Houston County, Alabama

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Houston County, Alabama
Houston County Courthouse.jpg
Houston County courthouse in Dothan
Map of Alabama highlighting Houston County
Location in the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location in the U.S.
Founded February 9, 1903
Named for George S. Houston
Seat Dothan
Largest city Dothan
Area
 • Total 582 sq mi (1,507 km2)
 • Land 580 sq mi (1,502 km2)
 • Water 1.8 sq mi (5 km2), 0.3%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 104,056
 • Density 175/sq mi (68/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.houstoncounty.org

Footnotes:  

  • County Number 38 on Alabama Licence Plates

Houston County is a county located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 101,547.[1] Its county seat is Dothan, which is located on the border and partially in adjacent Henry County.[2]

Houston County is part of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area. The county has the highest rate of death penalty sentencing in the state, which has the highest rate in the nation. Evidence has been documented of racial bias in jury selection in capital cases.

History[edit]

Houston County was established on February 9, 1903, from parts of Dale, Geneva and Henry counties. It was named after George Smith Houston, the 24th Governor of Alabama. This area of the state was historically developed for cotton plantations and had a high proportion of African Americans in the population until after the early 20th century, when many migrated to northern and midwestern cities to escape the Jim Crow oppression. Elements of historic racial segregation appear in criminal justice proceedings.

In the 21st century, the county has the highest rate of death penalty sentencing in the state, which has the highest rate in the nation. The District Attorney, Doug Valeska, has been accused of racial bias in jury selections in capital cases;[3] all-white juries have a higher rate of conviction in murder cases and approval of the death penalty.[4] Although the county's population was 27% African American in 2015, numerous capital cases have been tried before all-white juries, with evidence of jurors being picked on racial grounds.

The United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturned the conviction and sentence of the plaintiff in Floyd v. Alabama (2016), ruling there was evidence of racial bias in selection of the jury. Floyd is white. The case is being remanded to the state for reconsideration.[5]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 582 square miles (1,510 km2), of which 580 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (0.3%) is water.[6]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 32,414
1920 37,334 15.2%
1930 45,935 23.0%
1940 45,665 −0.6%
1950 46,522 1.9%
1960 50,718 9.0%
1970 56,574 11.5%
1980 74,632 31.9%
1990 81,331 9.0%
2000 88,787 9.2%
2010 101,547 14.4%
Est. 2016 104,056 [7] 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2016[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 88,787 people, 35,834 households, and 25,119 families residing in the county. The population density was 153 people per square mile (59/km2). There were 39,571 housing units at an average density of 68 per square mile (26/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.08% White, 24.60% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 35,834 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 26.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.90% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,431, and the median income for a family was $42,437. Males had a median income of $32,092 versus $21,409 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,759. About 11.80% of families and 15.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.10% of those under age 18 and 16.30% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 101,547 people, 40,969 households, and 28,041 families residing in the county. The population density was 175 people per square mile (67.5/km2). There were 45,319 housing units at an average density of 77.9 per square mile (30.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.0% White, 25.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 2.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 40,969 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.5 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,022, and the median income for a family was $51,741. Males had a median income of $41,021 versus $28,240 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,725. About 12.7% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.8% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

As of 2016, the County Chairman is Mark Culver, while William Dempsey is the Chief Administrative Officer. The County Commission is District 1, Curtis Harvey; District 2, Doug Sinquefield; District 3, Jackie Battles; and District 4, Brandon Shoupe. Donald Valenza serves as Sheriff, Probate Judge is Patrick Davenport, Revenue Commissioner is Starla Moss, and Coroner is Robert Byrd. The county engineer is Barkley Kirkland.

The District Attorney serves as prosecutor for cases in both Houston and Henry counties.

Houston County is located in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District; its current Representative (as of 2016) is Martha Roby (R).

Houston County vote
by party in presidential elections [14]
Year GOP DNC Others
2016 72.1% 30,728 25.0% 10,664 2.9% 1,247
2012 69.7% 29,270 29.5% 12,367 0.8% 347
2008 70.1% 29,254 29.3% 12,225 0.6% 256
2004 74.2% 26,874 25.3% 9,144 0.5% 183
2000 69.1% 22,150 29.4% 9,412 1.5% 495
1996 62.3% 17,476 31.3% 8,791 6.4% 1,796
1992 58.3% 17,360 29.8% 8,857 11.9% 3,543
1988 73.9% 19,989 25.9% 7,001 0.3% 71
1984 75.8% 20,854 23.6% 6,488 0.6% 163
1980 64.1% 14,884 33.8% 7,848 2.2% 506
1976 54.1% 10,672 44.5% 8,787 1.4% 279
1972 83.5% 12,622 15.6% 2,358 1.0% 144
1968 5.9% 974 9.0% 1,488 85.1% 14,074
1964 87.9% 10,353 12.1% 1,421
1960 50.6% 4,055 48.6% 3,897 0.8% 65
1956 38.5% 2,632 53.1% 3,630 8.5% 579
1952 39.6% 2,517 59.4% 3,779 1.1% 68
1948 13.5% 426 86.5% 2,739
1944 7.7% 282 91.8% 3,349 0.5% 17
1940 10.9% 483 88.8% 3,941 0.3% 15
1936 6.1% 230 93.5% 3,538 0.4% 15
1932 3.9% 157 95.8% 3,863 0.3% 11
1928 46.1% 1,963 53.8% 2,290 0.1% 3
1924 11.7% 242 83.9% 1,731 4.4% 91
1920 21.5% 571 77.0% 2,045 1.5% 40
1916 21.2% 466 76.1% 1,670 2.7% 60
1912 5.0% 82 70.2% 1,160 24.9% 411
1908 29.0% 423 66.2% 965 4.7% 69
1904 22.3% 384 72.5% 1,248 5.2% 90

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Floyd v. Alabama, Petition for a writ of certiorari, p. 36
  4. ^ "Illegal Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: A Continuing Legacy", Equal Justice Initiative; accessed 11 March 2017
  5. ^ Brian Lyman, "U.S. Supreme Court orders review of Alabama murder case", Montgomery Advertiser, 20 June 2016; accessed 11 March 2017
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-07-25. 
  14. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved November 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°09′08″N 85°17′36″W / 31.15222°N 85.29333°W / 31.15222; -85.29333