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Emanuel County, Georgia facts for kids

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Emanuel County
Emanuel County Courthouse
Emanuel County Courthouse
Map of Georgia highlighting Emanuel 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 1812; 210 years ago (1812)
Named for David Emanuel
Seat Swainsboro
Largest city Swainsboro
 • Total 690 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Land 681 sq mi (1,760 km2)
 • Water 9.6 sq mi (25 km2)  1.4%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 12th

Emanuel County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,598. The county seat is Swainsboro.


The County was created on December 10, 1812, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly from land originally in parts of Bulloch and Montgomery counties. Emanuel County is named in honor of former Governor of Georgia David Emanuel.

Portions of Johnson (1858), Jenkins (1905), Toombs (1905), Candler (1914), and Treutlen (1918) counties were taken from Emanuel's original borders.


Emanuel County has had seven courthouses in its 200 years of existence. In the county's early years, the court met at Steven Rich's home. Emanuel County's first courthouse was erected in 1814 and burned in 1841. It wasn't until 1854, the same time that the city of Swainsboro was formally incorporated, that the county was allowed to build a replacement. In a string of bad luck, this new courthouse burned in 1855 and was replaced by another courthouse, which burned in 1857. Emanuel County's fourth courthouse burned in 1919 and was replaced by a three-story brick structure which, characteristically, burned in 1938. The next courthouse, a two-story marble structure, was built in 1940 and was the first courthouse in Emanuel County's history not to be destroyed by fire. However, by the 1990s, the courthouse's cramped and deteriorating condition caused several county offices to vacate the courthouse and move into vacant office space surrounding the courthouse square. The courthouse was demolished in the spring of 2000, leaving only the sheriff's office annex. In the late 1990s, the Emanuel County commissioners purchased the former U.S. Post Office building, which was built in 1936, to serve as an interim courthouse. In 2000, the county commission acquired land adjacent to the old Post Office to build a new courthouse and sheriff's office. Emanuel County's current courthouse, a large, single story brick structure incorporating the old Post Office building, was completed in 2002, and a city square was built on the former courthouse site with the old sheriff's office renovated to serve as the city's visitors' center as well as the office for Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 690 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 681 square miles (1,760 km2) is land and 9.6 square miles (25 km2) (1.4%) is water.

The northern portion of Emanuel County, centered on Summertown and defined by a southern border heading from Garfield east-northeast and running north of Modoc, is located in the Upper Ogeechee River sub-basin of the Ogeechee River basin. The eastern portion of the county, east of Swainsboro, is located in the Canoochee River sub-basin of the same Ogeechee River basin. The western and southern portions of Emanuel County are located in the Ohoopee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.

Major highways

  • I-16.svg Interstate 16
  • US 1.svg U.S. Route 1
  • Business plate.svg
    US 1.svg U.S. Route 1 Business
  • US 80.svg U.S. Route 80
  • US 221.svg U.S. Route 221
  • Georgia 4.svg State Route 4
  • Georgia 4 Business.svg State Route 4 Business
  • Georgia 15.svg State Route 15
  • Georgia 23.svg State Route 23
  • Georgia 26.svg State Route 26
  • Georgia 46.svg State Route 46
  • Georgia 56.svg State Route 56
  • Georgia 57.svg State Route 57
  • Georgia 78.svg State Route 78
  • Georgia 86.svg State Route 86
  • Georgia 121.svg State Route 121
  • Georgia 171.svg State Route 171
  • Georgia 192.svg State Route 192
  • Georgia 297.svg State Route 297
  • Georgia 404.svg State Route 404 (unsigned designation for I-16)

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,928
1830 2,673 −8.7%
1840 3,129 17.1%
1850 4,577 46.3%
1860 5,081 11.0%
1870 6,134 20.7%
1880 9,759 59.1%
1890 14,703 50.7%
1900 21,279 44.7%
1910 25,140 18.1%
1920 25,862 2.9%
1930 24,101 −6.8%
1940 23,517 −2.4%
1950 19,789 −15.9%
1960 17,815 −10.0%
1970 18,189 2.1%
1980 20,795 14.3%
1990 20,546 −1.2%
2000 21,837 6.3%
2010 22,598 3.5%
2019 (est.) 22,646 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 22,598 people, 8,430 households, and 5,833 families living in the county. The population density was 33.2 inhabitants per square mile (12.8/km2). There were 9,968 housing units at an average density of 14.6 per square mile (5.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.6% white, 33.5% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 3.0% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 12.9% were American, 8.0% were English, and 7.3% were Irish.

Of the 8,430 households, 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.8% were non-families, and 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.10. The median age was 36.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,205 and the median income for a family was $36,402. Males had a median income of $31,434 versus $23,340 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,076. About 17.0% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Emanuel County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 13,815 60.68%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 7,246 31.83%
Native American 33 0.14%
Asian 141 0.62%
Pacific Islander 2 0.01%
Other/Mixed 538 2.36%
Hispanic or Latino 993 4.36%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 22,768 people, 8,387 households, and 5,683 families residing in the county.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

  • Dellwood
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