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A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
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Mobile, Alabama
(Mobile County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other AL

 The location of Mobile 

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and the surrounding area.

Various Identification Codes ...

GNIS Codes ...

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. The BGN will usually recognize an existing name or, when necessary, chose a new name for a geographic feature (such as a mountain, lake, river, stream, city, town, village, dam, bridge, etc).

The BGN names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and it is the official Federal repository. The GNIS is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A unique and permanent number has been assigned for each name in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive and it is intended that they are to be used by all departments of the Federal Government:

GNIS ID for Mobile: 2404278

GNIS ID for Mobile County: 161575

GNIS ID for Alabama: 1779775

FIPS Codes ...

In a past effort, various federal agencies worked together to create a set of codes with a purpose similar to the GNIS codes. These codes are called the Federal Information Processing Standard (or the FIPS 55 codes). Although they are still used by some organizations, the FIPS codes are obsolete and will ultimately be replaced by the GNIS codes.

The following FIPS codes apply to Mobile:

Place (Community) Code:  50000
State Code:  01 (Alabama)
County Code:  097 (Mobile County)

Since the Place and County FIPS codes are not unique and can be repeated in other States, it's necessary to combine the State code with the Place and County FIPS codes to uniquely identify them - for example:

State/Place Code:  01/50000
State/County Code:  01/097

As already mentioned, the FIPS codes are to be replaced by the GNIS codes. The following reflect those changes:

 FIPS Code   translates to   GNIS Code
State of Alabama:    01   1779775
Mobile County:    01/097   161575
Mobile:    01/50000   2404278

GPS Location - GNIS vs Census ...

An important aspect of the GNIS code is that it assigns a GPS location (the latitude/longitude) to the geographic feature. This location is simply a point on the map and does not represent the size or shape of the feature. In the case of Mobile, it is a point within Mobile that might be a post office, the city hall or simply an intersection - the point should really be considered arbitrary and only indicating a general location.

For Mobile, the GNIS GPS location is given as:

Lat:   30° 40' 26"   (or 30.67°)

Lon:   -88° 5' 20"   (or -88.09°)   [Map]

Determined by its statistical needs, the Census Bureau has defined a sampling area for Mobile - this area also contains a map point. As with the GNIS code, the location of the Census point should be considered as being arbitrary within the sampling area.

For Mobile, the Census 2010 GPS location is given as:

Lat:   30° 40' 6"   (or 30.67°)

Lon:   -88° 6' 0"   (or -88.1°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 4,037 feet to the southwest<1> of the point given by the GNIS (see above).

You might note that the GPS location given for the 2010 Census is different than the location that was specified by the 2000 Census:

Lat:   30° 40' 46"   (or 30.68°)

Lon:   -88° 6' 11"   (or -88.1°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 4,157 feet to the north<2> of the point given by the 2010 Census.

Regional Codes ...

For statistical purposes, the US Census Bureau has divided the country into four Regions. Mobile is located in Region #3 (the South Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Mobile is located in Division #6 (the East South-Central Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Mobile is located in Region IV (Region 4).

ZIP Codes ...

While some people have used ZIP codes to identify a community, the ZIP codes were actually created to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although a ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Mobile, they do identify addresses that are in (or near) the city. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code are defined by the needs of the USPS and can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

Our list of ZIP codes for Mobile :

36601, 36602, 36603, 36604, 36605, 36606, 36607, 36608, 36609, 36610, 36611, 36614, 36615, 36616, 36617, 36618, 36621, 36622, 36625, 36628, 36630, 36633, 36640, 36644, 36652, 36660, 36663, 36670, 36675, 36685, 36688, 36689, 36690, 36693 & 36695.<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #155153   (Name of Record: Mobile)

Class: populated place

A place or area having clustered or scattered buildings and a permanent population (such as a city, settlement, town or village). The boundaries may or may not coincide with the perceived population.

A 'populated place' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'civil' record. The information contained in the 'populated place' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'civil' classes.

County: Mobile

Map Name: Mobile

Lat: 30.6943566       Lon: -88.0430541   [Map]

Elev: 3

GNIS ID #2404278   (Name of Record: City of Mobile)

Class: civil

A political division formed for administrative purposes (such as a borough, county, incorporated place, parish, town or township).

A 'civil' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'populated place' record. The information contained in the 'civil' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'populated place' classes.

County: Mobile

Map Name: Mobile

Lat: 30.6739771       Lon: -88.089085   [Map]

Elev: 9

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 01/50000   (Place Name: Mobile)

County: Mobile     (FIPS State/County: 01/097)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Mobile) that does not serve as a primary county division - or in other words, it is included in and is part of a primary county division (ie- Mobile County).

GSA Code: 2100

MRF Code: 1165

MSA Code: 5160

Other Roadside Stops ...

Index of Cities, Towns and Villages for Alabama

About Mobile County

About Alabama

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website for Mobile:

The official website for Mobile County:

The official website for State of Alabama:

Footnotes ...

<1>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the GNIS-supplied location is 120 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<2>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the 2000 Census location is 13 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Mobile or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation

For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Mobile.


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This page was last modified: 14 Oct 2016
By John Hall