is a city in Richmond County
, United States
. It is one of two primary cities of the Augusta-Aiken Metropolitan Area, which as of July 2007, had a population of 528,519. It is the largest city in East Central Georgia and the second largest city in the state. As of July 2007, the city of Augusta had a population of 192,142.
Internationally, Augusta is best known for hosting The Masters golf tournament each spring.
Augusta was first used by Native Americans
as a place to cross the Savannah River, because of Augusta's location on the fall line
. In 1735, two years after James Oglethorpe
founded Savannah, he sent a detachment of troops on a journey up the Savannah River. He gave them an order to build at the head of the navigable part of the river. The job fell into the hands of Nobel Jones
, who created the settlement to provide a first line of defense
against the Spanish
and the French
. Oglethorpe then named the town Augusta, in honor of Augusta, Princess of Wales
, daughter-in-law of King George II of Great Britain
and mother of King George III of Great Britain
. Augusta was the second state capital of Georgia
from 1785 until 1795 (alternating for a period with Savannah
, the first).
Augusta is located on the Georgia
border, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of Atlanta. The city is located at (33.470, -81.975).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Augusta-Richmond County balance has a total area of 306.5 square miles (793.8 km²). 302.1 square miles (782.5 km²) of it is land and 4.3 square miles (11.3 km²) of it (1.42%) is water.
Augusta is also located about halfway up the Savannah River on the fall line, providing a number of small falls on the Savannah River. The city itself marks the end of a navigable waterway for the river. The Clarks Hill Dam is also built on the fall line near Augusta, forming Lake Strom Thurmond, also known as Clarks Hill Lake. Further downstream, near the border of Columbia County, is the Stevens Creek Dam, which generates hydroelectric power, and still further, the Augusta Diversion Dam which marks the beginning of the Augusta Canal and channels Savannah River waters into the canal.
According to Köppen classification
, Augusta has a humid subtropical climate. The city experiences mild winters and a humid summer. The average high temperature for the summer months is 90.6 °F (32.6 °C); the average low temperature is 67.8 °F (19.9 °C). The average high temperature for the winter months is 58.9 °F (14.9 °C); the average low temperature is 34.4 °F (1.3 °C).
As of the census
of 2000, there were 195,182 people, 72,307 households, and 48,228 families residing in the balance. The population density
was 646.0 people per square mile (249.4/km²). There were 80,481 housing units at an average density of 266.4/sq mi (102.8/km²). The racial makeup of the balance was 50.37% Black
or African American
, 44.91% White
, 0.27% Native American
, 1.52% Asian
, 0.12% Pacific Islander
, 1.02% from other races
, and 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 2.79% of the population.
There were 72,307 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 20.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the balance the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the balance was $37,231, and the median income for a family was $45,372. Males had a median income of $32,008 versus $23,988 for females. The per capita income for the balance was $19,558. About 13.2% of families and 16.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
In recent years, Augusta has become a center of medicine
, and military
. The Medical College of Georgia
, the state's only health science university, employs over 7,000 people and is ranked as one of the top medical schools
in the country. Along with University Hospital
, the Medical District of Augusta employs over 25,000 people and has a economic impact of over $1.8 billion , the largest in the city and one of the largest in the state.
Along with the Medical College of Georgia, the city's three largest employers include the Savannah River Site (a Department of Energy nuclear facility) and the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon.
Companies that have facilities, headquarters or distribution centers in Augusta include Electrolux (US headquarters), CareSouth, T-Mobile, Automatic Data Processing, International Paper, Comcast, NutraSweet, Teleperformance, E-Z-GO, Club Car, John Deere, Procter & Gamble, and Kellogg's.
