Birmingham...The Magic City
Birmingham is located in north central Alabama, near the southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains. The region contains numerous woodlands, lakes, and rivers with abundant and diverse wildlife. Hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, fishing, and boating are common pastimes and can be enjoyed at many area locations including Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama's largest state park located 25 minutes south of UAB. Secluded natural areas can even be found within the Birmingham city limits at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center.
Birmingham is a dynamic, progressive urban center of great natural beauty. Almost a million people live in the metropolitan area, ranking it in the top 58 nationwide. Birmingham is the cultural and entertainment center of the state and offers beautiful residential neighborhoods and parks, a thriving business climate, and a relatively low cost of living.
- Birmingham's high quality of life has been recognized nationally for many years, most recently by the U.S. Conference of Mayors which awarded Birmingham its Most Livable City designation.
- Because of its rapid growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Birmingham has an international flavor and ethnic diversity that are unusual in the South. This diversity has been enhanced in the last two decades by the phenomenal growth of UAB.
- The cost of living in Birmingham compares very favorably to cities in other regions of the country. According to a recent American Chamber of Commerce report on 246 U.S. cities, Birmingham is below the national average in cost of grocery items, housing, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services; this places Birmingham below the cost of living in most other major U.S. cities.
- U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Birmingham in the top five in the U.S. among cities where business is best.
- Health care and education have replaced other types of industry as Birmingham's economic base, and UAB is now the city's leading employer. Birmingham's economy is fully diversified, with rapid growth in service; financial, insurance and real estate; wholesale trade; construction; and research fields.
- Construction is thriving in Birmingham, with rapid suburban growth and massive revitalization and renovation of historic structures downtown. Construction completed in 1991 totaled $608.2 million.
- Birmingham is the leading city in a state that's estimated to have 10 percent of the nation's natural resources and 10 percent of the nation's navigable waterways.
The Birmingham area has:
Birmingham is in the geographic heart of the Southeast--two-and-a-half hours by interstate from Atlanta, four hours from Nashville, six hours from New Orleans, five hours from the Smoky Mountains, and five hours from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Birmingham lies within 500 miles of 60 percent of the nation's population.
- 10 institutions of higher education.
- five county and 13 major city public school systems.
- over 50 private and denominational schools.
- over 20 hospitals with a combined total of approximately 6,500 beds.