Madison is a city located primarily in Madison County, Alabama with a small portion in Limestone County, Alabama, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 36,824.
Madison's first resident was John Cartwright, who settled in the area in 1818. The city was originally known as Madison Station, and grew up in the 1850s around a stop of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Madison was the site of a battle in the American Civil War on March 16, 1864, when Col. Josiah Patterson's 5th Alabama Cavalry, supported By Col. James H. Stuart's cavalry battalion and a section of horse artillery, drove Col. Adam G. Gorgas's 13th Illinois Infantry Regiment from the city. Patterson's men captured the 13th Illinois Regiment's wagon train, taking 66 prisoners. They also burned Union supplies and tore up the railroad tracks before retreating. Portions of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, the 59th Indiana Infantry and the 5th Iowa Infantry were sent in pursuit from Huntsville and skirmished with Patterson's rear guard that evening at Fletcher's Ferry south of Madison.
The Madison City School System, formed in 1997, serves 8,000 students from the cities of Madison and Triana. As of 2006, the school system has six elementary schools, two middle schools (Discovery Middle School, Liberty Middle School), and one high school (Bob Jones High School). Madison also has a handful of private schools, the most prominent being Madison Academy .
Madison's largest employer is Intergraph, a computer equipment company based in Madison. Thousands of Madison residents commute to Cummings Research Park and Redstone Arsenal in nearby Huntsville. Within the city limits, most of Madison's businesses are retail, with stores and fast-food restaurants lining US 72 to the north and Madison Boulevard to the south.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 29,329 people, 11,143 households, and 8,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 488.9/km² (1,266.5/mi²). There were 12,121 housing units at an average density of 202.1/km² (523.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.15% White, 13.00% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.51% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 1.98% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,143 households out of which 42.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 35.8% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $63,849, and the median income for a family was $74,532. Males had a median income of $57,216 versus $32,316 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,821. About 4.4% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Madison Chamber of Commerce, as of 2004, Madison is the fastest growing city in Alabama.