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Welcome to Georgia

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Georgia State Flag
Georgia State Flag
Georgia State Seal
Georgia State Seal
Georgia Location
Georgia Location


Georgia is a southern state of the United States and its U.S. postal abbreviation is GA. Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It was the thirteenth colony and became the fourth state, ratifying the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. Georgia's population in 2000 was 8,186,453 (U.S. Census). It is also known as the Peach State.

The state song, Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael was originally written about a woman of that name, but after Georgia native Ray Charles sang it, the state legislature voted it the state song. Ray Charles sang it on the legislative floor when the bill passed.

The state tree is the Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), the state bird is the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), and the state flower is the cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata).

Several U.S. Navy ships have been named USS Georgia in honor of this state.

State motto Wisdom, Justice, Moderation
State nicknames Peach State or Empire of the South
Capital Atlanta
Largest City Atlanta
Governor (2004) Sonny Perdue
- Total
- Land
- Water
- % water
Ranked 24th
154,077 km˛
150,132 km˛
3,945 km˛
- Total (2000)
- Density
Ranked 10th
Admittance into Union
- Order
- Date

January 2, 1788
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
30°31'N to 35°N
81°W to 85°53'W
- Highest
- Mean
- Lowest
370 km
480 km

1,458 meters
180 meters
0 meters
ISO 3166-2 US-GA


Over the next few decades, a number of Spanish explorers visited the inland region, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. The local moundbuilder culture, described by Hernando de Soto in 1540, had completely disappeared by 1560.

The conflict between Spain and Britain over control of Georgia began in earnest in about 1670, when the British, moving south from their Carolina colony in present-day South Carolina met the Spanish moving north from their base in Florida. In 1724, it was first suggested that what was by then a British colony be called Province of Georgia in honor of King George II.

Massive British settlement began in the early 1730s with James Oglethorpe, an Englishman in the British parliament, who promoted the idea that the area be used to settle people in a debtors' prison. On February 12, 1733, the first settlers landed in the HMS Anne at what was to become the city of Savannah. This day is now known as Georgia Day, which is not a public holiday, but is mainly observed in schools and by some local civic groups.

On January 18, 1861 Georgia joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War and on July 15, 1870 after Reconstruction Georgia became the last former Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. During this time, much of the state was destroyed in March to the Sea, part of the setting for the book and movie Gone With the Wind.

On February 19, 1953 Georgia became the first U.S. state to approve a literature censorship board in the United States.

Georgia has had five "permanent" state capitals: Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville, and Atlanta. (Louisville is pronounced like Lewis [loo-iss], not like Louie [loo-ee].) The legislature has also met in other places temporarily.

Law and Government

Until recently, Georgia's state government had the longest unbroken record of single-party dominance of any state in the Union. For over 130 years, from 1872 to 2003 Georgians only elected Democratic governors, and Democrats held the majority of seats in the General Assembly. The state capital is Atlanta.

As with all other U.S. States and the federal government, Georgia's government is based on the separation of legislative, executive and judicial power. Executive authority in the state rests with the the governor, currently Sonny Perdue (Republican). The Lieutenant Governor, currently Mark Taylor (Democrat), is elected on a separate ballot. Both the governor and lieutenant governor are elected to four-year terms of office. Unlike the federal government, but like many other U.S. States, most of the executive officials who comprise the governor's cabinet are elected by the citizens of Georgia, rather than appointed by the governor.

Legislative authority resides in the General Assembly, composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, while the House of Representatives selects their own Speaker. The state Constitution mandates a maximum of 56 Senators, elected from single-member districts, and a minimum of 180 Representatives, apportioned among representative districts (which sometimes results in more than one Representative per district); there are currently 56 Senators and 180 Representatives. The term of office for Senators and Representatives is two years.

State Judicial authority rests with the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, which have statewide authority. In addition, there are smaller courts which have more limited geographical jurisdiction, including State Courts, Superior Courts, Magistrate Courts and Probate Courts. Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected statewide by the citizens in non-partisan elections to six-year terms. Judges for the smaller courts are elected by the state's citizens who live within that court's jurisdiction to four-year terms.

