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A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
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Vestavia Hills, Alabama
(Jefferson County)

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About Vestavia Hills
The city of Vestavia Hills is primarily located in Jefferson County (Alabama).

According to the 2010 US Census, Vestavia Hills has a population of 34,033 people, making it Jefferson's 3rd  and Alabama's 13th most populous community.

Our Pages for Vestavia Hills ...

-profile   General information about Vestavia Hills
-nearby   What's in the neighborhood around Vestavia Hills
-bycounty   Nearest communities to Vestavia Hills (By-County)
-census   Census information for Vestavia Hills
-tidbits   Tidbits and trivia about Vestavia Hills
-genealogy   Our Genealogy Helper for Vestavia Hills
-cemeteries   Cemeteries in the area of Vestavia Hills
-localpapers   Newspapers published in the immediate area of Vestavia Hills
-newspapers   Newspapers published in a broader area around Vestavia Hills
-summary   Summarized information
-map   Interactive map centered on Vestavia Hills
-tripmap   TripAdvisor Tourism pages
-misc   Miscellaneous information
-wishlist   Things we would like to know about Vestavia Hills
-glossary   This page...

Glossary and Definitions ...

Census Area for Vestavia Hills
The Area value provided by the US Census Bureau reflects their statistical (or sampling) requirements and it can be different than the geographic boundaries of Vestavia Hills. For example, if there is a cluster of people living just outside of the city's official boundary, the Census-defined area might be expanded to include that group.

At the time of the 2010 Census, the US Census gave a land area of 19.41 square miles [50.3 km²] and a water area of 0.22 square miles [0.6 km²], giving Vestavia Hills a total area of 19.63 square miles [50.8 km²].

It should be noted that the area given by the Census Bureau can change from one Census to the next. For example, the 2000 Census specified an area of 14.64 square miles [37.9 km²] for Vestavia Hills compared to the 19.63 square miles [50.8 km²] given in 2010.
Census Housing Unit
The US Census considers a Housing Unit to be a place where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter.

Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

At the time of the 2010 Census, Vestavia Hills had 14,952 Housing Units.
Decennial Census
The US Constitution requires that a count of the country's population be conducted every 10 years. The Census is conducted on those years ending in '0' (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010). This is known as a 'Decennial' Census. The process of taking a Census is called an 'Enumeration'.

The count includes citizens, non-citizen legal residents, long-term non-citizen visitors and illegal immigrants.

The purpose of the Census is to provide information about the demographic and social characteristics of the people of the United States. The results of the Census goes to the federal, state and local governments to support their planning and administrative activities.

The first Census was conducted in 1790. The most recent Census was conducted in 2010. The next Decennial Census will be conducted in 2020.

By comparison, the Canadian Census is conducted once every 5 years and is called a 'Quinquennial' Census.
FIPS Codes
In the past, the federal government created a set of codes that are used to uniquely identify States, Counties and Populated Places (such as a city like Vestavia Hills). These codes form the Federal Information Processing Standard. (specifically FIPS Document 55-3).

The State Code consists of two digits, the County Code consists of three digits and the Place Code consists of five digits. The County and Place Codes must be used together with the State Code to be truly unique.

For example, the following codes apply to the city of Vestavia Hills:

- State Code:  01 (Alabama)

- State / County Code:  01 / 073 (Jefferson County)

- State / Place Code:  01 / 78552

The FIPS Codes have been replaced by an ANSI standard and the GNIS Feature ID. Although obsolete, the FIPS Codes are still in use by some organizations.

For more information about the FIPS Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Vestavia Hills.
GNIS Codes
The function of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is to establish uniform names for geographic features (eg- communities, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, etc). The BGN was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. BGN–accepted names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A unique and permanent identifier has been assigned for each feature in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive.

Vestavia Hills has been given the GNIS Feature ID of '2405646'. Click here to see the GNIS Record for Vestavia Hills.
Although there are regional variations, a city that is incorporated (such as Vestavia Hills) is generally one with a charter from the State, defined boundaries and is governed by elected officials. By contrast, unincorporated communities usually exist by tradition, frequently with nebulous boundaries and without a recognized government.
QuickFacts are documents created by the Census Bureau that contain demographic information. Although they don't create QuickFacts for all communities, they do have one for Vestavia Hills.

Click here to see the Vestavia Hills QuickFact (QF-0178552).

Not only does the QuickFact have details about Vestavia Hills, it also contains a comparison between Vestavia Hills and the state of Alabama.


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