Quick Facts

Overview
COLONY:  Founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733; 13th colony
STATEHOOD:  January 2, 1788; 4th state
CAPITAL:  Atlanta, since 1868
MOTTO:  "Wisdom, justice, and moderation"
NICKNAMES:  Empire State of the South; Peach State
TOTAL POPULATION:  9,687,653; 9th most populous in United States (as of 2010 census)
LAND AREA:  57,513 square miles (as of 2010 census); 24th largest in United States
COASTLINE:  100 miles
HIGHEST POINT:  Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet
LOWEST POINT:  Sea level at the Atlantic Coast
COUNTIES:  159
ELECTORAL VOTES:  16 (as of the 2010 U.S. census)
U.S. CONGRESS:  2 senators; 14 representatives (as of the 2010 election)
GOVERNOR:  Nathan Deal, 2011—
LATITUDE:  30° 31' N to 35°
LONGITUDE:  81° W to 85° 53' W
LENGTH & WIDTH:  300 miles long and 230 miles wide
GEOGRAPHIC CENTER:  in Twiggs County, 18 miles southeast of Macon
HIGHEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE:  112°F, July 24, 1953, at Louisville
LOWEST RECORDED TEMPERATURE:  -17°F, January 27, 1940, at CCC Camp F-16
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE:  from a high of 92.2°F to a low of 32.6°F
 

State Symbols
STATE FLOWER:  Cherokee rose
STATE BIRD:  Brown thrasher
STATE TREE:  Live oak
STATE VEGETABLE:  Vidalia onion
STATE CROP: Peanuts
STATE FRUIT:  Peach
STATE REPTILE:  Gopher tortoise
STATE AMPHIBIAN:  Green tree frog
STATE FISH:  Largemouth bass
STATE MARINE MAMMAL:  Right whale
STATE MINERAL:  Staurolite
STATE SONG:  On April 24, 1979, "Georgia on My Mind" (music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Stuart Gorrell) was designated Georgia's official state song. It was performed on March 7, 1979, before the state legislature by Georgia native Ray Charles.
STATE FLAG:  Georgia's state flag was adopted by the 2003 General Assembly. It is based on the first national flag of the Confederacy, the "Stars and Bars," with the state coat of arms in gold in the center of a circle of thirteen stars, which represent Georgia and the original twelve other states that formed the United States. Beneath the coat of arms is the national motto: "In God We Trust."
GREAT SEAL:  The Great Seal of Georgia was adopted by an act of the General Assembly in 1799. The commonly seen reverse of the seal depicts an arch with "Constitution" engraved on it, supported by three pillars emblematic of the three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive. The first pillar has engraved upon a scroll "Wisdom," the second, "Justice," and the third, "Moderation." A uniformed man with a drawn sword, representing the aid of the military in defense of the Constitution, stands between the columns. The obverse of the seal depicts a ship with cotton and tobacco, and a man plowing, representing the seal's motto, "Agriculture and Commerce." The date 1776 refers to the date of the Declaration of Independence.

Population
State Population by Decade, 1790-2010
Year Total
1790 82,548
1810 252,433
1820 340,989
1830 516,823
1840 691,392
1850 906,185
1860 1,057,286
1870 1,184,109
1880 1,542,180
1890 1,837,353
1900 2,216,331
1910 2,609,121
1920 2,895,832
1930 2,908,506
1940 3,123,723
1950 3,444,578
1960 3,943,116
1970 4,589,575
1980 5,463,105
1990 6,478,149
2000 8,186,453
2010 9,687,653
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
 
20 Largest Cities by Population (2010 Census)
City Population
Atlanta 420,003
Augusta 195,844
Columbus 189,885
Savannah 136,286
Athens 115,452
Sandy Springs 93,853
Macon 91,351
Roswell 88,346
Albany 77,434
Johns Creek 76,728
Warner Robins 66,588
Alpharetta 57,551
Marietta 56,579
Valdosta 54,518
Smyrna 51,271
Dunwoody 46,267
Rome 36,303
Peachtree City 34,364
Gainesville 33,804
East Point 33,712
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
 
