Atlanta, with a population of 486,411 (2006) in the city and 5,138,223 (2006) in the metropolitan area, is the capital, largest city, and leading commercial center of the state. It is also the principal city of the entire southeastern United States. Growth in the white-collar service economy, led by expansion of corporate headquarters and services such as giving legal advice, computing, and advertising, accounts for a large part of Atlanta’s recent expansion. The metropolitan area centered on the city now contains three suburban cores in addition to the original central business district. These suburban cities, sometimes called edge cities, each possess an impressive skyline of tall buildings and major retail shopping centers. The Atlanta region’s economy was also boosted when the city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Georgia’s second largest city is Columbus, with 188,660 (2006) people, which grew initially as an industrial city. Fort Benning, a large United States Army infantry base, is near the city. Savannah, with a population of 127,889, was the largest city in Georgia until the rise of Atlanta in the 20th century. A bustling industrial center and seaport, Savannah is the oldest city in the state and has retained much of the aura of its gracious past. Other major cities include Macon, with 93,665 inhabitants, Albany, with 75,335 people, and Augusta, with 195,769 inhabitants.
Protestant faiths have predominated in Georgia since colonial times. In 1733 a congregation of the Church of England was organized at Savannah. By 1735, Presbyterians from Scotland and Lutherans and other German Protestants had settled in Georgia.
Although Jews and Roman Catholics were to be excluded from the colony, a small group of English Jews organized a synagogue at Savannah in 1733. Near the end of the 18th century a Roman Catholic church was founded by English settlers from Maryland. Georgia’s first Baptist church was organized in 1772. Methodism flourished in the state after the American Revolution.
Today, more than half the church members in Georgia are Baptists. Methodists are the second largest religious group. There are Roman Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues in most of the larger communities in Georgia. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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