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Oconee County, Georgia facts for kids

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Oconee County
Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville
Oconee County Courthouse in Watkinsville
Map of Georgia highlighting Oconee 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 February 24, 1875; 147 years ago (1875-02-24)
Named for Oconee River
Seat Watkinsville
Largest town Watkinsville
Area
 • Total 186 sq mi (480 km2)
 • Land 184 sq mi (480 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)  1.1%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
39,272
 • Density 178/sq mi (69/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 10th

Oconee County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,808. The county seat is Watkinsville.

Oconee County is included in the Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Oconee County was created from the southwestern part of Clarke County in 1875 by the Georgia General Assembly. The new county was created to satisfy southwestern Clarke County residents' demand for their own county after the county seat was moved from Watkinsville to Athens by the General Assembly in 1872. It is named for the river flowing along part of its eastern border.

The county was ranked as the third-best rural county to live in by Progressive Farmer magazine in 2006.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 186 square miles (480 km2), of which 184 square miles (480 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (1.1%) is water. The entirety of Oconee County is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.

Major highways

  • US 29.svg U.S. Route 29
  • US 78.svg U.S. Route 78
  • Business plate.svg
    US 78.svg U.S. Route 78 Business
  • US 129.svg U.S. Route 129
  • Business plate.svg
    US 129.svg U.S. Route 129 Business
  • US 441.svg U.S. Route 441
  • Business plate.svg
    US 441.svg U.S. Route 441 Business
  • Georgia 8.svg State Route 8
  • Georgia 10.svg State Route 10
  • Georgia 10 Loop.svg State Route 10 Loop
  • Georgia 15.svg State Route 15
  • Georgia 24.svg State Route 24
  • Georgia 24 Business.svg State Route 24 Business
  • Georgia 53.svg State Route 53
  • Georgia 186.svg State Route 186
  • Georgia 316.svg State Route 316
  • Georgia 422.svg State Route 422

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Oconee National Forest (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 6,351
1890 7,713 21.4%
1900 8,602 11.5%
1910 11,104 29.1%
1920 11,067 −0.3%
1930 8,082 −27.0%
1940 7,576 −6.3%
1950 7,009 −7.5%
1960 6,304 −10.1%
1970 7,915 25.6%
1980 12,427 57.0%
1990 17,618 41.8%
2000 26,225 48.9%
2010 32,666 24.6%
2017 (est.) 39,272 20.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Oconee County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 33,886 81.07%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,897 4.54%
Native American 31 0.07%
Asian 2,066 4.94%
Other/Mixed 1,572 3.76%
Hispanic or Latino 2,347 5.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 41,799 people, 13,423 households, and 10,727 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,808 people, 11,622 households, and 9,346 families residing in the county. The population density was 178.0 inhabitants per square mile (68.7/km2). There were 12,383 housing units at an average density of 67.2 per square mile (25.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.4% white, 5.0% black or African American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 19.9% were English, 14.7% were American, 13.3% were Irish, and 12.2% were German.

Of the 11,622 households, 43.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 19.6% were non-families, and 16.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.16. The median age was 39.1 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $74,352 and the median income for a family was $85,371. Males had a median income of $57,303 versus $39,375 for females. The per capita income for the county was $34,271. About 6.3% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

In 2012, the Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked Oconee County as one of the top 3 healthiest counties in Georgia. The study ranked the county second in the state in "Overall Health Factors" and third in "Overall Health Outcomes."

Communities

Education

Oconee County School District

The Oconee County School District provides education for grades pre-school to twelve and consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The district has 361 full-time teachers and over 5,615 students.

Private schools

There are currently three private schools located in the county. They are:

  • Westminster Christian Academy
  • Prince Avenue Christian School
  • Athens Academy

Colleges and universities

The University of North Georgia maintains a satellite campus near Watkinsville. It was a Gainesville State College campus until the 2012 merger of Gainesville State College with North Georgia College and State University.

The Athens College of Ministry (ACMin) is a private Christian college that was established in 2012 near Watkinsville. ACMin currently offers certificates, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in nine various major areas.

Transportation

Major highways

  • US 29.svg U.S. Route 29
  • US 78.svg U.S. Route 78
  • Business plate.svg
    US 78.svg U.S. Route 78 Business
  • US 129.svg U.S. Route 129
  • Business plate.svg
    US 129.svg U.S. Route 129 Business
  • US 441.svg U.S. Route 441
  • Business plate.svg
    US 441.svg U.S. Route 441 Business
  • Georgia 8.svg State Route 8
  • Georgia 10.svg State Route 10
  • Georgia 10 Loop.svg State Route 10 Loop
  • Georgia 15.svg State Route 15
  • Georgia 24.svg State Route 24
  • Georgia 24 Business.svg State Route 24 Business
  • Georgia 53.svg State Route 53
  • Georgia 186.svg State Route 186
  • Georgia 316.svg State Route 316
  • Georgia 422.svg State Route 422

Pedestrians and cycling

The city has limited walkability options available. However, since 2017 plans are being discussed to develop a multi-use trail network.

Notable people

  • Nathan Crawford Barnett, member of the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Secretary of State for more than 30 years.
  • John Berry, country music singer
  • Phil Campbell, farmer
  • Colt Ford, country music singer and professional golfer
  • Lottie Moon, Southern Baptist missionary who spend nearly 40 years working in China
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