new large-scale developments to ensure the city had time to ‘catch-up’ to the multitude of applications for the developments and to further compose how the city will keep up with the high demands.

Many residents fear the already crowding city will continue to become more congested, negatively affecting road systems and school districts. Although, engineers, construction workers, architects and more feel the push for development will help further the economy and secure more jobs.

To learn more about a specific city, hover over the bar next to its name or the associated circle on the map.

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Top Photo: City of Fairhope

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