Georgia Facts

Founded February 12, 1733 by James Oglethorpe as the 13th colony, Georgia became the 4th US state on January 2, 1788. Today, Georgia is the third fastest-growing state in the U.S and the center for business and tourism in the southeast.

• State Capital: Atlanta, since 1868
• State Motto: “Wisdom, justice, and moderation”
• State Nicknames: Peach State; Empire State of the South

State Symbols
• State song: Georgia on my Mind
• State tree: Live Oak
• State bird: Brown thrasher
• State flower: Cherokee rose
• State fruit: Peach
• State crop: Peanut
• State vegetable: Vidalia sweet onion

• Famous Georgians: President Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, Martin Luther King Jr., Ambassador Andrew Young, Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones, Juliette Gordon Low, Ty Cobb, Ray Charles, Bill Elliot, Julia Roberts and Travis Tritt.

Population

Georgia is the 9th largest state in the US with 9,363,941 residents. The Atlanta metropolitan area alone has a population of 5,138,223 and is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.

Geography

Travel across the state and discover Georgia’s abundant scenic beauty that’s as rich as its famous red clay. Explore the coastal plains, salt marshes and barrier islands of the east, the pine-forested, fertile fields of the Piedmont or the foothills and rugged mountains of the north, and find what makes Georgia such a geographical center.

Geographic Scenery & Terrain
Area: At 59,441 square miles, Georgia is the 24th largest state
Mountains: North Georgia includes scenic ranges linked to the Cumberland Range and the Blue Ridge, as well as the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. Georgia’s highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 ft.
Coastline: 100 miles of pristine beaches, huge marshes and exotic barrier islands fill the coast with a complex ecosystem like no other
Fields & Forest: Through middle and south Georgia, you’ll find endless fields of cotton, soybeans and more; extending to timber that lines your trip through the state
Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls: Georgia is home to many major water systems including the Chattahoochee, Savannah and Suwannee Rivers, as well as lakes Lanier, Clark Hill, West Point and Hartwell

Largest Cities
Atlanta (State Capital) – 498,109 (The Atlanta metropolitan area has a population of 5,138,223)
Augusta – 195,182
Columbus – 188,660
Savannah – 128,500
Athens – 111,580

History

Georgia was founded in 1733 as one of the original 13 colonies when British General James Oglethorpe landed on its coast, and was established to provide a military buffer between the Spanish in Florida and the King of England’s South Carolina territory. On a bluff overlooking a river, Oglethorpe also established what would be America’s first planned city, Savannah.

Few states were as impacted by the Civil War as Georgia, losing many lives and suffering immense destruction. Reminders of that historic time can be found all across the state, telling the tales of both sides of the conflict. Andersonville, site of the Confederacy’s largest Union prison camp, is now home to the National Prisoner of War Museum. Visit any of the memorials, museums, battlefields and cemeteries across Georgia, and you’ll step into the history of our nation.

You’ll also find the soul of Georgia in its rich African American heritage and culture. This is where the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born, where he preached from the pulpit and where his memorial, The King Center, continues to project freedom and justice today. Another inspiring Civil Rights landmark is Macon’s Tubman African American Museum, a must-see destination that you’ll never forget.