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Clayton County, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Clayton County
Location in the state of Georgia (U.S. state)
Map of the U.S. highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded November 30, 1858
Named for Augustin Smith Clayton
Seat Jonesboro
Largest city Forest Park
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

144 sq mi (373 km²)
142 sq mi (368 km²)
2.8 sq mi (7 km²), 1.9%
 - (2010)
 - Density

1,832/sq mi (707/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 13th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Clayton County is a suburban county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 259,424.[1] The county seat is Jonesboro.[2]

Clayton County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the home of most of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

History[edit | edit source]

The county was established in 1858 and named in honor of Augustin Smith Clayton[3] (1783–1839), who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1832 until 1835.

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 144 square miles (370 km2), of which 142 square miles (370 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (1.9%) is water.[4] It is the third-smallest county by area in Georgia.

Adjacent counties[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 4,466
1870 5,477 22.6%
1880 8,027 46.6%
1890 8,295 3.3%
1900 9,598 15.7%
1910 10,453 8.9%
1920 11,159 6.8%
1930 10,260 −8.1%
1940 11,655 13.6%
1950 22,872 96.2%
1960 46,365 102.7%
1970 98,043 111.5%
1980 150,357 53.4%
1990 182,052 21.1%
2000 236,517 29.9%
2010 259,467 9.7%
Est. 2013 264,220 11.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 259,424 people residing in the county. 66.1% were Black or African American, 18.9% White, 5.0% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 13.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the 2000 census,[9] there were 236,517 people, 82,243 households, and 59,214 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,658 people per square mile (640/km²). There were 86,461 housing units at an average density of 606 per square mile (234/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 37.94% White, 51.55% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 4.49% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 3.55% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. 7.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Estimated 2006 population is 271,240, with a racial make-up of 20.4% white non-Hispanic, 62.9% African American, 5% Asian, 11.3% Hispanic or Latino, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.1% Pacific Islander. 1.5% were reported as multi-racial.

There were 82,243 households out of which 40.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.70% were married couples living together, 20.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 21.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 10.40% from 18 to 24, 35.40% from 25 to 44, 18.40% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,697, and the median income for a family was $46,782. Males had a median income of $32,118 versus $26,926 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,079. About 8.20% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.

The last quarter-century has seen significant change in the racial composition of the county's population. In 1980, Clayton county's population was 150,357 — 91% white and 9% minority,[10] while in 2006 the population was approximately 271,240 — 20% white and 80% minority.[11]

Crime and Policing[edit | edit source]

On March 20, 2007, the county appointed its first black police chief, Jeffrey E. Turner, who promised to help alleviate crime in the county. The Clayton County Commission voted in December 2009 to oust Turner for various offenses including insubordination, an unorganized evidence room, failure to properly handle sexual harassment complaints against officers, several high-speed chases that resulted in civilian deaths, and 138 unaccounted-for firearms. Though residents rallied in his support, the Commission voted to reassign Turner as the department head for the Academy.[12]

Economy[edit | edit source]

The unemployment rate in Clayton County, GA, is 11.50%, with job growth of 0.70%. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 29.90%.Clayton County, GA TaxesClayton County, GA,sales tax rate is 7.00%. Income tax is 6.00%.Clayton County, GA Income and SalariesThe income per capita is $18,735, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $44,454.ValuJet Airlines was headquartered in northern unincorporated Clayton County, near William B. Hartsfield International Airport, in the 1990s.[13]

Transportation[edit | edit source]

Airports[edit | edit source]

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Mass transit[edit | edit source]

Bus[edit | edit source]

MARTA and Xpress GA / RTA commuter buses serve the County.

Rail[edit | edit source]

There is commuter rail service in the planning stages along the Norfolk Southern line, with proposed stations in Forest Park, Morrow, Jonesboro, and initially ending at Lovejoy. This line is projected to run to Macon eventually. However, it has been repeatedly stalled by the Georgia General Assembly, despite having federal funding already available for it.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's Airport station is located in Clayton.

Education[edit | edit source]

Clayton County Public Schools is the fifth largest school system in Georgia.[14] On August 28, 2008, the district lost its accreditation, citing a 'dysfunctional' school board.

The district currently has 51,237 students enrolled in its 63 schools. Under the current Superintendent Dr. Edmond T. Heatley, the district has a strategic plan that includes the vision and mission statements. Clayton County has twenty-two elementary and five middle schools that have been deemed by the Georgia Department of Education as Distinguished Schools. This is based on the number of consecutive years of making AYP. Clayton County is fully accredited, April 2013

Special schools and programs[edit | edit source]

Lovejoy High School hosts the district International Baccalaureate Program (IB). The IB Diploma Program is designed as an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final exams that prepare students for success at the university level and life beyond.

