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North Alabama is a region of the U.S. state of Alabama, generally thought to include these 12 counties: Cherokee, Colbert, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Morgan, and Winston, with a combined population of 937,059.
The anchor city of this region of the state is Huntsville, but other cities of notable size include (in order of population): Decatur, Florence (along with its sister cities Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia), Madison, and Athens.
Decatur is considered a quasi anchor city for western North Alabama, being the largest economic center north of Birmingham, and west of Huntsville.
Locals tend to refer to this area as the "Tennessee Valley" in reference to the Tennessee River, which flows through the northernmost part of the state. A section of East Tennessee shares the "Tennessee Valley" moniker.