According to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census on Thursday, Huntsville, Ala. saw a surge in population growth from 2016 to 2017, adding the most people of any major Alabama city and putting the city on track to become the states largest metropolitan area, within the next six years.
Census data shows that the Huntsville population has grown 8.04 percent since the last census was taken in 2010, and with companies like Toyota and Mazda joining the area, the city should experience even more growth in the coming years.
But Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said he isn’t as concerned with the quantity of people moving into the city; but the quality of life the city has to offer its inhabitants.
“We’re proud of Huntsville’s success, but for us it’s more about quality than quantity,” Battle told AL.com. “Yes, we’ve generated more than 62 percent of the jobs in the state in the past decade, and yes, that brings in more people, but more importantly for us the jobs we’ve brought in are the ones that attract the best and the brightest. That’s what matters – making your citizens quality of life better – not bigger. We’re a smart city, we’re a Google city, we’re an aerospace city. I would rather talk about that than size.”
Last week, Wallethub proclaimed the city one of the top 100 places to start a career, and according to MoneyWatch, Huntsville’s has the third most technical workforce in the country with nearly 17 percent of the workforce working in a STEM field.
“People are learning about Huntsville’s secret, and that’s a big reason for our continued growth,” Marketing and communications director for the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Claire Aiello told AL.com. “Our city is a smart place to live, work and play. We offer a great quality of life, a highly educated workforce and good paying jobs to match.