2020 Census: Cobb, Clayton, Forsyth move up in population ranks

A Henry County housing development marks the south metro community's growth. (FILE PHOTO)

Credit: AJC

Credit: AJC

A Henry County housing development marks the south metro community's growth. (FILE PHOTO)

Cobb, Clayton and Forsyth have moved up in the population ranks of Georgia, according to the 2020 Census.

Cobb is now the state’s third largest county, leaping over DeKalb County, which has slipped to fourth. Clayton is fifth largest county in the state, displacing Chatham, home to one of the state’s biggest cities — Savannah.

And Forsyth, the state’s fastest growing county, is now Georgia’s eighth largest county. Forsyth, which had roughly 45,000 people in 1990, pushed Henry County, the state’s second-fastest growing county. Henry is now the state’s ninth largest county.

Fulton remains the state’s biggest county, with roughly 1,067,000 residents, followed by Gwinnett County at No. 2 with 957,000 citizens.

“The census shows what we have long known, that many view Cobb County as an attractive place to live, work, and play,” said Lisa Cupid, chairwoman of the Cobb County Commission.

Forsyth County Manager Kevin Tanner echoed Cupid’s thoughts on what has driven residents to his north Georgia community. He said Forsyth is the perfect blend of small-town Georgia with metro Atlanta amenities.

But Tanner also acknowledged the impact of growth on a community that in 1990 had just about 45,000 residents.

“With the growth, we have been hard at work planning for future infrastructure needs including some major road developments to ensure that the growth we are experiencing is sustainable,” Tanner said.

Jeff Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Commission, said the south metro Atlanta community has long been a desirable destination, even if it has not always succeeded in publicizing its attributes.

It is home to Clayton State University, Georgia’s location of the National Archives, the “Gone With the Wind” Road to Tara Museum and the world’s busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson International. It also has one of the highest populations of minority women businessowners in the state and one of the best water systems.

“That’s about telling our story better,” he said. “We’ve had a bad reputation for so many years, but obviously it’s not true if so many people are moving to Clayton County.”

Staff writer John Perry contributed to this article.

By the numbers:

Chatham County: Rank 6; 2010 population: 265,130; 2020 population: 295,291

Cherokee County: Rank 7: 2010 population: 214,326; 2020 population: 266,220

Clayton County: Rank: 5; 2010 population: 259,468, 2020 population: 297,595

Cobb County: Rank: 3; 2010 population: 688,113; 2020 population: 766,149

DeKalb County: Rank: 4; 2010 population: 691,845; 2020 population: 764,382

Forsyth County: Rank: 8; 2010 population: 175,115; 2020 population: 251,283

Fulton County: Rank: 1; 2010 population: 920,557; 2020 population: 1,066,710

Gwinnett County: Rank: 2; 2010 population: 805,369; 2020 population: 957,062

Henry County: Rank: 9; 2010 population: 203,844; 2020 population: 240,712

Muscogee County: Rank: 10; 2010 population: 189,881; 2020 population: 206,922;