To promote movement of settlers and to speed mail from Washington City to New Orleans, the Federal Road was laid out after 1805. It extended from the southern terminus of The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road at Augusta, Georgia westward through Georgia entering Alabama in what is now Russell County, and continuing westward through Macon and Montgormery counties and then southwestward through Lowndes, Butler, Monroe counties, etc. to Mobile and thence westward to New Orleans. In 1824, a military road was laid out from Fort Barrancas in Pensacola, Florida and ran on top of the ridges to Fort Mitchell in Russell County, Alabama, and connected to The Federal Road; this road became known as The Three Notch Road and ran through Troy and Pike County. It never amounted to much as a military supply road, but it was a boon to the settlers who used it to move into southcentral and southeast Alabama and into northwest Florida.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68.2 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (68.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.34%) is water.
There were 5,583 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 24.2% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males. Of the reported population, 78.2% were born in the state of Alabama. The percentage of foreign-born residents was 2.8% and 16.2% of those individuals were naturalized citizens.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,352, and the median income for a family was $39,601. Males had a median income of $29,190 versus $20,368 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,589. About 17.7% of families and 23.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 19.8% of those age 65 or over.
Troy is home to one public high school, Charles Henderson High School. Troy Elementary and Charles Henderson Middle School are the city's other public schools. Pike Liberal Arts School is a k-12 private school in Troy that attracts students not only from the city of Troy, but from throughout Pike County, Alabama.