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Gwinnett County is a suburban county located in the U.S. state of Georgiamarker. It was created on December 15, 1818. As of the 2000 census, the population was 588,448. The 2009 Census Estimate placed the population at 800,080, the second most populous county in Georgia. It is estimated to be the 9th fastest growing county in the country in terms of numeral increase. The county seat is Lawrencevillemarker.

The county was named for Button Gwinnett, one of the delegates who signed the United States Declaration of Independence on behalf of Georgia.

This county is a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area (Atlantamarker-Sandy Springsmarker-Mariettamarker, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area). It contains many suburbs of Atlanta, many of whose residents commute using the major highway, Interstate 85. Despite recent efforts of forming a public bus system, the average commute time in Gwinnett County is 30.8 minutes, ranking it the highest in metropolitan Atlanta and 18th highest nationwide (2003 census).

Gwinnett County's population is approximately 18.3 percent of the total Atlanta region population and has captured 26% of the region's growth since 2000[14617], growing faster numerically than any other county in the region for the past 25 years running. It was the third-largest county on the list of 100 fastest-growing counties in the nation from 2000–2004.[14618]

Gwinnett County Public Schools is the largest school system in Georgia and the fastest-growing in the Southeastern United States, with 113 total school facilities and a projected 2007–2008 enrollment of 159,258 students.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 437 square miles (1,131 km²), of which, 433 square miles (1,121 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (10 km²) of it (0.91%) is water.

Adjacent counties



National protected area



Major highways



Secondary highways



Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 588,448 people, 202,317 households, and 152,344 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,360 people per square mile (525/km²). There were 209,682 housing units at an average density of 485 per square mile (187/km²). The racial makeup of the county is currently 52.2% White non-Hispanic, 19.8% Black, 0.2% Native American, 9.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.32% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 17.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Gwinnett County has the largest Latino and Asian populations in the state of Georgia.

There were 202,317 households out of which 42.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.20% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.70% were non-families. 18.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.20% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 37.50% from 25 to 44, 20.30% from 45 to 64, and 5.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 101.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,537, and the median income for a family was $66,693. Males had a median income of $42,343 versus $31,772 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,006. About 3.80% of families and 5.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.90% of those under age 18 and 5.50% of those age 65 or over.

In the mid 1990s and 2000s Gwinnett County experienced explosive growth and what could be hailed as a cultural and economic revolution. It is one of the most diverse and developed regions in suburban Atlanta and both the population of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians has increased in recent years. In 2008, the county recorded 789,499 people, which is a population growth of over 34% since the 2000 census. It is hailed as one of the fastest growing counties in the country. In 2008, 50.3% the population was made up of White non-Hispanic, 22.0% Black, and 18% Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2007, the median income for a household in the county was $64,005. 27% of the businesses in Gwinnett County are minority owned.

The Asian population increased 77% to 81,289 since 2000 and now makes up 14% of the population. The Latino population increased from 64,137 in 2000 to 132,123 in 2007 — a 106 percent increase. The county ranks 25th in the nation in total Hispanic population increase. In 2000, Latinos comprised 11 percent of the county’s population. In 2007, it was 17 percent.

History

With the Chattahoochee River forming its northwest boundary, Gwinnett County was home to both Cherokee and Creek Indians. From the Chattahoochee, which forms a portion of Gwinnett's northern county line, the land rises to a ridge line about two or three miles south of the river. This ridge was the dividing line between the Creek and Cherokee Nations. Unlike further west, where a "green zone" existed, neither the Creek or the Cherokee were permitted to cross this boundary without the threat of a full-scale war.

The earliest settlements started in the vicinity of Hog Mountain, toward the northern end of the county. It was here, during the War of 1812, that Major Tandy Key built Fort Daniel to protect the frontier residents from unwanted Indian intrusions. Following the ridge that divided the two Indian Nations future governor George Gilmer built a road from the fort to Standing Peachtree the same year.

The state house and senate in 1818 opted to create three counties in Georgia to honor of the three men from the state who signed the Declaration of Independence. Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton had counties named after them. (It was Walton's second county). By the time the state formally recognized the county significant commercial development had begun, including a store own by William Maltbie. Andy Jackson, preparing for his upcoming presidential bid four years later visited Gwinnett County in 1820.

As with most rural communities agriculture was the major business. When the county was organized, the first court was held in Elisha Winn's home. Winn would later purchase 250 acres in what shortly would be the city of Lawrenceville, Georgiamarker, for the purpose of establishing a county government. A temporary courthouse and jail were quickly constructed, with permanent buildings to be completed two years later. By the end of the 1820s population had increased to more than 13,000, a level it would not see again for 50 years.

