Decatur, Georgia

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Decatur, Georgia
City
Old DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur

Logo
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Georgia
Decatur, Georgia is located in Atlanta
Decatur
location in central Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 84°17′52″W / 33.77139°N 84.29778°W / 33.77139; -84.29778Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 84°17′52″W / 33.77139°N 84.29778°W / 33.77139; -84.29778
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyDeKalb
Area
 • Total4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
 • Land4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation1,043 ft (318 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total19,853
 • Density4,700/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes30030-30037
Area code(s)404 678
FIPS code13-22052
GNIS feature ID0331532[1]
Websitehttp://www.decaturga.com/
 
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Decatur, Georgia
City
Old DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur

Logo
Location in DeKalb County and the state of Georgia
Decatur, Georgia is located in Atlanta
Decatur
location in central Metro Atlanta
Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 84°17′52″W / 33.77139°N 84.29778°W / 33.77139; -84.29778Coordinates: 33°46′17″N 84°17′52″W / 33.77139°N 84.29778°W / 33.77139; -84.29778
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyDeKalb
Area
 • Total4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
 • Land4.2 sq mi (10.8 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation1,043 ft (318 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total19,853
 • Density4,700/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes30030-30037
Area code(s)404 678
FIPS code13-22052
GNIS feature ID0331532[1]
Websitehttp://www.decaturga.com/

Decatur is a city in, and county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. With a population of 19,335 in the 2010 census,[2] the city is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. It is an intown suburb of Atlanta and part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, and its public transportation is served by three MARTA rail stations. Decatur's official motto is "A city of homes, schools and places of worship."[3] Prior to 2000, this motto was "A city of homes, schools, and churches." 'Decatur' can either be pronounced "dee-kay-tur" or "deh-ka-tour".

History[edit]

In 1822 Decatur was founded at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford which follows today's Clairmont Road and eventually crossed near Roswell. The town was named for naval hero Stephen Decatur, and its early roads were named logically but soon after were renamed in a curious manner:

Shallowford Road, which led to the Shallow Ford, has been renamed Clairmont Avenue, probably because it does not go to, from or past any place called Clairmont. Covington Road is now Sycamore Street, probably because it leads to Covington and has no Sycamores on it. Nelson's Ferry Road, named after the local family which ran the ferry at the Chattahoochee end of the road, has been named Ponce de Leon after a family prominent, before Castro, in Havana, Cuba.— Mitchell, Stephens, "A Tentative Reconstruction of the Decatur Town Map of 1823", Atlanta Historical Bulletin, No.30, p.8, 1965.

In the 1830s, the Western and Atlantic Railroad wanted to make Decatur the southernmost stop on its line. The citizens of Decatur did not want the noise, pollution and growth that would come with such a major terminal, so they rejected the proposal. In response, the railroad founded a new city to the west-southwest of Decatur for the terminal. This town later became the city of Atlanta.

During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman's campaign against Atlanta. In July 1864 Union general James B. McPherson occupied Decatur to cut off the Confederates' supply line from Augusta, Georgia. During the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, Confederate cavalry under Major General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson's supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A marker at the Decatur courthouse marks the site of this skirmish.

In the last half of the twentieth century the metropolitan area of Atlanta expanded into unincorporated DeKalb County, eventually surrounding two sides of the incorporated town of Decatur. Concurrently many well-to-do and middle class white Americans fled the area to more distant suburbs. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed dramatic drops in property values. However, more recently the city has regained economic vigor, partially thanks to several long-term downtown development plans that have come to fruition, making Decatur a trendy small mixed-use district with easy transit to downtown Atlanta. Over the past twenty years, Decatur has gained a local and national reputation as a progressive city with a high level of citizen involvement that retains a small town feel despite its proximity to Atlanta[citation needed].

