According to the 2000 federal census, Georgia ranked 10th among the states, with a total population of 8,186,453. This represented an increase of 26.4 percent over the 1990 census figure of 6,478,216.
The population density for the state as a whole was 62 persons per sq km (162 per sq mi) in 2006. However, the population is not evenly distributed. About one-half of the population lives in metropolitan Atlanta while the other half is widely dispersed throughout the state. Atlanta ranks among the largest urban areas in the country. The 1960 census was the first to record more people living in urban than in rural areas. In 2000 some 72 percent of the state’s total population lived in towns and cities.
Most white Georgians are of British descent. The first settlers in Georgia came mainly from England but also included some Germans, Austrians, and Swiss. They settled mainly along the coast. Northern Georgia was settled during the 1830s, mostly by people of Scottish and Irish descent, who came mainly from North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
By 1860, blacks, most of them slaves, accounted for nearly one-half of the state’s population. They lived mainly on plantations in the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont. After the Civil War many blacks were unable to survive as farmers and moved to Northern cities. The black portion of the population of Georgia declined, until they represented only about one-quarter of the people. By the 1970s, however, a trend of reverse migration began, with many blacks returning to the cities of Georgia seeking industrial and service employment, and the percentage of blacks in the state began increasing.
In 2000 whites made up 65.1 percent of the population and blacks 28.7 percent. The percentage of black residents is much higher in some cities. In Atlanta they are nearly two-thirds of the people, in Savannah more than one-half. Asians are 2.1 percent of the population, Native Americans 0.3 percent, Native Hawaiians and othe Pacific Islanders 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 3.8 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 5.3 percent of the people. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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