Friday, February 25, 2011

The ever-shrinking Birmingham and Jefferson County

The 2010 count of the U.S. Census on the city of Birmingham has been unveiled and it looks like Birmingham, Bessemer, Fairfield, Midfield, and Jefferson County have all decline in population.  It's disheartening that these areas have loss a number of inhabitants since 2000, but the thing is can anyone honestly blame them?  I'm so ambivalent these days about the Greater Birmingham area because it seems to be a region without a singular voice of unison or leadership.  The current mayor, William "the Jackal" Bell is a failure in my eyes because he represents another fixture of the past grasping on to what little power is left in the city amongst some of the ill-informed, socially regressive, and in many ways prejudice citizenry.  Yeah, he has made some strides by attempting to get the Birmingham Baron back to the city from suburban Hoover along with groundbreaking with the Central Station expansion and progress of the Entertainment District @ the BJCC, but there has been little to no progress on any major infrastructural improvements on the area's mass transit system or recapturing the spirit needed to turn around areas on decaying portions of the city.  Birmingham is truly lacking and the effects of that void isn't limited to Birmingham corporate limits.  Other municipalities on the western portion of the metropolitan area are feeling this as well such as Fairfield, Midfield, Adamsville, Graysville, and Bessemer.  Although there isn't any hard numbers for Lipscomb or Brighton, but there in that same pack of economically depressed and downtrodden "suburbs" of Birmingham.  The heavily industrialized suburb of Tarrant (City) has seen a demographic shift from a white majority to a non-white majority.  Others have slid, but because of their increase in non-white populous as well like Center Point.  The one anomaly in the region, Homewood practically remained at the same population as it did a decade ago, so this stasis says something about Homewood that it's too socially ambiguous and densely developed for their liking (it is the most densely populated municipality in Alabama at 3014.7 per square mile).

Meanwhile, the more suburban in nature areas like Hoover, Trussville, Clay, Hueytown, Pleasant Grove, Fultondale, Gardendale, Vestavia Hills, Shelby County, Saint Clair County, Blount County, and Chilton County have all increased by leaps and bounds.  However, most of these new inhabitants are by the vast majority white (see a pattern...).

This all speaks to the notion that a metropolitan form of government will the only thing that will help create the needed unison for the Greater Birmingham area.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

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