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Fairfield, Alabama
Location of Fairfield in Jefferson County, Alabama.
Location of Fairfield in Jefferson County, Alabama.
Country United States
State Alabama
County Jefferson
 • Total 3.46 sq mi (8.96 km2)
 • Land 3.46 sq mi (8.96 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
561 ft (171 m)
 • Total 10,000
 • Density 2,890.17/sq mi (1,115.79/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 205 & 659
FIPS code 01-25120
GNIS feature ID 0118113

Fairfield is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham metropolitan area and is located southeast of Pleasant Grove. The population was 11,117 at the 2010 census.


This city was founded in 1910 in which the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony was former President Theodore Roosevelt. It was originally named Corey, after an executive of U.S. Steel Corporation. The name was later changed to the city in which the President of U.S. Steel lived, Fairfield, Connecticut. It was planned as a model city by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company to house workers in their new Fairfield Works plant, now owned by U.S. Steel similar to its northeastern city of Ensley.

It was incorporated on January 1, 1919.


Fairfield is located at 33°28′37″N 86°55′01″W / 33.476908°N 86.916842°W / 33.476908; -86.916842.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 5,003
1930 11,059 121.0%
1940 11,703 5.8%
1950 13,177 12.6%
1960 15,816 20.0%
1970 14,369 −9.1%
1980 13,242 −7.8%
1990 12,200 −7.9%
2000 12,381 1.5%
2010 11,117 −10.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 11,117 people, 4,229 households, and 2,738 families living in the city. The population density was 3,176.3 people per square mile (1,208.4/km2). There were 4,935 housing units at an average density of 1,410 per square mile (536.4/,/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.6% Black or African American, 4.2% White, 0.0% Native American, 0.0% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 4,229 households 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.3% were married couples living together, 31.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 32.7% of households were one person and 12.4% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.10.

The age distribution was 23.0% under the age of 18, 14.3% from 18 to 24, 20.7% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% 65 or older. The median age was 36.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.1 males.

The median household income was $34,242 and the median family income was $41,841. Males had a median income of $34,854 versus $29,788 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,221. About 22.2% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.5% of those under age 18 and 21.7% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Fairfield racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 217 2.17%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 9,474 94.74%
Native American 7 0.07%
Asian 8 0.08%
Pacific Islander 3 0.03%
Other/Mixed 132 1.32%
Hispanic or Latino 159 1.59%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 10,000 people, 4,441 households, and 2,532 families residing in the city.


Fairfield has its own school system, independent from Jefferson County. The system includes three elementary schools, Forest Hills Middle School, Fairfield High Preparatory School (formerly Fairfield High School), and an alternative all-grades school.

The city is also home to Miles College, a historically black college operated by the CME Church. The school was founded in 1898.

Notable people

  • Federal judge U. W. Clemon was born in Fairfield.
  • Former NFL players Red Cochran and Jim Tolbert were born in Fairfield.
  • Major General Oliver W. Dillard, US Army Retired, graduated as the Fairfield Industrial High School valedictorian in 1942. A Tuskegee Institute alumnus, he became the Army's fifth Black general officer on February 1, 1972, and was elected into the Army's Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, Class of 2012.
  • Jazz musician Cleveland Eaton (Count Basie Orchestra) was born in Fairfield.
  • Singer Dennis Edwards, frontman of The Temptations, was born in Fairfield.
  • Walter Gilbert, member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Tim Johnson, former professional football linebacker.
  • Doug Jones, lawyer, former United States Attorney, and United States Senator. Born in Fairfield.
  • Former Fairfield Mayor, Jefferson County Commission President, and Mayor of Birmingham Larry Langford resided in Fairfield.
  • Actor George Lindsey (The Andy Griffith Show) was born in Fairfield. He is buried in Jasper.
  • Georgia congressman and environmental advocate James MacKay was born in Fairfield.
  • Photographer Spider Martin was born in Fairfield.
  • Willie Mays attended school in Fairfield, graduating from Fairfield Industrial High School in 1950. As a student, he played baseball, football, and basketball, and even played professionally for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League while still a student.
  • Demetrius Newton, civil rights lawyer and member of the Alabama House of Representatives.
  • Actress Allene Roberts (The Red House) was born in Fairfield.

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