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Fayette County, Georgia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fayette County
Fayette County Courthouse, in Fayetteville
Official seal of Fayette County
Map of Georgia highlighting Fayette County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 33°25′N 84°29′W / 33.41°N 84.49°W / 33.41; -84.49
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedMay 15, 1821; 200 years ago (1821)
Named forMarquis de Lafayette
Largest cityPeachtree City
 • Total199 sq mi (520 km2)
 • Land194 sq mi (500 km2)
 • Water5.0 sq mi (13 km2)  2.5%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density570/sq mi (220/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts3rd, 13th

Fayette County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 106,567.[1] Fayette County was established in 1821. The county seat, Fayetteville, was established in 1823. Much of Fayette County is bordered on the east side by the Flint River.

Fayette County was organized in 1821 after the United States signed a treaty at Indian Springs, Georgia with the Creek people for cession of a large portion of their land. The county and its seat, Fayetteville, were both named in honor of the French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette, who aided General George Washington in the American Revolutionary War.

Since the late 20th century, Fayette County has been part of the Greater Atlanta Metropolitan Area. It is located south of Atlanta, which is based in Fulton County. Fayette County is minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. As a suburb of Atlanta, Fayette County has increased rapidly in population and development since the late 20th century, nearly doubling its population since 1990.

Both the county commission and the school board were elected members at-large from the county. The school board was one of only 20 boards, out of 180 in Georgia, that followed this system. Plaintiffs from the NAACP filed suit in 2011, charging that the system diluted their voting power, preventing the minority, who comprise 20% of the population, from electing candidates of their choice. The judge ruled in their favor and in 2013, a system of single-member voting was established, which the county and school board appealed. In 2014 the first African Americans were elected to the county commission and school board. In January 2016, the county and school board voted to settle the suit, as supported by the Chamber of Commerce. They have negotiated a system of four seats to be elected by single-member districts, with one at-large seat.[2]

Fayette County has five incorporated municipalities within its borders; Fayetteville, Brooks, Woolsey, Tyrone and Peachtree City. Formerly, Inman was also a municipality, but gave up its charter years ago. In 2015 Fayetteville, a majority-white city, elected its first African-American mayor, Ed Johnson. In 2011 he had been the first African American elected to its city council and only the second African American elected to any office in the history of Fayette County.[3][4]


Fayette County was created on May 15, 1821, from territory ceded to the United States by the Creek people, who had historically inhabited the area. It was named for the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolutionary War.[5]

In the years following World War II, the county developed suburban residential communities, with many workers commuting to Atlanta. Peachtree City was chartered in 1959. It was developed as the only planned community in the county and in the Southeast; it covers 16,000 acres.[6]

The county population has increased rapidly during the late twentieth century with the growth of Atlanta. It has also benefited from a reverse migration of African Americans to the South, as new residents are attracted to jobs and opportunities. Significant growth and development continues. In 2002 Charles "Chuck" Floyd was appointed to the position of Chief Magistrate Judge of the county. In 2004 and 2008, he was elected to the position in his own right, the first African American ever elected to any office in the county. Fayette County is also the former home of the late Chris Benoit of the WWE.


Fayette County's local government is led by a board of five county commissioners, known as the governing authority of Fayette County. Since March 2016, four seats are to be filled by election from single-member districts and one at-large from the county.[2]

Voting Rights suit and settlement

Until 2013, the county was divided into three "county commission districts." Three of the members of the board of commissioners were required to live inside one of the designated districts. The remaining two commissioners could live anywhere in the county. All members of the county commission were elected "at-large," which meant that each candidate had to attract the majority of votes across the county in order to win.[7] Since 1982, more than 100 cases of such at-large voting systems in Georgia have been replaced by single-member districts.[2]

The five members of the school board were also elected at-large. In the early 21st century, Fayette County was one of only 20 school boards among 180 in the state of Georgia to maintain at-large voting to elect members of these boards.[7] The practical effect was the exclusion of African Americans from these positions. The county has been majority-white and majority-Republican since the late 20th century. Neither Republican nor Democratic African-American candidates had any electoral success.

In 2011 the NAACP and several African-American county residents filed suit against the county and the board for the at-large voting system. In May 2013, the federal district court ordered the county and school board to change their systems of at-large voting, finding that it violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by diluting the voting power of the minority.[8] African Americans make up 20% of the county population but were unable to elect candidates of their choice, as every commission and school board seat required a majority of county voters. The county has a majority-white, majority-Republican population.[7]

Under the federal ruling, five districts were established so that members of both the school board and county commission are elected from single-member districts. This broadened representation on the boards.[7][3] Voters of each district elect a commissioner living within its boundaries.

