Correction of this inaccuracy would allow Georgia access to water from the Tennessee River. Each region has its own distinctive characteristics. For instance, the Ridge and Valley, which lies in the northwest corner of the state, includes limestone, sandstone, shale, and other sedimentary rocks, which have yielded construction-grade limestone, barite, ocher, and small amounts of coal.
The state of Georgia has approximately tree species and 58 protected plants. Georgia's native trees include red cedar , a variety of pines, oaks, hollies, cypress , sweetgum , scaly-bark and white hickories , and sabal palmetto. East Georgia is in the subtropical coniferous forest biome and conifer species as other broadleaf evergreen flora make up the majority of the southern and coastal regions. Yellow jasmine and mountain laurel make up just a few of the flowering shrubs in the state.
White-tailed Virginia deer are in nearly all counties. The northern mockingbird and brown thrasher are among the bird species that live in the state.
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Reptiles and amphibians include the eastern diamondback , copperhead , and cottonmouth snakes; salamanders ; frogs; alligators ; and toads. There are about 79 species of reptile and 63 amphibians known to live in Georgia. The most popular freshwater game fish are trout , bream , bass , and catfish , all but the last of which are produced in state hatcheries for restocking. Popular saltwater game fish include red drum , spotted seatrout , flounder , and tarpon.
Porpoises , whales, shrimp , oysters , and blue crabs are found inshore and offshore of the Georgia coast. The majority of the state is primarily a humid subtropical climate. Hot and humid summers are typical, except at the highest elevations.
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The latter factor is felt chiefly in the mountainous areas of the northern part of the state, which are farther away from the ocean and can be feet m above sea level. Although tornadoes striking the city are very rare,  an EF2 nonviolent tornado  hit downtown Atlanta on March 14, , causing moderate to severe damage to various buildings.
With a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia is also vulnerable to hurricanes , although direct hurricane strikes were rare during the 20th century. Georgia often is affected by hurricanes that strike the Florida panhandle , weaken over land, and bring strong tropical storm winds and heavy rain to the interior, a recent example of this being Hurricane Michael ,  as well as hurricanes that come close to the Georgia coastline, brushing the coast on their way north without ever making landfall. Hurricane Matthew of did just that. In , Georgia had an estimated population of 10,, which was an increase of 90, from the previous year, and an increase of , since This includes a natural increase since the last census of , people that is , births minus , deaths and an increase from net migration of , people into the state.
Immigration resulted in a net increase of , people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of , people. As of [update] , the number of illegal immigrants living in Georgia more than doubled to , from January to January , according to a federal report.
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That gave Georgia the greatest percentage increase among the 10 states with the biggest illegal immigrant populations during those years. There were , veterans in According to the United States Census , Georgia had a population of 9,, In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 8. As of [update] , Their ancestry primarily goes back to the original thirteen colonies and for this reason many of them today simply claim "American" ancestry, though they are of predominantly English ancestry.
As of [update] , 7. Also, as of [update] , females made up approximately Historically, about half of Georgia's population was composed of African Americans who, before the Civil War, were almost exclusively enslaved. The Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of blacks from the rural South to the industrial North from —70 reduced the African American population. Georgia had the second-fastest-growing Asian population growth in the U.
Georgia was the state with the largest numerical increase in the black population from to with 84, Georgia is the state with the third-lowest percentage of older people 65 or older , at The colonial settlement of large numbers of Scottish American , English American and Scotch-Irish Americans in the mountains and piedmont, and coastal settlement by some English Americans and African Americans, have strongly influenced the state's culture in food, language and music.
The concentration of Africans imported to coastal areas in the 18th century repeatedly from rice-growing regions of West Africa led to the development of Gullah -Geechee language and culture in the Low Country among African Americans. They share a unique heritage in which African traditions of food, religion and culture were continued more than in some other areas. In the creolization of Southern culture, their foodways became an integral part of all Southern cooking in the Low Country. The other large body, Presbyterian Church in America , had at its founding date 14 congregations and 2, members; in it counted congregations and 32, members.
Chabad and the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute are also active in the state. As with all other US states and the federal government, Georgia's government is based on the separation of legislative, executive, and judicial power. Both the Governor of Georgia and lieutenant governor are elected on separate ballots to four-year terms of office.
Unlike the federal government, but like many other U. States, most of the executive officials who comprise the governor's cabinet are elected by the citizens of Georgia rather than appointed by the governor. Legislative authority resides in the General Assembly , composed of the Senate and House of Representatives. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate , while members of the House of Representatives select their own Speaker. The Georgia Constitution mandates a maximum of 56 senators, elected from single-member districts, and a minimum of representatives, apportioned among representative districts which sometimes results in more than one representative per district ; there are currently 56 senators and representatives.
The term of office for senators and representatives is two years. State judicial authority rests with the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals , which have statewide authority. Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Court of Appeals are elected statewide by the citizens in non-partisan elections to six-year terms. Judges for the smaller courts are elected to four-year terms by the state's citizens who live within that court's jurisdiction.
Georgia consists of counties , second only to Texas, with Some counties have been named for prominent figures in both American and Georgian history, and many bear names with Native American origin. Counties in Georgia have their own elected legislative branch, usually called the Board of Commissioners, which usually also has executive authority in the county. Georgia is the only state with current Sole Commissioner counties. Georgia's Constitution provides all counties and cities with " home rule " authority. The county commissions have considerable power to pass legislation within their county, as a municipality would.
Georgia recognizes all local units of government as cities, so every incorporated town is legally a city. Georgia does not provide for townships or independent cities , though there have been bills proposed in the Legislature to provide for townships;  it does allow consolidated city-county governments by local referendum.
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All of Georgia's second-tier cities except Savannah have now formed consolidated city-county governments by referendum: Columbus in , Athens , Augusta , and Macon Augusta and Athens have excluded one or more small, incorporated towns within their consolidated boundaries; Columbus and Macon eventually absorbed all smaller incorporated entities within their consolidated boundaries. The small town of Cusseta adopted a consolidated city-county government after it merged with unincorporated Chattahoochee County in Three years later, in , the town of Georgetown consolidated with the rest of Quitman County.
Georgia has voted Republican in six consecutive presidential elections since Until , Georgia's state government had the longest unbroken record of single-party dominance, by the Democratic Party , of any state in the Union. This record was established largely due to the disenfranchisement of most blacks and many poor whites by the state in its constitution and laws in the early 20th century.
Some elements, such as requiring payment of poll taxes and passing literacy tests, prevented blacks from registering to vote; their exclusion from the political system lasted into the s and reduced the Republican Party to a non-competitive status in the early 20th century. White Democrats regained power after Reconstruction due in part to the efforts of some using intimidation and violence, but this method came into disrepute.
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The whites dealt with this problem of potential political power by the amendment, which in practice disenfranchised blacks and poor whites, nearly half of the state population. It required that any male at least 21 years of age wanting to register to vote must also: a be of good character and able to pass a test on citizenship, b be able to read and write provisions of the U. Any Georgian who had fought in any war from the American Revolution through the Spanish—American War was exempted from these additional qualifications.
More importantly, any Georgian descended from a veteran of any of these wars also was exempted. The qualifications of good character, citizenship knowledge, and literacy all determined subjectively by white registrars , and property ownership were used to disqualify most blacks and poor whites, preventing them from registering to vote.
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Their additional rules, such as the eight-box law, continued to effectively close out people who were illiterate. For more than years, from to , Georgians nominated and elected only white Democratic governors, and white Democrats held the majority of seats in the General Assembly. Legal segregation was ended by passage of federal legislation in the s.
New white residents arrived through migration and immigration.
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