kids encyclopedia robot

Forsyth County, Georgia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Forsyth County, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Forsyth County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the USA highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded December 3, 1831
Seat Cumming
Largest City Cumming
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

247 sq mi (640 km²)
224 sq mi (580 km²)
23 sq mi (60 km²), 9.4%
 - (2015)
 - Density

783/sq mi (302/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: John Forsyth

Forsyth County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 175,511. The county seat is Cumming. Forsyth County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

During the early 21st century, Forsyth County has been one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States in terms of percentage of growth. The population growth was stimulated by the county's proximity to Atlanta and its appeal as a commuter base for people working in the Atlanta area. The influx of high-earning professionals has increased the average income dramatically; in 2008 Forbes ranked the county as the 31tst-wealthiest in the United States in terms of median household income.

In the 1980s the county attracted national media attention as the site of large civil rights demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. Organizers had hoped to dispel the county's image as a sundown town; whites had expelled blacks in 1912 and been hostile to minorities for many decades since. Thousands of marchers on both sides came from outside the area; officials kept peace with police officers and National Guard protecting the event.

From 2007 to 2009 the county received additional national attention because of a severe regional drought. Lake Lanier forms the eastern border of the county. Water supplies for the metro Atlanta area and, downstream, areas of Alabama and Florida were threatened during the drought. This followed a more severe drought during 2007 and 2008, and flooding earlier in 2009. Flooding occurred in 2013, and severe drought again in June 2016. Georgia, Alabama and Florida have been in a tri-state water dispute since 1990 over apportionment of water flow from Lake Lanier, which is regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers as a federal project.


For thousands of years, varying indigenous cultures lived in this area along the Etowah River. Starting near the end of the first millennium, Mound Builders of the Mississippian culture settled in this area; they built earthwork mound structures at nearby Etowah in present-day Bartow County, and large communities along the Etowah River in neighboring Cherokee County. They disappeared about 1500CE, before European encounter.

Members of the Iroquoian-speaking Cherokee Nation migrated into the area from the North, possibly from the Great Lakes area. They settled in the territory that would become Forsyth County and throughout upper Georgia and Alabama, also having settlements or towns in present-day Tennessee and western North Carolina.

After the discovery of gold by European Americans in the surrounding area in 1829, numerous settlers moved into the area. They increased the pressure on the state and federal government to have the Cherokee and other Native Americans removed to west of the Mississippi River, in order to extinguish their land claims and make land available for purchase. The Cherokee were forced to relocate during what was called the Trail of Tears.

Forsyth County was named after John Forsyth, Governor of Georgia from 1827–1829 and Secretary of State under Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. For many years, much of this hill country was farmed by yeomen farmers, who did not own many slaves.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 247 square miles (640 km2), of which 224 square miles (580 km2) is land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (9.4%) is water.

The eastern two-thirds of Forsyth County are located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin), while the northwestern third of the county is located in the Etowah River sub-basin of the ACT River Basin (Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin).

Major highways

  • US 19.svg U.S. Route 19
  • Georgia 9.svg State Route 9
  • Georgia 20.svg State Route 20
  • Georgia 53.svg State Route 53
  • Georgia 141.svg State Route 141
  • Georgia 306.svg State Route 306
  • Georgia 369.svg State Route 369
  • Georgia 371.svg State Route 371
  • Georgia 400.svg State Route 400

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 6,619
1850 8,850 33.7%
1860 7,749 −12.4%
1870 7,983 3.0%
1880 10,559 32.3%
1890 11,155 5.6%
1900 11,550 3.5%
1910 11,940 3.4%
1920 11,755 −1.5%
1930 10,624 −9.6%
1940 11,322 6.6%
1950 11,005 −2.8%
1960 12,170 10.6%
1970 16,928 39.1%
1980 27,958 65.2%
1990 44,083 57.7%
2000 98,407 123.2%
2010 175,511 78.4%
Est. 2015 212,438 21.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 175,511 people, 59,433 households, and 47,623 families residing in the county. The population density was 783.5 inhabitants per square mile (302.5/km2). There were 64,052 housing units at an average density of 285.9 per square mile (110.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.4% white, 6.2% Asian, 2.6% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian, 3.8% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 9.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.7% were German, 14.4% were American, 14.2% were Irish, 12.9% were English, and 5.8% were Italian.

Of the 59,433 households, 46.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.5% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 19.9% were non-families, and 15.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.29. The median age was 36.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $87,605 and the median income for a family was $96,501. Males had a median income of $72,030 versus $46,310 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,385. About 4.5% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.


Cumming 2002
One of the steam engines in the July 4th, 2002 Parade in downtown Cumming

Lake Lanier, a 37,000-acre (150 km2) lake created and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in association with Buford Dam, is enjoyed by many residents and non-residents alike. Fishing, boating, tubing, wake boarding, and water skiing are common activities on the lake.

Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 15 parks in the county. Most notable are Sawnee Mountain Preserve, Central Park, Fowler Park, Poole's Mill Covered Bridge and the Big Creek Greenway. The Cumming Fairgrounds host many events throughout the year including a rodeo, The Cumming Country Fair, and a farmers' market. There is also the annual 4 July Steam Engine Parade.



Unincorporated communities

With only one officially incorporated city, the majority of Forsyth County citizens live in areas with zip codes assigned to cities in surrounding counties.

In addition, there are several unincorporated communities throughout the county.

kids search engine
Forsyth County, Georgia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.