In 2014 Democrat Pota E. Coston was elected as the first black county commissioner in the 194-year history of the county.[9] Leonard Presberg was first appointed and then elected in his own right as the first Jewish member of the school board.[9]

The county and school board both appealed the federal district court ruling. In January 2015 the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta remanded the case to the district court for a bench trial by the federal district judge, ruling that Judge Timothy Batten Sr. had made a technical error in granting summary judgment in the case. It did not overturn his ruling to establish the single-member district system. The bench trial by Judge Batten would give the county an opportunity to present additional evidence to support its case.[10]

After Coston died in office, the Fayette Board of Elections voted to use at-large voting in a special election to replace her. The NAACP returned to court as it opposed using the former system. Judge Batten ruled that the county had to use the single-member district system established by his earlier ruling. In September 2015 Democrat Charles Rousseau was elected from District 5 to succeed Coston, becoming the second African American elected to the county commission. In October 2015 the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and two prominent white leaders urged the county to settle the nearly five-year lawsuit and accept district voting. Judge Batten ordered the two sides into mediation and postponed the bench trial. In January 2016 the Fayette County School Board voted unanimously to settle the lawsuit and accept district voting for election of its members.[8] The County Commission voted to settle by a 3–2 vote.

Together with the NAACP and black county plaintiffs, the county commission agreed in January 2016 to a system of electing four members from single-member districts and the fifth as an at-large member. A law implementing this change was signed by Governor Nathan Deal in March 2016.[2]


Fayette is represented in the U.S. House by the 3rd and 13th congressional districts, and in the General Assembly by the 16th and 34th state senate and 63rd, 64th, 71st, 72nd and 73rd state house districts.


Fayette County has been a Republican stronghold since 1980. In 1980 and 1984, it was the most Republican county in the entire state. However, with the rapid population growth much of the Atlanta metro has experienced in recent years, the percentage of Republican voters has decreased significantly in each of the past three elections. The margin went from Mitt Romney's 31.2 points in 2012, to Donald Trump's 19.1 points in 2016, to 6.8 points in his 2020 reelection bid.

Presidential elections results
Previous presidential elections results[11][12]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 52.7% 37,956 45.9% 33,062 1.4% 976
2016 57.0% 35,048 37.9% 23,284 5.2% 3,179
2012 64.8% 38,075 33.6% 19,736 1.6% 917
2008 64.8% 38,501 34.2% 20,313 1.1% 627
2004 71.0% 37,346 28.3% 14,887 0.7% 391
2000 69.1% 29,338 28.1% 11,912 2.8% 1,199
1996 63.3% 21,005 29.7% 9,875 7.0% 2,329
1992 55.5% 17,576 26.6% 8,430 17.9% 5,681
1988 77.8% 16,443 21.7% 4,593 0.4% 87
1984 81.5% 12,575 18.5% 2,861
1980 60.2% 6,351 36.0% 3,798 3.8% 400
1976 43.3% 2,837 56.7% 3,718
1972 88.3% 3,401 11.7% 450
1968 26.2% 867 16.7% 552 57.1% 1,888
1964 60.0% 1,349 39.8% 896 0.2% 4
1960 23.1% 359 76.9% 1,198
1956 9.5% 138 90.5% 1,308
1952 13.8% 195 86.2% 1,214
1948 4.7% 54 72.1% 825 23.2% 265
1944 11.1% 98 88.9% 782
1940 7.1% 44 92.9% 577
1936 8.6% 70 91.3% 748 0.1% 1
1932 0.8% 6 99.1% 746 0.1% 1
1928 34.1% 190 65.9% 367
1924 7.4% 24 79.6% 257 13.0% 42
1920 25.7% 80 74.3% 231
1916 11.9% 70 83.9% 494 4.2% 25
1912 18.8% 87 78.6% 363 2.6% 12
1908 24.8% 162 51.8% 338 23.4% 153
1904 12.5% 59 55.0% 260 32.6% 154
1900 22.2% 141 74.1% 471 3.8% 24
1896 35.6% 345 58.1% 562 6.3% 61
1892 15.7% 192 44.8% 547 39.5% 483
1888 22.8% 204 77.1% 690 0.1% 1
1884 29.9% 246 70.2% 578
1880 26.8% 183 73.2% 499


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 199 square miles (520 km2), of which 194 square miles (500 km2) is land and 5.0 square miles (13 km2) (2.5%) is water.[13]

The Flint River passes through the county and provided the earliest route for transportation and shipping of commodity crops. The entirety of Fayette County is located in the Upper Flint River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin).[14]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2019[1]

