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Calhoun County, Alabama facts for kids

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Calhoun County, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Calhoun County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the USA highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded December 18, 1832
as Benton County
Seat Anniston
Largest City Anniston
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

612 sq mi (1,585 km²)
606 sq mi (1,570 km²)
6.4 sq mi (17 km²), 1.0%
 - (2016)
 - Density

191/sq mi (74/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: John C. Calhoun
  • County Number 11 on Alabama Licence Plates

Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 118,572. Its county seat is Anniston. Its name is in honor of John C. Calhoun, famous member of the United States Senate from South Carolina.

Calhoun County is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Benton County was established on December 18, 1832, named for Thomas Hart Benton, a member of the United States Senate from Missouri, with its county seat at Jacksonville. Benton, a slave owner, was a political ally of John C. Calhoun, another slaveholder and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Through the 1820s-1840s, however, Benton's and Calhoun's political interests diverged, with Calhoun increasingly using secession as a weapon to maintain and expand slavery throughout the United States. Benton, on the other hand, was slowly coming to the conclusion that slavery was wrong and that preservation of the union was paramount. On January 29, 1858, Alabama supporters of slavery, objecting to Benton's change of heart, renamed Benton County as Calhoun County. In 1870, during widespread terror in the state in the run-up to the 1870 gubernatorial election, four blacks and one white were lynched.

The county seat was moved to Anniston after years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June 1900. An F4 tornado struck here on Palm Sunday March 27, 1994. It destroyed Piedmont's Goshen United Methodist Church twelve minutes after the National Weather Service of Birmingham issued a tornado warning for northern Calhoun, southeastern Etowah, and southern Cherokee.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 612 square miles (1,590 km2), of which 606 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 6.4 square miles (17 km2) (1.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge
  • Talladega National Forest (part)


Major highways

  • I-20 (AL).svg Interstate 20
  • US 78.svg U.S. Highway 78
  • US 278.svg U.S. Highway 278
  • US 431.svg U.S. Highway 431
  • Alabama 9.svg State Route 9
  • Alabama 21.svg State Route 21
  • Alabama 144.svg State Route 144
  • Alabama 200.svg State Route 200
  • Alabama 202.svg State Route 202
  • Alabama 204.svg State Route 204


  • Alabama and Tennessee River Railway
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Amtrak


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 14,260
1850 17,163 20.4%
1860 21,539 25.5%
1870 13,980 −35.1%
1880 19,591 40.1%
1890 33,835 72.7%
1900 34,874 3.1%
1910 39,115 12.2%
1920 47,822 22.3%
1930 55,611 16.3%
1940 63,319 13.9%
1950 79,539 25.6%
1960 95,878 20.5%
1970 103,092 7.5%
1980 119,761 16.2%
1990 116,034 −3.1%
2000 112,249 −3.3%
2010 118,572 5.6%
Est. 2016 114,611 −3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015

As of the census of 2010, there were 118,572 people, 47,331 households, and 31,609 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 53,289 housing units at an average density of 87 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.9% White, 20.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47,331 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 27.1 % from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,407, and the median income for a family was $49,532. Males had a median income of $41,599 versus $29,756 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,574. About 15.2% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Places of interest

Calhoun County is home to Jacksonville State University, the Anniston Museum of Natural History, the Berman Museum of World History and the Coldwater Covered Bridge. It also contains a portion of the Talladega National Forest.

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