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Baldwin County, Alabama

Baldwin County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of Abraham Baldwin, a member of the United States Senate. As of 2000 the population is 140,415 . The estimated 2005 population from the U.S. Census Bureau is 162,586. The county seat is Bay Minette. It is the largest county in Alabama by area.

History

Baldwin County was established on December 21, 1809 ten years before Alabama became a state. Previously, the county had been a part of the Mississippi territory until 1817 when the area passed into the Alabama territory. Statehood was gained by Alabama in 1819.

There have been numerous border changes to the county and numerous armies have invaded.

In the first days of Baldwin County, the Town of McIntosh Bluff (now in Mobile County, Alabama, West of Baldwin County) on the Tombigbee River was the County Seat. After being transferred to the Town of Blakeley in 1810, the County Seat was later moved to the City of Daphne in 1868. In 1900, by an Act of the Legislature of Alabama, the County Seat was authorized for relocation to the City of Bay Minette, however, the City of Daphne resisted relocation. In order to relocate the County Seat to the City of Bay Minette, the men of Bay Minette devised a scheme. To lure the Sheriff and his Deputy out of the City of Daphne, the men prefabricated a murder. While the law was chasing down the fictitious killer during the late hours, the group of Bay Minette men stealthily traveled the seventeen miles to the City of Daphne, stole the Baldwin County Courthouse records, and delivered them to the City of Bay Minette - where Baldwin County's County Seat remains to this day. A New Deal mural hanging in the Bay Minette post office depicts the removal of the county seat.

Baldwin County, due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico frequently endures tropical weather systems which often are Hurricanes. In recent years, the county was declared a disaster area in September 1979 due to damage from Hurricane Frederic, in July 1997 due to Hurricane Danny, in September 1998 from Hurricane Georges in September 2004 due to damage from Hurricane Ivan and again in August 2005 due to damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,027 square miles (5,250 km²), of which, 1,596 square miles (4,135 km²) of it is land and 431 square miles (1,115 km²) of it is water. The total area is 21.24% water. It is the 12th largest county east of the Mississippi River.

Major Highways

Airports

There are numerous private airports and heliports in Baldwin County. Considerable military airspace overlies much of the county and adjacent bay and coastal waters.

Commercial, scheduled service is from Mobile Regional Airport or Pensacola Regional Airport.

Adjacent counties

Environmental recognition

Two separate areas in Baldwin County have been designated "Outstanding Alabama Water" by the Alabama Environmental Management Commission which oversees the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. As of April, 2007, only two other areas in Alabama have received what is the "highest environmental status" in the state. A portion of Wolf Bay and 42 miles of the Tensaw River in northern Baldwin county have received the designation. Officials believe the "pristine water" will become an important eco-tourism destination.

National protected area

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 200,100 people, 55,336 households, and 40,284 families residing in the county. The population density was 88 people per square mile (34/km²). There were 74,285 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.15% White, 10.29% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.4% were of American, 12.5% English, 11.4% German and 9.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 55,336 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.30% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,250, and the median income for a family was $47,028. Males had a median income of $34,507 versus $23,069 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,826. 10.10% of the population and 7.60% of families were below the poverty line. 13.10% of those under the age of 18 and 8.90% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Regions

Municipalities

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated areas

Education

All public schools in Baldwin County are operated by Baldwin County Public Schools.

Notes

External links

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