Where Is Alabama? See Its Map Location and Surrounding States

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Updated: October 3, 2023
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Alabama is a state steeped in interesting and sometimes controversial history. Its topography is also diverse — from the Tennessee Valley to the beaches in Mobile Bay in the southern area of the state. The views in the state are amazing and breathtaking. The state is proud of its heritage and college football plays an important role for Alabamans. 

Located in the Deep South, most people know the role Alabama has played throughout history. But the question is, do people know where Alabama is? Do people know about its bordering states? If you are wondering where Alabama is, let’s take a look at where it is on the US map. We’ll also explore Alabama’s neighboring states, when the state officially joined the union, the climate in Alabama, and other facts about the Heart of Dixie.

Where Is Alabama Located on the Map?

Alabama is located in the Southeastern United States, a region known as the Deep South. With an area of 52,419 square miles, it is quite a sizable state. But where is Alabama on the map? Let’s take a look below.

When Did Alabama Officially Join the US?

Alabama was a territory of the United States acquired from the British after the American Revolution. It was admitted as the 22nd state on December 14, 1819. It is important to note that upon the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States and worried about the threat that slavery would be abolished, Alabama seceded from the Union and became part of the Confederate States of America. Montgomery, AL served as its first capital. It wasn’t until after the Civil War ended, during Reconstruction, that Alabama rejoined the US.

Which States Border Alabama?

Four states border Alabama — Mississippi to the west, Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, and Florida to the south. Alabama sits on the Gulf of Mexico and thus shares a border with the Gulf south of the state. Let’s take a look at the four states that border the Heart of Dixie.

Mississippi

Known as the Magnolia State, Mississippi is in the Deep South. The state is home to the Mississippi Delta, which provides fertile soil for much of the state. It also borders the Gulf of Mexico, and because of that, the state is vulnerable to hurricanes. In the swampland, you may find several amphibians and swamp rabbits living in the area. With a population of 2.9 million, Mississippi’s capital is Jackson and it is the 20th state admitted to the union.

Tennessee

Tennessee’s nickname is the Volunteer State and it has a population of 7 million. Its capital is Nashville, the birthplace of bluegrass and country music. Elvis Presley built his home, Graceland, in Memphis. The state is geographically diverse with mountainous regions, swampland (which is why half of Tennessee’s land is fertile farmland), plains, valleys, and gorges. The state’s terrain is home to black bears, mountain lions, and white-tailed deer. 

Georgia

Known as the Peach State, Georgia is in the Southeastern United States, nestled between the Appalachian Mountains in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. The state has a humid and subtropical climate that is home to diverse wildlife. Black bears, bobcats, and deer roam around in the state, as well as manatees and humpback whales off the state’s coast. With a population of almost 10.7 million, Georgia’s capital is Atlanta and it is the 4th state admitted to the union.

Florida

Known as the Sunshine State, Florida is the southeasternmost state in the United States. It is the third-most populous state in the country with 21 million people and its capital is Tallahassee. Most of Florida is on a peninsula almost surrounded by water — the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The state is known for its beaches, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife in Miami. Florida is home to extremely diverse wildlife, as well.

Is Alabama a Good Place to Live?

Orange Beach, Alabama in July

Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote the song Sweet Home Alabama about the state, even though he was not from there and from Jacksonville, FL.

©Cavan Images/iStock via Getty Images

Living in Alabama is affordable, so if you’re looking to escape the high rent prices of big cities, Alabama is your best bet. The football fans here are passionate and passion is a good thing, so you’ll be able to make friends by having football in common. Because of its proximity to the Gulf Coast, you can go any time and relax on the sandy beaches. In terms of food, Southern culture means good food and you won’t run out of delicious things to eat when living here. 

Unfortunately, to every pro, there are also cons. The summers are hot and humid, and sometimes even unbearable. Be prepared to blast your air conditioning at your home. There are also higher than average crime rates, which is something the state is combating constantly. The state is also more conservative than others, except for big cities, so be cognizant of that fact.

What Is the Climate in Alabama?

Alabama’s climate is mostly subtropical and humid, especially in the summer when it’s quite hot. During the winter, the temperatures are not extreme and it never gets too cold, unless you’re in the northeastern part of the state where the Appalachian Mountains end. The spring and autumn months are the most moderate, with great weather conditions all around. The state receives a substantial amount of rain throughout the year, because of the state’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. This also makes Alabama vulnerable to hurricanes and the state has sustained damage from them in the past.

What Is Alabama Most Known For?

Aerial photo landscape Eufaula Alabama

Alabama is where windshield wipers were invented.

©Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.com

Alabama is known for several things like its white, sandy beaches in the southern part of the state. If you go to Birmingham, the state’s biggest city, you’ll find a thriving city with amazing food and a rich culture. Montgomery is for history lovers who want to know more about the Civil Rights Movement and African-American heritage.

If you want to check out the wildlife, you are sure to run into many animals here. There are coyotes, armadillos, and alligators found living here. Off its coast, you can also spot many species of fish, jellyfish, dolphins, and even sharks.

Lastly, the state is also known for its history — a lot of American history took place in Alabama, especially in the fight against slavery, racism, and equal rights. The Selma to Montgomery march was a civil rights march to highlight the problems that African Americans faced in the South.

Fast Facts About Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama, USA downtown city skyline.

Some famous people born in Alabama include Lionel Richie, Octavia Spencer, Nat King Cole, Courteney Cox, Laverne Cox, and Channing Tatum.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

  • Capital: Montgomery
  • Population: 5 million
  • Governor: Kay Ivey
  • Lieutenant Governor: Will Ainsworth
  • State tree: Southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)
  • State bird: Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
  • State flower: Camellia (Camellia)

Conclusion

Alabama is a beautiful state. Driving through the state and witnessing the diverse wildlife, and the different types of topography can put a smile on your face. The northern part of the state is home to the Tennessee Valley, a mountainous region with beautiful valleys. The southern part of the state will have you admiring the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. 
Alabama is not an expensive state, so housing will be quite affordable if you choose to move here. You’ll have to get accustomed to the culture here and the Southern hospitality and heritage. You won’t run out of things to do, though. Whether you want to go to the beach, take a hike in the mountains, or take a trip down memory lane at a museum, you won’t be disappointed. After all, you’re in the Heart of Dixie.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sutherland_Boswell/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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