Based on the 2010 census and 2013 estimates, Fayette County has 108,365 people. The racial makeup of the county was 71.7% White; 21.4% Black or African American; 0.4% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander; and 2.0% Two or More Races. 6.9% of the population was estimated as Hispanic or Latino of any race.[1]

2000 census

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 91,263 people, 31,524 households, and 25,975 families residing in the county. The population density was 463 people per square mile (179/km2). There were 32,726 housing units at an average density of 166 per square mile (64/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.96% White, 12.87% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.76% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 2.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 31,524 households, out of which 43.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.50% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.60% were non-families. 15.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.10% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 27.80% from 45 to 64, and 8.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $71,227, and the median income for a family was $78,853 (these figures had risen to $79,498 and $89,873 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[20]). Males had a median income of $54,738 versus $33,333 for females. The per capita income for the county was $29,464. About 2.00% of families and 2.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.80% of those under age 18 and 4.60% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 106,567 people, 38,167 households, and 30,288 families residing in the county.[21] The population density was 548.3 inhabitants per square mile (211.7/km2). There were 40,793 housing units at an average density of 209.9 per square mile (81.0/km2).[22] The racial makeup of the county was 71.1% white, 20.1% black or African American, 3.9% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.3% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.3% of the population.[21] In terms of European ancestry, 15.0% identified as English, 14.0% as German, 13.0% as Irish, and 8.1% simply as American.[23]

Of the 38,167 households, 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.7% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 20.6% were non-families, and 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 42.4 years.[21]

The median income for a household in the county was $82,216 and the median income for a family was $92,976. Males had a median income of $68,381 versus $46,140 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,076. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.[24]

2020 census

Fayette County racial composition[25]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 68,144 57.17%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 29,166 24.47%
Native American 212 0.18%
Asian 6,362 5.34%
Pacific Islander 44 0.04%
Other/Mixed 5,786 4.85%
Hispanic or Latino 9,480 7.95%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 119,194 people, 41,253 households, and 33,101 families residing in the county.


Fayette County is served by the Fayette County School System. The governing authority for the school system is known as the Fayette County Board of Education, a board of five elected persons. They hire a superintendent to manage daily operations of the schools.

Since a federal court ruling in 2013, resulting from the federal voting rights lawsuit described above, the five board members are each elected from single-member districts.[7][9] In January 2016 after mediation, the school board voted unanimously to settle the lawsuit they had earlier appealed along with the county. The board accepted single-member districts for election of board members.[8]

High schools

Alternative schools

  • The Fayette County Alternative Education Program


In 2015, the majority-white city of Fayetteville elected its first African-American mayor, Ed Johnson.[4] Described as a "bridge-builder," Johnson is a retired naval commander and pastor of a black church; he was elected in 2011 as the first black member of the city council.[3]



Unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b c "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Tammy Joyner, "New law creates Fayette’s new voting system", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4 March 2016; accessed 13 December 2016
  3. ^ a b c Tammy Joyner, "Fayetteville’s first black mayor is ‘bridge builder’", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7 November 2015; accessed 13 December 2016
  4. ^ a b Timothy Pratt, "New black mayors make a difference, one Georgia town at a time", Al-Jazeera (US), 16 February 2016; accessed 12 December 2016
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 124.
  6. ^ Carolyn Cary, "Fayette County", New Georgia Encyclopedia, 2006/2015
  7. ^ a b c d e ABS Staff, "Fayette County at-large election process violates the Voting Rights Act", Atlanta Black Star, 22 May 2013; accessed 11 April 2015
  8. ^ a b c Tammy Joyner, "Fayette County Voting Rights Timeline", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 13 January 2016; accessed 13 December 2016
  9. ^ a b c "Fayette chooses ‘discriminatory’ at-large voting to replace Coston, Democrats charge" Archived 2016-12-21 at the Wayback Machine, The Citizen, 13 July 2015; accessed 13 December 2016
  10. ^ Cal Beverly, "Fayette County wins district voting appeal", The Citizen, 7 January 2015; accessed 13 December 2016
  11. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Burnham, Walter Dean. "Presidential ballots, 1836-1892". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "Fayette County, Georgia – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder". Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  21. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  22. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  23. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  24. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  25. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 13, 2021.

Other reading

  • Charles S. Bullock III and Ronald Keith Gaddie, The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South (University of Oklahoma Press, 2009/2014)
  • Carolyn C. Cary, ed., The History of Fayette County, 1821-1971 (Fayetteville, Ga.: Fayette County Historical Society, 1977).
  • Fayette County Historical Society, The Fayette County Georgia Heritage Book (Waynesville, N.C.: Walsworth, 2003).

External links

This page was last edited on 15 December 2021, at 09:39
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