In 1831 these buildings played host to the most famous trial in Georgia to that time. Reverend Samuel Worcester, a Cherokee missionary was brought to the county, tried and convicted for illegally working in Indian country without a permit, along with 11 other men of the cloth. The law requiring a permit had been passed by the state legislature to force Georgia law on the Cherokee. This landmark case was eventually heard the Supreme Court and led to the recognition of the Cherokee Nation as sovereign.

Relatively untouched by the Civil War, the county prospered in the early 1870s with the building of a railroad from Atlanta to Gainesville and further north. In 1885 the county built a new courthouse in the city of Lawrenceville, the county seat, to replace the courthouse that had been burned in 1871 by a faction of a secret society seeking to destroy papers that were actually housed elsewhere.

When cotton was no longer a viable crop because of falling prices and the boll weevil Gwinnett turned to dairy farming. While dairy cattle had been raised in the area for a number of years, the dramatic growth of Atlanta and the cotton bust combined to make the area one of the largest and fastest growing dairy regions in the United States. Farmers in the area formed a co-op called Atlanta Dairies, selling their goods throughout the northern tier of counties. An expanding poultry market also helped to offset the losses of the cotton bust, although Hall and Cherokee counties were larger producers.

With the creation of Lake Laniermarker in 1957, recreational tourism became a major industry in the region, and two years later Interstate 85 was completed to Pleasant Hill Road, bisecting the county. The 1960s brought Gwinnett in the national spotlight again with another dark incident. Millionaire heiress Barbara Jane Mackle was buried alive in box not much bigger than a coffin in the county. Federal and state agents, working closely with local authorities, found the grave before the heiress perished. She had been there for 83 hours, waiting for her family to pay a $500,000 ransom. Ruth Eiseman-Schier, one of Barbara Mackle's kidnappers (the other was Gary Steven Krist), was the first woman to appear on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. She was captured on December 17, 1968.

On March 6, 1978, Larry Flynt was shot by Joseph Paul Franklin on his way back to the Lawrenceville Courthouse from a nearby cafeteria.

During the 1980s the county wrested the title of "Fastest Growing County in the United States" from Orange County, Floridamarker. With the advent of Gwinnett Place Mallmarker in 1984, the county had shifted from the rural, agricultural area to a booming metropolis in its own right with major manufacturing and service employers.

Economy

American Megatrends is headquartered in Building 200 at 5555 Oakbrook Parkway in unincorporated Gwinnett County, near the city of Norcrossmarker. NCR Corporation has its headquarters in unincorporated Gwinnett County, near Duluthmarker. Waffle House is headquartered in unincorporated Gwinnett County, near Norcross.

Diplomatic missions

The Consulate-General of Honduras in Atlanta is located in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

Transportation

By road

Gwinnett County is accessible by major interstates as well as several US Highways. Interstate 85 runs through Gwinnett from DeKalb County at its southwestern entry point, and Barrow County in the northeast. Interstate 985 branches off Interstate 85 at Exit 113 near Suwaneemarker.

Several U.S. Highways run through Gwinnett County as well. US Route 23 runs through Duluthmarker and Suwanee. US Route 29 runs through Central Gwinnett through Lawrencevillemarker. US Route 78 runs through the Southern portion of Gwinnett County. All of the U.S. Highways are east-west throughout Gwinnett County (although U.S. Routes 23 and 29 run north-south throughout most of its route).

Gwinnett County is served by several Georgia State Routes. State Route 316 branches off Interstate 85 at Exit 106 after the Pleasant Hill Exit 104. This highway connects metropolitan Atlanta with Athensmarker, where the University of Georgiamarker is located. A second route is State Route 124, also known as Scenic Highway. This serves as the main route between Lawrenceville and Snellvillemarker. A third highly used route is State Route 120, which runs from Tallapoosamarker (west of Atlanta) to Lawrenceville. A fourth major route is State Route 20, which runs Northwest to Southeast in Gwinnett County through Graysonmarker, Lawrenceville, Bufordmarker, Sugar Hillmarker, and Cummingmarker (in Forsyth County). And a fifth major route is State Route 8, which parallels State Route 316, connects East to West between Auburnmarker, Daculamarker, Lawrenceville (where it merges with US Route 29) and continues through Lilburnmarker and eventually into Atlantamarker and Austellmarker.

By air

Gwinnett County is primarily reached through Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airportmarker. The county also has its own airport, the Gwinnett County Briscoe Fieldmarker. This is Gwinnett's municipal airport near Lawrenceville, accessible by GA Route 316.

