Known as the Peach State, Georgia is a stunning southern state with unique characteristics. It has friendly neighborhoods, great food, a celebrated sports culture, great weather, majestic mountains, and many green spaces. Like other states, Georgia has its negatives too. There are more bugs, awful traffic, and poor-quality healthcare.
If you’re planning on moving to Georgia, you have to weigh its merits and demerits. Here are 17 pros and cons of living in Georgia.
Pros of Living in Georgia
Below are the reasons for embracing Georgia.
1. Mild and Short Winters
You’ll enjoy winter in this state. You only have to worry about slow flurries and not frigid temperatures.
Snow days are rare, meaning you wouldn’t need to shovel snow. Even on colder days, residents rarely don winter coats, heavy sweaters, and gloves. Any snow flurry leads to school cancellation.
If you prefer warmer winters, you should consider living in The Empire State of the South.
2. Wonderful Schools
Georgia has great colleges, universities, and schools. You’ll find prestigious research universities, liberal arts schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, among other public and private schools.
Some well-known colleges are the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory, and Georgia State University. The best school districts are Buford and Decatur.
Besides Education, students in Georgia love playing football. Teams like the Georgia Bulldogs have a massive following in this state.
3. Family-Friendly Vacations
If you’re a family person, you’ll love Georgia. There are many destinations and activities you can enjoy with your kids.
Theme parks and zoos provide most of the fun. You can look forward to water slides, roller coasters, animal encounters, and other family-friendly outdoor activities.
Some epic places include:
- Margaritaville at Lanier Islands
- Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park
- Wild Animal Safari at Pine Mountain
- Six Flags Over Georgia
- The Atlanta CityPASS
- Chehaw Park
4. Relatively Low Cost of Living
If you’re looking for a cheaper state to live in, consider heading to Georgia. GA is the 6th most affordable state in the US.
This means the overall cost of housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, goods, and services are lower than in most states.
Of course, the cost of living in some districts is high. You’ll spend more if you live in Atlanta compared to suburbs or rural areas.
5. Strong Economy
The economy in the Peach State is robust. Currently, Georgia occupies the 10th position for its economic performance.
The state’s larger cities, Atlanta and Savannah, are business hubs. These cities host many Fortune 500 companies and provide employment opportunities to millions.
Farming also thrives in the Coastal Plain. Georgia leads in the production of peanuts, spring onions, pecans, and blueberries.
6. Birthplace of Coca-Cola
Downtown Atlanta is home to one of the most iconic American companies, Coca-Cola. If you’re a fan of soft drinks, you’ll love learning about the origins of Coca-Cola.
You can visit the World of Coke and taste the different flavors of this famous drink. You can also learn more about the secret ingredients of Coca-Cola.
The World of Coca-Cola is an excellent venue for hosting birthday parties.
7. Historical Attractions
You should head to Georgia if you want to relive American history. This southern state has witnessed epic historical events. Legendary incidents like the Gold Rush, Revolutionary War, and the Civil War occurred in GA.
Today, the state has many forts, monuments, and museums that showcase this rich history. Kids and history buffs can learn a lot by living in Georgia.
8. Sports Galore
If you love sports, you’ll love Georgia. This state has lots to offer to ardent pro-leagues fans and college sports fanatics.
The Empire State of the South is home to sports titans like the Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Falcons, Gladiators, and Yellow Jackets.
The action doesn’t involve ball games only; there’s a lot of motorsports. Motor enthusiasts consider Dawsonville as the epicenter of NASCAR. Currently, there are more than ten racetracks in Georgia, including the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
9. Lots of Festivals
Festivals of all shapes and sizes occur in Georgia. You can explore thrilling events like the Summerfest, Dragon Con, AthFest, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Yellow Daisy Festival, Savannah Music Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, to name a few.
10. Southern Vibe
The Peach State oozes southern hospitality. According to a certain survey, Georgia is the most hospitable state of all the southern states.
