One of the original 13 colonies, Georgia became the fourth U.S. state on January 2, 1788. With a current population of 10.6 million, Georgia is the eighth-most populous state in the country. It ranks in the lowest quarter of the best states to live in based on key measures like unemployment, poverty and average life expectancy at birth.
The state’s population has grown faster than that of most states in recent years. Over the 10-year period to 2019, Georgia’s population grew by 7.0%, slightly faster than the comparable national population growth of 6.6%.
Georgia’s unemployment rate in 2018 was 3.9%, in line with the national rate of 3.9%. Still, despite the relatively strong job market, Georgia’s poverty rate of 14.3% is considerably higher than the national average of 13.1%.
Crime in Georgia
Georgia’s violent crime rate of 326.6 incidents for every 100,000 residents is below the national average of 380.6 per 100,000. In 2018, there were 642 murders in the state, among the most of any state.
The state’s incarceration rate is 666 adults per 100,000 residents 18 or older, among the highest in the country. With 1,449.6 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, East Point, just southwest of Atlanta, is the state’s most dangerous city.
The Georgia Economy
With a 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) of $588.2 billion, Georgia’s economy is among the largest of the 50 states. Its largest industry is broadcasting and telecommunications (excluding internet), which employs 53,343 people statewide and generates about 6.5% of the state’s total GDP. Between 2013 and 2018, the total economic output of the state’s top industry jumped by 44.2%. Still, overall economic growth in Georgia totaled 2.6% in 2018, below the national average economic growth of 2.9%.
Georgia has an underemployment rate (which accounts for unemployment and people who have taken part-time work out of necessity) of 7.9%. The state ranks in the upper third among the most difficult states in which to find full-time work.
Employment opportunities tend to go up with educational attainment. In Georgia, less than a third (31.9%) of the state’s adults have a bachelor’s degree, below the national average of 32.6%. And 87% of the adults in the state have at least a high-school diploma, below the national rate of 88.3%.
Georgia’s median household income of $58,756 is higher than the national median of $63,179.