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Fulton County, Georgia facts for kids

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Fulton County
County of Fulton
Atlanta's Fulton County Courthouse in 2011
Atlanta's Fulton County Courthouse in 2011
Map of Georgia highlighting Fulton 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 December 20, 1853; 171 years ago (1853)
Named for Robert Fulton
Seat Atlanta
Largest city Atlanta
 • Total 534 sq mi (1,380 km2)
 • Land 527 sq mi (1,360 km2)
 • Water 7.7 sq mi (20 km2)  1.4%%
 • Total 1,066,710
 • Density 1,997.6/sq mi (771.3/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 5th, 6th, 11th, 13th

Fulton County is located in the north-central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 United States census, the population was 1,066,710, making it the state's most-populous county and its only one with over one million inhabitants. Its county seat and largest city is Atlanta, the state capital. Approximately 90% of the City of Atlanta is within Fulton County; the other 10% lies within DeKalb County. Fulton County is part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Fulton County was created in 1853 from the western half of DeKalb County. It was named in honor of Hamilton Fulton, a surveyor for the Western and Atlantic Railroad; some sources had previously incorrectly claimed it was named for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat. Organized as settlement increased in the Piedmont section of upland Georgia, Fulton County grew rapidly after the American Civil War as Atlanta was rebuilt, becoming a center of railroad shipping, industry and business.

At the beginning of 1932, as an austerity measure to save money during the Great Depression, Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the southwest were annexed by Fulton County. This gave the county its current long shape along 80 miles (130 km) of the Chattahoochee River. On May 9 of that year, neighboring Cobb County ceded to Fulton County the city of Roswell and lands lying east of Willeo Creek, in order that the latter county be more contiguous with the lands ceded from Milton County.

In the later 20th century, Atlanta and Fulton county became the location of numerous national and international headquarters for leading companies, attracting workers from around the country. As a result, the city and county became more cosmopolitan and diverse.


Fulton County's budget of $1.2 billion funds an array of resident services. With 34 branches, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is one of the largest library systems in Georgia.

Human services programs include one of the strongest senior center networks in metro Atlanta, including four multi-purpose senior facilities. The county also provides funding to nonprofits with FRESH and Human Services grants.


Garrett Lake, Mountain Park, Fulton County, Georgia
Garrett Lake, Mountain Park

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 534 square miles (1,380 km2), of which 527 square miles (1,360 km2) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) (1.4%) is water. The shape of the county resembles a sword with its handle at the northeastern part, and the tip at the southwestern portion.

Going from north to south, the northernmost portion of Fulton County, encompassing Milton and northern Alpharetta, is located in the Etowah River sub-basin of the ACT River Basin (Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin). The rest of north and central Fulton, to downtown Atlanta, is located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). The bulk of south Fulton County, from Atlanta to Palmetto, is located in the Middle Chattahoochee River-Lake Harding sub-basin of the larger ACF River Basin, with just the eastern edges of south Fulton, from Palmetto northeast through Union Hill to Hapeville, in the Upper Flint River sub-basin of the same larger ACF River Basin.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


South Fulton Parkway, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia
South Fulton Parkway

Almost every major highway, and every major Interstate highway, in metro Atlanta passes through Fulton County. Outside Atlanta proper, Georgia 400 is the major highway through north Fulton, and Interstate 85 to the southwest.

Major highways

Interstate highways

  • I-20.svg Interstate 20
  • I-75.svg Interstate 75
  • I-85.svg Interstate 85
  • I-285.svg Interstate 285

U.S. highways

  • US 19.svg U.S. Route 19
  • US 23.svg U.S. Route 23
  • US 29.svg U.S. Route 29
  • Alternate plate.svg
    US 29.svg U.S. Route 29 Alternate
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41
  • US 78.svg U.S. Route 78
  • US 278.svg U.S. Route 278

