2016 Economic Yearbook

Optimism abounds in our annual region-by-regionlook at the state’s economy.

From the busy streets of Metro Atlanta to the bustling Savannah squares and everywhere in between, Georgia’s economy is shifting into high gear. Residential real estate and commercial leasing are both on the upswing, the state continues to attract top-notch corporate headquarters and Georgia is now the third busiest state in the country for film production behind only California and New York.

Throughout the region surrounding the state capital, an expanding economy is signaling more jobs, expansions and relocations across a wide swath of industries, from hospitality to healthcare IT. In Northwest Georgia, economic development folks are excited about a new inland port in the works, increased tourism potential and a retooled floorcovering industry.

Northeast Georgia is seeing several years of record growth, fueled in part by auto parts manufacturing and a steady stream of tourists. West Central Georgia hopes to maintain the momentum of 2015 into this year with more manufacturing announcements and a continued focus on tourism. And the 25 counties of Central Georgia continue to partner and see more companies locating to the region.

East Central Georgia is seeing new technology jobs, manufacturing facilities and hotels across the region, while Southwest Georgia sees a slowly improving economy as communities lay the groundwork for future growth. And in Southeast Georgia, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project finally gets underway, the ports are booming and Hollywood has come calling thanks to local incentives.

Articles in this year’s Economic Yearbook were written and reported by Stan Awtrey, Lori Johnston, John W. McCurry, Bobby Nesbitt, Tom Oder, Don Sadler, David Shivers and Randy Southerland.

The Simon S. Selig Jr. Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business provided the statistical information for the tables included on the following pages. Georgia Trend’s Economic Yearbook divides the state’s 159 counties into eight regions established in 1996.

Population and income data for 2015 have been projected based on 2011-2014 trends in income and 2010-2014 trends in population. Per capita personal income estimates were calculated based on revised population and income data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Estimates of population and per capita personal income for 2015 are based on extensions of existing trends and reflect growth or decline based on data that already have been recorded.

Total population estimates are based on data through 2014 from the U.S. Census Bureau. County population projections for the year 2015 have been controlled to the reported state total for 2015. Employment data are for January-June average covered employment, defined as jobs, by place of work, covered under Georgia’s unemployment insurance law, and are not comparable with other nonagricultural employment statistics.

Preliminary employment estimates are based on information through June 2015 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for per capita personal income, by place of residence, were derived from data through 2014 issued by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and are given in current dollars. Revisions from the BEA income data result from incorporation of the five-year economic census and the benchmark input-output accounts.

For more information, visit selig.uga.edu.Christy Simo

Read About Individual Regions:

Metro Atlanta



West Central


East Central



Categories: Economic Development Features, Features