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Etowah County, Alabama facts for kids

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Etowah County
Etowah County courthouse in Gadsden
Etowah County courthouse in Gadsden
Map of Alabama highlighting Etowah County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Alabama
Founded December 7, 1866
Seat Gadsden
Largest city Gadsden
Area
 • Total 549 sq mi (1,420 km2)
 • Land 535 sq mi (1,390 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)  2.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 103,436
 • Estimate 
(2021)
103,162 Decrease
 • Density 188.41/sq mi (72.74/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th
  • County Number 31 on Alabama License Plates

Etowah County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census the population was 103,436. Its county seat is Gadsden. Its name is from a Cherokee word meaning "edible tree". In total area, it is the smallest county in Alabama, but one of the most densely populated. Etowah County comprises the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The territory of Etowah County was originally split among the neighboring counties, with most of it belonging to DeKalb and Cherokee counties. It was separated and established as Baine County on December 7, 1866, by the first postwar legislature, named for General David W. Baine of the Confederate Army. The county seat was designated as Gadsden.

Because of postwar tensions and actions against freedmen, a state constitutional convention was called in 1868. During it, this new county was abolished, replaced on December 1, 1868 by one aligned to the same boundaries and named Etowah County, from a Cherokee language word. Most of the Cherokee had been removed in the 1830s to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

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 counties.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 549 square miles (1,420 km2), of which 535 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (2.5%) is water. It is the smallest county by area in Alabama.

Adjacent counties

Transportation

Major highways

  • I-59 (AL).svg Interstate 59
  • I-759 (AL).svg Interstate 759
  • US 11.svg U.S. Route 11
  • US 278.svg U.S. Route 278
  • US 411.svg U.S. Route 411
  • US 431.svg U.S. Route 431
  • Alabama 77.svg State Route 77
  • Alabama 132.svg State Route 132
  • Alabama 179.svg State Route 179
  • Alabama 205.svg State Route 205
  • Alabama 211.svg State Route 211
  • Alabama 291.svg State Route 291
  • Alabama 759.svg State Route 759

Rail

  • Alabama and Tennessee River Railway
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway (Defunct)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 10,109
1880 15,398 52.3%
1890 21,926 42.4%
1900 27,361 24.8%
1910 39,109 42.9%
1920 47,275 20.9%
1930 63,399 34.1%
1940 72,580 14.5%
1950 93,892 29.4%
1960 96,980 3.3%
1970 94,144 −2.9%
1980 103,057 9.5%
1990 99,840 −3.1%
2000 103,459 3.6%
2010 104,430 0.9%
2020 103,436 −1.0%
2021 (est.) 103,162 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 104,430 people, 42,036 households, and 28,708 families living in the county. The population density was 195 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 47,454 housing units at an average density of 86 per square mile (33/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.3% White, 15.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 42,036 households 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 28.1% of households were one person and 11.9% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.97.

The age distribution was 23.0% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% 65 or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

The median household income was $36,422 and the median family income was $44,706. Males had a median income of $39,814 versus $30,220 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,439. About 13.1% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Etowah County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 77,731 75.15%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 14,999 14.5%
Native American 332 0.32%
Asian 921 0.89%
Pacific Islander 39 0.04%
Other/Mixed 4,519 4.37%
Hispanic or Latino 4,895 4.73%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 103,436 people, 40,053 households, and 25,177 families residing in the county.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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