Albany ( AWL-bə-nee) is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia. Located on the Flint River, it is the seat of Dougherty County, and is the sole incorporated city in that county. Located in southwest Georgia, it is the principal city of the Albany, Georgia metropolitan area. The population was 77,434 at the 2010 U.S. Census, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. It became prominent in the nineteenth century as a shipping and market center, first served by riverboats. Scheduled steamboats connected Albany with the busy port of Apalachicola, Florida. They were replaced by railroads. Seven lines met in Albany, and it was a center of trade in the Southeast. It is part of the Black Belt, the extensive area in the Deep South of cotton plantations. From the mid-20th century, it received military investment during World War II and after, that helped develop the region. Albany and this area were prominent during the civil rights era, particularly during the early 1960s as activists worked to regain voting and other civil rights. Railroad restructuring and reduction in the military here caused job losses, but the city has developed new businesses.