Is Georgia a Good Place to Live in? Pros and Cons of Living in Georgia
Georgia is a state situated to the South-East of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest state in the country by landmass. With a population of about 6 million, Georgia is the 8th most populous state in the United States. Georgia has been given several nicknames including ‘The Peach State’ and ‘The Empire State of the South.’ The state deserves credit for its incredible landscape with a wide variety of plants and animals. Apart from a few areas, Georgia typically experiences a humid subtropical climate as it is part of the Sun Belt.
Is Georgia a good place to live? Georgia is a state with great weather and stunning natural scenery. The cost of living is generally low and the poverty levels are high in Georgia. Though the Atlanta metropolitan area covers a third or the state’s land, there are still rural areas.
If you are an expatriate moving to Georgia, you should expect a larger African American population than you will find in any other state. The cities in Georgia are dynamic and all have a varying degree of affluence and destitution. Atlanta, the state’s capital is a truly global city with several Fortune 500 companies based in the city. The public transport system in Georgia is efficient and well maintained. You will have to get used to the ‘Southern’ accent and fried food in Georgia and once you do you will enjoy living there. Read on to know more about Georgia.
Is Georgia a good place to live?
A lot of Georgia residents live in the sprawling metropolis of Atlanta. The people that live in Georgia really love it there. The cities of Georgia, as do most cities on the planet, have pockets of affluent areas and impoverished ones. The best cities to live in Georgia as classified by education, healthcare, cost of living, quality of life, crime rate, attractions and amenities are John’s Creek, Alpharetta, Athens, Roswell, Decatur, Suwanee, Marietta, Kennesaw, Mountain Park, Peachtree City, Evans, Sandy Springs, Virginia-Highland, Druid Hills and Milton. The worst places to live in Georgia are Swainsboro, Monroe, Forest Park, Moultrie, College Park, Clarkston, Fort Valley, Vidalia, Brunswick and Cedartown.
Georgia has one of the highest crime rates in the country which is mainly caused by the high poverty levels in the state. Violent crime in Georgia has reduced significantly in the past four years. With a violent crime rate of 3.57 crimes per 1,000 residents, it is below the national average crime rate. The property crime in Georgia makes up the bulk of crime in the state and the major reason behind the high crime rate. There are about 28.6 crimes for every 1,000 residents in Georgia which put your chances of falling victim to property crime in Georgia at 1 in 35.
The public education system in Georgia is overseen by school boards that are locally selected. There are 181 school boards in the state of Georgia. Unlike another state public high school education systems, Georgia requires its high school students to complete a mandatory standardized, multiple-choice End of Course Test (EOCT) in eight core subjects. A minimum test score is not necessary to receive a credit in the course. Georgia has 85 public colleges, universities, and technical colleges. There are also 45 private tertiary education institutions. The oldest and most prominent among them is the University of Georgia. Higher education in the state is overseen by the University System of Georgia, a state agency.
The transport network of Georgia is managed by the Georgia Transportation Department. Georgia is served by several interstate highways namely I-20, I-75, I-85, and I-95. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) offers public mass transit in Georgia with a network of bus routes linked to a rapid transit system. MARTA serves the Atlanta Metropolitan area and includes 48 miles of rail with 38 train stations. MARTA transports close to half a million passengers daily. The main commercial airport in Georgia is the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). The only other international airport in the state is the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The Georgia Ports Authority operates two deepwater seaports at Savannah and Brunswick.
The social life in Georgia is as varied and exciting as they come. From film and music festivals to professional ball games, you will find it all in Georgia. The state is a hub for fine and performing arts. There are 63 parks in Georgia where you can hike, camp, fish, hunt, kayak and rock climb among other outdoor activities.
Pros and Cons of Living in Georgia
- The weather in Georgia is great. You will never have to worry about cold snowy winters.
- The economy if Georgia is sound and diversified. The state is great for not only doing business but also working.
- The overall cost of living in Georgia is relatively low when compared to other states of its stature.
- Georgia has an incredible landscape. The diversity of natural features like mountains, rivers and wildlife is astounding.
- Violent crime in Georgia is really low and most of the state is generally safe. Insurance is advised nonetheless.
- You can find housing at much cheaper rates seen in Atlanta especially when compared to states such as California or New York.
- The population in Georgia, especially in Atlanta is more diversified than in many other states in the country so minorities can live comfortably.
- The nightlife and entertainment scene in Georgia’s cities and towns is buzzing and exciting.
- Georgia is a great state if you are a sports fan. There are professional and minor league teams for almost every sport.
- Property tax rates, are really low in Georgia which makes owning property appealing.
- The summers in Georgia can be unbearably hot especially if you are from a Northern state with a colder climate.
- The overall quality of healthcare in Georgia is acceptable at best and appalling at worst.
- There are a lot of bugs in Atlanta. If you partake in outdoor activities, bug spray is recommended.
- Taxes in Georgia are a huge burden for most citizens with the exception of property taxes.
- Traffic in Georgia, especially in Atlanta, can be horrendous during rush hour.
- Public transport in Georgia is not as extensive as it should be considering the size of the population.
- Atlanta has one of the highest obesity rates in the country so you had better watch the amount of fried food you eat.
