Forsyth County, Georgia

Forsyth County (/fɔːrˈsθ/ for-SYTHE or /ˈfɔːrsθ/ FOR-sythe) is a county in the Northeast portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. Suburban and exurban in character, Forsyth County lies within the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. The county's only incorporated city and county seat is Cumming.[1] At the 2020 census, the population was 251,283.[2][3] Forsyth was the fastest-growing county in Georgia and the 15th fastest-growing county in the United States between 2010 and 2019.[2]

Forsyth County
Forsyth County Courthouse in Cumming
Forsyth County Courthouse in Cumming
Map of Georgia highlighting Forsyth County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°13′N 84°08′W
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedDecember 3, 1831; 192 years ago (1831)
Named forJohn Forsyth
Largest cityCumming
  Total247 sq mi (640 km2)
  Land224 sq mi (580 km2)
  Water23 sq mi (60 km2)  9.4%%
  Density1,090/sq mi (420/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
30024, 30040, 30041, 30004, 30506, 30005, 30028
Congressional district6th

Forsyth County's rapid population growth can be attributed to its proximity to high-income employment opportunities in nearby Alpharetta and northern Fulton County, its equidistant location between the big-city amenities of bustling Atlanta and the recreation offerings of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, its plentiful supply of large, relatively affordable new-construction homes, and its highly ranked public school system. The influx of high-income professionals and their families has increased the county's median annual household income dramatically in recent years; at $104,687, Forsyth County was the wealthiest in Georgia and the 19th-wealthiest in the United States as of 2018 estimates.[4]

In the 1980s, the county attracted national media attention as the site of large civil rights demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. Organizers hoped to dispel the county's image as a conservative and hate-filled sundown county; African Americans were unjustly forced out in 1912, and the county had a reputation of being hostile to people of color and LGBT people for many decades afterwards.[5][6][7] During the 1987 Forsyth County protests, thousands of marchers on both sides came from outside the area; officials kept peace with police officers and National Guard protecting the event.

From 2007 to 2009, the county received national attention because of a severe drought. Water supplies for the Atlanta area and downstream areas of Alabama and Florida were threatened. This followed a more severe drought in 2007 and 2008, and flooding in 2009.[8] Flooding occurred in 2013, and severe drought again in 2016. Georgia, Alabama and Florida have been in a tri-state water dispute since 1990 over apportionment of water flow from Lake Lanier, which forms the eastern border of the county and is regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers as a federal project.

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