Birmingham is the largest city in the U.S. state of Alabama and is the county seat of Jefferson County. Portions of the city are also located in Shelby County. It was founded in 1871, after the U. S. Civil War, as an industrial enterprise. It was named after Birmingham, the major industrial city of England. Today, Birmingham ranks among Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and New Orleans as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States.
Through the middle of the 20th century, Birmingham was the primary industrial center of the Southern United States. The astonishing pace of Birmingham's growth through the turn of the century, earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Birmingham's major industries centered around iron and steel production. Over the course of the 20th century, while industry declined nationwide, the city's economy diversified. Though manufacturing is still a strong sector, Birmingham has also become a major medical research center and a regional banking and publishing power.
Home to a significant but rigorously segregated African American middle class, Birmingham was one of the battlegrounds of the American Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1960s. Race relations remain a central issue in Birmingham, though racial issues have gradually smoothed out in the city and the state as time has progressed.
The population of the city proper is 242,820 (2000 U.S. census), and declined to 236,620 according to the 2003 estimate. However, it serves as the primary nucleus for a sprawling urbanization known as Greater Birmingham with 1,170,012 inhabitants. In recent years Birmingham has been named by various groups as one of the best U.S. cities in which to live.
Birmingham City Schools is a publicly funded organization
No. of Schools: 80
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