Public transportation

Gwinnett County TransitGwinnett also operates its own public transportation system. Gwinnett County Transit (GCT), was formed in 2000 by order of the Board of Commissioners and started limited local service in 2002. Overall GCT serves little of Gwinnett (less than 8% of Gwinnett County), mainly the City of Norcross, and areas of south western Gwinnett, along with Gwinnett Place CID, a commercial center (community improvement district), and portions of Buford Highway. It does provide limited access to the Doravillemarker MARTA station in northeastern DeKalb County via bus Route 10. Due to budgetary constraints of the recession, a reorganization of Routes, along with a reduction in frequency and possible Route terminations have been placed on the Docket of the Board of Commissioners, which will be receiving public comment through August 21, 2009 while making final determinations before December (This is per a notice issued to patrons and posted at Indian Trail Park and Ride, Indian Trail Road and I-85, XPress Route 102).Park and Rides, and Commuter ServicesIn terms of Commuter service GCT does operate 4 park and ride locations with two more under construction which run rapid transit buses to Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, or a MARTA rail station.The First Park and Ride is know as "Indian Trail Park and Ride" and is located adjacent to the Indian Trail turnpike for I-85 and hosts Xpress Route 102 which departs from the lot for non-stop service to Downtown Atlanta from 6-8 am every 30 minutes and drops off at the lot from 3:30-7:30 pm after picking up commuters from Downtown Atlanta. This point is adjacent to dropoff points for routes 20, 30, and 40. Ridership averages 226 patrons a day as per figures gathered by the GCT itself, hence the low frequency and limited service window. Limited daytime commuter service is provided by the Xpress Route 410 based out of Discover Mills GRTA location to Lindbergh MARTA rail station.The Second Park and Ride is known as "Discover Mills Park and Ride"located adjacent to I-85 and Sugarloaf parkway. It was built on a portion of land by the Discover Mills Mall parking lot, and is without question Gwinnett's commuter transit hub. The primary and original route is Xpress Route 103 which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 am every ten minutes to Downtown Atlanta, and from 3-7:30 pm after returning with downtown commuters. There is also the reverse of Route 103, Route 103A which picks up in downtown Atlanta and returns to Discover Mills this Route officially runs infrequently however it is not uncommon for an Atlantan to hope on a commuter bus dropping off patrons in the morning and riding the bus back to Discover Mills. Also adjacent to the Discover Mills Mall is the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority's (GRTA) station which operates on a modified portion of the malls parking lot. Route 410, which runs to Lindbergh MARTA station, runs from this location around every hour, and during the day makes a brief stop-over at Indian trail Park and Ride. Route 412, which used to leave discover Mills and pick up at Indian Trail before shuttling patrons to downtown and Midtown atlanta now runs solely from Discover Mills to Midtown Atlanta, terminating the Indian trail daytime pick-ups and the downtown circuit.The Third Park and RIde is known as "I-985 Park and Ride or Mall of Georgia Park and Ride"

Gwinnett has made great strides in this area considering the systems single-digit history yet its operation of and management of almost 100 buses and facilities.

At present, Gwinnett County is not connected to the Atlanta Area's MARTA rail system. Several proposals have been made regarding rail transit that would pass through Gwinnett, most recently a "university link" system that would link Georgia State Universitymarker in Atlantamarker, Georgia Institute of Technologymarker in Atlantamarker and the University of Georgiamarker in Athensmarker. Potential stops within Gwinnett County include Lilburn, Lawrenceville and Dacula, among other possibilities.

Government and Elections

Under Georgia's "home rule" provision, county governments have free rein to legislate on all matters within the county, provided that such legislation does not conflict with state or federal law, or the state or federal Constitutions.

Gwinnett County is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, which has both legislative and executive authority within the county. The chairman of the Board is elected county-wide and serves in a full-time position. The other four Commissioners are elected from single-member districts and serve in part-time positions. The Board hires a County Administrator who oversees day-to-day operations of the county's 11 executive departments. Gwinnett County also has a separate police department under the authority of the Board of Commissioners.

In addition to the Board of Commissioners, county residents also elect a Sheriff, District Attorney, Probate Court Judge, Clerk of State/Superior Court,Tax Commissioner, State Court Solicitor, Chief Magistrate Judge (who then appoints other Magistrate Court judges), Chief Superior Court Judge and Superior Court Judges, and a Chief State Court Judge and State Court Judges.

Gwinnett County has the largest public school system in the State of Georgia.

United States Congress

Senators Name Party First Elected Level
  Senate Class 2 Saxby Chambliss Republican 2002 Senior Senator
  Senate Class 3 Johnny Isakson Republican 2004 Junior Senator
Representatives Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Gwinnett County Represented
  District 4 Hank Johnson Democratic 2006 Lilburnmarker, Norcrossmarker
  District 7 John Linder Republican 1992 Rest of county


