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Talladega is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1835. At the 2010 census the population was 15,676. The city is the county seat of Talladega County. Talladega is approximately 50 miles (80 km) east of Birmingham.
The city is home to the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and the Talladega Municipal Airport, a public general aviation airport. The Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega College and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame are located nearby. The First National Bank of Talladega is the oldest bank in the State of Alabama, being founded in 1848.
The name Talladega is derived from a Muscogee (Creek) Native American word Tvlvtēke, from the Creek tvlwv, meaning "town", and vtēke, meaning "border" – indicating its location on the border between the Creeks and the Natchez. While the town's name is pronounced by local inhabitants, the racetrack's name is pronounced by auto racing fans.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.1 square miles (62.3 km2), of which 24.0 square miles (62.1 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.30%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Talladega has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,143 people, 5,836 households, and 3,962 families residing in the city. The population density was 634.4 people per square mile (244.9/km²). There were 6,457 housing units at an average density of 270.5 per square mile (104.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.15% White, 42.28% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,836 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,617, and the median income for a family was $36,296. Males had a median income of $27,951 versus $21,326 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,733. About 14.1% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 15,676 people, 5,719 households, and 3,722 families residing in the city. The population density was 653.2 people per square mile (252.4/km²). There were 6,611 housing units at an average density of 275.5 per square mile (106.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.7% Black or African American, 47.7% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 1.6% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. 3.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,719 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.0% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,449, and the median income for a family was $38,147. Males had a median income of $31,957 versus $24,209 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,146. About 22.7% of families and 25.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.8% of those under age 18 and 19.0% of those age 65 or over.
Talladega includes a number of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the J. L. M. Curry House and Swayne Hall, both listed as National Historic Landmarks. The main listed historic districts are the Silk Stocking District, which includes the Dr. Samuel Welch House, Talladega College Historic District, and Talladega Courthouse Square Historic District. Also included is the Talladega Superspeedway, which is a 2.66 miles (4.28 km) long race track. It hosts two NASCAR races annually.
The Talladega Municipal Airport was renamed "Boswell Field" in honor of Eastaboga, Alabama resident Lewis Archer Boswell. Local legend has it that Boswell made the first successful flight, before the Wright Brothers.
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