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Study ranks Forsyth County second in financial health
Commissioner: ‘We just do a lot of things right’
financial health

In a recent study by a financial technology company, Forsyth County has been ranked one of the most financially healthy places to live in Georgia.

Based on the county’s debt, bankruptcies, poverty and unemployment rate, the study lists Forsyth County as the second most financially healthy county in Georgia.

According to Forsyth Commissioner Todd Levent, there are many reasons why the county has grown more financially healthy.

“It makes you feel good,” Levent said. “If you look around at our schools, parks, crime rate, sheriff’s office, all award winning. We just do a lot of things right here.”

Added Levent: “If you look at our house prices, they are a lot more. When prices are high, you have more well-off folks coming in to buy them,” he said. 

The study by SmartAsset lists four factors in its assessment of financial health: debt as percentage of income, bankruptcies, poverty rate and unemployment rate.

It lists Forsyth County as having 2.23 percent debt as percentage of income, 1.79 bankruptcies per 1,000 people, a 6.3 percent poverty rate and a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.

According to its website, SmartAsset uses a “holistic approach” to computing the Financial Health Index it uses to rate most financially healthy places.

The website stated that, “to calculate the Financial Health Index, we weighted debt as a percent of income 10 percent, bankruptcies 35 percent, poverty rates 45 percent and unemployment rates 10 percent. We ranked the counties on each of the categories and then indexed each category. We then added those indices together and indexed that.”

This equation gives Forsyth County a score of 80.38 on SmartAsset’s Financial Health Index.  

SmartAsset lists, Oconee, Forsyth and Fayette counties as the three most financially healthy counties in the state, quoting the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2015 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts as the sources of its data.