Georgia General Assembly

Georgia State Senate

District Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Gwinnett County Represented
  5 Curt Thompson Democratic 2004 Norcrossmarker, Lilburnmarker, Tuckermarker
  9 Don Balfour Republican 1992 Graysonmarker, Lawrencevillemarker, Lilburnmarker, Loganvillemarker, Mountain Parkmarker, Snellvillemarker
  41 Steve Henson Democratic 2002 Lilburnmarker, Tuckermarker
  45 Renee Unterman Republican 2002 Bufordmarker, Daculamarker, Graysonmarker, Lawrencevillemarker, Loganvillemarker, Sugar Hillmarker, Suwaneemarker
  48 David Shafer Republican 2001 Berkeley Lakemarker, Duluthmarker, Peachtree Cornersmarker
  55 Gloria Butler Democratic 1999 Centervillemarker, Stone Mountainmarker


Georgia House of Representatives

District Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Gwinnett County Represented
  51 Tom Rice Republican 1996 Berkeley Lakemarker and Peachtree Cornersmarker
  95 Toney Collins Democratic 2008 Centervillemarker and Stone Mountainmarker
  96 Pedro Marin Democratic 2002 Norcrossmarker
  97 Brooks Coleman Republican 1992 Duluthmarker
  98 Bobby Reese Republican 2004 Bufordmarker, Rest Havenmarker, Sugar Hillmarker, Suwaneemarker
  99 Hugh Floyd Democratic 2002 Lilburnmarker and Norcrossmarker
  100 Brian Thomas Democratic 2004 Duluthmarker, Lawrencevillemarker, Lilburnmarker
  101 Mike Coan Republican 1996 Lawrencevillemarker
  102 Clay Cox Republican 2004 Lilburnmarker, Mountain Parkmarker, Tuckermarker
  103 David Casas Republican 2002 Five Forks, Lawrencevillemarker, Lilburnmarker
  104 John Heard Republican 2002 Lawrencevillemarker
  105 Donna Sheldon Republican 2002 Braseltonmarker, Daculamarker, Hamilton Mill, Hog Mountain
  106 Melvin Everson Republican 2005 Five Forks, Lilburnmarker, Snellvillemarker
  107 Len Walker Republican 1994 Snellvillemarker and Loganvillemarker


Healthcare

Gwinnett County is home to three hospitals: Gwinnett Medical Center (Lawrenceville), Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth and Emory Eastside Medical Center.

GMC (which also operates Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth) is the largest healthcare provider in the county. It is a non-profit, 500-bed healthcare network located in Gwinnett County, Georgia. GMC consists of two hospitals, plus several supporting medical facilities, with more than 4,300 employees and more than 800 affiliated physicians. GMC provided care to more than 400,000 patients in 2007. [14619]

Libraries

The Gwinnett County Public Library system has 14 branch locations spread throughout Gwinnett County. The newest branch library opened October 28, 2006, in Grayson, Georgia. Construction started on the Hamilton Mill branch in Dacula, Georgia in the fall of 2008; this branch is scheduled to open in the winter of 2010 and will be the fifteenth branch location. The library system was named Library of the Year in 2000 by Library Journal magazine.

Parks

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) manages 39 parks and facilities. In all, the park system comprises more than 8,000 acres. As of fall 2008, eight parks are under construction, and the county is planning several others for future development.

One reason GCPR can aggressively pursue and purchase park property is the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). Gwinnett county voters approved the $0.01 sales tax in 1996 (extending it in 2000, 2004, and 2008). The county uses the sales tax proceeds for park purchases, transportation improvements, library construction, and public safety expenses.

On May 2008, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announced that GCPR was a finalist for the Gold Medal award, recognizing "Excellence in Park and Recreation Management" (Class 1 category, pop. 250,000+). GCPR went on to win this award on October 15, 2008, beating out three other finalists. The NRPA Gold Medal is widely considered the most prestigious award of its kind.

Sports

The minor-league affiliates of the NHL Atlanta Thrashers and the MLB Atlanta Braves all play home games in the area, which has created a cost-saving move, since the parent clubs' scouts can observe the players' home games nearby. Furthermore, call-ups to the top league are much cheaper for the teams.

Club Sport League Venue
Gwinnett Gladiators Hockey ECHL Arena at Gwinnett Centermarker
Gwinnett Braves Baseball International League Gwinnett County Ballpark
Atlanta Vision Basketball American Basketball Association Suwanee Sports Academy


Cities and towns



See also



References

  1. http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2008-01-13.csv
  2. [1]
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-07-15-urbanburbs_N.htm
  4. http://www.ajc.com/hotjobs/content/news/stories/2008/10/23/hispanic_population_growth.html?cxntlid=inform_sr
  5. " Contact Us." American Megatrends. Retrieved on May 6, 2009.
  6. " Contact NCR." NCR Corporation. Retrieved on November 29, 2009.
  7. " Contact Us." Waffle House. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  8. Woods, Mark. " If this is what it gets to, it's bad." The Florida Times-Union. May 3, 2009. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  9. " Consulate." Embassy of Honduras in Washington, DC. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.


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