Alabama’s 10 fastest-growing cities
People are flocking to the beaches. Not just for a summer vacation, but to live. Four of Alabama’s 10 fastest-growing cities over the last decade – and three of the top five – are at or near the coast.
Baldwin County – home to Alabama’s beaches – was the fastest growing county in the state over that time period. Its growth has been led by the rapidly expanding small cities of Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores and Daphne, each of which has grown by at least 25 percent over the last 10 years.
But none of those cities is the fastest-growing in the state. That title goes to Pike Road, a small city near Montgomery that has nearly doubled in the last 10 years, from 5,400 people in 2010 to more than 10,000 in 2019. Its 88 percent growth is by far the fastest rate in the state, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau.
We looked at all Alabama cities with a population of 10,000 or more at the latest federal estimate.
Even with its small size, Pike Road’s 4,700 new people since 2010 is the ninth most of any city in Alabama during that time.
Fairhope and Foley lead the Baldwin County delegation with the second and third fastest rate of growth in the state, respectively. Fairhope added 7,300 new people, a growth rate of 48 percent. Foley added nearly 6,000 people, for a rate of 39 percent. Both cities vaulted over the 20,000 people threshold within the last decade. Fairhope is now home to 22,700 people, and Foley is home to 20,400.
Chelsea, a suburb of Birmingham in fast-growing Shelby County, also grew by 39 percent. Gulf Shores at the coast rounded out the top five at 31 percent. Its 3,000 new people pushed it past the 10,000 population mark.
Auburn, home to Auburn University, grew at the ninth fastest pace in the state at 24 percent. It’s the largest city in the top 10, and its 12,900 new people was second most in the state since 2010. (Huntsville added 20,000, the most new people of any city in Alabama over that time. But as a much larger city, that worked out to just an 11 percent gain, or 18th fastest rate of growth in the state. Huntsville is now home to 200,000 people and is on pace to be the most populous city in the state.)
Madison, a suburb of Huntsville, added nearly 9,000 people since 2010 to become just the 10th Alabama city with a population greater than 50,000.
Daphne is the final Baldwin County city to make the top 10. It grew by 25 percent between 2010 and 2019.
Check this map to see the location of the 10 fastest growing and 10 fastest shrinking cities in Alabama. Growing cities are in blue, shrinking in red.