Genuine friendliness, politeness, kindness, charity, helpfulness, and terrific home cooking define Georgia’s charm.
If you’re looking for vibrant city life, Atlanta is the place to be. The Big Peach has a bustling city center, a relatively young population, urban parks, amenities, and a thriving economy.
There are more job opportunities in different sectors like arts, finance, music, and showbiz. If you’re a regular traveler, the Atlanta Airport will serve you well.
Another popular city in this state is Savannah. This beautiful coastal city has a laid-back southern vibe and year-round warm weather.
It’s a great place to raise your family. The cost of living is low, there are many family-friendly attractions, and the locals are genial. You can also get around easily on foot, bike, or using public transportation.
13. Mountains and Beaches
Georgia’s unique topography allows you to enjoy high and low countries. The pristine beaches and shores form the low country while the high mountains in the Northeast form the high country.
This southern state is quite diverse. Whites make up about 58.62% of the population, while African-Americans make up 31.61%. Asians and other races make up the remaining percentage.
Cultural and racial diversity makes Georgia a great place to raise your kids. Your children will learn and appreciate the cultures of other people.
15. Craft Beer
You should consider making the Peach State your home if you’re a beer maven. Georgia has a buzzing craft beer scene. You’ll find more than 50 breweries and brewpubs, each offering exciting notes.
Some notable breweries include:
- Sweetwater Brewing Company
- Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
- Terrapin Beer Company
- Jekyll Brewing
- Red Hare Brewing Company
16. Property Taxes are Fair
Property taxes in Georgia are below the national average. The exact pricing depends on the local area. You’ll pay higher property taxes if you live in places like Fulton County.
17. Gorgeous Natural Sites
Georgia has loads of natural sights. From rivers to parks to beaches, the Peach State has it all. Scenic parks such as the Amicalola are great for hiking.
Head over to the blue ridge mountains if you prefer sightseeing. Another epic attraction is Stone Mountain. This large rock provides endless outdoor adventure.
Cons of Living in Georgia
Georgia isn’t the perfect place. Here are some cons of living in this state.
1. Summers are Hot, Long, and Humid
Like other southern states, Georgia has sweltering summers. Temperatures during the hot season are unbearable. Besides the high temperatures, summers are very humid.
The intense humidity and heat will make you soak your shirt in minutes. Although residents adapt to this climate, they still head to the mountains to cool off. Others opt to stay indoors and rely on their air conditioning units.
2. The Mosquito Menace
Mosquitos flourish in Georgia’s humid environment. These vicious, bloodthirsty critters are large, and you’ll find them everywhere. Residents refer to them as the state bird of Georgia.
If you intend to move to the Peach State, you should invest in mosquito repellants. Another alternative is to install a screened-in porch in your home.
3. More Bugs
Mosquitos aren’t the only pesky insects you’ll find in Georgia. Other bugs wreak havoc too.
Sand gnats are a major problem in coastal regions. These insects will ruin any outdoor event you plan to hold. They are immune to common insect sprays.
You’ll also encounter hordes of ants and palmetto bugs.
4. Awful Traffic in Atlanta
If you think traffic is awful in your town, try Atlanta.
The traffic in Atlanta is just horrible. This city draws tourists, business people and has one of the busiest airports. This means Atlanta is always congested.
If you aren’t patient enough to sit in traffic for hours, don’t settle in ATL.
5. High Crime Rates
High crime rates are prevalent in some regions in Georgia. The types of crime range from murders to robbery to aggravated assault.
Always check the actual crime rates before moving into a new area. According to statistics, the following regions have high crime rates:
- College park
- Forest Park
6. Pollen in Spring
Allergen sufferers might face a difficult time living in Georgia. Spring in this state brings blooming flowers, but it also comes with a lot of pollen.
The pollen during this season is extreme. It coats everything on your property, including vehicles. You might be forced to wash your car, patio, decks, and windows daily. The pollen might cause a few health issues if you’re allergic to them.