Geography[edit]

Decatur is located at 33°46′17″N 84°17′52″W / 33.77139°N 84.29778°W / 33.77139; -84.29778 (33.771355, -84.297732).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
1870401
188063959.4%
18901,01358.5%
19001,41840.0%
19102,46673.9%
19206,150149.4%
193013,276115.9%
194016,56124.7%
195021,63530.6%
196022,0261.8%
197021,943−0.4%
198018,404−16.1%
199017,304−6.0%
200018,1474.9%
201019,3356.5%
Est. 201219,8532.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[6]

As of the 2010 census,[7] there were 19,335 people, 8,599 occupied housing units, and 4,215 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,603.6 people per square mile (2,860.2/km²). There were 9,335 housing units at an average density of 2,222.6 per square mile (1,380.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.5% White, 20.2% African American, 0.0% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

There were 2,541 (29.5%) households which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 3,336 (38.8%) were a Husband-Wife family living together, 984 (11.4%) of households had a female householder with no husband present, and 4,063 (47.2) did not fit into either of the two previously mentioned categories. 3,263 (37.9%) of all households were made up of individuals of those, 1,814 (21.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 19, 5.2% from 20 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. There are roughly 44 males for every 56 females. The ZIP code 30030 (which includes Decatur) has one of the highest percentages of households with same sex couples in Georgia, 9.20% as of 2000.[8]

The median income for a household in the city was $73,602. Males had a median income of $73,089 versus $58,580 for females. The per capita income for the city was $42,926. About 12.20% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education levels for Decatur are above average for the Atlanta area, with 56% of residents having obtained a bachelor's degree or higher, and 27% having obtained a graduate degree or higher.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The Decatur City School District, which serves the city limits, holds grades pre-school to grade twelve, that consists of four elementary schools, a fourth and fifth grade academy, a middle school, and a high school.[9]

The DeKalb County School District, which serves unincorporated areas in DeKalb County around Decatur, operates the William Bradley Bryant Center (WBBC) in an unincorporated area near Decatur.[10]

List of Schools[edit]

The district has 224 full-time teachers and over 2,519 students.[12]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

DeKalb County Public Library operates the Decatur Branch.[17]

Government[edit]

Decatur has a Commission - Manager form of government. A five-member City Commission is elected for four-year terms on two-year cycles. Two members are elected from the south side of the city, two from the north side and one is elected at-large. At their organizational meeting each January, the Commissioners elect a mayor and mayor-pro-tem from among their own membership for a one-year term. The mayor is not a separate elected office. The current mayor is William F. Floyd. Previous mayors have included Leslie Jasper Steele (1915), Jack Hamilton, Walter Drake, Mike Mears, Ann A. Crichton, Elizabeth Wilson, and Scott Candler, Sr. (known as Mr. DeKalb).

The Commission appoints a professional City Manager to carry out the policies, directives and day-to-day business of the city. There are also several citizen volunteer boards and commissions appointed by the City Commission including the Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Historic Preservation Commission, and others.

State representation[edit]

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has its headquarters in Avondale Estates, near Decatur.[18][19]

Federal representation[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the Decatur Post Office in Decatur.[20]

Neighborhoods and historic districts[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Decatur's downtown area and residential neighborhoods are filled with historic structures and sites of interest. This list primarily consists of structures on the National Register of Historic Places, but many remain privately owned and may only be viewed from the exterior.

The Decatur Square Gazebo from the Old Courthouse Steps

Sister cities[edit]

Decatur has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Decatur city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ City of Decatur Website
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "American Facts-Comunity Facts". American FacFinder. U.S. Census. 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gayest zip codes in Georgia: By percentage". gaydemographics.org (based on 2000 United States Census data). Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  9. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  10. ^ "Schools and Centers." DeKalb County School District. Retrieved on September 18, 2012. "2652 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, GA 30033"
  11. ^ "Schools." City Schools of Decatur. 2011. <http://www.csdecatur.net/schools/>
  12. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  13. ^ Agnes Scott College, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  14. ^ Columbia Theological Seminary, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  15. ^ Emory University, Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  16. ^ Georgia Perimeter College, Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  17. ^ "Library Locations & Hours." DeKalb County Public Library. Retrieved on February 24, 2010.
  18. ^ "Contact." Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  19. ^ "Official Zoning Map." City of Avondale Estates. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  20. ^ "Post Office Location - DECATUR." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  21. ^ "Online Directory: Georgia, USA". Sister Cities International. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]