It’s only a coastline of some 85 kilometers that Alabama has to offer, but this short area along the Gulf of Mexiko is responsible for large parts of tourism revenues for the Southern US state that was formally primarily known for its cotton production. Today, agriculture does not have much impact anymore for Alabama’s economy, which now instead has many jobs in the fields of automobile industry, steel production and telecommunications. Also, the military maintains a number of bases in the state.
Apart from the coastline and the medium-sized urban centers surrounding the state’s largest cities of Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama features a number of other landscapes. Worth noting are the mountains of the North and the deep valley, cut by the Tennessee River and the mostly flat center of the state.
Alabama’s climate is, with an annual average temperature of 18° C, among the warmest in the country. During the hot summers there are sometimes tropical storms, but even more common are tornadoes. In the Southern parts, snow is a rare sight, while there can be light snowfall for a few days each winter in the North.
Alabama’s population has grown continuously in the past 200 years from about 10.000 in 1810 to a number of 4,8 million in 2010. Some 26% of the population is African-American, while Hispanics make up some 4% of inhabitants. Approximately one fourth of Alabamians is younger than 25.