Fairfield, founded in 1910 is a city in Jefferson County, Alabama with a population of 12,381. Originally named Corey, it was planned as a "model industrial city" by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company to house workers in their Fairfield Works plant, now owned by U.S. Steel.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Fairfield has a total area of 3.5 square miles, all land.
As of the Census of 2000, there were 12,381 people, 4,600 households, and 3,141 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,503.8/mi². There were 4,960 housing units at an average density of 1,403.7/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 90.23% African American, 8.90% White, 0.06% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,600 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 28.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 11.9% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 79.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,845, and the median income for a family was $38,552. Males had a median income of $30,833 versus $25,143 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,607. About 16.5% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 25.3% of those age 65 or over.
The Jefferson County Board of Equalization evaluated 3,643 homes in Fairfield and determined that the average market value for 2007 was $87,191, a 7.4% increase since 2006.
Fairfield has its own school system, independent from Jefferson County. Fairfield City Schools includes three elementary schools, Forest Hills Middle School, Fairfield High Preperatory School, and an alternative all-grades school.
Industry and business
Though the domestic steel making industry has gone through a decline through the last half of the 20th Century, U.S. Steel's Fairfield Works continues to be a major employer, though not in the levels seen around the 1950s. Advances in steelmaking technology have enabled the works to produce roughly the same amount of product as during that era, but with a much smaller workforce.
Portions of the Works have been closed over the years, but many parts of the complex have been reopened by smaller industries, some of which are steel-related.
Fairfield is traversed by I-20/I-59. Three railroads serve the area: CSX Transportation (former Louisville and Nashville Railroad), Norfolk Southern Railway (former Southern Railway), and short-line Birmingham Southern Railroad, which is headquartered in Fairfield.
Because of the state's tax structure, most cities in Alabama are heavily dependent on sales taxes. Because of this, Fairfield officials have gone to some lengths in recent years to attract more retailers; former mayor (and now Jefferson County Commission President) Larry Langford was particularly active in such efforts. The efforts have borne fruit, as a Home Depot has located in the city, and a new Wal-Mart supercenter is scheduled to open in 2006. However, the city has also lost retailers, largely due to closings by troubled chains such as K-mart and Winn-Dixie.
- "Fairfield, Alabama." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 8 Sep 2006, 03:14 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 Oct 2006 .
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