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Clayton County, Georgia facts for kids

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Clayton County
Clayton County Courthouse in Jonesboro
Clayton County Courthouse in Jonesboro
Map of Georgia highlighting Clayton 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 November 30, 1858; 166 years ago (1858)
Named for Augustin Smith Clayton
Seat Jonesboro
Largest city Forest Park
 • Total 144 sq mi (370 km2)
 • Land 142 sq mi (370 km2)
 • Water 2.8 sq mi (7 km2)  1.9%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,011/sq mi (776/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 5th, 13th

Clayton County is located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 259,424. The county seat is Jonesboro.

Clayton County is included in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and is the sixth most-populous county in the state. It is the home of most of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world from 1998 to 2020.


The county was established in 1858 and named in honor of Augustin Smith Clayton (1783–1839), who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1832 until 1835.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 144 square miles (370 km2), of which 142 square miles (370 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (1.9%) is water. It is the third-smallest county by area in Georgia.

The eastern portion of Clayton County, between Forest Park and Lovejoy, is located in the Upper Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin. The western portion of the county is located in the Upper Flint River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin).

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,466
1870 5,477 22.6%
1880 8,027 46.6%
1890 8,295 3.3%
1900 9,598 15.7%
1910 10,453 8.9%
1920 11,159 6.8%
1930 10,260 −8.1%
1940 11,655 13.6%
1950 22,872 96.2%
1960 46,365 102.7%
1970 98,043 111.5%
1980 150,357 53.4%
1990 182,052 21.1%
2000 236,517 29.9%
2010 259,424 9.7%
2020 297,595 14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2020 census

Clayton County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 25,902 8.7%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 205,301 68.99%
Native American 601 0.2%
Asian 13,491 4.53%
Pacific Islander 119 0.04%
Other/Mixed 9,635 3.24%
Hispanic or Latino 42,546 14.3%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 297,595 people, 97,030 households, and 62,746 families residing in the county.

2019 ACS Estimates

2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates: Clayton County, Georgia
Group Estimate Percent
Total Population 292,256
Population by Sex
Group Estimate Percent
Male 135,978 48.5%
Female 156,278 54.5%
Sex ratio (males per 100 females) 87.0
Population by Age
Group Estimate Percent
Under 5 years 22,220 7.6%
5 to 9 years 19,796 7.8%
10 to 14 years 25,828 8.8%
15 to 19 years 21,335 7.3%
20 to 24 years 21,389 7.3%
25 to 29 years 23,673 8.1%
30 to 34 years 21,055 7.2%
35 to 39 years 20,269 6.9%
40 to 44 years 19,574 6.7%
45 to 49 years 17,919 6.1%
50 to 54 years 18,249 6.2%
55 to 59 years 17,475 6.0%
60 to 64 years 15,415 5.3%
65 to 69 years 10,559 3.6%
70 to 74 years 8,639 3.0%
75 to 79 years 3,640 1.2%
80 to 84 years 3,491 1.2%
85 years and over 1,730 0.6%
Median age (years) 33.0
Population by Race and Ethnicity
Group Estimate Percent
Black or African American 203,719 71.7%
White 49,935 17.1%
--- White, not Hispanic or Latino 26,584 8.7%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 39,195 13.9
--- Mexican 26,940 9.8
Asian 14,986 5.1%
Some other race 11,168 3.8%
Two or more races 9,274 3.2%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 1,237 0.4%
American Indian or Alaska Native 103 0.0%
Population by Nativity and Citizenship Status
Group Estimate Percent
Native (born in the United States) 250,690 85.8%
--- Born in Georgia 148,575 50.8%
--- Born in other U.S. state 98,506 33.7%
------ Southern state 54,282 18.6%
------ Northeastern state 19,235 6.6%
------ Midwestern state 17,878 6.1%
------ Western state 7,111 2.4%
--- Native born outside U.S. states 3,609 1.2%
Foreign Born 41,566 14.2%
--- Not a U.S. citizen 21,705 7.4%
--- Naturalized U.S. citizen 19,861 6.8%

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 259,424 people, 90,633 households, and 62,389 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,832.5 inhabitants per square mile (707.5/km2). There were 104,705 housing units at an average density of 739.6 per square mile (285.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 66.1% black or African American, 18.87% white, 5.0% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 7.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 13.66% of the population. In terms of ancestry, and 4.9% were "American".

Of the 90,633 households, 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.2% were non-families, and 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.37. The median age was 31.6 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,311 and the median income for a family was $48,064. Males had a median income of $36,177 versus $32,460 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,958. About 13.6% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.



Major highways

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • I-85.svg Interstate 85
  • I-285.svg Interstate 285
  • I-675.svg Interstate 675
  • US 19.svg U.S. Route 19
  • US 23.svg U.S. Route 23
  • US 29.svg U.S. Route 29
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41
  • Georgia 3.svg State Route 3
  • Georgia 3 Connector.svg State Route 3 Connector
  • Georgia 42.svg State Route 42
  • Georgia 54.svg State Route 54
  • Georgia 85.svg State Route 85
  • Georgia 138.svg State Route 138
  • Georgia 138 Spur.svg State Route 138 Spur
  • Georgia 139.svg State Route 139
  • Georgia 314.svg State Route 314
  • Georgia 331.svg State Route 331
  • Georgia 401.svg State Route 401 (unsigned designation for I-75)
  • Georgia 403.svg State Route 403 (unsigned designation for I-85)
  • Georgia 407.svg State Route 407 (unsigned designation for I-285)
  • Georgia 413.svg State Route 413 (unsigned designation for I-675)

Mass transit


MARTA and Xpress GA / RTA commuter buses serve the county.


