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Gulf Shores is a coastal city in Baldwin Countymarker, Alabamamarker, United Statesmarker. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 5,044. However, since the year 2000, Baldwin County as a whole, has experienced rapid population growth, second only to Shelby Countymarker in Alabama.Gulf Shores is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan areamarker.

Overview

Part of the beach at Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores is one of two (Orange Beachmarker being the other one) seaside resorts in the state of Alabamamarker. Most of the city is therefore devoted to beachfront hotels, condominiums, vacation houses and a tourism/real estate based economy. Because the Mississippi Gulf Coast is protected by barrier islands, Gulf Shores is one of only two resort cities with a large beach, fronting the Gulf of Mexicomarker between New Orleans, Louisianamarker and Floridamarker. The adjacent resort city of Orange Beach offers direct access to the Gulf of Mexico for vessels, via Perdido Pass. The greater area is home to a large charter fishing fleet. Gulf Shores is served by Jack Edwards Airportmarker, which is located on the north side of town.

Unincorporated Ft. Morgan, the City of Gulf Shores and the City of Orange Beach are contiguous from west to east. The Intracoastal Waterway forms a canal starting at Mobile Bay to the west, and cuts through to the east, into Wolf Bay, forming an island. The beach from Ft. Morgan to Perdido Pass is about long. From there, a bridge connects Orange Beach to Perdido Keymarker, Alabama which continues to the Florida state line.

The Alabama Gulf Coast beach is known for its bright, "sugar white" quartz sand. Although quite abrasive to CDs, sunglasses etc., it is powdery, soft and comfortable to the feet. The Gulf of Mexicomarker waters along the beachfront tend to have an emerald green tint due to the close proximity of the Mobile Baymarker estuary to the west, where the Mobile river meets the Gulf of Mexico. The prevailing west to east current along the beach brings suspended silt from the Mobile river delta toward the Florida panhandle, giving the water its green tint.

Geography

Gulf Shores is located at 30°16'4.069" North, 87°42'5.285" West (30.267797, -87.701468).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which is land and is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,044 people, 2,344 households, and 1,544 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 6,810 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 97.54% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. 1.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,344 households out of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.56.

16.4% of the population was under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,826, and the median income for a family was $51,862. Males had a median income of $40,259 versus $22,467 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,356. About 6.8% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Gulf Shores is a part of the Baldwin County Public Schools system.An elementary school, middle school, high school, and a local community college serve the community.



Climate

The location of Gulf Shores on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexicomarker makes it vulnerable to hurricanes. In September 1979, Hurricane Frederic leveled most of the town. In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused extensive wind and flooding damage. In 2005, while still cleaning up from Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage and flooding.

References

  1. "Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights" (for Gulf Shores, AL), US Census Bureau, 2007, webpage: US-Census-GulfShoresAL.


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