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Lee County, Alabama facts for kids

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Lee County
County of Lee
Main façade of Lee Courthouse, 2009
Main façade of Lee Courthouse, 2009
Motto(s): 
"The Heart of Dixie"
Map of Alabama highlighting Lee 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 5, 1866; 155 years ago (1866-12-05)
Named for General Robert E. Lee
Seat Opelika
Largest city Auburn
Area
 • Total 616 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land 608 sq mi (1,570 km2)
 • Water 8.3 sq mi (21 km2)  1.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 174,241
 • Estimate 
(2021)
177,218 Increase
 • Density 282.86/sq mi (109.21/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd
  • County Number 43 on Alabama License Plates

Lee County is a county located in east central Alabama. As of the 2020 census the population was 174,241. The county seat is Opelika, and the largest city is Auburn. The county is named for General Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), who served as General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States in 1865. Lee County comprises the Auburn-Opelika, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL Combined Statistical Area.

History

Lee County was established by the State Legislature on December 5, 1866, out of parts of Macon, Tallapoosa, Chambers, and Russell counties. In an election to determine the county seat, Opelika was chosen over Auburn and Salem. In 1923, Phenix City, located in the southeastern corner of Lee County, merged with the town of Girard, located in the northeastern corner of Russell County. To prevent the new town of Phenix City from straddling the Lee-Russell line, Lee County ceded to Russell County the 10 square miles (25.9 km2) in the southeastern corner surrounding Phenix City in exchange for 20 square miles (51.8 km2) in the northwest corner of Russell County surrounding the unincorporated community of Marvyn. This territory is what forms the southern "panhandle" of Lee County.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 616 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 608 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 8.3 square miles (21 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-85 (AL).svg Interstate 85
  • US 29.svg U.S. Highway 29
  • US 280.svg U.S. Highway 280
  • US 431.svg U.S. Highway 431
  • Alabama 14.svg State Route 14
  • Alabama 51.svg State Route 51
  • Alabama 147.svg State Route 147
  • Alabama 169.svg State Route 169
  • Alabama 267.svg State Route 267

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 21,750
1880 27,262 25.3%
1890 28,694 5.3%
1900 31,826 10.9%
1910 32,867 3.3%
1920 32,821 −0.1%
1930 36,063 9.9%
1940 36,455 1.1%
1950 45,073 23.6%
1960 49,754 10.4%
1970 61,268 23.1%
1980 76,283 24.5%
1990 87,146 14.2%
2000 115,092 32.1%
2010 140,247 21.9%
Est. 2021 177,218 26.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

2010 census

At the 2010 census there were 140,247 people, 55,682 households, and 33,692 families living in the county. The population density was 227.7 people per square mile (87.9/km2). There were 62,391 housing units at an average density of 101.3 per square mile (39.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 71.3% White, 22.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 55,682 households 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 27.9% of households were one person and 6.0% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

The age distribution was 22.5% under the age of 18, 20.5% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% 65 or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.

The median household income was $40,894 and the median family income was $59,112. Males had a median income of $42,335 versus $31,766 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,794. About 11.0% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

2020 Census

Lee County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 109,795 63.01%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 39,252 22.53%
Native American 365 0.21%
Asian 8,544 4.9%
Pacific Islander 108 0.06%
Other/Mixed 7,042 4.04%
Hispanic or Latino 9,135 5.24%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 174,241 people, 64,448 households, and 37,809 families residing in the county.

Communities

Lee County AL Political Map
Lee-county-population-2010
Population distribution in Lee County by municipality, 2010

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated communities

Places of interest

Lee County is home to Chewacla State Park, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Bean's Mill, the Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge and the Grand National Golf course which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Gallery

Education

Lee County is home to Auburn University, a large comprehensive public university, and Southern Union State Community College, a two-year degree and technical college.

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