Lakeland, Georgia

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Lakeland, Georgia
Lakeland City Hall and Lakeland Police Department
Lakeland City Hall and Lakeland Police Department
Location in Lanier County and the state of Georgia
Location in Lanier County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 31°2′21″N 83°4′13″W / 31.03917°N 83.07028°W / 31.03917; -83.07028Coordinates: 31°2′21″N 83°4′13″W / 31.03917°N 83.07028°W / 31.03917; -83.07028
CountryUnited States
 • Total3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)
 • Land3.10 sq mi (8.04 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
200 ft (61 m)
 • Total2,875
 • Density926.52/sq mi (357.79/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code229
FIPS code13-44592[2]
GNIS feature ID0356347[3]

Lakeland is a city in Lanier County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Lanier County.[4] It is part of the Valdosta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,366 at the 2010 census.

Originally called Alapaha and then Milltown or Mill Town, Lakeland received its current name in 1925 in honor of its proximity to Grand Bay Lake, Lake Irma, and Banks Lake.[5] For many years, Lakeland owned and operated its own railroad.

The town has an array of festival all year long, including Market Day & ‘LA DAY. This is a celebration among the African Americans of the surrounding counties to come and enjoy vendors and music, though usually called off by nightfall by local law enforcement. The town also is one of the few cities in Georgia with murals of both slaves & plantation owners.[citation needed]


By the late 1830s, a community known as Alapaha had come into existence along the road from Waresboro, Georgia to Troupville, Georgia near the mill established by Joshua Lee on what is now Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. In 1838, a post office was established and was officially named Alapaha after the nearby Alapaha River. In 1848, Joshua Lee sold his mill to William Lastinger. In the 1850s, additional mills were established in the area and the population of the community continued to grow. In 1857, Alapaha was renamed Milltown. During the American Civil, William Lastinger sold his mill to Henry Banks.[6] Milltown was incorporated in 1901. In 1919, Milltown was designated seat of the newly formed Lanier County. In 1928, the city was incorporated and renamed to its present form of Lakeland.[7]


Lakeland is located at 31°2′21″N 83°4′13″W / 31.03917°N 83.07028°W / 31.03917; -83.07028 (31.039214, -83.070397).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), of which 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.28%) is water.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

2020 census[edit]

Lakeland racial composition[10]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 1,486 51.69%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,152 40.07%
Native American 3 0.1%
Asian 26 0.9%
Pacific Islander 6 0.21%
Other/Mixed 114 3.97%
Hispanic or Latino 88 3.06%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,875 people, 997 households, and 631 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 2,730 people, 966 households, and 661 families residing in the city. The population density was 881.0 inhabitants per square mile (340.2/km2). There were 1,162 housing units at an average density of 375.0 per square mile (144.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.18% White, 29.27% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.77% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.86% of the population.

There were 966 households, out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,346, and the median income for a family was $28,487. Males had a median income of $23,457 versus $19,276 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,156. About 25.3% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.9% of those under age 18 and 33.3% of those age 65 or over.


The Lanier County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.[11] The district has 94 full-time teachers and over 1,345 students.[12]

The South Georgia Regional Library operates the W. L. Miller Memorial Library in Lakeland. Initially the community was served by a library that was only open during school periods, and therefore people in the community considered it to be a school library rather than a complete community library. This small library opened in the courthouse office of the superintendent of the county school system in 1950. It was relocated to the Lanier County Primary School's Kindergarten building and then to a portion of Lanier County High School. The first standalone library, then the Lanier-Lakeland Library, opened on May 18, 1980. The current facility, built as part of a State of Georgia grant-funded library wave and partially financed by the W. L. Miller family through a $45,000 donation, opened on March 13, 1988. It was renovated from August 9 through August 23 in 2012.[13]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Poling, Dean. "LAKELAND: The past makes a new present » May 2007". Valdosta Scene. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
  6. ^ Roquemore, Nell Patten (2000). Lanier County: The Land and Its People. Mercer University Press. pp. 20–42.
  7. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 235. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  11. ^ "Schools in Lanier County". Georgia Board of Education. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  12. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  13. ^ "Miller Lakeland Library." South Georgia Regional Library. Retrieved on May 10, 2017.