Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. 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 is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.
From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many states in the southern U.S., suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Like other southern states, Alabama legislators disfranchised African Americans and many poor whites at the turn of the century. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s; urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one primarily based on agriculture to one with diversified interests. The state economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.