Editor’s note: ComebackTown’s celebrating its 8th anniversary. I thought it might be insightful to republish the very first piece (Jan. 3, 2012). Since publication, the City of Birmingham’s population has stabilized…and our region’s making great progress–all good news!
I live in Vestavia Hills—I don’t really want to live around a donut hole.
The numbers are frightening.
Birmingham’s population fell…
- 12% in the 60’s
- 5% in the 70’s
- 6% in the 80’s
- 9% in the 90’s
Birmingham has lost 2,600 people a year since 1990 and soon will be the second largest city in the State.
According to the 2010 census, Birmingham has 212,237 residents and Montgomery has 205,764. As noted above Birmingham lost 12% of its population since 2000, while Montgomery grew 2%.
Hoover, on the other hand, grew over 30% and Shelby County 36% over the last decade.
This is devastating to our region. Birmingham can’t close schools fast enough and Shelby County students are relegated to trailers.
And Shelby County’s exploding population is mired in traffic and lack of resources to build and maintain infrastructure.
When we travel out of state, we are from Birmingham—not Mountain Brook, Trussville, or Homewood. Do we really want the City of Birmingham to disintegrate? If Birmingham is an embarrassment, then we are an embarrassment.
Companies won’t want to relocate here. Our children won’t want to live here.
The City of Birmingham funds most of our necessities and amenities. We can’t depend on the Trussville International Airport or the Midfield Museum of Art.
Do we really want a large barren area in the center of our suburbs? We’re all in this together.
David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group for free about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org