Two counties border the Gulf Coast of Alabama—Baldwin and Mobile. Separately, each of the counties have unique attributes—one is anchored by one of the oldest cities in the country; the other has the largest land area of any county in the state. The economy of one depends on shipping and manufacturing; the economy of the other is based firmly in tourism. Together, the two counties wield powerful impact, as indicated by the numbers below.
Coastal Alabama statistics:
- #1 in Tourism—Coastal Alabama accounts for 1/3 of all travel spending in Alabama; direct tourism spending in the two counties totals some $3.2 billion per year.
- Heads in Beds—As the state’s leading tourist destination, the two coastal counties collect about $375 million in lodging revenues annually—36% of Alabama’s total.
- Desirable Place to Live—Nearly 608,000 people (13% of the state’s population) live in the region, making the combined Mobile and Baldwin metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) the second largest in Alabama.
- Quality of Life—Baldwin County’s quality of life index soars to 178% of the national average, among the highest in the world; Mobile hits 152—more than 50% higher than the national average.
- By Land—Baldwin is the state’s largest county in land area; together, the two cover about 2,830 square miles.
- By Sea—The shoreline stretches for 60 miles along the Gulf of Mexico in Baldwin and Mobile counties; the tidal shoreline bordering coastal bays, rivers and bayous covers another 600 miles.
- State coffers—12% of fuel tax ($62.5 million) generated for state coffers come from Mobile and Baldwin counties, as does nearly 16% of the state’s annual property tax collections.
- Valuable Assets—In net taxable assessed valuation (real, business personal and motor vehicle properties), Mobile County ranks 2nd and Baldwin 3rd in the state. Combined valuations total more than $8 billion, just slightly less than Jefferson County’s $8.1 billion total.