Shelby County remains one of largest, fastest-growing counties in Alabama

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

Shelby County remained one of the fastest-growing and largest counties in the state of Alabama following the release of the 2020 Census data.

Between 2010 and 2020, the county saw an increase of 27,939 residents, going from 195,085 to 223,024. That gave the county a percentage increase of 14.3 percent between the two Census calculations, which made the county the sixth fastest growing county in that span.

At the conclusion of the 2010 Census, Shelby County ranked as the fifth largest county in the state. Following the 2020 Census, the county now ranks as the seventh largest in Alabama.

The two counties to surpass Shelby County were Baldwin and Tuscaloosa, but it wasn’t by much.

Tuscaloosa County grew by 16.6 percent from 2010 to 2020 with the population increasing from 194,656 to 227,036. That gave Tuscaloosa County the fourth largest increase in the state over the last 10 years, while it is the sixth largest county in the state.

Baldwin County had the largest growth over the last 10 years with a 27.2-percent increase. The county’s population grew from 182,265 to 231,767 over the last 10 years to make it the fourth largest county in the state.

Jefferson, Mobile, Madison and Montgomery counties were the other counties in the top five, while Lee, Morgan and Calhoun closed out the top 10.

Between Baldwin County in fourth and Shelby County in seventh, the four counties in that range are separated by less than 8,000 residents.

Behind Baldwin County’s sharp increase, Limestone and Lee counties both had drastic jumps in population during the 2020 Census with Baldwin having a 27.2-percent increase and Lee having a 25.1-percent increase.

In all, 41 of Alabama’s 67 counties saw their population decrease over the past 10 years, while 26 saw an increase in population.

Shelby County’s population is 82.5 percent white, 13.3 percent Black, 5.8 percent Hispanic and 2.3 percent Asian.

Some data still hasn’t been released from 2020, including median household income, but at the last count in 2019, Shelby County had the highest median income at $77,799, which was 54 percent above the state median and 23 percent above the national median. The per capita income was $38,549 during the count, which is $4,000 more than the national average.

The county also remains one of the most educated with 42.9 percent receiving at least a bachelor’s degree and 92.7 percent receiving at least a high school degree.