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2020 Census: Georgia to keep 14 congressional seats

by Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Sep 01, 2021 at 0:00 AM

The results of the 2020 Census are in, and Georgia won’t be getting an extra congressional district. Or losing one.

The state’s population grew to 10,711,908, an increase of 1,024,255 from the 2010 Census count, according to 2020 Census results released Aug. 12

The state’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives will remain at 14, but the district lines almost certainly will change when the Georgia General Assembly meets this fall to redraw them.

Six of the 14 current congressional districts have populations that fall below what the Census refers to as “ideal value,” or 765,136 people (the state’s total population divided by the number of districts, 14). The largest of these is Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District (currently represented by Sanford Bishop) where the population of 673,028 is 91,108 below the ideal value. The 8th District (Austin Scott) is 45,217 below ideal; the 14th District (Marjorie Taylor Greene) is 36,585 below ideal; the 12th District (Rick Allen) is 26,512 below ideal; the 1st District (Buddy Carter) is 9,355 below ideal; and the 3rd District (Drew Ferguson) is 2,061 below ideal.

Among the information the Georgia House will likely consider is population change at the county level. The eight fastest-growing counties (Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb Forsyth, DeKalb, Cherokee, Clayton and Henry) are in metropolitan Atlanta.

Agricultural groups have held that voting power has been shifting toward metro areas, and the 2020 Census results bear that out. To equal the population of the state’s largest county, Fulton (1,066,710), would take the combined populations of the state’s 85 smallest counties, according to one report.

Six of the top 10 agricultural counties by farm gate value experienced population growth. Madison County had the largest population growth at 2,000 people, followed by Franklin County (1,340), Coffee County (736), Hart County (615), Colquitt County (400) and Appling (208). Tattnall County had the largest decline at 2,678.

Overall, Georgia had population growth in 92 counties, but population declined in 67, most of them in rural and South Georgia where agriculture dominates the economy.

The 10 counties with the largest population decline are Dougherty ( down 8,775), Telfair (4,023), Dooly (3,710), McIntosh (3,358), Crisp (3,311), Sumter (3,203), Tattnall (2,678), Macon (2,658), Pulaski (2,155) and Baldwin (1,921).

The 10 counties with largest population growth are Gwinnett (up 151,741), Fulton (146,129), Cobb (78,071), Forsyth (75,772), DeKalb (72,489), Cherokee (52,274), Clayton (38,771), Henry (36,790), Columbia (31,957) and Chatham (30,163).

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