List of counties in Georgia (U.S. state)

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The State of Georgia is divided into 159 counties. Under the Georgia State Constitution, all of its counties are granted home rule to deal with issues that are purely local in nature. Four consolidated city-counties have been established in Georgia: Athens (Clarke County), Augusta (Richmond County), Columbus (Muscogee County), and Cusseta (Chattahoochee County).

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History

Georgia has the second-highest number of counties of any state in the United States, next behind the geographically-huge State of Texas, which has 254 counties (see List of counties in Texas). One traditional reasoning for the creation and location of counties was that a country farmer, rancher, etc., should be able to travel to the legal county seat town or city, and back home, in one day on horseback or via wagon. However, about 25 counties in Georgia have been created in the 20th century—after the use of the automobile, truck, and bus had become widespread. These 25 or so counties are generally thought of as having being created because of political reasons.[citation needed] The last new county to be established in Georgia was Peach County, established in 1924.

The proliferation of counties in Georgia led to multiple state constitutional amendments attempting to establish a limit on the number of counties in the state. The most recent such amendment, adopted in 1945, limits the number to 159 counties, although there had been 161 counties there from 1924 to 1931. In a very rare move of consolidation of counties, both Campbell County and Milton County were annexed to Fulton County in 1932 as a financial move during the Great Depression. Fulton County contains Atlanta, and it was thought that tax revenues from Atlanta and its (small) suburbs then would help to support the quite rural areas of the terminated counties, which had nearly no tax income of their own.

Changed names of counties in Georgia

A few counties in Georgia have had their names changed in the history of the state. Jasper County was originally named "Randolph County". Later on, the present-day Randolph County was established. Webster County was once named "Kinchafoonee County", and Cass County was renamed Bartow County.

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