Published on 02/12/09

2009 Georgia County Guide available

By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia

Bremen City Schools had a 93 percent graduation rate in 2007. And 65.6 percent of Oconee County’s 2007 graduates were eligible for the HOPE scholarship.

If you want to learn more interesting facts on education and much more in the Peach State, the 27th edition of the Georgia County Guide is the book for you. The annual publication is compiled by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, a unit of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Education tidbits

In the education category, you can learn what percent of public school students in your county qualified for the gifted program, were retained in their grade, dropped out and more.

Did you know that more than half of Georgia public school teachers hold advanced degrees? And more than 24 percent of Decatur City School students are enrolled in the gifted program? And since 1993, Georgia has awarded more than $4 billion dollars in HOPE scholarships.

In the area of finances, the guide reveals that the average Georgia household survives on $45,564 a year and almost 1.3 million Georgians live in poverty. Half of the children who attend Georgia public schools qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Higher income than U.S. average

On a positive note, five Georgia counties have per capita incomes higher than the U.S. average.

The public information in the guide is pulled from federal, state and private agencies. Using more than 1,400 variables, the book provides figures on agriculture, courts and crime, economics, education, government, health, housing and households, labor, natural resources, population, public assistance, transportation and vital statistics on the state and its 159 counties.

“(The guide) has evolved over time to become the premier source of county-level data,” said Sue Boatright, a CAES research coordinator and the guide’s editor.

Used by many

The information is commonly used by realtors, educators, political consultants, county planners, architects and many others to make community decisions, she said.

Crime figures in the guide include the number of index crimes reported, percentage of juvenile arrests and the number of state prison inmates.

Farm-gate values for poultry, row crops, livestock, forestry, vegetables, ornamentals and fruits and nuts are included in the agriculture category.

Order your copy

Access to the data is free online at A printed copy costs $20. Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of all the data costs $50. The book and its data on CD can be purchased together for $65.

To order, go to the Web site Or, send a request and check made payable to Georgia County Guide to the Office of Communications, 117 Hoke Smith Annex, Athens, GA 30602-4356. Allow three weeks from receipt of order for delivery.

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.