7. Quality of Healthcare Isn’t That Good
The quality of healthcare in Georgia is awful. The 2020 Commonwealth Fund report ranked Georgia the 46th state on health system performance.
The number of adults who can’t access medical care in Georgia is high. This is because of the high costs of healthcare in the state. It can also be difficult to find treatment on issues like mental illness.
8. Things Can Be Slow
Some areas in this southern state can be too laid back. A lot of things tend to move at a slower pace.
If you’re from a bustling city, you’ll need to adapt to this quiet life. This may involve changing your lifestyle and the way you do things.
9. Snakes and Wild Animals
You’ll find snakes and wild creatures in almost every part of Georgia. The state has 46 species of snakes, but only six are poisonous.
You aren’t allowed to kill a non-venomous snake if it slips into your backyard. According to Georgia’s laws, you could face jail time or attract a $1000 fine if you commit such an offense.
If you aren’t a fan of snakes or wildlife, you shouldn’t settle in remote areas of Georgia. Of course, the population of wild animals is small in big cities like Atlanta.
10. Technology Lags Behind
The Peach State doesn’t make headlines when it comes to cutting-edge technology. Residents don’t appear to be bothered by tech-related things.
Some sectors like IT lag behind. You’ll encounter difficulties looking for tech-related jobs.
So, if you’re a techy person seeking a job, you should avoid Georgia.
11. Extreme Poverty in Some Areas
Poverty statistics point to a grim picture of Georgia. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, 21.3% of Georgia’s population lives below the absolute poverty line. Some of the poorest places include Telfair County, Macon, Clay County, Kennesaw, Canton, and Acworth.
Unfortunately, the regions with high poverty rates also experience high crime rates. It’s advisable to avoid such spots when settling in Georgia.
12. High Obesity Levels
Obesity is a big problem in the Peach State. About 33.1% of Georgian adults are obese, making Georgia the 23rd state with the most obese people.
Contributing factors could be Southern cuisine, fast foods, genetics, physical inactivity, low wages, and poor quality healthcare.
13. Not Much Beach
Georgia’s coastline is approximately 100 miles long. However, most of the coastline is tucked in and prone to marsh and mud. You’ll only find a few beaches on this coastline.
The few beaches are always overcrowded, particularly in summer. Accessing the beach might be a problem if you live in western Georgia.
The lake beaches in Peach state don’t offer the same experience as coastal beaches. If you want to enjoy the beach, you should head to states like Florida.
14. Houses can be Expensive
Although the cost of living in Georgia is relatively low, housing can be expensive. Houses in downtown Atlanta and Savannah are overpriced.
Home appreciation rates continue to increase, meaning you have to pay more in the future. If you love residing near cities, consider looking for cheaper housing in Warner Robins, Duluth, Gainesville, Marietta, and Smyrna.
15. Weird Laws
Every state has obscure laws, but some laws in Georgia are something else. Some of the wackiest include:
- If you’re in Dublin, you need a permit to poison rats.
- In Kennesaw, every head of household must maintain a firearm.
- In Columbus, it’s forbidden to sell two beers at once for the price of a single beer.
- In Dublin, it’s illegal to wear hoodies in public places.
Although most of these bizarre laws aren’t enforced, they are still in the books.
16. Homeowners Insurance is High
When it comes to the cost of homeowners insurance, Georgia ranks as the 19th most expensive state.
These rates are high because floods, hurricanes, and water damages are common in the Peach State.
Ensure you get several quotes on home insurance before moving to Georgia. This will help you determine the cost of owning property.
17. Southern Accent
Georgia has some distinct accents and dialects. The way residents in South GA speak is distinctly different than that of the north.
You might need time to figure out the thicker southern accents.
Moving to another state is a big decision that you have to make at some stage in your life. Before changing states, it’s important to understand what your new state offers. Hopefully, the above guide will help you decide whether Georgia is a great choice.