City officials in Birmingham and Mobile say new population estimates showing modest gains are important because they show growth in each case.
Al.com reports that Birmingham's net gain was barely a blip - 672 people between July 2012 and July 2013. Mobile's gain was even more modest: The city added 11 people, for a .01 percent growth rate.
The estimates were released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Both cities have struggled with declining populations for years, and both cities remain below their 2010 census populations.
For Mobile, it was the second-straight census estimate that showed growth. The city added 131 residents between 2011 and 2012.
Civic leaders in Birmingham and Mobile are hopeful that after years of decline, the state's urban centers are on the precipice of a revival.