State routes

  • Georgia 3.svg State Route 3
  • Georgia 3 Connector.svg State Route 3 Connector
  • Georgia 6.svg State Route 6
  • Georgia 8.svg State Route 8
  • Georgia 9.svg State Route 9
  • Georgia 10.svg State Route 10
  • Georgia 13.svg State Route 13
  • Georgia 14.svg State Route 14
  • Georgia 14 Alternate.svg State Route 14 Alternate
  • Georgia 14 Connector.svg State Route 14 Connector
  • Georgia 42.svg State Route 42
  • Georgia 42 Connector.svg State Route 42 Connector
  • Georgia 42 Spur.svg State Route 42 Spur
  • Georgia 54.svg State Route 54
  • Georgia 54 Connector.svg State Route 54 Connector
  • Georgia 70.svg State Route 70
  • Georgia 74.svg State Route 74
  • Georgia 92.svg State Route 92
  • Georgia 120.svg State Route 120
  • Georgia 138.svg State Route 138
  • Georgia 139.svg State Route 139
  • Georgia 140.svg State Route 140
  • Georgia 141.svg State Route 141
  • Georgia 154.svg State Route 154
  • Georgia 154 Connector.svg State Route 154 Connector
  • Georgia 166.svg State Route 166
  • Georgia 236.svg State Route 236
  • Georgia 237.svg State Route 237
  • Georgia 279.svg State Route 279
  • Georgia 280.svg State Route 280
  • Georgia 372.svg State Route 372
  • Georgia 400.svg State Route 400
  • Georgia 401.svg State Route 401 (unsigned designation for I-75)
  • Georgia 402.svg State Route 402 (unsigned designation for I-20)
  • Georgia 403.svg State Route 403 (unsigned designation for I-85)
  • Georgia 407.svg State Route 407 (unsigned designation for I-285)

Secondary highways

Peachtree St in Midtown
Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta
  • Abernathy Road
  • East Wesley Road
  • Freedom Parkway (Georgia 10)
  • Glenridge Drive
  • Hammond Drive
  • Johnson Ferry Road
  • Lindbergh Drive (Georgia 236)
  • Memorial Drive (Georgia 154)
  • Moreland Avenue (U.S. 23/Georgia 42)
  • Mount Vernon Highway
  • Peachtree Road (Georgia 141)
  • Peachtree-Dunwoody Road
  • Piedmont Road (Georgia 237)
  • Ponce de Leon Avenue (U.S. 23/29/78/278/Georgia 8/10)
  • Powers Ferry Road
  • Roswell Road (U.S. 19/Georgia 9)
  • Windsor Parkway

Mass transit

East Point (MARTA station)
East Point MARTA station

MARTA serves most of the county, and along with Clayton and Dekalb County, Fulton pays a 1% sales tax to fund it. MARTA train service in Fulton is currently limited to the cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, East Point, and College Park, as well as the airport. Bus service covers most of the remainder, except the rural areas in the far southwest. North Fulton residents have been asking for service, to extend the North Line ten miles (16 km) up the Georgia 400 corridor, from Perimeter Center to the fellow edge city of Alpharetta. However, as the only major transit system in the country that its state government will not fund, there is no money to expand the system. Sales taxes now go entirely to operating, maintaining, and refurbishing the system. Xpress GA/ RTA provides commuter bus service from the outer suburbs of Fulton County, the city of Sandy Springs to Midtown and Downtown Atlanta.

Recreational trails

  • BeltLine (under construction)
  • Big Creek Greenway (under construction)
  • PATH400 (under construction)
  • Peachtree Creek Greenway (under construction)


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport straddles the border with Clayton County to the south and is the busiest airport in the world. The Fulton County Airport, often called Charlie Brown Field after politician Charles M. Brown, is located just west-southwest of Atlanta's city limit. It is run by the county as a municipal or general aviation airport, serving business jets and private aircraft.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 14,427
1870 33,446 131.8%
1880 49,137 46.9%
1890 84,655 72.3%
1900 117,363 38.6%
1910 177,733 51.4%
1920 232,606 30.9%
1930 318,587 37.0%
1940 392,886 23.3%
1950 473,572 20.5%
1960 556,326 17.5%
1970 607,592 9.2%
1980 589,904 −2.9%
1990 648,951 10.0%
2000 816,006 25.7%
2010 920,581 12.8%
2020 1,066,710 15.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014

2020 census

Fulton County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 404,793 37.95%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 448,803 42.07%
Native American 1,558 0.15%
Asian 80,632 7.56%
Pacific Islander 381 0.04%
Other/Mixed 44,241 4.15%
Hispanic or Latino 86,302 8.09%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,066,710 people, 439,578 households, and 238,444 families residing in the county.

