Located at the heart of Jefferson County, Alabama, Birmingham is one of the three major cities (along with Montgomery and Mobile) in this state. Often dubbed as "The Magic City" or "Pittsburgh of the South", it serves as a home for about 212,237 people, which is the largest population for any city in Alabama (United States Census: 2010). It comes under the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area (Great Birmingham) which has a population of 1,128,047 which is about 25% of Alabama's total population. It also serves as the County seat for Jefferson, County.
Founded in 1871 after the Civil War, Birmingham was formed through the unification of three farm towns during the reconstruction period. It gradually started incorporating the neighboring towns and turned into a transportation and industrial center. Its specialties included mining, railroading, and steel and iron industry.
Named after the industrial city of Birmingham, England, UK, Birmingham was founded by settlers who were of English descent. It was primarily made to serve as an industrial competitor against the Midwest and Northeast regions of United States. It employed low-cost and inexperienced labor from rural Alabama in its mills and factories.
Apart from the initial industrial boom, the modern city of Birmingham today serves as an educational hub in the region as well. There are three different campuses of University of Alabama in the city with two of them belonging to the fields of medicine and dentistry. Other than that, there are a number of private universities which include the likes of Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College and Miles University. These universities offer a diverse range of courses which include optometry, medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacy, law, engineering, nursing, athletics, etc.
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