- Property crime in Atlanta is quite high. You had better research the neighborhood before moving there.
- The language and accent in Georgia can get some getting used to. The state has its own lingo.
Is Georgia a good place to work?
Georgia’s state economy is as vast and as diversified as they come. To demonstrate to what degree Georgia’s economy is important to the country’s economy, if Georgia were a country, it would have the 28th largest economy in the world. Moreover, with a GDP of $602 billion, it is the 9th largest state economy in the country.
There are 17 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Georgia including Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, TSYS, Delta Air Lines, Aflac, Southern Company, Anthem Inc., Honeywell, and SunTrust Bank. Georgia has consistently been the best state in the country to do business and the foremost state in business and labor climate which make Georgia a great place to work for an expat. Atlanta is the main access point to Georgia’s economy and its influence stretches well beyond the state.
The most prominent industries in the state of Georgia include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transport & logistics, defense, energy and entertainment all of which bring in a lot of revenues to the state. One notable presence in the transport industry is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, the world’s busiest airport as measured by both passenger and aircraft traffic.
The unemployment rate in Georgia is 3.9% which is below the national average unemployment rate. The average annual income for a Georgia resident is $59,000 which is substantially above the average annual income for all Americans. Low unemployment and high salaries make the state a great place o work through it does increase the cost of living.
The largest employers in Georgia are Home Depot, UPS, Randstad USA, The Coca-Cola Company, Hansen Beverage, Delta, Cox Enterprises, Georgia-Pacific, Genuine Parts and WestRock.
Is Georgia a good place to buy a house?
The real estate market in Georgia is affordable especially considering the number of people living in the state. You will find all sorts of properties in Georgia from lush suburbs to high rising apartments. Homeownership in the state stands at 63.8% with most homes being owned via a mortgage. If you cannot afford or prefer not to take out a mortgage, you should rent your property. The average rent in Georgia is $1125 per month which well below the national average.
The average home price in Georgia is $195,000. Despite such an affordable price of houses, home insurance is advised for every homeowner in the state. Utilities in Georgia can be expensive due to the hot and humid climate of Georgia.
The best cities to live in Georgia are John’s Creek, Alpharetta, Athens, Roswell, Decatur, Suwanee, Marietta, Kennesaw, Mountain Park, Peachtree City, Evans, Sandy Springs, Virginia-Highland, Druid Hills and Milton. The worst places to live in Georgia are Swainsboro, Monroe, Forest Park, Moultrie, College Park, Clarkston, Fort Valley, Vidalia, Brunswick and Cedartown.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Georgia is $855. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1150 a month. The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is $1575 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $1950 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $2200 a month.
The average buying price of an apartment with a single bedroom in Georgia is $180,000. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is $225,250. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is $259,500. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is $293,100. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $355,050.
Is Georgia a good place to retire?
Georgia is a good option for an expat seeking to retire in the United States. Cities such as Cumming have one of the highest numbers of retirees in the country. Georgia is a good retirement location for a variety of reasons. One of them is the state’s natural beauty and climate which afford retirees opportunities for a very active retirement. You can spend your sunny retirement days enjoying the sunny beaches of Georgia.
Another reason is the affordable cost of housing. The cheap cost of real estate in addition to the lax property tax rate, buying retirement property in Georgia is a great idea. If you live in a rural part of the state, you can enjoy a very low cost of living.
The best places to live in Georgia are John’s Creek, Alpharetta, Athens, Roswell, Decatur, Suwanee, Marietta, Kennesaw, Mountain Park, Peachtree City, Evans, Sandy Springs, Virginia-Highland, Druid Hills and Milton. The worst places to live in Georgia are Swainsboro, Monroe, Forest Park, Moultrie, College Park, Clarkston, Fort Valley, Vidalia, Brunswick and Cedartown.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a retirement property in Georgia is $960. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1255 a month. The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment is $1690 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $2120 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $2290 a month.
The average buying price of an apartment in a retirement property with a single bedroom in Georgia is $191,050. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is $239,550. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is $270,100. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is $305,050. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $365,000.
Is Georgia a good place to visit?
Georgia’s tourism industry is thriving, to say the least. The state receives millions of tourists every year and for good reason. There are plenty of amazing landmarks and attractions in Georgia including:
Stone Mountain is the most popular tourist attraction site in Georgia receiving over four million visitors per annum. The city is home to Stone Mountain Park and its signature and centrally located monolith.
There is a memorial carving inscribed on the rock’s side that you have to see. There are also hiking and biking trails in the park and a cable car that can take you to the monolith’s peak.
Jekyll Island is located off the coast of Georgia and is considered one of the Golden Isles. The island is a popular tourist destination and includes guided tours of the island.
You can bike or take a walk along the sandy beaches and sand bars of the island. There are also historic buildings with amazing architecture and a water park that you will want to visit on Jekyll Island.
Helen is a mountain town in Georgia and an undervalued tourist gem. The town is most famous for its vineyards and Bavarian-style architecture.
Helen is home to Unicoi State Park which has a lake where you can go swimming and numerous campsites. You can follow a nature trail through the Chattahoochee National Forest to see amazing cliffs and waterfalls.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.