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Lower Alabama is the parts of southern Alabama. Because there is no formally defined border, there are three overlapping areas generally referred to as Lower Alabama:
- In the vicinity of Mobile, Alabama, the argument is that it refers only to the southernmost parts of Alabama. This usage insists that it is properly applied only to the two counties which border the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay: Baldwin County and Mobile County. This area is characterized by extensive wetlands, but also by long, sandy beaches which are very conducive to tourism. Many deluxe golf courses have been developed in the area in recent decades. However, this region more commonly takes South Alabama as a better-known name for the region. This is reflected in the name of the University of South Alabama located in Mobile.
- Because Mobile and Baldwin Counties tend to use South Alabama with exclusivity, a second use of "Lower Alabama" is to refer to the other parts of southern Alabama, including the Florida-border counties from Escambia County over to Houston County. Traditionally, the south central and southeastern parts of the state are representative of an older era in Alabama. Hence, Lower Alabama, suggests that this region is less wealthy than other parts of the state. These sections of the state are where jokes are often heard with punch lines of "Yep, I'm from L.A. too: Lower Alabama"; or references to natives of southeastern Alabama being "Born in East L.A." (better known as the title of a Cheech Marin song parody of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A.). Further evidence of this region's claim was the "University of Lower Alabama" as one of the considered name changes by Troy State University before it became Troy University.
- Some people in North Alabama refer to Lower Alabama as anywhere below the Cherokee Nation line in Marshall County or any other Upper Alabama county whose water drains to the Tennessee River instead of through the Alabama River watershed.
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