2019 ACS Estimates

2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates: Fulton County, Georgia
Group Estimate Percent
Total Population 1,063,937
Population by Sex
Group Estimate Percent
Male 514,901 48.4%
Female 549,036 51.6%
Sex ratio (males per 100 females) 93.8
Population by Age
Group Estimate Percent
Under 5 years 61,084 5.7%
5 to 9 years 60,180 5.7%
10 to 14 years 67,278 6.3%
15 to 19 years 72,060 6.8%
20 to 24 years 74,294 7.0%
25 to 29 years 96,369 9.1%
30 to 34 years 87,402 8.2%
35 to 39 years 79,641 7.5%
40 to 44 years 70,973 6.7%
45 to 49 years 76,114 7.2%
50 to 54 years 69,491 6.5%
55 to 59 years 67,289 6.3%
60 to 64 years 54,006 5.1%
65 to 69 years 46,168 4.3%
70 to 74 years 32,696 3.1%
75 to 79 years 20,164 1.9%
80 to 84 years 13,160 1.2%
85 years and over 15,568 1.5%
Median age (years) 35.9
Population by Race and Ethnicity
Group Estimate Percent
Black or African American 472,625 44.4%
White 469,465 44.1%
--- White, not Hispanic or Latino 418,482 39.3%
Asian 76,786 7.2%
--- Asian Indian 43,438 4.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 76,773 7.2%
--- Mexican 28,037 2.6%
Two or more races 25,072 2.4%
Some other race 17,248 1.6%
American Indian or Alaska Native 2,068 0.2%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 673 0.1%
Population by Nativity and Citizenship Status
Group Estimate Percent
Native (born in the United States) 927,795 87.2%
--- Born in Georgia 472,774 44.4%
--- Born in other U.S. state 437,881 41.2%
------ Southern state 199,155 18.7%
------ Northeastern state 105,811 9.9%
------ Midwestern state 92,026 8.6%
------ Western state 40,889 3.8%
--- Native born outside U.S. states 17,140 1.6%
Foreign Born 136,142 12.8%
--- Not a U.S. citizen 69,083 6.5%
--- Naturalized U.S. citizen 67,059 6.3%

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 920,581 people, 376,377 households, and 209,215 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,748.0 inhabitants per square mile (674.9/km2). There were 437,105 housing units at an average density of 830.0 per square mile (320.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 46.4% white, 44.3% black or African American, 6.9% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 3.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 7.7% were English, 7.2% were German, 6.3% were Irish, and 5.4% were "American".

Of the 376,377 households, 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.7% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 44.4% were non-families, and 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 34.2 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,709 and the median income for a family was $75,579. Males had a median income of $56,439 versus $42,697 for females. The per capita income for the county was $37,211. About 12.0% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.0% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities

  • Birmingham (now within Milton)
  • Campbellton (now within South Fulton)
  • Ocee (now within Johns Creek)
  • Red Oak (now within South Fulton)
  • Rico (now within Chattahoochee Hills)
  • Sandtown (now within South Fulton)
  • Serenbe (village within Chattahoochee Hills)
  • Shakerag (within Johns Creek)
  • Warsaw (now within Johns Creek)


Companies headquartered in Fulton County include AFC Enterprises (Popeyes Chicken/Cinnabon), AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Church's Chicken, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Earthlink, Equifax, First Data, Georgia-Pacific, Global Payments, Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group, IBM Internet Security Systems, Mirant Corp., Newell Rubbermaid, Northside Hospital, Piedmont Healthcare, Porsche Cars North America, Saint Joseph's Hospital, Southern Company, Spectrum Brands, SunTrust Banks, United Parcel Service, and Wendy's/Arby's Group are based in various cities throughout Fulton County.

MaggieMoo's and Marble Slab Creamery had their headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county, however, now those companies are located in neighboring Gwinnett County in Norcross.


All portions of Fulton County outside of the city limits of Atlanta are served by the Fulton County School System.

All portions within Atlanta are served by Atlanta Public Schools.



The Atlanta-Fulton County Library system began in 1902 as the Carnegie Library of Atlanta, one of the first public libraries in the United States. In 1935, the city of Atlanta and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners signed a contract under which library service was extended to all of Fulton County. Then in 1982, Georgia voters passed a constitutional Amendment authorizing the transfer of responsibility for the Library system from the city of Atlanta to the county. On July 1, 1983, the transfer finally became official, and the system was renamed the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

Under the leadership of Ella Gaines Yates, who was the first African American director of the Library System, a new Central library was opened to the public in May 1988. The building was designed by Marcel Breuer, a participant in the innovative Bauhaus movement, working side by side with his associate Hamilton Smith. The Central Library was dedicated on May 25, 1980, and Breuer would die a year later on July, 1981 at the age of 81.

In 2002 after a hundred years of library service to the public, a major renovation of the Central Library was completed.

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See also

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