Do you have a plan to move to Georgia in mind? The state where the tea is sweet and the trees drip Spanish moss – Georgia is blessed with majestic mountains and white sand beaches to its booming economy. But is moving to Georgia right for you in 2021?
The largest of the U.S. states at the east of the Mississippi River, Georgia has the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians in the northwest, the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northeast, the Piedmont plateau in the central portion of the state, and Coastal Plain in the south. Almost 60% of the state is pine forests and a huge portion of the state consists of water bodies including streams, lakes, and rivers.
Georgia, the southern state that 10 million people call their home is famous for its historic past and clean and fresh air. It’s fondly called ‘The Peace State’ and ‘the Empire State of the South’.
Let’s learn more about the state to understand it better. Hope this will help you make a final call on moving to Georgia, if you are in the perplexed stage.
Georgia Quick Facts
- Capital: Atlanta
- Area: 59, 425 square miles
- Population: 10,617,423
- Density: 165/square miles
- Major cities: Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, Athens
Interesting facts about Georgia
- Georgia was first founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe who landed in Savannah and was the last of the 13 original colonies.
- Georgia received its name in honor of King George II of Great Britain.
- In 1945, Georgia was the first state to allow a drop-in legal voting age from 21 to 18 years of age.
- Georgia is the leading producer of peaches, peanuts, and pecans in the US.
- The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is the busiest in the world.
- Common nicknames for the state of Georgia include the Peach State, the Cracker State, and the Empire State of the South.
How is the climate in Georgia?
Georgia’s climate is primarily humid and subtropical with hot and humid summers, except at the highest elevations. Though Georgia has a moderate climate, occasionally it gets extreme.
In the winter, the average temperature drops down to 39 °F while in the summer, it will touch 78 °F. In winters, there will be little snowfall around the state and in the summer, the temperature crosses often exceed 95 °F.
Georgia is vulnerable to hurricanes though direct hurricane strikes are very rare.
How the economy in Georgia?
Georgia is one of the richest states in the US that if it had been a stand-alone country, it would be the 28th largest economy in the world. And that seems enough to portray the economic status of the state. The total gross state product is $602 million and it is one of the only 15 states with an AAA credit rating.
It is considered as one of the best states in the USA to do business for its labor and business climate. The sectors prominent here are
About 26 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Georgia, which include:
Delta Air Lines Aflac
How are the job opportunities in Georgia?
Did you know that more than 90,000 people move to Georgia every year? And that proves how robust the job market here is. It is very stable and growing, especially in the fields of leisure and hospitality, education and health and trade and transport. The federal minimum wage in the state of Georgia is $7.25 per hour and the current unemployment rate is very low – just 3.4%.
Some of the highest-paying jobs in the state are in the medical and computer science fields. If the medical, communication, or computer science industries are your fields of interest, plan your move to Georgia right today.
The fastest growing jobs in Georgia
Physical therapist assistant
Home health aid
Physical therapy aide
Computer numerical controller machinist
Is housing affordable in Georgia?
If owning a home is your dream, you can accomplish it by moving to Georgia. The median home value here is $195,500, which got increased by 7.5% in the last year. And this is expected to rise another 5.5% in the next year. In Atlanta, the state’s largest city, the median home value is nearly $290,000, though.
The median rents are quite cheaper in Georgia than the rest of the country. The average rent list price per square foot is $0.86 in Georgia, which is 10% below the US average and the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,445 per month.
Cheapest places to live in Georgia
Expensive places to own a home in Georgia
How is the cost of living in Georgia?
The overall cost of living in Georgia is lower than most other states in the US. However, utility bills in Georgia fall within the top 10 most expensive in the U.S. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly energy bill in Georgia is $126.38. That’s $14.71 above the national average of $111.67. The average utility bills in Georgia are higher than Tennessee ($123.30) but lower than South Carolina ($140.80) and Alabama ($142.55).
One of the best things about Georgia is that groceries cost slightly below the national average. However, in Atlanta, the cost of living is more expensive than most of its suburbs and other parts of the state.
Is Georgia tax-friendly?
In Georgia, a progressive tax system is practised and the income tax here ranges from 1% to 6%, with six tax brackets in total. The state collects 9% as income tax while the US average is 9.8%. The tax system here is the 25th highest in the US.
Apart from that, moving to Georgia, you will also realize that the state levies a sales tax of 4% but there is no tax levied on prescription drugs, certain medical devices, or food items for home consumption.
How is healthcare in Georgia?
It’s a fact that health care in Georgia is poor in comparison with other states in the US. Georgia is ranked the 6th worst state for healthcare in the US, behind Arkansas and ahead of Oklahoma. It is also one of the lowest insured in the US.
Georgia also does not hold a good track record in health outcomes when it comes to heart disease, diabetes, and death rate. It is also one of the most obese states in the US.
Top 10 hospitals in Georgia
Amory University Hospital, Atlanta
Emory St. Joseph Hospital, Atlanta
Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Atlanta
Northside Hospital-Atlanta, Atlanta
Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville
WellStar Kennestone Hospital, Marietta
Northside Hospital-Forsyth, Cumming
Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville
University Hospital-Augusta, Augusta
Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, Athens
How is the education system in Georgia?
