A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Mobile, Alabama
(Mobile County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other AL

The location of Mobile

Click for Interactive Map

Click for Interactive Map
Click here for an interactive map for Mobile
and the surrounding area.
Learn About
The Commemorative
Quarter for
The Commemorative Quarter for Alabama

Census Data for Mobile ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2016 and it gives Mobile a population of 192,904 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, giving Mobile a population of 195,111 people.

The city of Mobile is located in Mobile County. The 2010 Census gave Mobile County a population of 412,992 people. This means that Mobile had 47.24% of the county's total population, making it Mobile's most populous community.

At the same time, Alabama had a population of 4,779,736 people, meaning that Mobile had 4.08% of the total population of Alabama - making it the state's 3rd most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Mobile, 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 Mobile reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Mobile 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 Mobile has a total area of 179.8 square miles [465.6 km²]. Of this total, 139.1 square miles [360.3 km²] is land, with the balance (22.62%) being water (40.67 square miles [105.3 km²]).

Mobile County has a land area of 1,229 square miles [3,184.2 km²]. At 139.1 square miles [360.3 km²], Mobile has 11.31% 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:   30° 40' 6"   (or 30.67°)             [Map]

Lon:   -88° 6' 0"   (or -88.1°)

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 (195,111 people) and land area (139.1 square miles [360.3 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Mobile had a population density of 1,085 people per square mile [419 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Mobile had a population of 198,915 people and a land area of 117.9 square miles [305.4 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,247 people per square mile [481.7 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 Mobile. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to an apple-to-oranges comparison. More information about the nature of these changes can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Mobile had 89,127 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 195,111 people, this averages 2.19 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows Mobile had a land area of 139.1 square miles [360.3 km²]. This translates to 495.7 Housing Units per square mile [191.4 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: Mobile had 86,187 Housing Units, a population of 198,915 people and a land area of 117.9 square miles [305.4 km²]. This gives a density of 2.31 people per Housing Unit and 540 Housing Units per square mile [208.7 housing units/km²].

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

Mobile County ...

Mobile is located in Mobile County and is the County Seat for Mobile County.

The county had a population of 412,992 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 195,111 people, Mobile represented 47.24% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Mobile has a population density of 1,085 people per square mile [419 people/km²], Mobile County averages 335.9 people per square mile [129.7 people/km²].

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

Population Rings for Mobile ...

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

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]2198,812-1.2%
10 mi   [16 km]5260,852+0.77%
15 mi   [24 km]9292,582+2.41%
20 mi   [32 km]12304,713+2.91%
25 mi   [40 km]16315,262+3.19%
30 mi   [48 km]20339,525+3.88%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Mobile, 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 Mobile. 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 12.76% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Mobile was 179.8 square miles [465.6 km²]. Of this total, 139.1 square miles [360.3 km²] is land, with the balance (22.62%) being water (40.67 square miles [105.3 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 159.4 square miles [412.9 km²]. Of this total, 117.9 square miles [305.4 km²] is land, with the balance (23.1%) being water (41.53 square miles [107.6 km²]).

Location ...

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

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   30.668426°   (or 30°40'6" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -88.100226°   (or -88°6'0" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   30.679523°   (or 30°40'46" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -88.103280°   (or -88°6'11" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 4,157 feet to the south<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 (#2404278) to Mobile. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Mobile. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   30.673977°   (or 30°40'26" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -88.089085°   (or -88°5'20" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 4,037 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Mobile. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Mobile.

Miscellaneous Information for Mobile ...

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 Mobile County or the city of Mobile:

The GNIS Codes ...

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

GNIS ID for Mobile: 2404278

GNIS ID for Mobile County: 161575

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: 097 (Mobile County)

Place Code: 50000 (Mobile)

State & County Code: 01/097 (Alabama / Mobile County)

State & Place Code: 01/50000 (Alabama / Mobile)

Misc. Census Codes ...

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

US Postal Service 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 the ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned, eliminated 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.<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 Mobile.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Cities, Towns and Villages of Alabama

About Mobile 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 Mobile: www.cityofmobile.org/

The official website for Mobile County: www.mobilecounty.org/

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.

- Return to Citation

<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.

- Return to Citation

<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).

- Return to Citation

<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.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the 2010 Census location is 193 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<6>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the GNIS point is 120 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<7>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.