Mobile, Alabama

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Mobile and Mobile Bay from space, June 1991

Mobile (pronounced mo-BEEL) is a city located in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 198,915. Mobile is the center of Alabama's second-largest metropolitan area (which consists of Mobile and Baldwin Counties) and metropolitan Mobile has a population of 551,178. Its name derived from the presence of the Mobile (Mauvile or Maubila) Indians in the area at the time of founding. (See Mobilian.) The city is the county seat of Mobile County.

Mobile, as a central Gulf Coast city has a subtropical climate, which consists of mild, wet winters and hot, wet summers. Mobile is also very vulnerable to storm surge from hurricanes, which the area frequently experiences. The only major city more vulnerable to storm surge damage in the United States is New Orleans, Louisiana.

The city is served by Mobile Regional Airport, which also serves Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mobile is home to the University of South Alabama, Bishop State Community College, Spring Hill College and the University of Mobile.

Mobile is also served by WPMI (NBC), WKRG (CBS), and WALA (FOX) television stations. The largest paper in the region is the Mobile Register.



The settlement was first established in 1702, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the capital of the French colony of Louisiana. Following a series of floods, the town was relocated downriver to its present location near the head of Mobile Bay in 1711. The capital of Louisiana was moved to New Orleans in 1723 and Mobile was relegated to the role of frontier town and trading post.

Mobile was transferred to the British in 1763 as a result of the Treaty of Paris. The immediate British enforcement of race codes threw the denizens of the French-derived culture into chaos. The French Creole world was noted for its laissez-faire attitude to racial matters and the stringent English codes chased many of Mobile's Creole residents westward into Louisiana. It also marked a slight cultural division point between Mobile and the rest of the French-founded coast.

The port town was captured by the Spanish in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War. The Spanish held Mobile until 1814 when it was captured by the American General Wilkinson; by then it was the second largest seaport on the Gulf Coast.

The Cotton Boom of the early 19th century brought an explosion of commerce to what had been a sleepy frontier town. By the 1850s, Mobile was one of the 4 busiest ports in the country.

In another note of differentiation between the somewhat cosmopolitan port and the hinterlands of predominantly Protestant Alabama, Mobile was declared an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in this same period. In 1830, the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church founded Spring Hill College, one of the oldest Catholic schools in the country.

One incident of some historical interest occurred in 1860, when the Clotilde, the last known ship to arrive in the Americas with a cargo of slaves, was abandoned by its captain near Mobile. A number of the slaves escaped and formed their own community on the banks of the Mobile River, which became known as Africatown. The inhabitants of this community retained their African customs and language well into the 20th century.

Mobile grew substantially in the period leading up to the American Civil War when it was heavily fortified and held by the Confederates. Union naval forces established a blockade under the command of Admiral David Farragut. Farragut did not attack the city until August 1864. The ensuing Battle of Mobile Bay was a Union victory but the city held out for another nine months. During the later federal occupation of the city, in May, 1865, an ammunition depot explosion -- called the great Mobile magazine explosion -- killed some 300 people.

After the war, the harbor was substantially improved and deepened, and ship-building became a notable industry.

During World War II, the port town predictably livened up. Industry accelerated with the increase in ship-building. Workers from outlying areas moved into Mobile to fill jobs on the waterfront and many stayed after the war's conclusion.

In the post-War years, the Brookley Air Base was built in Mobile. The phenomenal influx of workers from the surrounding rural areas expanded the population in leaps and bounds. By 1956, Mobile's square mileage had tripled to accommodate the growth. Brookley's closure in the mid-1960s sent economic tremors through the area which took many years to absorb.

In 1964, the University of South Alabama opened its doors and its tremendous impact on the community and economy was deeply felt in a variety of sectors.

Mobile's seafood industry rose to a position of note for a while, with Mobile Bay oysters acclaimed far and wide, but this waned almost to the point of extinction in the last quarter of the 20th century. A few shrimpers still hang on in the South Mobile County fishing village of Bayou La Batre, immortalized in the book and film Forrest Gump, but their future appears uncertain.

Four members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were born in Mobile: Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and Ozzie Smith.

Notable yearly activities that take place in Mobile include the Senior Bowl, Mardi Gras (the oldest in the country), the GMAC Bowl, the Azalea Trail Run, and the Junior Miss Pageant.

The eastern shore of Mobile Bay periodically experiences a unique phenomenon called a Jubilee. A jubilee, which usually takes place in the wee hours of warm nights, describes a massive upsurge of sea life from the bottom of the bay. This phenomenon has also been observed in a similar bay in Japan and is believed to be caused by low oxygen levels in the water. This upsurge to the surface usually consists of crabs, shrimp, flounder and other sea delicacies. Needless to say, a jubilee, when first realized, is quickly spread by word of mouth along the coast, providing an impromptu fishing party in the middle of the night.

On November 10th 1993 the city formally twinned with the Japanese city of Ichihara, Chiba prefecture.


Location of Mobile, Alabama

Mobile is located at 30°40'46" North, 88°6'12" West (30.679523, -88.103280)Template:GR.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 412.9 km² (159.4 mi²). 305.4 km² (117.9 mi²) of it is land and 107.6 km² (41.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 26.05% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 198,915 people, 78,480 households, and 50,776 families residing in the city. The population density is 651.4/km² (1,687.1/mi²). There are 86,187 housing units at an average density of 282.2/km² (731.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 50.40% White, 46.29% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.42% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 78,480 households out of which 30.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% are married couples living together, 19.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% are non-families. 30.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.09.

In the city the population is spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 82.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $31,445, and the median income for a family is $39,752. Males have a median income of $31,629 versus $22,051 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,072. 21.2% of the population and 17.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.4% of those under the age of 18 and 14.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Native Mobilians

Flag of Alabama

State of Alabama



Largest Metro:

Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Metropolitan Area


Greater Birmingham | Central Alabama | Lower Alabama | Mobile Bay | North Alabama | South Alabama

Largest cities:

Birmingham | Huntsville | Mobile | Montgomery

Major cities:

Alabaster | Albertville | Alexander City | Anniston | Athens | Auburn | Bessemer | Daphne | Decatur | Dothan | Enterprise | Florence | Gadsden | Homewood | Hoover | Tuscaloosa | Vestavia Hills

All cities:

List of cities in Alabama


Autauga | Baldwin | Barbour | Bibb | Blount | Bullock | Butler | Calhoun | Chambers | Cherokee | Chilton | Choctaw | Clarke | Clay | Cleburne | Coffee | Colbert | Conecuh | Coosa | Covington | Crenshaw | Cullman | Dale | Dallas | DeKalb | Elmore | Escambia | Etowah | Fayette | Franklin | Geneva | Greene | Hale | Henry | Houston | Jackson | Jefferson | Lamar | Lauderdale | Lawrence | Lee | Limestone | Lowndes | Macon | Madison | Marengo | Marion | Marshall | Mobile | Monroe | Montgomery | Morgan | Perry | Pickens | Pike | Randolph | Russell | Shelby | St. Clair | Sumter | Talladega | Tallapoosa | Tuscaloosa | Walker | Washington | Wilcox | Winston

de:Mobile (Alabama) ja:モービル (都市) pl:Mobile

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