DeKalb County, Georgia facts for kids

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DeKalb County, Georgia
Seal of DeKalb County, Georgia
Map

Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the USA highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded December 9, 1822
Seat Decatur
Largest City Brookhaven
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

271 sq mi (702 km²)
268 sq mi (694 km²)
3.6 sq mi (9 km²), 1.3%
PopulationEst.
 - (2013)
 - Density

713,340
2,586/sq mi (998/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.co.dekalb.ga.us
Named for: Johann de Kalb

DeKalb County (/dəˈkæb/ də-KAB) is a county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 691,893, making it Georgia's fourth-most populous county. Its county seat is Decatur.

DeKalb County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It contains roughly 10% of the city of Atlanta (the other 90% lies in Fulton County). It is Georgia's most diverse county. DeKalb is primarily a suburban county, and is the second-most-affluent county with an African-American majority in the United States, behind Prince George's County, Maryland, in suburban Washington D.C.

In 2009, DeKalb earned the Atlanta Regional Commission's "Green Communities" designation for its efforts in conserving energy, water and fuel; investing in renewable energy; reducing waste; and protecting and restoring natural resources.

In recent years, some communities in North DeKalb have incorporated, following a trend in other suburban areas around Metro Atlanta. Dunwoody and Brookhaven are now the largest cities entirely within the county.

History

DeKalb County, formed in 1822 from Henry, Gwinnett and Fayette counties, took its name from Baron Johann de Kalb (1721-1780), a Bavarian-born former officer in the French Army, who fought for the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. The oldest existing house in the county is the 1831 Goodwin House along Peachtree Road in Brookhaven.

In 1853, Fulton County formed from the western half of DeKalb, divided along a perfectly straight and due north/south line down the middle (along which Moreland Avenue now runs). Until this time, the growing city of Atlanta had been inside DeKalb. Atlanta grew because the city of Decatur did not want to become the railroad terminus in the 1830s, thus a spot at the Thrasherville encampment in western DeKalb was picked to become Terminus and then Marthasville, before becoming Atlanta a few years after its founding. North and southwest Fulton came from two other counties: Milton and southeast Campbell, respectively. DeKalb once extended slightly further north to the Chattahoochee River, but this strip was later given to Milton, and is now the panhandle of Sandy Springs (though residents there identify with Dunwoody).

During the Civil War, much of the Battle of Atlanta took place in DeKalb.

Until the 1960s, DeKalb was a mainly agricultural county, but as the sprawl of the metropolitan Atlanta region expanded, DeKalb became increasingly urbanized. Finished in 1969, the eastern half of the Interstate 285 beltway, called "the Perimeter", ringed the northeastern and southern edges of the county, placing most of it "inside the Perimeter" along with nearly all of Atlanta. Interstate 675 and Georgia 400 were originally planned to connect inside the Perimeter, along with the Stone Mountain Freeway (U.S. Highway 78) connecting with the Downtown Connector (a co-signment of I-75/I-85) near Moreland Avenue, destroying many neighborhoods in western DeKalb, but community opposition in the early 1970s spared them this fate of urbanization, although part of the proposed Stone Mountain Tollway later became the Freedom Parkway. Only Interstate 20 and Interstate 85 were successfully built through the county. DeKalb also became one of only two counties to approve MARTA rapid transit in the 1970s; the county now contains the east and northeast heavy rail lines.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 271 square miles (700 km2), of which 268 square miles (690 km2) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) (1.3%) is water.

The county is crossed by the South River and numerous creeks, including Nancy Creek, Snapfinger Creek and two forks of Peachtree Creek. Peachtree Creek and Nancy Creek drain into the Chattahoochee River and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico. South River drains into the Ocmulgee River and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.

The southern two-thirds of DeKalb County, in a line from Druid Hills northeast to Tucker, is located in the Upper Ocmulgee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin, while the portion of the county north of that line is located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin).

Stone Mountain lies near the eastern border of the county. Soapstone Ridge, parallel to the southern border, was heavily quarried between 1400 and 100 B.C. and objects made from the soapstone have been found as far away as the Great Lakes.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 10,042
1840 10,467 4.2%
1850 14,328 36.9%
1860 7,806 −45.5%
1870 10,014 28.3%
1880 14,497 44.8%
1890 17,189 18.6%
1900 21,112 22.8%
1910 27,881 32.1%
1920 44,051 58.0%
1930 70,278 59.5%
1940 86,942 23.7%
1950 136,395 56.9%
1960 256,782 88.3%
1970 415,387 61.8%
1980 483,024 16.3%
1990 545,837 13.0%
2000 665,865 22.0%
2010 691,893 3.9%
Est. 2015 734,871 6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 691,893 people, 271,809 households, and 161,453 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,585.7 inhabitants per square mile (998.3/km2). There were 304,968 housing units at an average density of 1,139.7 per square mile (440.0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 54.3% black or African American, 33.3% white, 5.1% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 4.5% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 9.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 5.9% were English, 5.2% were German, and 3.5% were American.

Of the 271,809 households, 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.6% were non-families, and 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.18. The median age was 34.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,349 and the median income for a family was $60,718. Males had a median income of $43,663 versus $40,288 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,412. About 12.4% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Although Fulton County is more populous, DeKalb has the highest population density of any county in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Diplomatic missions

The Consulate-General of Mexico in Atlanta is located in the North Druid Hills CDP. The Consulate-General of Guatemala in Atlanta is located in the North Atlanta CDP. The Consulate-General of Peru in Atlanta is located in an unincorporated section of DeKalb County.

Transportation

  • I-20
  • I-85
  • I-285
  • I-675
  • US 23
  • US 29
  • US 78
  • US 278
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Mass transit

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

DeKalb County 9/11 Memorial

The DeKalb County 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011.

U.S. Marine and sculptor Curtis James Miller designed a memorial that is located in front of the Dekalb County Fire and Police Headquarters. The memorial pays homage to the 343 New York Firefighters, 60 New York and Port Authority Police Officers and the more than 2800 civilian victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

A piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City is the centerpiece of this monument. The monument will preserve the memories of the day's events for generations to come.

Visitor attractions

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Images for kids


DeKalb County, Georgia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.