Phenix City is a city located mostly in Russell County, Alabama, and partly in Lee County. As of 2006, the population of the city is 30,067, according to Census Bureau estimates. Most of Phenix City lies in the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Lee County part is in the Auburn Metropolitan Area. The city is the county seat of Russell CountyGR6. It is also a suburb immediately west of downtown Columbus, Georgia, just across the Chattahoochee River.
Phenix City was notorious during the 1940s and 1950s as being a haven for organized crime, prostitution, and gambling. As a result, the city had a negative reputation, and many people still associate this legacy with Phenix City. The Tragedy and the Triumph of Phenix City, Alabama by Margaret Ann Barnes chronicles these events.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 28,265 people, 11,517 households, and 7,566 families residing in the city. The population density was 443.6/km² (1,149.1/mi²). There were 13,250 housing units at an average density of 208.0/km² (538.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.94% White, 44.97% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,517 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 86.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,720, and the median income for a family was $33,740. Males had a median income of $28,906 versus $21,348 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,619. About 18.8% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.
Located in the Central Time Zone on the eastern boundary, the city informally observes Eastern Time. (Many residents refer to the Central Time Zone as "slow time" and the Eastern Time Zone as "fast time.")