2007 Economic Yearbook: Growing Stronger

The state’s economy got some king-sized boosts in the last year, starting with the announcement that Korean automaker Kia would locate a plant near West Point. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport added a fifth runway; and the Fort Benning expansion in Columbus continues its ripple effect. Georgia’s two deepwater ports are fueling coastal prosperity.

Equally as encouraging, there are smaller economic boosts sprinkled throughout all eight regions of Georgia, centering on new tourism initiatives, the continuing influx of retirees and expansions of existing industries.

Metro Atlanta recruited 47 new companies with 3,500 new jobs. Northwest Georgia is reaping benefits from small suppliers that located there to serve larger manufacturing operations nearby. Northeast Georgia continues to draw tourists and is seeing its share of retirees.

West Central Georgia is bracing for new growth – and new residents – and is eagerly anticipating the Kia plant, which is expected to bring a number of related businesses as well. Central Georgia saw new capital investments and healthy expansions. East Central Georgia prepared to welcome the state’s first cellulosic ethanol plant and enjoyed an arts boom.

In Southeast Georgia, ports-related activity increased, as did the push for stepped-up land use planning. Southwest Georgia, enjoying its economic turnaround, welcomed affluent retirees.

Writers Carol Carter, Ray Glier, Don O’Briant, Gita M. Smith, Ed Lightsey, Christy White, Jerry Grillo and Ben Young talked to economic development specialists, civic leaders and business leaders throughout the state to compile this 2007 yearbook. The accompanying tables provide information on population, employment and personal income.

The Simon W. Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business provided statistical information for the tables. The project was carried out by Beata C. Kochut, research coordinator.

Total population estimates are based on data through 2004 from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Employment estimates are based on information through March 2006 from the Georgia Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for per capita personal income were derived from data through 2004 issued by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. – Susan Percy, Editor

Read the individual stories:

Metro Atlanta



West Central


East Central



Categories: Economic Development Features, Features