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Burke County, Georgia facts for kids

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Burke County
Burke County courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia
Burke County courthouse in Waynesboro, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Burke County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Georgia
Founded 1777; 247 years ago (1777)
Named for Edmund Burke
Seat Waynesboro
Largest city Waynesboro
 • Total 835 sq mi (2,160 km2)
 • Land 827 sq mi (2,140 km2)
 • Water 8.0 sq mi (21 km2)  1.0%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 27/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 12th

Burke County is a county located along the eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia in the Piedmont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,316. The county seat is Waynesboro.

Burke County is part of the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Burke County is an original county of Georgia, created February 5, 1777. In 1779, Col. John Twiggs and Col. William Few and Benjamin Few, along with 250 men, victoriously defended the Cause of the American Revolution at the Battle of Burke Jail. During the American Civil War, Burke County provided the 2nd Regiment Georgia Infantry Company D (Burke Sharpshooters), 3rd Regiment Georgia Infantry Company A (Burke Guards), 32nd Regiment Georgia Infantry Company C (Williams Volunteers), 32nd Regiment Georgia Infantry Company K (Alexander Greys), 48th Regiment Georgia Infantry Company D (Burke Volunteers), Cobb's Legion Infantry company E (Poythress Volunteers) and the Cobb's Legion Cavalry Company F (Grubb's Hussars).

Burke County is located within the CSRA (the Central Savannah River Area) and was developed for large cotton plantations in the antebellum period. The county became majority African American in population, as most laborers were slaves. It continued to rely on agriculture for decades after the American Civil War. In the early 20th century, mechanization of agriculture caused many workers to lose their jobs.

As can be seen from the census tables below, the county lost population from 1910-1920, and from 1930-1970. Part of the outflow was related to the Great Migration, as millions of African Americans left the rural South and Jim Crow segregation for jobs and opportunities in the Midwest, North, and from World War II on, the West Coast. In addition, whites left rural areas for industrial jobs in the North as well, in cities such as Chicago and Detroit.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 835 square miles (2,160 km2), of which 827 square miles (2,140 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (1.0%) is water. It is the second-largest county by area in Georgia.

The southern half of Burke County, defined by a line running along State Route 80 to Waynesboro, then southeast to east of Perkins, is located in the Upper Ogeechee River sub-basin of the Ogeechee River basin. North of Waynesboro, and bordered on the north by a line running from Keysville southeast to Girard, is located in the Brier Creek sub-basin of the Savannah River basin. The very northern sliver of Burke County is located in the Middle Savannah River sub-basin of the same Savannah River basin.

Major highways

  • US 25.svg U.S. Route 25
  • Bypass plate.png
    US 25.svg U.S. Route 25 Bypass
  • Georgia 17.svg State Route 17
  • Georgia 23.svg State Route 23
  • Georgia 24.svg State Route 24
  • Georgia 56.svg State Route 56
  • Georgia 56 Spur.svg State Route 56 Spur
  • Georgia 78.svg State Route 78
  • Georgia 80.svg State Route 80
  • Georgia 88.svg State Route 88
  • Georgia 121.svg State Route 121
  • Georgia 121 Bypass.svg State Route 121 Bypass
  • Georgia 305.svg State Route 305
  • Georgia 565.svg Savannah River Parkway

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 9,467
1800 9,504 0.4%
1810 10,858 14.2%
1820 11,577 6.6%
1830 11,833 2.2%
1840 13,176 11.3%
1850 16,100 22.2%
1860 17,165 6.6%
1870 17,679 3.0%
1880 27,128 53.4%
1890 28,501 5.1%
1900 30,165 5.8%
1910 27,268 −9.6%
1920 30,836 13.1%
1930 29,224 −5.2%
1940 26,520 −9.3%
1950 23,458 −11.5%
1960 20,596 −12.2%
1970 18,255 −11.4%
1980 19,349 6.0%
1990 20,579 6.4%
2000 22,243 8.1%
2010 23,316 4.8%
2019 (est.) 22,383 −4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990

2020 census

Burke County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 11,941 48.55%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 10,957 44.55%
Native American 45 0.18%
Asian 97 0.39%
Pacific Islander 10 0.04%
Other/Mixed 769 3.13%
Hispanic or Latino 777 3.16%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 24,596 people, 8,193 households, and 5,939 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,316 people, 8,533 households, and 6,110 families living in the county. The population density was 28.2 inhabitants per square mile (10.9/km2). There were 9,865 housing units at an average density of 11.9 per square mile (4.6/km2). As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,316 people living in the county. 49.5% were Black or African American, 47.5% White, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from some other race and 1.3% from two or more races. 2.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

In terms of ancestry, 49.5% have some African ancestry, 11.0% identify as of American, 9.3% are Irish, 5.5% were English, and 5.1% were German.

Of the 8,533 households, 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.4% were non-families, and 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.20. The median age was 35.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,155 and the median income for a family was $41,659. Males had a median income of $37,061 versus $24,952 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,934. About 20.0% of families and 25.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.0% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over.



See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Burke (Georgia) para niños

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