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Decatur, AL

Known as "a Grand City on a Charming Scale" and "the River City," Decatur is located in the Tennessee River Valley of North Alabama, about an hour north of Birmingham. With a population of about 56,000, Decatur is the largest city in Morgan County.

Initially a river crossing for settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains, Decatur drew interest because of its fertile river valley soil and easy river access to other cities. The town became known as Decatur on June 16, 1820 before being incorporated as a city in 1826.

Decatur is renowned for its outdoor recreation. Residents take advantage of the city's Tennessee River location for boating, water skiing, and fishing from spring until fall. The city offers several city parks and recreational facilities.


Decatur comprises several distinct neighborhoods, including:


Decatur's location has strongly impacted its economy since 1836, when it was chosen to become the eastern terminus of the first railroad line west of the Appalachian Mountains. This boosted the city's economy and caused rapid population growth. With two major avenues for industry, the Tennessee River and the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, the city became an important industrial hub in Alabama.

Today, Decatur's geography is still critical to its economy. Living up to its nickname as "the River City," Decatur is the busiest port along the Tennessee River. Several Fortune 500 companies have established plants in the city, most notably including:

Decatur is also home to offices of several industrial companies, including Boeing and Daikin America.




The only college located within Decatur is Calhoun Community College, which also has an off-campus location in Huntsville, Alabama. Outside Decatur's city limits, nearby colleges and universities include Alabama A & M University, Athens State University and University of Alabama in Huntsville, and University of North Alabama.

About two-thirds of Decatur's population over the age of 25 has at least a high school diploma.


Decatur has one local newspaper, TheDecatur Daily. The Huntsville Times is also circulated in Decatur.

The city also broadcasts three local AM radio stations, two FM stations and three TV stations.

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