Union County, Georgia

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Union County, Georgia
Union County Georgia Courthouse.jpg
Union County courthouse in Blairsville
Map of Georgia highlighting Union County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1832
Seat Blairsville
Largest city Blairsville
 • Total 329 sq mi (852 km2)
 • Land 322 sq mi (834 km2)
 • Water 7.1 sq mi (18 km2), 2.2
 • (2010) 21,356
 • Density 66/sq mi (25/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Footnotes: Vanishing site of Kristi Cornwell

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,356.[1] The county seat is Blairsville.[2]

Its Sole commissioner is Lamar Paris, who has served since 2001.[3]


Union County was carved from Cherokee County territory during the Georgia Land Lottery of 1832. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, the area became more desirable to white settlers with the discovery of gold in the 1820s.

The Union Party, a political group that supported removing the Indians and opening the area to white settlers, is the probable inspiration for the county’s name. Upon entering the town of Blairsville, Georgia, one can see a plaque crediting John Thomas (former Justice of the Inferior Court and serving Union County in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1833) for giving the county the name of Union. When asked to suggest a name, he is reported to have said, "Name it Union, for none but union-like men reside in it." Since the county was founded almost 30 years before the U.S. Civil War, Union County obviously was not named in sympathy for the North, as is sometimes thought. County residents, however, were largely pro-Union in the years leading up to the war, as was true of much of Georgia's mountainous north, and the county's delegates to the state convention of 1861 voted against secession. When the state seceded, most Union County residents supported the Confederacy, and the majority of its Civil War soldiers fought on the Confederate side, although a significant minority fought for the Union. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the county's memorial to its generations of war dead may be the only one in the South that specifically includes homage to Union soldiers and to American Indians who fought white settlement.

Union County is sometimes called "The Top of Georgia" because Brasstown Bald is partly in the county.[citation needed]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 329 square miles (850 km2), of which 322 square miles (830 km2) is land and 7.1 square miles (18 km2) (2.2%) is water.[4] Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in Georgia, rises in southeast Union County, straddling the Towns County line. The central and northern portion of Union County is located in the Hiwassee River sub-basin of the Middle Tennessee-Hiwassee basin, while the southwestern portion of the county is located in the Ocoee River sub-basin of the same larger watershed. A very small portion of the county's southeastern corner is located in the Upper Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, also listed as simply the Apalachicola Basin by USGS).[5] This is also where the source of the Chattahoochee is found.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Major highways[edit]

Other roads[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 3,152
1850 7,234 129.5%
1860 4,413 −39.0%
1870 5,267 19.4%
1880 6,431 22.1%
1890 7,749 20.5%
1900 8,481 9.4%
1910 6,918 −18.4%
1920 6,455 −6.7%
1930 6,340 −1.8%
1940 7,680 21.1%
1950 7,318 −4.7%
1960 6,510 −11.0%
1970 6,811 4.6%
1980 9,390 37.9%
1990 11,993 27.7%
2000 17,289 44.2%
2010 21,356 23.5%
Est. 2014 21,984 [6] 2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 17,289 people, 7,159 households, and 5,211 families residing in the county. The population density was 54 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 10,001 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.94% White, 0.58% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Union County was mentioned as an "Extreme Whitopia" in Rich Benjamin's book, Searching for Whitopia.[12]

There were 7,159 households out of which 24.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.90% were married couples living together, 7.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.00% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 28.20% from 45 to 64, and 21.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,893, and the median income for a family was $39,776. Males had a median income of $29,127 versus $20,871 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,845. About 9.30% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.10% of those under age 18 and 15.90% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and Communities[edit]

Incorporated Cities[edit]

Unincorporated Communities[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Blairsville-Union County: Guiding Growth, Georgia Trend, January 2007.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Searching for Whitopia ~ By Rich Benjamin". Richbenjamin.com. 2002-09-15. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 

Coordinates: 34°50′N 83°59′W / 34.83°N 83.99°W / 34.83; -83.99