Towns County - Quality of Life Factors
Towns County spans 166 square miles (one of the smallest but most beautiful counties in Georgia), and consists of 65% U. S. Forest Service land. Lake Chatuge, National Forest, TVA, and local campgrounds located throughout the county boast fishing, hunting, and an abundance of outdoor activities.
66% of Towns County’s economic base is in services such as the Towns County School System, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation, Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris College, United Community Bank and Park Sterling Bank. Retail businesses make up 12% of the services sector, including a number of shops which provide mountain home interiors, antiques, women’s apparel, and more.
The citizens of Towns County enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the state of Georgia, in addition to the lowest tax millage rate in the state of Georgia.
Towns County has been named an “Entrepreneur Friendly” community by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and recently became a “Camera Ready” community. The county has also hosted several film productions which have taken advantage of the beautiful mountain scenery.
In 2010, there were 10,471 residents in Towns County. The population grew 12.4% between 2000 and 2010, and the median household income was $39,540 during that timeframe (compared to a State average of $49,347). The population is projected to reach 12,193 by 2015. The homeownership rate between 2006 and 2010 was 86.5%, compared to a State average of 67.2%. The 2010 average home sales price was $147,445, with a $37,598,395 volume of sales within the county.
The 2009 Senior Class of Towns County High School represented a 95.9% high school completion rate as compared to the 78.9% average completion rate for the State of Georgia. 64.1% of teachers within the school system hold advanced degrees, compared to 59.2% for the State. The school system has met the AYP standards as set by the “No Child Left Behind Act” for the past six (6) years.
The 2011 average unemployment rate was 8.9%, compared to a State average of 9.8%.
The average hourly wage for all industries in Towns County is $13 per hour. The range is $9 to $19.00 per hour.
Towns County’s economy is largely dependent on tourism - the industry employs a great portion of the county’s labor force. Over 19% of the local service employment is related to Accommodation and Food Services.