70 Fun & Interesting Facts About Georgia, USA

Georgia state is famous for its rocky attractions, Southern hospitality, and as the birthplace of Coca-Cola and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Find out what else the “Peach State” is famous for with these fascinating Georgia state facts!

General Georgia Facts

  • Georgia is located in the southeastern part of the US, also considered the Deep South.
  • Georgia is the 24th largest state, at 59,425 mi² (153,909 km²). It is between Wisconsin and Illinois in size, or twice as large as West Virginia. It is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.
  • Ireland and Croatia could fit inside of Georgia with room to spare.
  • Georgia is the 8th most populous state in the US, with a population of just under 11 million. It sits between Ohio and North Carolina in number of residents.
  • The state capital and largest city of Georgia is Atlanta. With half a million people in its urban core, it is the country’s 38th largest city, between Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska.
  • However, including all its suburbs, Atlanta has a population of 6.1 million, making it the 8th largest metropolitan area in the US, between Philadelphia and Miami.
Skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta, including a Ferris wheel in the foreground
Atlanta, capital and largest city of Georgia
  • Georgia had four other state capitals before Atlanta: Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville.
  • Georgia has more counties (159) than any other state that’s located on the eastern side of Mississippi.
  • Two of the largest tribes in Georgia are the Creek and Cherokee tribes.
  • Residents of Georgia are called Georgians.
  • The abbreviation for Georgia is GA.
Two men walk toward a large fountain in park, with a canopy of trees over them
Park fountain in Savanah, Georgia
  • The state was named after King George II of Great Britain after the state was colonized back in 1732.
  • Some common nicknames for Georgia are “The Empire State of the South” (referring to its rapid industrialization after the Civil War), “The Peach State” (although California and South Carolina produce more of the fruit), and “Yankee-land of the South”.
  • Official tourism slogans for Georgia have included “Georgia on my mind” and “We’re glad Georgia’s on your mind.”
  • The official state motto of Georgia consists of three words: “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”.
  • The adoptable dog is the official state mammal of Georgia. California, Colorado, and Tennessee also have rescue pets as state animals.
The state flag of Georgia, United States
The Georgia state flag
  • The flag of Georgia has three horizontal stripes (red, white, and red). In the top-left corner, there are 13 stars (for the original 13 colonies, which it is one of) around the state seal. It is the 4th flag in the state’s history.
  • After Mississippi’s 2020 decision to change their flag, Georgia’s is one of the few remaining in the US with references to the confederacy. It looks very similar to the First National Flag of the Confederacy.
  • The Georgia seal is one of only 3 (along with Mississippi and Florida) that says “In God We Trust.”