The education system in Georgia is a mixed bag with many positives and equally negative points. The state is currently ranked #30 in education. Georgia has a high school graduation rate of 80.6% and there are 62 higher education intuitions in the state.
Some of the best schools in Georgia
John Creek High School
Columbus High School
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
Northview High School
Walton High School
Alpharetta High School
Lambert High School
Some of the best colleges in Georgia are:
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Georgia
Georgia State University
Agnes Scott College
How’s the traffic in Georgia
The discussion related to the pros and cons of moving to Georgia is incomplete without talking about the traffic here. Georgia’s traffic is every driver’s nightmare. Since Atlanta is the main economic hub where thousands of people commute every day, it’s natural for the highways to be choked during peak hours.
Driving in Georgia, especially in Atlanta is considered the worst in the country. During peak hours, vehicles move at lesser than 40 miles per hour. But if you are living away from Atlanta suburbs or any big city and do not require to commute to metropolitan areas very often, you won’t feel the heat.
Is public transportation good in Georgia?
Leaving out Atlanta, the public transport system in Georgia is not worth mentioning. And to reach the beautiful and serene parts of the state, you need to have your own vehicle.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority (MARTA) manages the public mass transit in Georgia through rail and bus transport. Though the state has impressive road networks, it has not invested much in connecting the cities with public transport. Hence, you need to buy a car once you have moved to Georgia.
Are bugs a big problem here?
One of the big concerns of moving to Georgia is the problem with bugs. There are a lot of bugs here, especially in Atlanta and its suburbs. From ants and gnats to mosquitoes and palmetto bugs, there are hordes of pesky and biting bugs that are active throughout most of the year. So when you going to partake in outdoor activities, bug spray is a must.
Is crime a big concern in Atlanta?
Georgia has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Despite claiming to be a peaceful state and a significant fall in the numbers in recent years, the crime rate here is still higher than in many other states in the US.
The state records the violent crime rate of 3.26 per 1,000 is around 12% lower than the national rate, though its property crime rate of 25.74 per 1,000 is 17% above national levels.
While Georgia’s statewide crime rates are a mixed bag, its 5 cities recorded remarkably low crime rates last year, which were considered to the safest cities in the country.
The 10 safest cities in Georgia
As per the FBI statistics, the 10 most dangerous cities in Georgia are:
What are the best neighbourhoods in Georgia?
There can be pros and cons of moving to Georgia. But that doesn’t mean that Georgia is a state not fit enough to start a new life. Like every state, Georgia also has its share of merits as a comfortable living space. And some of the best neighbourhoods here promise the least crime rate, excellent connectivity, and a comfortable lifestyle.
Here is a list of some of the best neighborhoods in Georgia
Atlantic Station, Atlanta
Median home value: $200,690
Median rent: $1,541
Peachtree Heights East, Atlanta
Median home value: $532,142
Median rent: $621
Median home value: $349,879
Median rent: $1,432
Population: 16, 659
Median home value: $355, 944
Median rent: $1,444
Median home value: $583, 629
Median rent: $1,625
Population: 2, 427
Median home value: $311, 196
Median rent: $1,630
What are the popular outdoor attractions in Georgia?
Georgia is not just majestic mountains, unlimited serene water bodies, and sun-splashed coastline. There’s more to keep you engaged. Moving to Georgia will be a magnificent opportunity to explore both its historic landmarks and hidden natural gems.
Here are some of the attractions in Georgia
Savannah Historic District, Savannah
Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
Atlanta Botanic Garden, Atlanta
Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta
Chattahoochee National Forest, Northern Georgia
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Southwest Georgia
What should I do with the driver’s license in Georgia?
A new resident must start the process of obtaining a driver’s license within 30 days of moving here. Moving to Georgia, post the obtaining of a Georgia license and insurance, you can register the out-of-the-state vehicle.
The pros and cons of moving to Georgia
Let’s see some of the pros and cons of moving to Georgia
- The economy is strong and growing
- The economy is diverse
- There are more job opportunities
- The cost of cost of living low
- Housing is affordable here
- About 26 Fortune500 companies have headquarters here
- There is a strong sports culture here
- The climate is too boring with extreme summer
- Bugs are a serious problem here
- The public transport system is not good
- Traffic in Georgia is pathetic
- Georgia has the high rate of obese people
- Crime rate is seriously high
- Healthcare is less than the US average
Weird laws in Georgia
The Georgia moving guide will be incomplete without a list of crazy-stupid, disbelief-inducing laws. A few are
- It’s illegal to keep a donkey in a bathtub. Seriously, don’t try it or you’ll be a criminal.
- You cannot live on a boat for more than 30 days per calendar year. Consecutively or not, that level of relaxation is just not allowed here.
- Goldfish may not be given away to entice someone into a game of bingo in Athens-Clarke County.
- Mules may not roam around unsupervised in the city of Athens.
- Those under 16 may not play pinball after 11 p.m. in Athens-Clarke County. One way of keeping those meddling hoodlums from causing a ruckus is to enforce a strict gaming curfew.
- It’s illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body in a funeral home.
- Signs must be written in English.
Like any state in the US, there are pros and cons to moving to Georgia. But the merits of the state overshadow the negatives and the state becomes of the best places to move in 2021.