Chatham County, Georgia

Coordinates: 31°58′N 81°05′W / 31.97°N 81.09°W / 31.97; -81.09
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Chatham County
Chatham County Administrative and Legislative Center in Savannah
Chatham County Administrative and Legislative Center in Savannah
Official seal of Chatham County
Map of Georgia highlighting Chatham County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 31°58′N 81°05′W / 31.97°N 81.09°W / 31.97; -81.09
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedFebruary 5, 1777; 247 years ago (1777)
Named forWilliam Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
SeatSavannah
Largest citySavannah
Area
 • Total632 sq mi (1,640 km2)
 • Land426 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Water206 sq mi (530 km2)  32.6%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total295,291 Increase
 • Density470/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewww.chathamcountyga.gov

Chatham County (/ˈætəm/ CHAT-əm) is located in the U.S. state of Georgia, on the state's Atlantic coast. The county seat and largest city is Savannah. One of the original counties of Georgia, Chatham County was created February 5, 1777, and is named after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.[1]

The U.S. Census Bureau's official 2020 population for Chatham County was 295,291 residents.[2] This was an increase of 11.4% from the official 2010 population of 265,128 residents.[3] Chatham is the sixth most populous county in Georgia, and the most populous Georgia county outside the Atlanta metropolitan area. Chatham is the core county of the Savannah metropolitan area.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 632 sq mi (1,640 km2), of which 206 sq mi (530 km2) (32.6%) is covered by water.[4]

Chatham County is the northernmost of Georgia's coastal counties on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded on the northeast by the Savannah River, and in the southwest bounded by the Ogeechee River.

The bulk of Chatham County, an area with a northern border in a line from Bloomingdale to Tybee Island, is located in the Ogeechee River Coastal subbasin of the Ogeechee River basin. The portion of the county north of that line is located in the lower Savannah River subbasin of the Savannah River basin, while the very southern fringes of the Chatham County are located in the lower Ogeechee River subbasin of the Ogeechee River basin.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Communities[edit]

Municipalities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
179010,769
180012,94620.2%
181013,5404.6%
182014,7378.8%
183014,127−4.1%
184018,80133.1%
185023,90127.1%
186031,04329.9%
187041,27933.0%
188045,0239.1%
189057,74028.2%
190071,23923.4%
191079,69011.9%
1920100,03225.5%
1930105,4315.4%
1940117,97011.9%
1950151,48128.4%
1960188,29924.3%
1970187,767−0.3%
1980202,2267.7%
1990216,9357.3%
2000232,0487.0%
2010265,12814.3%
2020295,29111.4%
2022 (est.)301,1072.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1880[7] 1890-1910[8]
1920-1930[9] 1930-1940[10]
1940-1950[11] 1960-1980[12]
1980-2000[13] 2010[14] 2020[15]
Chatham County, Georgia – Racial and ethnic composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[16] Pop 2010[14] Pop 2020[15] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 125,802 133,492 139,433 54.21% 50.35% 47.22%
Black or African American alone (NH) 93,463 105,274 108,011 40.28% 39.71% 36.58%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 517 587 619 0.22% 0.22% 0.21%
Asian alone (NH) 3,992 6,229 10,620 1.72% 2.35% 3.60%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 128 224 408 0.06% 0.08% 0.14%
Other race alone (NH) 311 476 1,447 0.13% 0.18% 0.49%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 2,432 4,476 10,963 1.05% 1.69% 3.71%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 5,403 14,370 23,790 2.33% 5.42% 8.06%
Total 232,048 265,128 295,291 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 295,291 people, 107,987 households, and 65,889 families residing in the county.

Education[edit]

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools headquarters

Public schools are operated by Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. The entire county is in the district.[17]

Libraries[edit]

The Live Oak Public Libraries constitute a regional library system that provides services to three Georgia counties: Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty. The former name of the system, "Chatham Effingham Liberty Regional Library," described this collaboration. In 2002, the name was changed to Live Oak, which reflects the personality of the region, as well as the life and growth of its branches.[18] At the beginning of the 20th century, city leaders in Savannah began to discuss the need for a public library. The history of libraries in Chatham County dates to 1903. According to Geraldine LeMay, former director of the Savannah Public Chatham-Effingham and Liberty Regional Library, the Georgia Historical Society and the city of Savannah worked out a plan that year to establish the Savannah Public Library.[19] The idea was the brainchild of the Georgia Historical Society, which set up a planning committee to determine how the facilities of the society might best be useful to the city of Savannah.[20] In a joint meeting of committee members from the society and the city of Savannah, a free public library was established that would prove to be of great value to the community. This library, however, did not serve citizens of color.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Coastal State Prison, a Georgia Department of Corrections state prison, is located in Savannah, near Garden City.[21][22]

Unincorporated Chatham County is primarily served by the Chatham County Police Department. (CCPD[23]) and the Georgia State Patrol. The Chatham County Sheriff's Office is the enforcement arm of the county court system and operates the county jail.[24] Except for the Town of Vernonburg, every incorporated town and city in Chatham County has its own police department.[25]

Politics[edit]

Chatham County was one of the earliest counties in Georgia to turn Republican and shake off its Solid South roots. From 1952 to 2000, the county went Republican all but four times. Hubert Humphrey carried it by 95 votes in 1968. Jimmy Carter won a majority in both of his runs for president, and in 1996, Bill Clinton became the first non-Georgian Democrat to win a majority since Franklin Roosevelt.

