Mobile, AL MSA
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Mobile, AL MSA

Coordinates: 30°47?11?N 88°12?50?W / 30.78639°N 88.21389°W / 30.78639; -88.21389

Mobile County
Mobile Government Plaza in Mobile
Official seal of Mobile County
Map of Alabama highlighting Mobile County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°47?11?N 88°12?50?W / 30.786388888889°N 88.213888888889°W / 30.786388888889; -88.213888888889
State Alabama
FoundedDecember 18, 1812[1]
Largest cityMobile
 o Total1,644 sq mi (4,260 km2)
 o Land1,229 sq mi (3,180 km2)
 o Water415 sq mi (1,070 km2)  25.2%%
 o Total412,992
 o Estimate 
 o Density337/sq mi (130/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)
 o Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
  • County Number 02 on Alabama Licence Plates
  • One of three counties shuffled to the top 3 numbers because of population size

Mobile County ( moh-BEEL) is a county located in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the second most-populous county in the state after Jefferson County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 412,992.[2] Its county seat is Mobile, which was founded as a deepwater port on the Mobile River. The only such port in Alabama, it has long been integral to the economy for providing access to inland waterways as well as the Gulf of Mexico.[3]

The city, river, and county were named in honor of Maubila, a village of the paramount chief Tuskaloosa of the regional Mississippian culture. In 1540 he arranged an ambush of soldiers of Hernando de Soto's expedition in an effort to expel them from the territory. The Spaniards were armed with guns and killed many of the tribe. Today Mobile County comprises the Mobile, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The northern border of Mobile County and southern area of neighboring Washington County constitute the homeland of the state-recognized tribe of MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, descendants of Choctaw and Creek who stayed in this area during the period of Indian Removal. They have organized to preserve their culture and language. They were the first of nine tribes to be recognized by the state.


This area was occupied for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. At the time of Spanish expeditions in the early 16th century, it was part of the territory of the Mississippian culture, which constructed major earthwork mounds. It was ruled by the paramount chief Tuskaloosa.

The historic Choctaw emerged somewhat later, and are believed to be descendants of those earlier peoples. They occupied this area along what early French traders and colonists called the Mobile River. They also founded the settlement of Mobile on the river and bay in the early eighteenth century.

The British took over the territory in 1763 (along with other French territories east of the Mississippi River) after defeating the French in the Seven Years' War. During the American Revolutionary War, it came under Spanish rule as part of Spanish Florida. Spain ceded the territory to the United States after the War of 1812.

In the 1830s, the United States forced the removal of most of the Native American tribes in the area under President Andrew Jackson's policy and an {{Indian Removal Act|act of Congress]] to relocate them to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Many of those who remained continued their culture, and took refuge in the swamps in the border area between Mobile and Washington counties. Since the late 20th century, several tribes have reorganized and gained state recognition. Among those is the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, which was recognized as a tribe in 1979 by the state. The people have long been based in this area of the former Choctaw homeland, along the northern border of Mobile County and the southern border of Washington County.

After more than a century of European settlement, beginning with French colonists, Mobile County was organized by the state legislature and the proclamation of Governor Holmes of the Mississippi Territory on December 18, 1812.[1] When Mississippi was separated and admitted as a state on December 10, 1817, after adopting its constitution on August 15, 1817, Mobile County became part of what was called the Alabama Territory. Two years later, the county became part of the state of Alabama, granted statehood on December 14, 1819.[4][5]

The city of Mobile, first settled by French colonists in the early 18th century as part of La Louisiane, was designated as the county seat from the early days of the county.[1] Both the county and city derive their name from Fort Louis de la Mobile, a French fortification established (near present-day Axis, Alabama) in 1702. The word "Mobile" is believed to stem from a Choctaw word for "paddlers".[1] The area was occupied by French colonists from 1702-1763, and their influence has been strong in the city. It was ruled by the British from 1763-1780, when more American colonists began to enter the territory; and controlled by the Spanish from 1780-1813.

At the end of the War of 1812, the United States took over the territory. At that time, new settlers were being attracted to the land, eager to develop short-staple cotton in the uplands area. Invention of the cotton gin made processing of this type of cotton profitable, stimulating wholesale development of new cotton plantations in the Black Belt during the antebellum years. Mobile developed as a major deepwater port; in the nineteenth century, cotton was its major export.

There were nine documented lynchings in Mobile from 1891 to 1981.

  • March 31, 1891 -- Zachariah Graham[6]
  • October 2, 1906 -- Roy Hoyle[7]
  • October 2, 1906 -- Willie Thompson[8]
  • October 2, 1906 -- Corneilius Robinson[9]
  • September 22, 1907 -- Mose Dossett[10]
  • January 23, 1909 -- Richard Robertson[11]
  • July 31, 1910 -- Bill Walker[12]
  • June 6, 1919 -- James E. Lewis[13]
  • March 21, 1981 -- Michael Donald

Courthouse fires occurred in the years 1823, 1840, and 1872.[1]


Aerial view of the Mobile River at its confluence with Chickasaw Creek. This photograph was taken around 1990, during construction of the Cochrane-Africatown bridge carrying U.S. Route 90 across the river.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,644 square miles (4,260 km2), of which 1,229 square miles (3,180 km2) is land and 415 square miles (1,070 km2) (25.2%) is water.[14] It is the fourth-largest county in Alabama by land area and second-largest by total area. It includes several islands, including Dauphin Island, Gaillard Island and Mon Louis Island.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas



According to the 2010 United States Census, the population of the county comprised the following racial and ethnic groups:


According to the 2000 United States Census,[20] there were 399,843 people, 150,179 households, and 106,777 families residing in the county. The population density was 324 people per square mile (125/km2). There were 165,101 housing units at an average density of 134 per square mile (52/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 63.07% White, 33.38% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 1.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 150,179 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.50% were married couples living together, 17.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county, the population dispersal was 27.50% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $33,710, and the median income for a family was $40,378. Males had a median income of $32,329 versus $21,986 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,178. About 15.60% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.20% of those under age 18 and 14.60% of those age 65 or over.


