4 Major Georgia Counties Where People Are Leaving the Most

The latest census data reveals a notable trend in Georgia’s population dynamics, showcasing shifts in growth and decline across various counties. Among these changes, there are four major counties in Georgia that stand out for experiencing substantial population decline. These counties, once vibrant communities, are now facing challenges as residents move away, impacting their social fabric and economic landscape.

Forsyth County

Forsyth County, located in metro Atlanta, has witnessed a significant population decrease, with a growth rate of 43% since 2010. Despite being one of the fastest-growing large counties in the nation, the recent data indicates a decline in residents. This trend raises questions about the factors contributing to this shift and the implications for the county’s future development.

Dooly County

Dooly County stands out as one of the most impacted areas, losing a staggering one-fourth of its population from 2010 to 2020. This rural Georgia community, known for its agricultural heritage, is grappling with a dwindling population, raising concerns about its economic sustainability and access to essential services. The lack of available housing and limited job opportunities are cited as key reasons for residents seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Clayton County

Clayton County has experienced a slight decline in population over the past years, with a decrease of 754 residents in 2022. This trend contrasts with the growth observed in neighboring counties, highlighting potential challenges in retaining residents and fostering community growth. Understanding the underlying causes of this decline is crucial for local authorities to address issues related to infrastructure, employment, and quality of life.

Quitman County

Quitman County is another area in Georgia facing a decline in population, with an 11.1% decrease in residents since 2010. This trend underscores the need for strategic interventions to revitalize the county and attract new residents. Addressing the root causes of population decline, such as limited economic opportunities and inadequate infrastructure, is essential for ensuring the long-term viability of Quitman County.

What Are the Reasons People Are Moving to Georgia Counties

People are moving to Georgia counties for various reasons, including:

Affordable Real Estate: Georgia offers affordable housing compared to other states, with home values growing but still falling below the national average.

Investment Opportunities: Rural communities in Georgia, like Alma and Blairsville, have attracted significant business investments, creating job opportunities and economic growth.

Expanding Career Opportunities: The tech sector in Georgia is growing, leading to job opportunities with big companies like Instacart, Carvana, and Honeywell expanding within the state.

Nature and Weather: Georgia boasts natural wonders and a mild climate, making it an attractive destination for those seeking beautiful landscapes and moderate weather conditions.

Reasonable Tax Rates: Georgia offers relatively low state sales tax rates and state income tax rates compared to states like California, making it financially appealing for many.

These factors, among others, contribute to the influx of people moving to Georgia counties, driving population growth and economic development in the state.


The population dynamics in Georgia’s counties paint a complex picture of growth and decline, reflecting broader trends in urbanization, economic opportunities, and quality of life. While some counties experience rapid growth, others grapple with the challenges of retaining residents and sustaining their communities. Understanding these shifts is crucial for policymakers, urban planners, and community leaders to address the needs of diverse populations and ensure the long-term viability of Georgia’s counties.

In conclusion, the data on population decline in major Georgia counties underscores the importance of proactive measures to address the underlying factors driving these trends. By focusing on strategies to attract and retain residents, these counties can work towards building resilient communities that thrive in the face of demographic changes.

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