Random Interesting Facts About Georgia

  • Savannah, Georgia is often ranked as one of the friendliest towns in the US. In general, Georgia is known for its “Southern Charm”.
  • There are no national parks in Georgia, but the state does have 2 national monuments: Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island, which protected the southern boundary of the British colony, and Fort Pulaski, where rifled cannons were tested during the Civil War.
A stone path leading to a historic building at Fort Frederica in Georgia
Fort Frederica National Monument
  • There are 53 state parks in Georgia, the largest of which is F. D. Roosevelt State Park. The former president had sought relief for his paralytic illness in Warm Springs near the current park.
  • Indian Springs State Park, named after its healing waters, is considered the oldest state park in the United States. It was established in 1826, 90 years before the country’s first national park.
  • Stone Mountain Park, also managed by the state, is Georgia’s most famous attraction, located 16 mi (26 km) east of Atlanta. First opened in 1965, it was considered a “memorial to the Confederacy.”  
  • The rock carving of three Confederate leaders on the north face of Stone Mountain is considered the largest bas-relief artwork in the world, at 90 X 190 ft (27 X 58 m).
A carving on a stone wall at Stone Mountain in Georgia
Huge carving of Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain
  • Rock City Gardens in the state’s NW is another very popular tourist attraction. From Lover’s Leap in Rock City, it is supposedly possible to see 7 different states.
  • Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta is considered the oldest black Baptist congregation in the US.
  • In Athens, Georgia you’ll find a white oak tree that owns itself and the land it stands on, called Jackson Tree or “Tree that Owns Itself“. In the early 1800s, William Henry Jackson deeded ownership to the tree. William’s fondness for the tree was a collection of nostalgia and positive childhood memories.
  • Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia is considered the largest blackwater swamp in the United States. It is larger than 25 countries in the world.
Bare trees reflecting on water at Okefenokee Swamp
Okefenokee Swamp
  • There are around a quarter of a million alligators in Georgia.
  • Georgia is thought to have more soil types than any other state in the US.
  • Georgia’s highest temperature ever recorded was in Louisville on July 24, 1952, when it was 112°F (44°C). The lowest was -17°F (-27°C) in Floyd County on January 27, 1940.
  • Atlanta, Georgia pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton created Coca-Cola, which went on to become the most well-known soft drink in the world.
  • The 1936 novel Gone with the Wind was set in Atlanta and Clayton County, Georgia, and written by Atlanta native Margaret Mitchell. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize, while the film based on it won 10 Oscars.
A mosaic of famous people from Georgia USA
Famous Georgians Ray Charles, Martin Luther King Jr., Gladys Knight, Chloë Grace Moretz, Hulk Hogan, and Jimmy Carter (clockwise from top-left)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., the famous human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the US, was born in Plains, Georgia.
  • Other famous people from Georgia include rapper Kanye West, musician Ray Charles, soul singer Gladys Knight, wrestler Hulk Hogan, actresses Chloë Grace Moretz and Holly Hunter, actor Jeff Daniels, and activist Alice Walker.
  • Famous bands from Georgia include TLC, R.E.M., the B52s, OutKast, the Black Crowes, and Arrested Development.
  • Georgian resident Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (or cotton engine, a machine that separates cotton fibers from the seeds) in 1793.
  • Rebecca Latimer Felton was the only female senator from Georgia, serving for just 24 hours in 1922, until the appointment of Kelly Loeffler in 2020.
A pile of peaches
Georgia is famous for its peaches
  • Georgia is famously known for being the peach state, although the state is also the top producer of vidalia onions (considered some of the sweetest onions in the world), peanuts, and pecans in the US.
  • Gainesville is considered the poultry capital of the world.
  • Economically, if the state of Georgia was a country, it would have the 28th biggest economy in the world.
  • The state is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, including the likes of Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Delta Airlines, and UPS. The restaurant chain Arby’s is also headquartered in Georgia.
  • CNN was founded and is still based in Atlanta, Georgia.
A mosaic of logos of brands that were started in Georgia
World-famous Georgian brands
  • There are some strange old laws in Georgia. For example, if for some reason you decide to place your ice cream in your back pocket, just make sure it’s not on a Sunday, which is illegal.
  • If you’re in Marietta, Georgia, it’s a felony to spit out of a bus or car. Oddly enough, if you spit out of a truck, it’s fine.
  • It’s against the law to change the clothes of a storefront mannequin unless the shades are down. Apparently mannequins need their privacy, too?
  • Since 1961, it’s been illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork in Gainesville, Georgia.

Historical Facts About Georgia

  • Native Americans have been living and working in Georgia for over 12,000 years.
  • On May 20,1498 the Italian John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) explored the coast of Georgia.
A waterway through a grassy, swampy lowland in Georgia near the coast
Lowland landscape on the Georgia coast
  • The first European to step foot in Georgia was Hernando de Soto in 1540. At the time, almost all of Georgia was controlled by the Creeks.
  • In 1732, British MP James Oglethorpe founded Georgia as a felon colony. He wanted to give people who couldn’t settle their debts a second chance in a new place. It was the last of the 13 colonies.
  • In 1735, Georgia became the first colony to cultivate grapes.
  • In the mid-1700s, Cherokee Native Americans started growing peaches in the state.
  • The first ever Thanksgiving Day observation took place on July 25, 1742 in Augusta, Georgia.
Exterior of the Georgia State Capitol building
The Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta
  • The first Native American newspaper in the US to be printed was The Cherokee Phoenix, which was founded and printed in New Echota in 1828- the capital of the Cherokee Nation, in present-day Georgia.
  • In 1868, the capital was moved for the 4th time, to Atlanta, where it remains today.
  • Public hangings were abolished in Georgia in 1893.
  • The Georgia Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to privacy in 1905. Georgia was the first state in the nation to do so.
  • Georgia was the first state in the US to lower the legal voting age to 18, in 1943.
Water fountains and international flags in Atlanta Olympic Park, Georgia
Atlanta Olympic Park
  • The 4th Summer Olympic Games to be hosted by the US took place in Atlanta in 1996. These games were considered the Centennial Olympic Games, as they marked the centenary of the Olympic Games that took place in Athens in 1896.
  • Legislation was signed in 2003 by the governor of Georgia to redesign the flag without the Confederate emblem. The emblem is considered by many to be evocative of the slavery in the history of Georgia.
  • In 2020, Georgians narrowly backed Joe Biden rather than Donald Trump. It was the first time they’d gone Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992.
  • In 2021, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, one of the first major title wins for the state in decades.
  • Even following the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade on June 24, 2022, abortion is still allowed in Georgia up to the 22nd week.