Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 93,215 in 2009. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Greene, and Hale counties and whose estimated metro population in 2009 was 210,839. A former capital of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is named after Tuskaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people, who battled and was defeated by Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west central Alabama known as West Alabama. Tuscaloosa is also the home of the University of Alabama. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the university remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
The city has received many quality-of-life accolades. It was named one of the "50 Best Places to Launch a Small Business" in 2009 by Fortune Small Business, and one of the "100 Best Communities for Young People" by America’s Promise Alliance. The city of Tuscaloosa is continually listed in the top third of America's most livable communities.
Tuscaloosa has been traditionally known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. City leader adopted the moniker "The City of Champions" after the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the BCS National Championship game in 2010.