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Putnam County, Georgia facts for kids

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Putnam County
Putnam County courthouse in Eatonton
Putnam County courthouse in Eatonton
Map of Georgia highlighting Putnam 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 10, 1807; 214 years ago (1807-12-10)
Named for Israel Putnam
Seat Eatonton
Largest city Eatonton
Area
 • Total 361 sq mi (930 km2)
 • Land 345 sq mi (890 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (40 km2)  4.4%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
21,809
 • Density 63/sq mi (24/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 10th

Putnam County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,218. The county seat is Eatonton.

Since the early 21st century, the county has had a housing boom. It has proximity to Lake Oconee, a recreation site, as well as to major employment centers such as Atlanta, Athens, and Macon.

History

Putnam County is named in honor of Israel Putnam, a hero of the French and Indian War and a general in the American Revolutionary War. It was settled by European Americans after the war, as migrants moved down from the Upper South. The County was created on December 10, 1807 by an act of the Georgia General Assembly.

Following the invention of the cotton gin, which could profitably process short-staple cotton, the county was developed for cotton cultivation of that type. It thrived in the upland areas, where plantations were developed and worked by the field labor of thousands of African-American slaves. African Americans still comprise more than 40 percent of the county population, although thousands left during the Great Migration from 1920 to 1960. The county population dropped by more than half during this period following mechanization of agriculture and as rural workers moved into cities.

In the 21st century, dairy farming is more important to Putnam County than cotton. It annually holds the nationally known Dairy Festival.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 361 square miles (930 km2), of which 345 square miles (890 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (4.4%) is water. The entirety of Putnam County is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.

Major highways

  • 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 16.svg State Route 16
  • Georgia 24.svg State Route 24
  • Georgia 24 Business.svg State Route 24 Business
  • Georgia 44.svg State Route 44
  • Georgia 142.svg State Route 142
  • Georgia 212.svg State Route 212

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Oconee National Forest (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 10,029
1820 15,475 54.3%
1830 13,261 −14.3%
1840 10,260 −22.6%
1850 10,794 5.2%
1860 10,125 −6.2%
1870 10,461 3.3%
1880 14,539 39.0%
1890 14,842 2.1%
1900 13,436 −9.5%
1910 13,876 3.3%
1920 15,151 9.2%
1930 8,367 −44.8%
1940 8,514 1.8%
1950 7,731 −9.2%
1960 7,798 0.9%
1970 8,394 7.6%
1980 10,295 22.6%
1990 14,137 37.3%
2000 18,812 33.1%
2010 21,218 12.8%
2018 (est.) 21,809 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,218 people, 8,601 households, and 6,075 families living in the county. The population density was 61.6 inhabitants per square mile (23.8/km2). There were 12,804 housing units at an average density of 37.2 per square mile (14.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.9% white, 26.0% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 4.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 27.2% were American, 26.0% African American, 10.7% were Irish, 9.9% were English, and 5.9% were German.

Of the 8,601 households, 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.4% were non-families, and 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 43.5 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,529 and the median income for a family was $49,814. Males had a median income of $31,915 versus $30,857 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,576. About 9.3% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Putnam County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 14,316 64.93%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,385 24.43%
Native American 33 0.15%
Asian 108 0.49%
Pacific Islander 1 0.0%
Other/Mixed 647 2.93%
Hispanic or Latino 1,557 7.06%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 22,047 people, 8,937 households, and 6,282 families residing in the county.

Communities

City

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Education

The Putnam County Charter School System serves the community.

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