Russell County
County courthouse in Phenix City
County courthouse in Phenix City
Map of Alabama highlighting Russell County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°17′12″N 85°11′38″W / 32.2867°N 85.1939°W / 32.2867; -85.1939
Country United States
State Alabama
FoundedDecember 18, 1832
Named forGilbert C. Russell
SeatPhenix City
Largest cityPhenix City
Area
 • Total647 sq mi (1,680 km2)
 • Land641 sq mi (1,660 km2)
 • Water6.1 sq mi (16 km2)  0.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total59,183
 • Estimate 
(2022)
58,555 Decrease
 • Density91/sq mi (35/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.rcala.com
  • County Number 57 on Alabama Licence Plates
  • Officially in Central Time, but Phenix City unofficially uses Eastern Time

Russell County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 59,183.[1] Its county seat is Phenix City.[2] Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.

Russell County is part of the Columbus, GA-AL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Of all counties in the United States, Russell County has the most people working in a state other than their own, at over 54% of the population, most of whom work in Columbus, Georgia.[3]

History

Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Russell County and especially its county seat, Phenix City gained a reputation of lawlessness, political corruption and being a den for vice such as organized crime, prostitution, and gambling.[4] The city police and county deputies also took part in the corruption.[5] In 1954, the local politician Albert Patterson won the Democratic nomination for Alabama Attorney General on a platform of ridding the city of corruption and crime. Patterson ran for a state office since he was unable to run in local elections, as they were rigged. On June 18, 1954, Patterson was shot and killed by an unknown assassin.[4] The murder set off a series of events that led to Governor Gordon Persons declaring martial law in the county and city because of its lawlessness on July 22 that year. That was the only time since the Reconstruction era that martial law was declared in a US city for reasons other than civil unrest or natural disaster.[6] The Alabama National Guard was called in to assume the role of the police and clean up the area of illegal activities. The state of martial law was rescinded on January 17, 1955, with Russell County and Phenix City both returning to civilian control.[7][8] In 1974, the New York Times noted that the campaign was very successful and led to a relatively-low crime rate in Phenix City for the 20 years since then.[9]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 647 square miles (1,680 km2), of which 641 square miles (1,660 km2) is land and 6.1 square miles (16 km2) (0.9%) is water.[10] The county is located in the Gulf Coastal Plain region, with a few rolling hills due to its close proximity to the fall line of the eastern United States.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
184013,513
185019,54844.7%
186026,59236.0%
187021,636−18.6%
188024,83714.8%
189024,093−3.0%
190027,08312.4%
191025,937−4.2%
192027,4485.8%
193027,377−0.3%
194035,77530.7%
195040,36412.8%
196046,35114.8%
197045,394−2.1%
198047,3564.3%
199046,860−1.0%
200049,7566.2%
201052,9476.4%
202059,18311.8%
2022 (est.)58,555[11]−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790–1960[13] 1900–1990[14]
1990–2000[15] 2010–2020[1]

2020 Census

Russell County, Alabama – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[16] Pop 2010[17] Pop 2020[18] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 27,925 27,591 26,679 56.12% 52.11% 45.08%
Black or African American alone (NH) 20,217 21,926 25,930 40.63% 41.41% 43.81%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 164 189 180 0.33% 0.36% 0.30%
Asian alone (NH) 173 223 408 0.35% 0.42% 0.69%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 34 112 128 0.07% 0.21% 0.22%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 43 55 234 0.09% 0.10% 0.40%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 456 905 2,429 0.92% 1.71% 4.10%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 744 1,946 3,195 1.50% 3.68% 5.40%
Total 49,756 52,947 59,183 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 59,183 people, 23,262 households, and 14,948 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 52,947 people living in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 49,756 people, 19,741 households, and 13,423 families living in the county. The population density was 78 inhabitants per square mile (30 inhabitants/km2). There were 22,831 housing units, at an average density of 14/km2 (36/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was: 56.69% White, 40.84% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Nearly 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 19,741 households, out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 44.40% were married couples living together, 18.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.00% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49, and the average family size was 3.05.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.50% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,492, and the median income for a family was $34,004. Males had a median income of $28,696 versus $20,882 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,015. About 16.80% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.50% of those under age 18 and 19.30% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Russell County trends Democratic in presidential elections; having last supported a Republican in 1972 when it voted for Richard Nixon. George W. Bush came within 38 votes of carrying the county in 2004.

United States presidential election results for Russell County, Alabama[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,864 46.25% 11,228 52.64% 237 1.11%
2016 9,210 47.83% 9,579 49.75% 467 2.43%
2012 8,278 43.78% 10,500 55.53% 132 0.70%
2008 8,705 46.02% 10,085 53.32% 125 0.66%
2004 8,337 49.60% 8,375 49.82% 97 0.58%
2000 6,198 41.95% 8,396 56.83% 181 1.23%
1996 5,025 36.69% 7,834 57.20% 836 6.10%
1992 5,587 35.61% 8,647 55.12% 1,455 9.27%
1988 6,333 48.40% 6,589 50.35% 164 1.25%
1984 6,654 46.04% 7,610 52.66% 188 1.30%
1980 4,485 33.22% 8,123 60.17% 892 6.61%
1976 4,150 32.96% 8,077 64.14% 365 2.90%
1972 6,034 66.73% 2,644 29.24% 365 4.04%
1968 704 6.26% 2,707 24.07% 7,834 69.67%
1964 4,877 76.04% 0 0.00% 1,537 23.96%
1960 1,770 33.41% 3,480 65.69% 48 0.91%
1956 1,265 28.24% 3,060 68.32% 154 3.44%
1952 867 19.55% 3,564 80.38% 3 0.07%
1948 94 5.29% 0 0.00% 1,682 94.71%
1944 115 5.16% 2,109 94.66% 4 0.18%
1940 48 1.93% 2,435 97.95% 3 0.12%
1936 66 2.93% 2,181 96.68% 9 0.40%
1932 46 2.26% 1,984 97.40% 7 0.34%
1928 333 27.82% 846 70.68% 18 1.50%
1924 14 2.70% 474 91.33% 31 5.97%
1920 29 3.88% 671 89.71% 48 6.42%
1916 3 0.40% 752 99.08% 4 0.53%
1912 4 0.25% 1,553 96.22% 57 3.53%
1908 32 5.64% 516 91.01% 19 3.35%
1904 21 3.54% 558 94.10% 14 2.36%

Communities

City

Town

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Former city

Notable person

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Alex (February 22, 2016). "Percent of U.S. Population Working Outside State of Residence". Vivid Maps. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Coakley, Scheips & Demma 1971, p. 35
  5. ^ Grady 2005, pp. 5–6
  6. ^ Stewart 1998, pp. 200–201
  7. ^ Coakley, Scheips & Demma 1971, p. 36
  8. ^ Bernstein 2009, p. 98
  9. ^ Jenkins, Ray (June 18, 1974). "Phenix City Ala., Is Staying Clean". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  14. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  16. ^ "P004 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Russell County, Alabama". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Russell County, Alabama". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Russell County, Alabama". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  20. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.

Sources

32°17′12″N 85°11′38″W / 32.28667°N 85.19389°W / 32.28667; -85.19389