Location in Bulloch County and the state of Georgia
|• Total||2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2)|
|• Land||2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||295 ft (90 m)|
|• Density||302/sq mi (116.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0332735|
Portal is located at (32.537275, -81.931738).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.5 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 2.99%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 597 people, 232 households, and 167 families residing in the town. The population density was 343.1 people per square mile (132.5/km²). There were 255 housing units at an average density of 146.0 per square mile (56.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.24% White, 15.24% African American, 0.17% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.
There were 232 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.6% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $30,268, and the median income for a family was $34,000. Males had a median income of $24,583 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,514. About 8.2% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.
Myths and legends
- Black Panther - Many believe the area to be home to large black panthers, and are the basis for the Portal Middle/High mascot.
- "Stink Eye" Willy - An abandoned farm house on Banks Dairy Road is said to be haunted by local legend Stink Eye Willy, a farmer from 1943 who died shortly after being sprayed by a skunk in the face.
- Dr. Leila Denmark (1898–2012), a pediatrician, author and researcher who blazed trails for women in medicine, lived to be 114 and was at one time the oldest practicing physician in the world
- Ruby Stone (1924–2013), Idaho state legislator
- Matthew L. Gibson (1985-), Science instructor emeritus at Portal High School. He is Curator of Natural History at the Charleston Museum. Gibson also published a Journal of Paleontology article naming a new species of pontoporiid dolphin, Auroracetus bakerae and is a research member of the Don Sundquist Center for Excellence in Paleontology.
- Brooks Brown (1985-), American professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).Brown was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 21st round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft out of Portal High School in Portal, Georgia. He did not sign and attended the University of Georgia and played college baseball for the Georgia Bulldogs. He was then drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.In April 2009, Brown was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Detroit Tigers for James Skelton.In November 2012 he signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In November 2013, he signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies.Brown was called up to the majors for the first time on July 6, 2014.
- Cameron Sheffield(1988-), American football defensive end who is a member of the Edmonton Eskimos. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Troy.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Portal town, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "About - Staff Directory". The Charleston Museum.
- "Auroracetus bakerae Gibson & Geisler 2009". ION: Index to Organism Names. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "A new pliocene dolphin (Cetacea: Pontoporiidae), from the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina". Taylor & Francis Online. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Members". East Tennessee State University & General Shale Natural History Museum Visitor Center and Gray Fossil Site. Retrieved 30 July 2014.