Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama. A city deeply rooted in history, it was the birthplace of the Confederacy and the Civil Rights Movement and includes many landmarks to both periods.
Montgomery’s population is becoming more diverse. The city’s white population has decreased by 30 percent since 2000, but it has experienced significant growth among communities of color, putting it on pace to become a city with a people of color majority. Montgomery elected its first black mayor in fall 2019. Six of every 10 jobs in Montgomery are held by workers living outside of the city limits, and there are wide gaps in earnings by race and gender. Both racial groups were largely negative about the city’s direction; they broadly agreed that the crux of interrelated city problems included low wages, crime, and challenged schools. When asked what unites residents, both groups cited workplaces, churches, public events (especially fairs and football), food, and responses to disaster. Both groups agreed that the best path forward starts with fixing the schools. There was also agreement on the need for higher wages and a stronger police department to tackle crime. In Montgomery, we conducted focus groups where we heard the opinions of non-college-educated black and white residents. Learn more by reading thefull report.