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Lanier County, Georgia facts for kids

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Lanier County
Lanier County Courthouse in Lakeland
Lanier County Courthouse in Lakeland
Map of Georgia highlighting Lanier 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 1920; 104 years ago (1920)
Named for Sidney Lanier
Seat Lakeland
Largest city Lakeland
 • Total 200 sq mi (500 km2)
 • Land 185 sq mi (480 km2)
 • Water 15 sq mi (40 km2)  7.3%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 54/sq mi (21/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 8th

Lanier County is a county in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,078. The county seat and only incorporated municipality is Lakeland. The county is named after the Georgia poet Sidney Lanier.

Lanier County is part of the Valdosta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lanier shares Moody Air Force Base with Lowndes County on its western boundary.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 200 square miles (520 km2), of which 185 square miles (480 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (7.3%) is water.

The vast majority of Lanier County is located in the Alapaha River sub-basin of the Suwannee River basin. Just a narrow section of the western border of the county, northeast and southeast of Ray City, is located in the Withlacoochee River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin, and a very narrow section of the eastern border of Lanier County is located in the Upper Suwannee River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin.

Major highways

  • US 84.svg U.S. Route 84
  • US 129.svg U.S. Route 129
  • US 221.svg U.S. Route 221
  • Georgia 11.svg State Route 11
  • Georgia 11 Bypass.svg State Route 11 Bypass
  • Georgia 31.svg State Route 31
  • Georgia 31 Connector.svg State Route 31 Connector
  • Georgia 37.svg State Route 37
  • Georgia 38.svg State Route 38
  • Georgia 64.svg State Route 64
  • Georgia 122.svg State Route 122
  • Georgia 122 Connector.svg State Route 122 Connector
  • Georgia 125.svg State Route 125
  • Georgia 135.svg State Route 135
  • Georgia 135 Bypass.svg State Route 135 Bypass
  • Georgia 168.svg State Route 168

Major waterways




  • Atlantic and Gulf Railroad
  • Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
  • Lakeland Railroad (Defunct, it was used from 1929 to 1957. It ran along the same path as the Milltown Air Line Railroad)
  • Milltown Air Line Railroad (Defunct, it was used from 1904 to 1928. It ran from Lakeland to Naylor, Georgia)
  • Plant System
  • Waycross and Western Railroad (Defunct, it was used from 1912 to 1925 from Waycross, Georgia to Lakeland, Georgia. It roughly followed current Georgia State Route 122)

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge Sign
Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge sign

The Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1985, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors annually. It provides hiking, fishing, and boating opportunities on more than 4,000 acres (16 km2) of water, Banks Lake marsh, and swamp. The Robert Simpson III Nature Trail, dedicated in August 2001, is located within the Lakeland, Georgia city limits on 75 acres (300,000 m2) of pine and hardwood forests. The county is famous for its excellent fishing in the Alapaha River, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge as well as in its many small lakes.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 5,190
1940 5,632 8.5%
1950 5,151 −8.5%
1960 5,097 −1.0%
1970 5,031 −1.3%
1980 5,654 12.4%
1990 5,531 −2.2%
2000 7,847 41.9%
2010 10,078 28.4%
2018 (est.) 10,340 2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 10,078 people, 3,608 households, and 2,626 families living in the county. The population density was 54.4 inhabitants per square mile (21.0/km2). There were 4,249 housing units at an average density of 22.9 per square mile (8.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.6% white, 23.7% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 14.0% were Irish, 11.5% were American, 11.0% were German, and 10.1% were English.

Of the 3,608  households, 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.2% were non-families, and 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18. The median age was 33.4 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,522 and the median income for a family was $43,162. Males had a median income of $32,782 versus $21,712 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,894. About 18.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Lanier County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 6,595 66.77%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 2,138 21.65%
Native American 31 0.31%
Asian 81 0.82%
Pacific Islander 14 0.14%
Other/Mixed 446 4.52%
Hispanic or Latino 572 5.79%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 9,877 people, 3,714 households, and 2,536 families residing in the county.

Historic sites

Historic sites include Governor Eurith D. Rivers' home, which was moved from its original spot on Banks Lake to West Main Street in Lakeland in the early 1980s; Union Baptist Church, located near Georgia Highway 135; and Fender Cemetery, located east of Lakeland at the junction of U.S. 221 and Georgia Highway 37 on land that once belonged to David Fender. The site of the cemetery, in which many of the area's first settlers are buried, was chosen so that mourners would not have to ferry their dead across the river for burial. Also, the "Murals of Milltown," which depict community life in the 1920s, grace the exteriors of buildings in downtown Lakeland.



Unincorporated communities

  • Carter
  • Crisp
  • Darsey
  • Good Hope
  • Green Valley
  • Greenwood
  • Knights
  • Oak Grove
  • Reedy Creek
  • Sirmans
  • Stockton
  • Stone Hill
  • Teeterville
  • Thigpen


The county's economy has remained rural in nature, but the educational, health and social service sector was the largest employment category in 2006. Factors contributing to this economy include the presence of Moody Air Force Base (shared by adjoining Lowndes County), the several lakes and nature reserve, the hospital, and a large state correctional facility.

The top ten employers in Lanier County are:

  • Moody Air Force Base
  • Farmers & Merchants Bank
  • Louis Smith Hospital
  • Patten Probation Detention Center
  • Georgia Department of Corrections
  • Patten Seed Company
  • City of Lakeland, Georgia
  • Wausau Homes, Inc
  • J.H. Harvey Co, LLC (parent company of Harveys Supermarkets)


Lanier County Board of Education
Lanier County School District headquarters

The Lanier County School District operates four schools: Lanier County Primary School, Lanier County Elementary School, Lanier County Middle School, and Lanier County High School.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Lanier para niños

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