Augusta is home to four professional minor league athletic teams. The Augusta Greenjackets
are the city’s oldest sporting club, which began play in 1988 as the Augusta Pirates. After the Augusta Pirates, the team was owned by the Red Sox and now by the Giants. In 1998, the ECHL Raleigh IceCaps
relocated to Augusta and were renamed the Augusta Lynx
. The city hosted an AF2 arena football team, the Augusta Stallions
, from 2000 to 2002. Arena Football
was brought back to the city in 2006 when the Augusta Spartans
began play in the American Indoor Football League
; however, in 2007 the Augusta Spartans moved to the World Indoor Football League
and were named the 2007 World Indoor Football Champions, but for 2008, the Spartans will play in the American Indoor Football Association
. SP Augusta formerly hosted a soccer club, the Augusta FireBall
. The club folded after two seasons of play.
The city’s famous golf
course, the Augusta National Golf Club
, hosts the first major golf tournament of each year, The Masters
. This tournament is one of the most prestigious in the sport and is part of the Professional Golfers' Association
’s Grand Slam. The city is also a hotbed for disc golf
. The Augusta Top Gun Series is a series of tournaments sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association
. These tournaments are held at various venues in Augusta, including Pendleton King Park and Lake Olmstead. Also, Augusta hosted the 2006 Professional Disc Golf World Championships. Along with Pendleton King and Lake Olmstead, 2 courses in N. Augusta, SC were used for the tournanment. 299 disc golfers from around the world attended the event with Ken Climo
winning the tournament and his 12th world championship.
Parks and recreation
- Riverwalk Augusta
- Augusta Canal
- Aqueduct Park
- Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
In 1995, the citizens of Augusta and unincorporated Richmond County
voted to consolidate their city and county governments. Citizens of Hephzibah, Georgia
and Blythe, Georgia
, also located in Richmond County, decided to maintain separate governments. Augusta and Richmond County's consolidation took effect January 1
, with the city and county merging operations. The consolidated
government consists of a mayor
and 10 commissioners
. Eight commissioners represent specific districts, while the other two represent super districts comprising the other eight.
Politics in Augusta-Richmond County have evolved to more of a spirit of cooperation in recent years, thanks to new members on the Commission and a new Mayor. Deke Copenhaver was elected Mayor in 2006 and began healing a racial divide that harmed the city in the 1990s. Mayor Copenhaver hosts monthly prayer breakfasts at various churches. Split votes down racial or party lines were common in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, with the new mayor and commission, these types of split votes are extremely rare, according to the Augusta Chronicle and other media reporting outlets. Augusta and Richmond County also have a long history of Democratic Party political machines such as The Crackers, which had a monopoly on local politics for much of the first half of the 20th century. The Southside Mafia was a political machine that dominated county government for much of the latter half of the 20th century prior to consolidation in 1996.
The local economy in Augusta-Richmond County has bucked the national downward trend, with constant and consecutive months and years of steady growth in job creation and investment. New investments and new jobs have been in the areas of customer service, logistics, warehousing and distribution, life sciences, military support companies and retail. The new Prominade at Augusta Mall is the city's newest "town center" concept.
Colleges and universities
schools in Augusta are managed by the Richmond County School System
. The system has 8 high schools, 10 middle schools, 36 elementary schools, 4 magnet schools
, and 3 other-format schools.
Private schools in Augusta include Aquinas High School, Episcopal Day School, St. Mary on the Hill School, Curtis Baptist School, Gracewood Baptist First Academy and Westminster Schools of Augusta. Augusta Christian School and Augusta Preparatory Day School serve Augusta, but are located in neighboring Martinez, Georgia.
Augusta is linked to Atlanta, Georgia to the west and Columbia, South Carolina
to the east by Interstate 20
. Interstate 520
Expressway) runs from I-20 Exit 196 through Augusta's western and southern suburban areas, eventually crossing the Savannah River to South Carolina where it becomes the Palmetto Parkway. The current South Carolina terminus of I-520 is at U.S. Route 1
, but construction is currently underway to complete its connection to I-20 in South Carolina near Exit 5.
Augusta is served by city transit service Augusta Public Transit (APT), but the main mode of transportation within the city is by car. The city has 2 airports: Augusta Regional Airport featuring commercial air service by USAirways and Delta Air Lines, and a smaller airport for private and chartered planes, Daniel Field Airport. Augusta is also served by a number of Taxi companies. There was a proposal for a possible four mile long Trolley system that would run through the city's Downtown district.