At the federal level, Georgia's two U.S. senators are Saxby Chambliss (Republican) and former governor Zell Miller (Democrat). As of the 2001 reapportionment, the state has 13 congressmen and women in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Georgia also has 159 counties, the most of any state except Texas (254). Before 1932, there were 161, with Milton and Campbell being merged into Fulton at the end of 1931, during the Great Depression. Gwinnett County was named after Button Gwinnett, one of the delegates from Georgia who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Counties in Georgia have their own elected legislative branch, usually called the Board of Commissioners, which usually also has executive authority in the county. Georgia's Constitution provides all counties and cities with "home rule" authority, and so the county commissions have considerable power to pass legislation within their county.


Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina, on the west by Alabama, and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. It is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the mountain system of the Appalachians. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4784 feet (1458 m); the lowest point is sea level.

The capital is Atlanta, in the central part of northern Georgia, and the peach is a symbol of the state. The state is an important producer of cotton, tobacco, and forest products, notably the so-called "naval stores" such as turpentine and rosin from the pine forests.

Interstate highways
United States Highways
  • Interstate 16
  • Interstate 20
  • Interstate 24
  • Interstate 59
  • Interstate 75
  • Interstate 85
  • Interstate 95
North - South
East - West
  • U.S. Highway 1
  • U.S. Highway 301
  • U.S. Highway 11
  • U.S. Highway 411
  • U.S. Highway 17
  • U.S. Highway 19
  • U.S. Highway 319
  • U.S. Highway 221
  • U.S. Highway 23
  • U.S. Highway 123
  • U.S. Highway 25
  • U.S. Highway 27
  • U.S. Highway 29
  • U.S. Highway 129
  • U.S. Highway 41
  • U.S. Highway 341
  • U.S. Highway 441
  • U.S. Highway 76
  • U.S. Highway 78
  • U.S. Highway 278
  • U.S. Highway 378
  • U.S. Highway 80
  • U.S. Highway 280
  • U.S. Highway 82
  • U.S. Highway 84


As of the 2000 census, the population of Georgia is 8,186,453, making it the 10th most populous state. Its population grew 26.4% (1,708,304) from its 1990 levels. According to the 2000 census, 65.1% (5,327,281) identified themselves as White, 28.7% (2,349,542) as black, 5.3% (435,227) as Hispanic or Latino, 2.1% (173,170) as Asian, 0.3% (21,737) as American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% (4,246) as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 2.4% (196,289) as other, and 1.4% (114,188) identified themselves as belonging to two or more races.

7.3% of its population were reported as under 5 years of age, 26.5% under 18, and 9.6% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.8% of the population. Nearly half of the state's population lives in the Atlanta metro area.


Georgia's 1999 total gross state product was $275 billion, placing it 10th in the nation. Its per capita personal income for 2000 put it 23rd in the nation at $28,145. Georgia's agricultural outputs are poultry and eggs, peanuts, cattle, hogs, dairy products, and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are textiles and apparel, transportation equipment, food processing, paper products, chemical products, electric equipment, and tourism.

Important cities and towns

Population > 1,000,000 (urbanized area)
Population > 10,000 (urbanized area)
Important Suburbs of Atlanta

Atlanta (State Capital City)

Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)


Major Military Bases
Fort Benning
Fort Stewart
Dobbins Air Reserve Base (where the U.S. President arrives when visiting Atlanta)


Colleges and Universities

Private schools

University System of Georgia

  • Albany State University in Albany
  • Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah
  • Augusta State University in Augusta
  • Clayton College and State University in Morrow
  • Columbus State University in Columbus
  • Dalton State College in Dalton
  • Darton College in Albany
  • Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley
  • Floyd College in Rome
  • Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech in Atlanta
  • Georgia Southern University in Statesboro
  • Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus
  • Georgia State University in Atlanta
  • Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw
  • Macon State College in Macon
  • Medical College of Georgia in Augusta
  • Middle Georgia College in Cochran and Dublin
  • North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega
  • Savannah State University in Savannah
  • Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta
  • State University of West Georgia in Carrollton
  • University of Georgia in Athens
  • Valdosta State University in Valdosta

Sports teams

  • Atlanta Falcons, National Football League
  • Atlanta Hawks, National Basketball Association
  • Atlanta Thrashers, National Hockey League
  • Atlanta Braves, Major League Baseball
  • Georgia Force, Arena Football League (Duluth)
  • Atlanta Beat, Women's United Soccer Association
  • Minor League baseball teams
    • Augusta GreenJackets
    • Columbus Catfish
    • Rome Braves
    • Savannah Sand Gnats

Radio and Television

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) operates nine major educational television stations across the state as Georgia Public Broadcasting Television. It also operates, in whole or in part, several radio stations as Georgia Public Radio (GPR).

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