Leeds is a city located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties in the
U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is
Named for Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, Leeds was incorporated on April 27, 1887. Its success as a young city came through three major factors: the incorporation of nearby Birmingham and the beginning of iron ore production there; the building of the Georgia Pacific Railway from Birmingham to Atlanta; and the construction of a Standard Portland Cement manufacturing plant in 1906.
The city recently broke away from the Jefferson County school system and initiated its own Leeds City school system. Leeds is poised to make a leap forward in development and population as the eastward population shift continues into Jefferson and St. Clair counties. Leeds has also benefited from the recent addition of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and Racetrack and a Bass Pro Shops Outlet that opened in November 2008. Both of these developments are expected to become magnets for visitors and sources of income, as well as significantly increasing the profile of the city.
Leeds is located at 33°32′44″N 86°33′27″W / 33.54556°N 86.5575°W / 33.54556; -86.5575 (33.545592, -86.557388), primarily within Jefferson County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58.3 kmē), of which, 22.4 square miles (57.9 kmē) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 kmē) of it (0.67%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,455 people, 4,301 households, and 2,989 families residing in the city. The population density was 467.9 people per square mile (180.6/kmē). There were 4,585 housing units at an average density of 205.2/sq mi (79.2/kmē). The racial makeup of the city was 81.98% White, 15.91% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 1.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,301 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,420, and the median income for a family was $46,127. Males had a median income of $32,090 versus $23,448 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,573. About 10.5% of families and 13.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.
Leeds is served by the Leeds City School District.
On December 4, 2008 the Leeds Green Wave Football team won the Class 3A AHSAA State Football Championship and finishing the year 15-0, beating the Cordova Blue Devils in the Super Six Tournament at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. On February 28, 2009, the Green Wave Basketball team won the 3A AHSAA State Basketball Championship by defeating Madison Academy, 72-64.
* Charles Barkley, Basketball Hall of Famer
* Henry E. Erwin, Medal of Honor recipient - World War II
* Kenneth L. Farmer, Jr., Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army and Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Medical Command
* Caitlin R. Kiernan, author and paleontologist
* William Robert Lawley, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient - World War II
* Mark Martin, cartoonist
* Alford Lee McLaughlin, Medal of Honor recipient - Korean War
* Paige Phillips, Miss Alabama 1980; 1st runner-up to Miss America 1981
* Dixie Walker, professional baseball player and coach
* Harry Walker, professional baseball player and manager