CCPS has two charter schools. Unidos Dual Language, Georgia's first public dual language school is a model of excellence in language education. Unidos serves students in Pre-kindergarten through sixth grades. The second charter school is the Elite Scholars Academy; the school serves grades 6-10 and will be expanding to the twelfth grade by 2014. The school operates on a year-round calendar. Any student in the district may apply to enroll. Selection is based on a random lottery.

Clayton County also has a Math and Science Magnet and two fine arts magnet programs at Jackson Elementary and Mount Zion High Schools. Enrollment is based on application and/or audition.

2008 de-accreditation[edit | edit source]

The 50,000-student school system was the first in the nation to lose accreditation since 1969. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) revoked the school district's accreditation on August 28, 2008.[15] This makes only the second system in the nation to do so since 1960. A grand jury investigated and considered possible criminal indictments against the Clayton County School Board. At issue was whether the school board committed malfeasance in ignoring the shortcomings of the school system and violating its own rules concerning the awarding of bids of contracts.

School Board Chairwoman Ericka Davis announced her resignation on April 2, 2008, amidst the allegations. Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell has called for the resignations of all Clayton County School Board Members.[16] Amid controversy and orders for the police to quiet citizens, the Clayton County School Board hired a new temporary superintendent on April 26, 2008. This was despite the fact that the new superintendent did not meet the qualifications set forth by SACS.[17]

The Clayton County Public School System was re-accredited by SACS on May 1, 2009.[18]

Higher education[edit | edit source]

Clayton State University is located in Morrow.

Communities[edit | edit source]

Cities[edit | edit source]

Census-designated places[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated communities[edit | edit source]

  • Arrowhead District
  • Botany Woods
  • Clayton Panhandle
  • Ellenwood
  • Flint River District
  • Flintwoods
  • Lake Harbin
  • Lake Spivey
  • Mountain View
  • North Jonesboro
  • Old Dixie
  • Old South
  • Rex
  • Valley Hill

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Parts of Margaret Mitchell's epic 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the famous 1939 motion picture Gone with the Wind were set in Clayton County, including the location of the fictional plantation, Tara. Tara Boulevard was named for the plantation, and is the main north/south road through the county, carrying U.S. 41 and lesser-known State Route 3. Also a namesake is Tara Field, the county's general aviation airport, actually located in a neighboring county where it was previously Henry County Airport. Parts of the novels Rhett Butler's People and Scarlett and the Scarlett TV Mini-Series also took place in Clayton County. Rhett Butler's People is a prequel, sequel, and companion to Gone with the Wind. Scarlett is a sequel to Gone with the Wind, also and also takes place briefly in Clayton County. In the above-mentioned novels, the fictional Twelve Oaks Plantation and others mentioned in the novels above, are located in and around Clayton County.

The 2012 film Flight features Clayton County throughout the film, with Hall's Flying Ranch in Hampton, Georgia, doubling as Denzel Washington's character's childhood home.

Parts of the film Smokey and the Bandit were also shot in and around Clayton County, namely in Jonesboro, as evidenced by a sign in the background of one of the scenes. Even though this particular scene was supposed to be set in Arkansas, a "Willow Bend" sign advertising brick homes in Clayton County can be spotted behind Sheriff George Branford. Many back roads and the movie town of Texarkana are actually the roads and the town of Jonesboro. Trinidad James filmed his music video for the song "All Gold Everything" in Clayton County

Rap artist Waka Flocka Flame is also from Clayton County as he resides in Riverdale, Georgia.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 84. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Clayton County, Georgia". American Factfinder. United States Census Bureau. 2008. 
  12. ^ "Turner out as Clayton police chief". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Civil Action No. 1-96-CV-1355-JTC." Stanford University Law School. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  14. ^ "District Statistics". Clayton County Public Schools. Retrieved 5 April 2008. 
  15. ^ Matteucci, Megan (2008-08-28). "Clayton schools lose accreditation; board members ousted". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  16. ^ Matteucci, Megan (2008-04-02). "Clayton school board chairwoman steps down". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 5 April 2008. 
  17. ^ Matteucci, Megan (2008-05-01). "Clayton signs school chief's contract amid police presence". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 
  18. ^ Front, Georgia. (2009-05-01) Georgia Education: Clayton County Public Schools Receive Re-accreditation. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 33°32′N 84°22′W / 33.54, -84.36

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