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Downtown Centre
Downtown Centre
Location of Centre in Cherokee County, Alabama.
Location of Centre in Cherokee County, Alabama.
Country United States
State Alabama
County Cherokee
 • Type Mayor/Council
 • Total 11.76 sq mi (30.45 km2)
 • Land 11.70 sq mi (30.31 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)
663 ft (202 m)
 • Total 3,587
 • Density 306.50/sq mi (118.34/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 256
FIPS code 01-13648
GNIS feature ID 0115902

Centre is a city in Cherokee County, Alabama, United States. At the 2020 census, the population was 3,587. The city is the county seat of Cherokee County and is part of the Gadsden, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Cherokee County was created on January 9, 1836, and named for the Cherokee people who once lived in the area. The famous Cherokee chief Pathkiller lived in Turkeytown near the present town of Centre. In 1836 the newly founded town of Cedar Bluff became the county seat, but in 1844 the county seat was moved to the more centrally located town of Centre. The name was chosen, and carries the British English spelling, because of this central location in the county. In 2011, Centre began allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages, and is no longer a dry city.


Centre is located slightly west of the center of Cherokee County at 34°9'33.052" North, 85°40'29.071" West (34.159181, -85.674742). The city limits extend north to the south shore of Weiss Lake on the Coosa River.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.5 square miles (29.9 km2), of which 11.4 square miles (29.6 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.81%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 250
1880 144
1890 347 141.0%
1900 282 −18.7%
1940 1,012
1950 1,672 65.2%
1960 2,392 43.1%
1970 2,418 1.1%
1980 2,351 −2.8%
1990 2,893 23.1%
2000 3,216 11.2%
2010 3,489 8.5%
2020 3,587 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

2020 census

Centre racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 3,074 85.7%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 259 7.22%
Native American 10 0.28%
Asian 22 0.61%
Other/Mixed 145 4.04%
Hispanic or Latino 77 2.15%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,587 people, 1,650 households, and 931 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,489 people, 1,426 households, and 880 families residing in the city. The population density was 305 inhabitants per square mile (118/km2). There were 1,690 housing units at an average density of 147 per square mile (57/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.0% White, 9.9% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,426 households, out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 19.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,564, and the median income for a family was $44,665. Males had a median income of $43,816 versus $24,043 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,491. About 14.7% of families and 21.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.0% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.


Centre is located near Weiss Lake, a man-made reservoir and self-proclaimed "Crappie Capital of the World".


Centre Public Schools are part of Cherokee County Schools (Alabama). Schools in the district include Cedar Bluff School, Centre Elementary School, Gaylesville School, Sand Rock School, Centre Middle School, Cherokee County High School, Spring Garden High School and Cherokee County Career & Technology Center.

The Cherokee County Board of Education provides public education for Centre.

Schools in Centre include Cherokee County High School, Cherokee County Career and Technology Center, Centre Middle School, and Centre Elementary School.

Michael Welsh is the Superintendent of Schools.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Centre is served by Centre–Piedmont–Cherokee County Regional Airport for general aviation, though no regularly-schedules commercial aviation flies directly to Centre. The closest commercial airports are Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport, both of which are a roughly-equal distance to Centre.

No US Interstate highways pass directly though Centre. The closest Interstate highways are Interstate 759 and Interstate 59, which are accessible from the nearby city of Gadsden. Centre itself is served by Alabama State Route 58 and U.S. Route 411; the two roads intersect at the city centre.

Notable people

See also

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