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Forsyth County one of fastest growing in country
Fastest growing

Forsyth County is once again among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in the country, though not as high on the list as previous mentions.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released reports of the top growing 100 fastest-growing counties in the country in terms of percentage of growth between April 2010 and July 2017 and July 2016 to July 2017. Forsyth had the 11th fastest cumulative growth from 2010 to 2017 and was 25th for 2016 to 2017. 

In 2009, the Census Bureau ranked Forsyth as the seventh fastest-growing county in the country. 

“To be anywhere in the top 100 counties means that your county is experiencing substantive and real growth,” said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. “My guess is, although I haven’t read off these numbers, the difference between No. 10 and No. 25 is probably fractional in terms of where other communities are. Having said that, I think it is a sign of more things to come as our community continues to mature into its growth.”

As of 2017, Forsyth County had an estimated population of just fewer than 228,000 residents, up from about 220,000 in 2016 and around 175,000 in 2010. 

“We have been attempting to manage the growth while we get the infrastructure in place, and it appears to be working,” said Forsyth County Commission Chairman Todd Levent. “At the same time, we’re increasing our commercial growth to help balance our tax digest and to be a healthier financial county, and that’s working as well.”

Levent said new rules, such as bigger lots, have helped manage some of the county’s growth.

“What helped start to limit it is all the changes we’ve done to the comprehensive plan and the [unified development code] that lower density within future communities, a little bit larger homes,” Levent said.

McCoy also said the county has increased its focus on commercial growth. 

“Certainly, the commercial side of growth is happening in a much broader and deeper way than it was 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. “In 2005, when we first started an economic development department, we had, I think, four companies announced they were moving into the county. This past year, we had just a little under 30 announcements.”

Forsyth wasn’t the only county from Georgia to make the lists.

For the 2010-2017 list, Long County had the highest growth percentage ranking in the state at No. 7. Bryan (25th,) Columbia (28th,) Oconee (76th,) Cherokee (80th) and Effingham (96th) counties were also included.

For the growth between 2016 and 2017, Lumpkin (ninth) and Jackson (14th) counties were ahead of Forsyth in percentage of population growth. Union (28th,) Bryan (34th,) Dawson (38th,) Oconee (42 nd,) Pickens (65th,) Columbia (75th,) Paulding (92nd) and Barrow (98th) counties made the list.