A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Dothan, Alabama

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The location of Dothan

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About Dothan
Dothan is primarily located in Houston County (Alabama) and is the County Seat for Houston County.

According to the 2010 US Census, Dothan has a population of 65,496 people, making it Houston's largest and Alabama's 7th most populous community.

Our Pages for Dothan ...

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

Glossary and Definitions ...

Census Area for Dothan
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 Dothan. 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 89.4 square miles [231.5 km²] and a water area of 0.32 square miles [0.8 km²], giving Dothan a total area of 89.7 square miles [232.4 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 86.8 square miles [224.9 km²] for Dothan compared to the 89.7 square miles [232.4 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, Dothan had 29,274 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.
A demonym is the name for a resident of a community which is usually derived from (or is related to) the name of that community. In other words, it's how residents of Dothan refer to themselves. It's important to note that there aren't any rules for taking a city's name and turning it into a demonym. A demonym is informal and while the majority of Dothan may use one name, keep in mind that others may use something different.

A demonym for Dothan is Dothanite.

For example: My nephew has moved to the other side of the state, yet he still thinks of himself as a Dothanite.
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 Dothan). 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 Dothan:

- State Code:  01 (Alabama)

- State / County Code:  01 / 069 (Houston County)

- State / Place Code:  01 / 21184

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 Dothan.
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.

Dothan has been given the GNIS Feature ID of '2404238'. Click here to see the GNIS Record for Dothan.
Although there are regional variations, a city that is incorporated (such as Dothan) 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.