By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia
Education tidbitsIn the education category, you can learn what percent of public school students in your county qualified for the gifted program, were retained in their grade, dropped out and more. Did you know that more than half of Georgia public school teachers hold advanced degrees? And more than 24 percent of Decatur City School students are enrolled in the gifted program? And since 1993, Georgia has awarded more than $4 billion dollars in HOPE scholarships. In the area of finances, the guide reveals that the average Georgia household survives on $45,564 a year and almost 1.3 million Georgians live in poverty. Half of the children who attend Georgia public schools qualify for free or reduced lunches.
Higher income than U.S. averageOn a positive note, five Georgia counties have per capita incomes higher than the U.S. average. The public information in the guide is pulled from federal, state and private agencies. Using more than 1,400 variables, the book provides figures on agriculture, courts and crime, economics, education, government, health, housing and households, labor, natural resources, population, public assistance, transportation and vital statistics on the state and its 159 counties. “(The guide) has evolved over time to become the premier source of county-level data,” said Sue Boatright, a CAES research coordinator and the guide’s editor.
Used by manyThe information is commonly used by realtors, educators, political consultants, county planners, architects and many others to make community decisions, she said. Crime figures in the guide include the number of index crimes reported, percentage of juvenile arrests and the number of state prison inmates. Farm-gate values for poultry, row crops, livestock, forestry, vegetables, ornamentals and fruits and nuts are included in the agriculture category.
Order your copyAccess to the data is free online at www.georgiastats.uga.edu. A printed copy costs $20. Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of all the data costs $50. The book and its data on CD can be purchased together for $65. To order, go to the Web site www.countyguide.uga.edu. Or, send a request and check made payable to Georgia County Guide to the Office of Communications, 117 Hoke Smith Annex, Athens, GA 30602-4356. Allow three weeks from receipt of order for delivery.
(Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)