Gulf Shores is a coastal city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. 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 County in Alabama.
Gulf Shores is a seaside resort in Alabama Most of the city is devoted to beachfront hotels, condominiums, vacation houses and a tourism/real estate based economy. Gulf Shores (like Orange Beach and Dauphin Island) has a large beach, fronting the Gulf of Mexico between New Orleans, Louisiana and Florida. 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 Airport, 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. The beach from Ft. Morgan to Perdido Pass is about 30 miles (48 km) long. From there, a bridge connects Orange Beach to Perdido Key, 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 Mexico waters along the beachfront tend to have an emerald green tint due to the proximity of the Mobile Bay 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.
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 23.0 square miles (59.6 km2), of which 18.4 square miles (47.7 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (11.9 km2) is water.
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 274.3 per square mile (105.9 /km2). There were 6,810 housing units at an average density of 370.4 per square mile (143.0 /km2). 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.
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.
- Faulkner State Community College
- Gulf Shores High School (grades 9-12)
- Gulf Shores Middle School (grades 7-8)
- Gulf Shores Elementary School (grades K-6)
The location of Gulf Shores on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico 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.