Commuter rail service is proposed to serve Clayton County along the Norfolk Southern line, with proposed stations in Forest Park, Morrow, Jonesboro, and initially ending at Lovejoy.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's Airport station is located in Clayton.

Pedestrians and cycling

  • Jesters Creek Trail
  • Morrow Trail
  • Clayton Connects



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

  • Arrowhead District
  • Botany Woods
  • Clayton Panhandle
  • Ellenwood
  • Flint River District
  • Flintwoods
  • Lake Harbin
  • Lake Spivey
  • Mountain View
  • North Jonesboro
  • Old Dixie
  • Old South
  • Rex
  • Valley Hill

In popular culture

Parts of Margaret Mitchell's epic 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the famous 1939 motion picture Gone with the Wind were set in Clayton County, including the location of the fictional plantation, Tara. Tara Boulevard was named for the plantation, and is the main north/south road through the county, carrying U.S. 41 and lesser-known State Route 3. Parts of the novels Rhett Butler's People and Scarlett and the Scarlett TV Mini-Series also took place in Clayton County. Rhett Butler's People is a prequel, sequel, and companion to Gone with the Wind. Scarlett is a sequel to Gone with the Wind, also and also takes place briefly in Clayton County. In the above-mentioned novels, the fictional Twelve Oaks Plantation and others mentioned in the novels above, are located in and around Clayton County.

The 2012 film Flight features Clayton County throughout the film, with Hall's Flying Ranch in Hampton, Georgia, doubling as Denzel Washington's character's childhood home.

Parts of the film Smokey and the Bandit were also shot in and around Clayton County, namely in Jonesboro, as evidenced by a sign in the background of one of the scenes. Even though this particular scene was supposed to be set in Arkansas, a "Willow Bend" sign advertising brick homes in Clayton County can be spotted behind Sheriff George Branford. Many back roads and the movie town of Texarkana are actually the roads and the town of Jonesboro.

Trinidad James filmed his music video for the song "All Gold Everything" in Clayton County

Rap artist Waka Flocka Flame is also from Clayton County as he resides in Riverdale, Georgia.


The unemployment rate in Clayton County, GA, is 3.4% as of November 2019. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be at 29.90%. Clayton County's sales tax rate is 8.00%. The income tax is 6.00%. Clayton County's income and salaries per capita is $18,735, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $39,699. ValuJet Airlines was headquartered in northern, unincorporated Clayton County, near Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in the 1990s.


Clayton County Public Schools is the fifth largest school system in Georgia. On August 28, 2008, the district lost its accreditation, citing a 'dysfunctional' school board.

The district currently has 53,000 students enrolled in its 63 schools. Under the current Superintendent Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, the district has a strategic plan that includes the vision and mission statements. Clayton County has twenty-two elementary and five middle schools that have been deemed by the Georgia Department of Education as Distinguished Schools. This is based on the number of consecutive years of making AYP. Clayton County is fully accredited, April 2013

Special schools and programs

Lovejoy High School hosts the district International Baccalaureate Program (IB). The IB Diploma Program is designed as an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final exams that prepare students for success at the university level and life beyond.

CCPS has two charter schools. Unidos Dual Language, Georgia's first public dual language school is a model of excellence in language education. Unidos serves students in Pre-kindergarten through sixth grades. The second charter school is the Elite Scholars Academy; the school serves grades 6-10 and will be expanding to the twelfth grade by 2014. The school operates on a year-round calendar. Any student in the district may apply to enroll. Selection is based on a random lottery.

Clayton County also has a Math and Science Magnet and 3 fine arts magnet programs at Jackson Elementary, MD Robert's Middle, and Martha Ellen Stilwell. Enrollment is based on application and/or audition.

2008 de-accreditation

The 50,000-student school system was the first in the nation to lose accreditation since 1969. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) revoked the school district's accreditation on August 28, 2008. This makes only the second system in the nation to do so since 1960. A grand jury investigated and considered possible criminal indictments against the Clayton County School Board. At issue was whether the school board committed malfeasance in ignoring the shortcomings of the school system and violating its own rules concerning the awarding of bids of contracts.

School Board Chairwoman Ericka Davis announced her resignation on April 2, 2008, amidst the allegations. Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell has called for the resignations of all Clayton County School Board Members. Amid controversy and orders for the police to quiet citizens, the Clayton County School Board hired a new temporary superintendent on April 26, 2008. This was despite the fact that the new superintendent did not meet the qualifications set forth by SACS.

The Clayton County Public School System was re-accredited by SACS on May 1, 2009.

Higher education

Clayton State University is located in Morrow.


See also

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

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