Disclosed are water-dispersible fibers derived from sulfopolyesters having a Tg of at least 25° C. The fibers may contain a single sulfopolyester or a blend of a sulfopolyester with a water-dispersible or water-nondispersible polymer. Also disclosed are multicomponent fibers comprising a water dispersible sulfopolyester having a Tg of at least 57° C. and a water non-dispersible polymer. The multicomponent fibers may be used to produce microdenier fibers. Fibrous articles may be produced from the water-dispersible fibers, multicomponent fibers, and microdenier fibers. The fibrous articles include water-dispersible and microdenier nonwoven webs, fabrics, and multilayered articles such as wipes, gauze, tissue, diapers, panty liners, sanitary napkins, bandages, and surgical dressings. Also disclosed is a process for water-dispersible fibers, nonwoven fabrics, and microdenier webs. The fibers and fibrous articles have further applications in flushable personal care and cleaning products, disposable protective outerwear, and laminating binders.