Interstate 10 entering the Wallace Tunnel in Mobile, Alabama.


Mobile County has a limited form of home rule and is governed by a three-member county commission. Each commissioner represents a single-member district and is elected by the voters of that district to serve a four-year term. Each commissioner has an equal vote on the commission. One of the commissioners is selected as Commission President.

As of January 2014) Mobile County Commissioners are:

  • District 1 (northern County) - Merceria L. Ludgood (D) (current Commission President)
  • District 2 (western and central County) - Connie Hudson (R)
  • District 3 (southern County) - Jerry Carl (R)


Under the state constitution, the legislature maintains considerable power over county affairs. Mobile County is represented in the Alabama Legislature by three senators and nine representatives. It is represented in the Alabama Senate by Democrat Vivian Davis Figures from the 33rd district, by Republican Rusty Glover from the 34th district, and by Republican Bill Hightower from the 35th district.[21] It is represented in the Alabama House of Representatives by Democrat Adline Clarke from the 97th district, Democrat Napoleon Bracy from the 98th district, Democrat James Buskey from the 99th district, Republican Victor Gaston from the 100th district, Republican Jamie Ison from the 101st district, Republican Chad Fincher from the 102nd district, Democrat Joseph C. Mitchell from the 103rd district, Republican Jim Barton from the 104th district, and Republican David Sessions from the 105th district.[22]


In most areas of Mobile County, schools are operated by the Mobile County Public School System. The cities of Chickasaw, Saraland, and Satsuma have separate school systems. Each is served by Chickasaw City Schools, Saraland Board of Education, and Satsuma City School System.

Mobile County is also the home of the University of South Alabama (USA), a public research university divided into ten colleges, including one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools. USA has an enrollment of over 16,000 students and employs more than 6,000 faculty, administrators, and support staff.


During the late 20th century, white conservatives left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. In that same period, as African Americans regained their ability to exercise the franchise after passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, they tended to support the national Democratic Party.

Today the population of Mobile County is majority white; at the time of the Civil War, it was majority black. In 2004, the incumbent Republican president George W. Bush won 59 percent of the vote and 92,014 votes. Democrat John F. Kerry won 40 percent of the vote and 63,732 votes. Other candidates won one percent of the vote.[23]

In the 2008 presidential election, Mobile County cast the majority of its votes for the Republican candidate John McCain. He won 54% of the vote and 98,049 votes. Democrat Barack Obama received 45% of the vote and 82,181 votes. Other candidates won 1% of the vote.[23]

In the Senate off-year election in 2008, Republican Jeff Sessions did better than John McCain. Sessions won 57 percent of the vote and 102,043 votes. His challenger, Democrat Vivian Figures, won 43 percent of the vote and 77,292 votes.[23]

Presidential elections results
Mobile County vote by party in presidential elections[24]
Year Republican Democratic Others
2016 55.1% 95,116 41.8% 72,186 3.2% 5,435
2012 54.2% 94,893 45.0% 78,760 0.9% 1,487
2008 54.0% 98,049 45.3% 82,181 0.7% 1,194
2004 58.7% 92,014 40.7% 63,732 0.7% 1,025
2000 55.9% 78,162 42.0% 58,640 2.1% 2,943
1996 51.3% 66,775 42.1% 54,749 6.6% 8,579
1992 50.7% 72,935 38.2% 54,962 11.1% 15,891
1988 60.9% 72,203 38.4% 45,524 0.7% 870
1984 62.6% 81,923 36.1% 47,252 1.4% 1,784
1980 57.7% 67,515 39.5% 46,180 2.8% 3,297
1976 50.9% 53,835 47.5% 50,264 1.7% 1,777
1972 73.2% 62,639 24.2% 20,694 2.7% 2,301
1968 11.4% 10,509 20.3% 18,615 68.3% 62,812
1964 70.7% 49,493 29.3% 20,488
1960 45.1% 24,608 52.5% 28,626 2.4% 1,308
1956 52.2% 20,639 43.4% 17,163 4.4% 1,732
1952 49.3% 14,153 50.4% 14,473 0.3% 89
1948 19.4% 2,685 80.6% 11,150
1944 23.1% 2,867 76.0% 9,439 0.9% 117
1940 14.0% 1,887 85.1% 11,480 0.9% 126
1936 8.6% 1,072 90.0% 11,165 1.4% 175
1932 14.9% 1,705 84.4% 9,658 0.7% 78
1928 45.8% 5,058 54.1% 5,965 0.1% 10
1924 28.5% 1,814 64.9% 4,125 6.6% 416
1920 29.7% 2,681 68.4% 6,171 1.9% 171
1916 21.4% 832 76.2% 2,968 2.5% 96
1912 3.7% 140 80.0% 3,009 16.3% 613
1908 14.0% 453 75.0% 2,422 10.9% 353
1904 8.8% 325 89.3% 3,283 1.8% 67




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mobile County, Alabama history". Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). June 5, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ "An 1820 Claim to Congress: Alabama Territory : 1817". The Intruders. TNGenNet Inc. 2001.
  5. ^ "Statehood Dates". 2009 [1998].
  6. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "CSDE Lynching Database". Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011.
  21. ^ "Roster of the Alabama State Senate". Official Website of the Alabama Legislature. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Roster of the Alabama House of Representatives". Official Website Of The Alabama Legislature. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved .
  23. ^ a b c David Leip (2008). "Atlas of United States Presidential Election Results".
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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