Alabama U.S. Census Bureau

City officials in Birmingham and Mobile say new population estimates showing modest gains are important because they show growth in each case. 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.

State, city and county governments in Alabama collected fewer tax dollars per resident than any other state except Idaho in fiscal 2010.

The Birmingham News ( reports that figures from the Census Bureau show Alabama at $2,779 per resident, while Idaho was $10 lower at $2,769. The national average was $4,112 per person.