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Muscle Shoals, Alabama
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Muscle Shoals, Alabama's Demographic, Population and Census Data

Muscle Shoals is a city located in Colbert County, Alabama. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 11,924.


As of the census of 2000, there are 11,924 people, 4,710 households, and 3,452 families residing in the city. The population density is 378.3/km sq. (979.7/mi sq.). There are 5,010 housing units at an average density of 158.9/km sq. (411.6/mi sq.). The racial makeup of the city is 83.88% White, 14.16% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 4,710 households out of which 34.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% are married couples living together, 11.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% are non-families. 23.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $40,216, and the median income for a family is $48,113. Males have a median income of $38,063 versus $21,933 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,113. 7.3% of the population and 5.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.1% are under the age of 18 and 7.2% are 65 or older.


The city is one of four cities known as the Quad Cities, the others being Florence, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. Muscle Shoals is known for recording many hit songs in the 1960s and 70s by artists such as the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and The Osmonds. Today it is no longer the "Hit Recording Capital of the World," as a sign near the airport says, but some music is still recorded there.

In the song "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd a verse states that "Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers." The "Swampers" were studio musicians who were available if backup was needed. They were given this name by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones during a recording session because of the swampy land around the Shoals area.

The "Swampers", also known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, were recently inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. To celebrate their success, MSRS (known as Muscle Shoals Sound during the 1960s and 1970s) released a limited-edition compilation CD containing ten instrumental hits. The tracks include "Swampers", "Muscle Shoals", "3614 Jam", and "Inner Tube". The CD came with a special insert full of information about the members of MSRS.

The members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section were Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Barry Beckett (keyboards).

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