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Calera, Alabama

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Census Data for Calera ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2016 and it gives Calera a population of 13,489 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Calera a population of 11,620 people.

The city of Calera is located in Shelby County. The 2010 Census gave Shelby County a population of 195,085 people. This means that Calera had 5.96% of the county's total population, making it Shelby's 4th most populous community.

At the same time, Alabama had a population of 4,779,736 people, meaning that Calera had 0.24% of the total population of Alabama - making it the state's 57th most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Calera, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this is called a sampling area (or a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.

Things like the population, area and housing for Calera reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Calera might be slightly different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau if you need precision.

The 2010 Census shows that the sample polygon for Calera has a total area of 24.38 square miles [63.1 km²]. Of this total, 24.09 square miles [62.4 km²] is land, with the balance (1.17%) being water (0.29 square miles [0.7 km²]).

Shelby County has a land area of 631 square miles [1,636.6 km²]. At 24.09 square miles [62.4 km²], Calera has 3.81% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually at the center of the polygon). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   33° 7' 15"   (or 33.12°)             [Map]

Lon:   -86° 44' 40"   (or -86.74°)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (11,620 people) and land area (24.09 square miles [62.4 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Calera had a population density of 476.7 people per square mile [184 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Calera had a population of 3,158 people and a land area of 12.9 square miles [33.4 km²]. This gives a population density of 244.3 people per square mile [94.3 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Calera. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an incorrect comparison. More information about the nature of these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Calera had 5,128 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 11,620 people, this averages 2.27 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Calera had a land area of 24.09 square miles [62.4 km²]. This translates to 210.4 Housing Units per square mile [81.2 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Calera had 1,400 Housing Units, a population of 3,158 people and a land area of 12.9 square miles [33.4 km²]. This gives a density of 2.26 people per Housing Unit and 108.3 Housing Units per square mile [41.82 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Calera and you need to be careful when comparing results between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Shelby County ...

Calera is primarily located in Shelby County. A portion of Calera extends into Chilton County.

The county had a population of 195,085 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 11,620 people, Calera represented 5.96% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Calera has a population density of 476.7 people per square mile [184 people/km²], Shelby County averages 308.7 people per square mile [119.2 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Shelby County.

Population Rings for Calera ...

To help identify the number of people who live in Calera and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Calera. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]113,489+16.08%
10 mi   [16 km]558,381+9.78%
15 mi   [24 km]10107,316+9.23%
20 mi   [32 km]15204,831+6.82%
25 mi   [40 km]31338,032+4.03%
30 mi   [48 km]41630,134+1.96%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Calera, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Calera. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 88.58% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Calera was 24.38 square miles [63.1 km²]. Of this total, 24.09 square miles [62.4 km²] is land, with the balance (1.17%) being water (0.29 square miles [0.7 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 12.93 square miles [33.5 km²]. Of this total, only a minor amount of the area is covered by water.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Calera, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Calera.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   33.120947°   (or 33°7'15" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -86.744636°   (or -86°44'40" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   33.107572°   (or 33°6'27" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -86.749964°   (or -86°44'59" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 5,140 feet to the north<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2403965) to Calera. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Calera. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   33.128626°   (or 33°7'43" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -86.736612°   (or -86°44'11" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 3,720 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Calera. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Calera.

Miscellaneous Information for Calera ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has referenced one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Shelby County or the city of Calera:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Calera:

GNIS ID for Calera: 2403965

GNIS ID for Shelby County: 161584

GNIS ID for Alabama: 1779775

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 01 (Alabama)

County Code: 117 (Shelby County)

Place Code: 11416 (Calera)

State & County Code: 01/117 (Alabama / Shelby County)

State & Place Code: 01/11416 (Alabama / Calera)

Misc. Census Codes ...

Calera is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #6 (the East South-Central Division).

The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Calera, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Calera. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Calera: 35040<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Calera.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Cities, Towns and Villages of Alabama

About Shelby County

About Alabama

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

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 for Calera: www.cityofcalera.org/

The official website for Shelby County: www.shelbycountyalabama.com/

The official website for State of Alabama: www.alabama.gov/

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2016.

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<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

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<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places 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).

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<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

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<5>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the 2010 Census location is 341 degrees.

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<6>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the GNIS point is 138 degrees.

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<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Calera or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

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For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Calera.