Coffee County/Community Demographics:
Coffee County was created by the Alabama legislature on December 29, 1841, from what had been part of Dale County. It was named for
General John Coffee, a hero of the Creek War of 1813-14. Coffee County is located in the southeastern part of the state and is bordered on
the north by Pike County, on the east by Dale County, on the south by Geneva County, and on the west by Covington and Crenshaw
counties. It encompasses 680 square miles. The first county seat was at Wellborn. The county courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1851, and
the following year the legislature authorized an election to be held to select another site. The town of Elba, then called Bentonville, was
chosen. Other towns in the county include Enterprise, Kinston, and New Brockton.
50,167 (44% urban, 56% rural)
Land area: 679 sq. mi.
Water area: 1.5 sq. mi.
Population density: 74 people per square mile
Type of workers:
Races in Coffee County, Alabama:
White Non-Hispanic Alone (74.3%)
Black Non-Hispanic Alone (18.0%)
Hispanic or Latino (6. 4%) - slowing increasing
Two or more races (2.5%)
Asian alone (1.6%)
American Indian and Alaska Native alone (1.4%)
Estimated median household income: $ 46, 729.00
Percentage of residents living in poverty: 18.6%
Unique features and challenges associated with the community and school system:
Coffee County, a rural county in southeast Alabama, has a population of over 50,909 with children accounting for almost 25% of the
population. Of the children living in Coffee County over 18% are living in poverty. In recent years, Coffee County residents have been
affected by several natural disasters that affected the stability of employment opportunities as well as living accommodations. Devastating
floods that occurred along the Pea River caused economic as well as environmental catastrophe. The most recent flood occurred December
2015. Families lost jobs and homes due to the floods. This resulted in many families doubling up in dwellings; adults moving in and out of the
county seeking temporary employment; and many local business closings. Further, in the aftermath of a devastating tornado that hit Coffee
County in the March 2007 in the Enterprise area, many families were displaced and traumatized. According to the American Red Cross, 252
homes were destroyed; 500 families received assistance from the Red Cross; nine people lost their lives and dozens were injured. Fort
Rucker, Alabama is a large military installation located adjacent to Coffee County. The economic health of Coffee County is heavily
dependent on Fort Rucker. Recent adjustments to the assignments for Fort Rucker have created some instability in its employee population.
Coffee County shares Fort Rucker with Dale County. Fort Rucker is a large military installation of over 63,000 acres and is the home of the
US Army Aviation Center, and various other programs, employing thousands of military, civil service, and contract workers. The economic
and cultural impacts of Fort Rucker are felt in all facets of life in Coffee County. Cost of living, employment opportunities, availability of
medical care, and transiency of the population are some of the aspects of life influenced by Fort Rucker.
Another unique characteristic of Coffee County is that it is the home to three separate public school systems: Coffee County Schools, Elba
City Schools, and Enterprise City Schools. Approximately 7000 students in Coffee County are served by Elba and Enterprise City Schools,
while Coffee County Schools serves over 2300 students.
Coffee County Schools has a current enrollment of 2301 students for Pre-K through Grade 12.
System-wide enrollment includes:
3% American Indian
1% More Than One Race
Over half of the students enrolled in Coffee County Schools qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch.
Coffee County Free/Reduced rate for 2017-2018: 56%
Coffee County Free/Reduced rate for 2016-2017: 55%