Demographics

Demographics

Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population and are the first information used to evaluate a community. Typically, numbers are used from the U.S. Census or numbers that are based on the most recent U.S. Census poll. This helps to compare and evaluate communities. However, demographics do not tell the whole story of a community; they just present a one-dimensional snapshot that fits nicely in a table or chart. Also, different sources may evaluate different factors, which also contribute to the “picture” of a community.

Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority welcomes the opportunity to provide data about our community or to discuss data from other sources because many of the factors that contribute to the success of our business community are not reflected in the numbers. This includes:

  • Labor force members from commuters traveling from surrounding counties to Tuscaloosa for work and the underemployed, both of which enrich the labor pool for new, expanding, and existing industries;
  • Influx of potential new employees each year from graduating students from three facilities of higher learning (The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, Stillman College); and
  • A diverse, international population due to the location of The University of Alabama and international manufacturing investments.

Tuscaloosa County is a growing community that reflects many of the characteristics of a university town. Our “demographic snapshot” includes:


2000

2010

2015

Population¹

164,875

194,656

203,976 (estimate)

Labor Force²

N/A

91,563

111,973

Unemployment Rate²

2.8%

8.2%

5.7%

Population, percent change, 2010 to 2015 (estimate)¹

4.8%

High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2010-2014¹

87.0%

Housing Units, 2015¹

89,065

Households, 2010-2014¹

68,103

Median household income 2014 (estimate)¹

$46,448

¹-U.S. Census
²-Alabama Department of Labor

Labor market

Multiple factors contribute to Tuscaloosa County’s available labor pool that might not be depicted in available labor numbers.

  • Applicant Pool: Traditionally, Tuscaloosa County experiences a lower unemployment rate than surrounding counties and the State of Alabama. However, the number of applicants for job openings has always exceeded the number of jobs advertised by major employers. This is true for skilled and non-skilled positions. Such applicants include those that are currently underemployed (employed in jobs not utilizing their obtained skills) and commuters from surrounding counties.
  • Commuters: Six surrounding counties in West Alabama have a total civilian labor force of over 37,000, which represents an additional potential labor pool for Tuscaloosa County industries. Many of these individuals currently commute to Tuscaloosa County for employment and others will do so based on the right job opportunities.
  • Post-Secondary Graduates: Tuscaloosa is home to three post-secondary education institutions: The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, and Stillman College. All three schools produce graduates in a variety of fields that represent potential employees for area industries. The University of Alabama produces graduates in such fields as engineering and business each semester while associate and technical skills are the focus of Shelton State graduates.

International Demographic

Tuscaloosa County has an international population due in part to the location of the University of Alabama and global industries. As home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa’s population is influenced by the University’s international faculty and students. And with industries representing seven countries and worldwide investments, local residents include many expatriates, including a significant German population.