The State of Alabama (IPA: /ˌæ.ləˈbæ.mə/), is located in the southern region of the United States of America. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland waterways. The state ranks 23rd in population with almost 4.5 million residents in 2000.
From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship. In the years following the war, Alabama experienced significant recovery as the economy of the state transitioned from agriculture to diversified interests in heavy manufacturing, mineral extraction, education, and high technology. Today, the state is heavily invested in the aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication.