Introduction to Birmingham, Alabama
Incorporated in 1871, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is home to approximately 240,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including Cullman and Hoover, has a population of about 1.1 million. Birmingham is located in the north central part of the state, 220 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, and 140 miles west of Atlanta, GA.
For Birmingham, geology was destiny. The main raw materials needed to make steel are iron ore, limestone, and coal. Seldom do all three occur close together in large quantities, as they do here. Add the planned intersection of two railroads, and a steel making city was born. Although manufacturing is still a force, the area has since diversified into industries such as finance, health care, and the beginnings of biotech. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the historic “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.
In 2004 Birmingham was named one of the Most Livable Mid-Size Cities by Partners for Livable Communities. In 1990 it was one of the Finalist Communities for the “All-America City Award” given by the National Civic League.