The county has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 2004, when John Kerry carried it by fewer than 150 votes and by a plurality. It swung dramatically to support Barack Obama in 2008, making Obama only the second non-Georgian Democrat to win a majority of the county's vote since Franklin Roosevelt. Since then, Chatham has tended to vote substantially more for the Democratic Party at the presidential level than the state as a whole. In the last four presidential elections, the Democrats have recorded the biggest margins for non-Georgian Democrats since Roosevelt's landslides. This culminated in 2020, when Joe Biden took 58.6% of the vote, outdoing Carter's 57% in 1976 for the best performance in the county since Franklin Roosevelt in 1944. Since 2008, it has been one of the most Democratic urban counties in the state outside of the Atlanta area, and one of the few Democratic pockets in mostly heavily Republican South Georgia. It is primarily an urban county, especially in its principal city of Savannah.

United States presidential election results for Chatham County, Georgia[26]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 53,232 39.88% 78,247 58.62% 2,005 1.50%
2016 45,688 40.41% 62,290 55.10% 5,073 4.49%
2012 47,204 43.38% 60,246 55.36% 1,371 1.26%
2008 46,829 42.40% 62,755 56.82% 858 0.78%
2004 45,484 49.62% 45,630 49.78% 557 0.61%
2000 37,847 49.49% 37,590 49.15% 1,038 1.36%
1996 31,987 44.88% 35,781 50.20% 3,509 4.92%
1992 31,925 44.30% 31,533 43.75% 8,611 11.95%
1988 35,623 58.12% 25,063 40.89% 603 0.98%
1984 38,482 57.65% 28,271 42.35% 0 0.00%
1980 26,499 46.67% 28,413 50.04% 1,869 3.29%
1976 24,160 42.96% 32,075 57.04% 0 0.00%
1972 38,079 70.98% 15,566 29.02% 0 0.00%
1968 18,106 33.81% 18,201 33.99% 17,238 32.19%
1964 33,141 58.85% 23,176 41.15% 1 0.00%
1960 17,935 52.48% 16,240 47.52% 0 0.00%
1956 14,520 62.54% 8,698 37.46% 0 0.00%
1952 15,532 51.94% 14,370 48.06% 0 0.00%
1948 5,966 24.97% 10,864 45.46% 7,067 29.57%
1944 2,058 19.09% 8,725 80.91% 0 0.00%
1940 1,985 16.47% 10,048 83.37% 19 0.16%
1936 1,227 10.89% 10,019 88.90% 24 0.21%
1932 1,669 17.13% 8,020 82.31% 55 0.56%
1928 5,288 48.86% 5,534 51.14% 0 0.00%
1924 1,800 20.42% 6,158 69.86% 857 9.72%
1920 995 19.00% 4,243 81.00% 0 0.00%
1916 368 7.70% 3,797 79.42% 616 12.88%
1912 238 5.37% 3,864 87.14% 332 7.49%
1908 1,209 26.54% 3,305 72.54% 42 0.92%
1904 363 12.01% 2,645 87.52% 14 0.46%
1900 916 21.43% 3,352 78.41% 7 0.16%
1896 1,697 35.64% 2,506 52.64% 558 11.72%
1892 1,359 20.35% 5,264 78.83% 55 0.82%
1888 1,355 25.41% 3,920 73.52% 57 1.07%
1884 1,747 35.72% 3,144 64.28% 0 0.00%
1880 2,160 38.82% 3,404 61.18% 0 0.00%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-915430-00-2. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 10, 2003.
  2. ^ "Census 2010-2020: Counties, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  5. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". United States Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "1880 Census Population by Counties 1790-1800" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1880.
  8. ^ "1910 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1910.
  9. ^ "1930 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1930.
  10. ^ "1940 Census of Population - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1940.
  11. ^ "1950 Census of Population - Georgia -" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1950.
  12. ^ "1980 Census of Population - Number of Inhabitants - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 1980.
  13. ^ "2000 Census of Population - Population and Housing Unit Counts - Georgia" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. 2000.
  14. ^ a b "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Chatham County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ a b "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Chatham County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  16. ^ "P004 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Chatham County, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Chatham County, GA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 1, 2022. - Text list
  18. ^ "Library History". Live Oak Public Libraries. Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  19. ^ LeMay, Geraldine. "HISTORY OF THE SAVANNAH PUBLIC CHATHAM – EFFINGHAM – LIBERTY REGIONAL AND CARNEGIE LIBRARIES 1903 – 1963" (PDF). Live Oak Public Libraries. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  20. ^ LeMay, Geraldine. "History of the Savannah Public Chathm-Effingham-Liberty Regional and Carnegie Libraries 1903-163" (PDF). Live Oak Public Libraries (LOPL). LOPL. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "City of Savannah Neighborhoods 2008 Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." City of Savannah. Retrieved on September 15, 2010.
  22. ^ "Coastal State Prison Archived 2010-09-04 at the Wayback Machine." Georgia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 15, 2010.
  23. ^ "Chatham County Police Department - Home". police.chathamcountyga.gov. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  24. ^ "Enforcement". Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  25. ^ "SCMPD FAQs". Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  26. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 19, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Chatham County, Georgia at Wikimedia Commons

31°58′N 81°05′W / 31.97°N 81.09°W / 31.97; -81.09