The 10 Fastest-Growing Towns in Alabama Everyone Is Talking About

Written by Mary Bernard
Updated: October 17, 2023
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This year, Alabama added nearly 25,000 new residents, which helped earn its rank of 20th fastest-growing state in the nation. Thanks to the 10 fastest-growing towns in Alabama, the state now has just more than five million residents total, increasing by 0.5% over last year.

No wonder Alabama’s population is exploding. It has a little something for everyone. Lookout Mountain in Dekalb County, AL, offers breathtaking views, while beaches along the Gulf of Mexico provide opportunities to play in the sand and surf. With a good-natured SEC sports rivalry that pits Alabamians against one another, the Yellowhammer State is steeped in history and full of Southern charm.

Views of Weiss Lake from Lookout Mountain near Leesburg, Alabama

Lookout Mountain near Leesburg, AL, gives outdoor enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to enjoy the scenic landscape with hiking trails, horseback riding, and panoramic overlooks.

©Shackleford Photography/

What Are the 10 Fastest-Growing Towns in Alabama?

Discover the 10 Fastest-Growing Towns in Alabama.

According to the latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, three Alabama counties are home to eight of the fastest-growing towns in the state:

  • Baldwin County is on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Four of the fastest-growing cities in Alabama — Foley, Daphne, Gulf Shores, and Fairhope — are all located in Baldwin County.
  • Limestone County is the fastest-growing county in Alabama. Athens and a portion of Madison are in Limestone County.
  • Shelby County is in the middle of the state and part of the Birmingham-Hoover metro area. Chelsea and a portion of Calera are in Shelby County.

Here’s more about the ten fastest-growing towns in Alabama (with at least 10,000 people), ranked according to their growth rate this year.

1. Pike Road (6.6% Change)

Taking top honors for the fastest-growing city in Alabama is Pike Road. Officially incorporated in 1997, Pike Road is part of Montgomery County. It grew by 707 residents this year, a 6.6% change.

Pike Road. Alabama. USA is the fastest-growing town in Alabama.

The fastest-growing town in Alabama is Pike Road in Montgomery County.


2. Foley (6.5% Change)

Just barely missing the top spot for the fastest-growing town in Alabama, Foley grew by 6.5%, adding 1,525 residents this year. Foley is the fastest-growing town in Baldwin County, ranked second fastest-growing county in the state.

Foley, AL, ranks as one of the fastest-growing towns in Alabama

Foley, AL, ranks second fastest-growing town in the state.

©CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

3. Athens (5.5% Change)

Experiencing a 5.5% change in growth, Athens, AL, takes the No. 3 spot on the list of fastest-growing cities in the state. Athens is the largest city in Limestone County, the fastest-growing county in the state. More than 28,000 residents now call Athens home.

Historical Athens Alabama USA Courthouse in Christmas Decor

Athens, AL, is the county seat of Limestone County, the fastest-growing county in the state.

©Kathy Clark/

4. Opelika (3.6% Change)

Opelika, AL, grew to almost 33,000 residents, which created a 3.6% change in growth. Named one of the Best Small Towns in the South, Opelika is located in Lee County. Opelika’s education system, affordability, and Southern hospitality appeal to newcomers. Covered bridges, like the Salem-Shotwell bridge spanning Rocky Brook, add to its picturesque charm.

This is a wooden covered bridge in Municipal Park, Opelika, AL

The Salem-Shotwell covered bridge was originally built in 1900 at 76 feet long. After a fallen tree destroyed it in 2005, it was rebuilt at Opelika Municipal Park in 2007.

©CJ Cagney/

5. Daphne (Tie; 3.1% Change)

Located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in Baldwin County, Daphne experienced a 3.1% change in growth this year, bringing its population to number 29,670. Daphne tied for fifth place with Chelsea, a suburb of Birmingham.

Mobile Bay pier at sunset on the Daphne, Alabama Gulf Coast

The gorgeous waters of Mobile Bay in Daphne, AL, attract new residents to the area.

©Wirestock Creators/

5. Chelsea (Tie; 3.1% Change)

Chelsea’s population changed by 502 residents, which was a 3.1% change in growth. Tied with Daphne, Chelsea is in Shelby County and was incorporated in 1996.

Numerous amenities and events in the small town help create a cohesive, close-knit community, which attracts families to the area.

Locals say that Chelsea, AL, attracts new residents who love its small-town feel, country-living lifestyle, and educational system.

©Rivers Langley; SaveRivers / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

7. Gulf Shores (3.0% Change)

Sugar-white sand beaches and sparkling blue surf make this area attractive for relocation. Retirees find they can get more value for their money when they purchase real estate on the Gulf in Alabama rather than in Florida.

Gulf Shores, AL, saw a 3% change in growth, with a population of 16,193.

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is one of the fastest-growing towns in Alabama

A popular relocation spot for retirees, Gulf Shores’ population is slightly more than 16,000.

©Pugalenthi Iniabarathi/

8. Calera (2.7% Change)

Calera straddles two counties in the middle of Alabama: Shelby and Chilton. Located within the Birmingham-Hoover metro area, Calera experienced a 2.7% change in population growth. It has almost 18,000 residents.

Calera, Alabama, Downtown Historic District

The Calera Downtown Historic District is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

©Chris Pruitt / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

9. Madison (Tie; 2.4% Change)

Madison is the largest city on our list and ties with Fairhope for the ninth fastest-growing city in Alabama.

Located in the Huntsville metro area with almost 60,000 residents, Madison grew by 2.4%. It also ranks as the ninth-largest city in the state.

Madison city street sign in the clouds in downtown Madison, AL

Numbering almost 60,000 residents, Madison, AL, is the largest city on our list of the fastest-growing towns in Alabama.

©MAML Photography/

9. Fairhope (Tie; 2.4% Change)

Located on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay, Fairhope, AL, is the fourth Baldwin County city to make our list of fastest-growing towns in Alabama (the others are Foley, Daphne, and Gulf Shores). Fairhope grew by 2.4% to a population of almost 24,000.

The Fairhope, Alabama municipal pier at sunset

Fairhope tied with Madison for the ninth fastest-growing town in Alabama.


10 Fastest-Growing Towns in Alabama

RankTownCounty% Change in Growth
1.Pike RoadMontgomery6.6%
7.Gulf ShoresBaldwin3.0%

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Millenius/

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About the Author

Mary Bernard is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering places and food. Mary has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years and holds a master of education degree from Middle Tennessee State University. A resident of Tennessee, Mary grew up on a large farm. She enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, three grown children, a geriatric Bichon Shih Tzu named Zoe, and a curious black cat named Salem.

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