Echols County, Georgia facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Echols County Courthouse in Statenville
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
|Founded||December 13, 1858|
|Named for||Robert Milner Echols|
|• Total||421 sq mi (1,090 km2)|
|• Land||415 sq mi (1,070 km2)|
|• Water||5.8 sq mi (15 km2) 1.4%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||10/sq mi (4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Echols County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,697. The county seat is Statenville. Statenville is a disincorporated municipality. Echols and Webster counties are the only two counties in Georgia to currently have no incorporated municipalities. The county was established in 1858 and named in honor of Robert Milner Echols (1798–1847).
Echols County is part of the Valdosta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Echols County has become notable as it has served as a place of banishment for many of Georgia's criminals. As the Georgia State Constitution forbids banishment beyond the borders of the state, officials instead ban the offender from 158 of Georgia's 159 counties, with Echols remaining as their only option. Few criminals have been documented as actually moving to Echols. This is because almost all banished criminals choose to leave the state instead of moving to Echols County.
Banishment, including 158-county banishment, has repeatedly been upheld by Georgia courts. The first case when banishment was upheld was in the 1974 case State v Collett. The most recent time banishment was upheld, in 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled it was constitutional to banish David Nathan Thompson (a mentally ill man who was convicted of firing a gun into a home, although no one was injured) from all but one county in Georgia.
On December 13, 1858, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill establishing Echols County from a south-eastern section of Lowndes County and a south-western section Clinch County. The original borders of the county were a line from the mouth of the Suwanoochee Creek directly south to the state line, then along the state line, then north to the junction of Grand Bay Creek and Mud Swamp, then up the course of Grand Bay Creek to Carter's Ford, then a direct line to where Cow's Creek enters the Alapaha River, then up the creek to Griffins' Mill, then a direct line to Jack's Fort on Suwanoochee Creek, and then down Suwanoochee Creek to its mouth. With the exception of some minor adjustments of the border Echols shares with Lowndes and the loss of a thin strip to Florida following Florida v. Georgia, the borders of Echols County has changed little since its establishment. Statenville was declared the county seat in 1859.
At the time of the 1860 census, Echols County had a white population of 1,177, with 314 slaves, and no free people of color.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 421 square miles (1,090 km2), of which 415 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) (1.4%) is water. The county contains a notable swamp, Whitehead Bay.
The western half of Echols County is located in the Alapaha River sub-basin of the Suwannee River basin. The eastern half of the county, from well east of Statenville to just west of Fargo, is located in the Upper Suwannee River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin.
- Alapaha River
- Alapahoochee River
- Grand Bay Creek (known in the 1800s as Irwin's River and later as Irwin's Creek)
- Suwannee River
- Suwanoochee Creek
- Georgia Southern and Florida Railway
- Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
- Plant System
- Statenville Railway (Defunct, it was used from 1910 to 1924. It ran from Statenville to Haylow, Georgia)
- Clinch County - northeast
- Columbia County, Florida - southeast
- Hamilton County, Florida - south
- Lowndes County - west
- Lanier County - north
|U.S. Decennial Census
In 2005 63.1% of the county population was non-Hispanic whites, 27.3% Hispanics, 8.8% African-Americans and 1.0% Native Americans.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,034 people, 1,329 households, and 1,029 families living in the county. The population density was 9.7 inhabitants per square mile (3.7/km2). There were 1,558 housing units at an average density of 3.8 per square mile (1.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.9% white, 4.2% black or African American, 1.8% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 15.8% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 29.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 11.8% were German, 8.6% were Irish, 5.8% were American, and 5.3% were English.
Of the 1,329 households, 43.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 22.6% were non-families, and 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.33. The median age was 31.4 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,390 and the median income for a family was $33,664. Males had a median income of $28,613 versus $20,208 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,201. About 21.4% of families and 32.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.8% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
|Black or African American||147||3.98%|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,091||29.51%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 3,697 people, 1,561 households, and 1,097 families residing in the county.
- Barnes Still
- Tarver (formerly Statenville Station and Huckleberry)
Echols County School District operates public schools.