Bessemer is located at 33°23'29" North, 86°57'24" West (33.391343, -86.956569)1, about 18 m. S.W. of Birmingham, a little N. of the centre of the state.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 29,672 people, 11,537 households, and 7,868 families residing in the city. The population density is 281.5/km² (729.0/mi²). There are 12,790 housing units at an average density of 121.3/km² (314.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 28.93% White, 69.55% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 1.14% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 11,537 households out of which 30.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.6% are married couples living together, 29.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% are non-families. 29.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.52 and the average family size is 3.12.
In the city the population is spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 75.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $23,066, and the median income for a family is $28,230. Males have a median income of $29,413 versus $21,552 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,232. 27.2% of the population and 24.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 37.8% are under the age of 18 and 24.7% are 65 or older.
The town is served (1911) by the Alabama Great Southern (Queen & Crescent route), the Louisville & Nash~ ville, the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham (St Louis & San Francisco system), the Birlningham Southern, and the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic railways.
Bessemer is situated in the midst of the iron ore and limestone district of Alabama, in the south part of Jones’ Valley (about 3 m. wide.); to the east is the Red Ore mountain range, rich in red haematite; to the north-west are the Warrior coalfields; to the south-west, south and south-east are immense fossiliferous iron ore seams and the Cahaba coalfields; in the immediate vicinity of the city are limestone quarries, and about 18 m. north-east are the limestone kilns of Gate City.
Mining, iron smelting and the manufacture of iron and coke are the chief industries of Bessemer (1911); truck farming is also an important industry.
In 1900 Bessemer was the eighth city of the state in population, second in amount of capital invested in manufacturing, and fourth in the value of its manufactured product for the year.
Bessemer was laid out in 1887, and was incorporated in 1889.