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It might not make you a millionaire, but you can find the answer to almost any question about Georgia in the latest Georgia County Guide, and you won't even have to phone a friend.

"We continue to see a decrease in the number of families needing assistance," said Sue Boatright, a University of Georgia data collection coordinator and co-editor of the County Guide.

"And teenage pregnancy rates and unemployment rates have declined for the past eight years," she said. "We also see an increase in residential construction permits, per capita income and lottery sales."

Smart Stats

The 2000 County Guide is full of interesting statistics. The tidbits include:

Agriculture (Seminole County had the highest corn production, 2,038,000 bushels. Tattnall County grew the most soybeans, with 330,000 bushels. Macon County had the most milk cows, with 9,800 head.)

Economic issues (Quitman County beat the others for per-capita lottery sales, at $2,091. Camden County had the highest percentage of movers from out-of-state -- 82.8 percent. And Fulton County's average adjusted gross income was the highest, at $63,448.)

"Based on 1990-1999 estimates, the overall population increased by 20.2 percent," Boatright said. "And 42 Georgia counties are growing faster than the state average -- mostly metro suburban, mountain and coastal counties, with some exceptions."

Handy Hints

The guide includes handy information on:

  • Education (Cobb County students received the most HOPE scholarship awards, $17,529,620; the Chickamauga city school system in Walker County had the highest percentage of high school completion, 91.9 percent).
  • Population statistics (Echols County was the most sparsely populated, with 6.3 persons per square mile. Chattahoochee County had the highest percentage of Hispanic population, at 18.5 percent. And Forsyth County showed the greatest percentage increase from 1990 to '99, at 119.3 percent.)

And there's information you never know when you'll need:

  • There were more deer-related accidents on Henry County roads than in any other county -- 346.
  • Veterans showed the greatest increase in Union County from 1990 to '99 -- 20.9 percent.
  • Liberty County was ahead of the rest with a rate of 25.4 births per 1,000 population.
  • During the 15 years from 1984 through '98, Cherokee County had the lowest percentage of low-weight births -- 6 percent.
  • The Catoosa County marriage rate was highest -- 52.1 per 1,000 population.

Data in the guide is arranged by subject with county-level and state statistics on agriculture, crime, economics, education, government, health, housing, labor, natural resources, occupations, population, public assistance, religion, transportation, veterans and vital statistics.

You'll find the latest statistics for every county, as well as population data for each municipality in the state.

"The Georgia County Guide puts the answers you need right at your fingertips in a comprehensive, easy-to-use format that covers all 159 counties in Georgia, with more variables than any other source," Boatright said.

How to Order

This year's guide is available in book form or electronic data sets in Microsoft Excel format. The data sets include individual county-state profiles in Adobe Acrobat format with free software available on the Web. The book is $15 and data sets $50.

Get complete book and ordering information at 0028 http://www.agecon.uga.edu/~countyguide 04D4 .

Credit-card orders can be taken at the Web site, or you can print the form and mail a check payable to "Georgia County Guide" to: Ag Business Office, 203 Conner Hall, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7506. Be sure to include your street address for UPS shipment.

"One of the guide's useful features is the list of data sources in the back of the book," Boatright said. "Web-site addresses are included so users can access sites for further information."

The book is produced by the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in cooperation with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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