20 Largest Counties by Population (2010 Census)
County Population
Fulton 920,581
Gwinnett 805,321
DeKalb 691,893
Cobb 688,078
Chatham 265,128
Clayton 259,424
Cherokee 214,346
Henry 203,922
Richmond 200,549
Muscogee 189,885
Hall 179,684
Forsyth 175,511
Bibb 155,547
Paulding 142,324
Houston 139,900
Douglas 132,403
Coweta 127,317
Columbia 124,053
Clarke 116,714
Carroll 110,527
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Geography
Major Lakes (Reservoirs) in Georgia
Reservoir Year Created Created By Purpose River or Creek Impounded Size (in acres)
Lake Allatoona 1950 Army Corps of Engineers Flood control Etowah River basin 12,010
Lake Andrews 1963 Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Lower Chattahoochee River 1,540
Bartlett's Ferry (Harding 1926 Georgia Power Company Power Middle Chattahoochee River 5,850
Lake Blackshear 1930 Crisp County Power Company Power Flint River 8,700
Black Shoals 2000 Big Haynes Creek Impoundment Authority Water supply Big Haynes Creek 650
Blue Ridge 1930 Tennessee Valley Authority Power Toccoa River 3,290
Lake Burton 1919 Georgia Power Company Power Talllulah River 2,775
Carters Lake 1977 Army Corps of Engineers Power Coosawattee River 3,220
Lake Chatuge 1942 Tennessee Valley Authority Flood control, power Hiwassee River 7,050
Lake Chehaw (Worth) 1919 Georgia Power Company Power Flint River, Muckalee Creek, Kinchafoonee Creek 1,400
Clarks Hill (J. Strom Thurmond) 1954 Army Corps of Engineers Flood control, power Savannah River, Little River 71,535
Walter F. George 1963  Army Corps of Engineers Navigation, power, water supply Chattahoochee River 45,180
Goat Rock 1912 Georgia Power Company Power Chattahoochee River 940
Lake Hartwell 1963 Army Corps of Engineers Flood control, power Savannah River 56,000
High Falls unknown Georgia Power Company Grist mill, power, recreation Buck Creek 650
Jackson Lake 1910 Georgia Power Company Power Alcovy River, South River, Yellow River, Tussahaw Creek 4,750
Lake Juliette unknown Georgia Power Company Power (cooling water) Rum Creek, Chambliss Creek 3,600
Lake Lanier 1956 Army Corps of Engineers Water supply, Flood control, power, navigation Chattahoochee River 38,000
Lake Nottely 1942 Tennessee Valley Authority Power, navigation, flood control Nottely River 4,180
Lake Oconee 1979 Georgia Power Company Power Oconee River, Apalachee River, Richland Creek, other creeks 19,050
Lake Oliver 1926 Georgia Power Company Power Middle Chattahoochee River 2,150
Lake Rabun 1915 Georgia Power Company Power, water supply Tallulah River 834
Richard B. Russell 1983 Army Corps of Engineers Flood control, power Savannah River 26,650
Lake Seminole 1957 Army Corps of Engineers Navigation, power, recreation Flint River, Chattahoochee River 37,500
Lake Sinclair 1953 Georgia Power Company Power Oconee River, Apalachee River 15,330
Lake Tobesofkee unknown Bibb County Recreation Tobesofkee Creek 1,750
Lake Tugalo unknown Georgia Power Company Power Tallulah River, Chattooga River 597
Lake Varner 1991 Newton County Water supply Cornish Creek 850
Weiss Lake 1961 Alabama Power Company Power Coosa River 30,200
West Point Lake 1974 Army Corps of Engineers Flood control, power, navigation, recreation Chattahoochee River 25,900
Source: Amanda K. Parker, University of Georgia
 
20 Largest Counties by Total Area
County Square Miles
Ware 906.6
Burke 835.1
Clinch 824.2
Laurens 818.6
Charlton 783.0
Camden 782.5
Emanuel 690.4
Bulloch 688.9
Washington 684.4
Screven 655.7
Wayne 648.9
Chatham 646.3
Decatur 623.2
Coffee 602.7
Liberty 602.6
Glynn 583.1
McIntosh 574.8
Worth 574.6
Colquitt 556.6
Thomas 552.1
Source: Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
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Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries