Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Statesboro, Georgia
From top to bottom left to right: The Bulloch County Courthouse and Averitt Center for the Arts, Splash in the Boro Water Park, Campus Georgia Southern University, the Emma Kelly Theater
From top to bottom left to right: The Bulloch County Courthouse and Averitt Center for the Arts, Splash in the Boro Water Park, Campus Georgia Southern University, the Emma Kelly Theater
Official seal of Statesboro, Georgia
Location in Bulloch County and the state of Georgia
Location in Bulloch County and the state of Georgia
Statesboro, Georgia is located in the United States
Statesboro, Georgia
Statesboro, Georgia
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°26′43″N 81°46′45″W / 32.44528°N 81.77917°W / 32.44528; -81.77917
CountryUnited States
 • MayorJonathan McCollar
 • City15.31 sq mi (39.64 km2)
 • Land14.99 sq mi (38.84 km2)
 • Water0.31 sq mi (0.81 km2)
253 ft (77 m)
 • City33,438
 • Density2,229.94/sq mi (860.97/km2)
 • Metro
71,214 (US: 95th)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code912
FIPS code13-73256[2]
GNIS feature ID0323541[3]
WebsiteCity of Statesboro

Statesboro is the most populous city in and county seat of Bulloch County, Georgia, United States.[4] Located in the southeastern part of the state, its population was 33,438 at the 2020 census. It is the principal city of the Statesboro micropolitan area, which had 81,099 residents, and is part of the Savannah–Hinesville–Statesboro combined statistical area.

The city was chartered in 1803, starting as a small trading community providing basic essentials for surrounding cotton plantations. This drove the economy throughout the 19th century, both before and after the American Civil War. In 1906, Statesboro was selected as the home of the First District A&M School, a land grant college that eventually developed into Georgia Southern University.

Statesboro inspired the blues song "Statesboro Blues", written by Blind Willie McTell in the 1920s, and covered in a well-known version by the Allman Brothers Band.[5] In 2017, Statesboro was selected in the top three of the national America's Best Communities competition and was named one of nine Georgia "live, work, play" cities by the Georgia Municipal Association.[6][7]


Bulloch County Courthouse

In 1801, George Sibbald of Augusta donated a 9,301-acre (37.64 km2) tract for a centrally located county seat for the growing agricultural community of Bulloch County. The area was developed by white planters largely for cotton plantations that were worked by black slave labor. In December 1803, the Georgia legislature created the town of Statesborough. The community most likely was named after the notion of states' rights, an issue central in the 1800 United States presidential election.[8] In 1866 the state legislature granted a permanent charter to the city, changing the spelling of its name to the present "Statesboro."

During the Civil War and General William T. Sherman's famous March to the Sea through Georgia, a Union officer asked a saloon proprietor for directions to Statesboro. The proprietor replied, "You are standing in the middle of town,"[9] indicating its small size. The soldiers destroyed the courthouse, a log structure that doubled as a barn when court was not in session. After the Civil War, the small town began to grow, and Statesboro has developed as a major town in southeastern Georgia. Many freedmen stayed in the area, working on plantations as sharecroppers and tenant farmers.

Following the Reconstruction era, racial violence of whites against blacks increased. In the era from 1880 to 1930, Georgia had the highest rate of lynchings of any state in the nation.[10] Among them were three black men who were lynched and burned to death on August 16, 1904, near Statesboro. A fourth man was lynched later in the month in Bulloch County. After a white farm family was killed, the white community spread unfounded rumors of black clergy urging blacks to violence against whites, and more than twelve black men were arrested in this case.[11]

Paul Reed and Will Cato were convicted of the Hodge family murders by an all-white jury and sentenced to death on August 16, 1904, but they were abducted that day from the courthouse by a lynch mob and brutally burned to death. Handy Bell, another suspect, was lynched and burned by a mob that night.[12] White violence against blacks did not end; both men and women were physically attacked on the streets. Area newspaper coverage of the trial and lynching had been sensationalized, arousing anger, and two more black men were lynched in August 1904: Sebastian McBride in Portal, another town in Bulloch County, and A.L. Scott in Wilcox County.[13][14][11]

Statesboro City Hall, located downtown in the renovated Jaeckel Hotel building. The hotel served as the center of local social life in the early part of the 20th century.

To escape oppression and violence, many African Americans left Statesboro and Bulloch County altogether, causing local businessmen to worry about labor shortages in the cotton and turpentine industries.[13] African Americans made a Great Migration from the rural South to northern cities in the first half of the 20th century.[11] Local effects can be seen in the drop in Statesboro population growth from 1910 to 1930 on the census tables below in the "Demographics" section.

Around the turn of the century, new businesses in Statesboro included stores and banks built along North, East, South, and West Main streets. In 1908, Statesboro led the world in sales of long-staple Sea Island Cotton, a specialty of the Low Country. Mechanization of agriculture decreased the need for some farm labor. After the boll weevil destroyed the cotton crop in the 1930s, farmers shifted to tobacco. The insect had invaded the South from the west, disrupting cotton cultivation throughout the region. By 1953, however, more than 20 million pounds of tobacco passed through warehouses in Statesboro, then the largest market of the "Bright Tobacco Belt" spanning Georgia and Florida.

The 1906 First District Agricultural & Mechanical School at Statesboro was developed as a land grant college, initiated by federal legislation to support education. Its mission shifted in the 1920s to teacher training; and in 1924 it was renamed as the Georgia Normal School. With expansion of the curriculum to a 4-year program, it was renamed as the South Georgia Teachers College in 1929. Other name changes were to Georgia Teachers College in 1939, and Georgia Southern College in 1959. After this period, it became racially integrated and with development of graduate programs and research in numerous fields, since 1990 it has had university status as Georgia Southern University.


Statesboro is located at 32°26′43″N 81°46′45″W / 32.44528°N 81.77917°W / 32.44528; -81.77917 (32.445147, -81.779234).[15] The city is located in southeastern Georgia along U.S. Routes 80, 25, and 301. US 80 runs northwest to southeast through the city, leading southeast 58 mi (93 km) to Savannah and west-northwest 37 mi (60 km) to Swainsboro. US 25 and 301 run concurrently through the center of town and split upon their junction with US 80, leading south 12 mi (19 km) to Interstate 16 at exit 116. US 25 leads north 29 mi (47 km) to Millen and US 301 north 24 mi (39 km) to Sylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.9 square miles (35.9 km2), of which 13.5 square miles (35.0 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.60%, is water.[16] The city is in the coastal plain region, or Low Country, of Georgia, so it is mainly flat with a few small hills. With an elevation of 250 feet (76 m), the downtown area is one of the highest places in Bulloch County. Pine, oak, magnolia, dogwood, palm, sweetgum, and a variety of other trees can be found in the area.


Statesboro has a humid subtropical climate, according to the Köppen classification. The city experiences very hot and humid summers with average July highs of about 91 degrees and lows around 70. Afternoon thunderstorms associated with the summer heat and humidity can spawn from time to time. Winters are mild with average January highs of 58 degrees and lows of 36 degrees.[17] Winter storms are rare, but they happen periodically, the most recent being an ice storm in January 2018. On February 12, 2010, approximately two inches of snow fell on the city.[18]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
Statesboro racial composition as of 2020[20]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 16,323 48.82%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 13,282 39.72%
Native American 66 0.2%
Asian 634 1.9%
Pacific Islander 34 0.1%
Other/Mixed 1,169 3.5%
Hispanic or Latino 1,930 5.77%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 33,438 people, 10,214 households, and 4,569 families residing in the city.


Emma Kelly Theater

The economy of Statesboro is based on education, manufacturing, and agribusiness sectors. Statesboro serves as a regional economic hub and has more than one billion dollars in annual retail sales.[21] Georgia Southern University is the largest employer in the city, with 6,700 regional jobs tied directly and indirectly to the campus.[citation needed]

Agriculture is responsible for $100 million in annual farm gate revenues.[22]

Statesboro is home to multiple manufacturing facilities. Statesboro Briggs & Stratton Plant is the third-largest employer in the region with 950 employees.[23]

The Development Authority of Bulloch County retains over 100 acres of GRAD (Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development) land at the Gateway Industrial Park. Southern Gateway Park is a newly developed 200-acre tract located at the intersection of U.S. 301 and Interstate 16 in close proximity to the Court of Savannah. Southern Gateway is served by municipal water, sewer and natural gas lines.[24]

GAF, the largest privately owned roofing manufacturer in North America, relocated to Statesboro in the early 21st century.[22]

Arts and culture[edit]

Averitt Center for the Arts

The culture of Statesboro reflects a blend of both its southern heritage and college town identity.[25]

The city has developed a unique culture, common in many college towns, that coexists with the university students in creating an art scene, music scene and intellectual environment. Statesboro is home to numerous restaurants, bars, live music venues, bookstores and coffee shops that cater to its creative college town climate.[26]

The Statesboro Regional Library, part of the Georgia PINES library network

Statesboro's downtown was named one of eight "Renaissance Cities" by Georgia Trend magazine.[27] The downtown area is currently undergoing a revitalization. The Old Bank of Statesboro and Georgia Theater have been adapted with renovation for the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts.[28] It houses the Emma Kelly Theater, named after the local singer, known as the "Lady of 6,000 Songs".[5] The center also contains art studios, conference rooms and an exhibition area. Downtown Statesboro has been featured in several motion pictures including Now and Then (1995) as well as 1969.[29] Georgia Southern offers a variety of cultural options available both for the university and the wider community: the Georgia Southern Symphony, the Georgia Southern Planetarium, Georgia Southern Museum, and the Botanical Gardens at Bland Cottage.[30] Touring groups appear at the Performing Arts Center, and also featured are shows put on by Georgia Southern students and faculty.

Mill Creek Regional Park is a large outdoor recreational facility with athletic fields and a water park, Splash in the Boro.[31]


Paulson Stadium

Georgia Southern Eagles[edit]

The Georgia Southern University Eagles field 17 varsity teams in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and are members of the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference.[32]

Prior to joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, the Eagles were members of the Trans America Athletic Conference (presently known as the ASUN Conference) and the Southern Conference. During their time at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS/I-AA) level, the Eagles football team won an unprecedented six national championships.

Tormenta FC[edit]

South Georgia Tormenta FC fields a professional team in USL League One, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The club's inaugural season was the 2016 season. Games are played at Optim Sports Medicine Field at Tormenta Stadium. The club won the USL League One championship in the 2022 season.[33]


Higher education[edit]

Sweetheart Circle on Georgia Southern University's campus

Georgia Southern University is the city's principal institution of higher learning. The university, a unit of the University System of Georgia (USG), was founded as the First District Agricultural and Mechanical School in 1906 as a land grant college, open only to white students. On July 1, 1990, it became the fifth university of the University System, and as of 2015 is a comprehensive residential university of nearly 20,000 students. The university's graduate programs are offered on campus, at satellite centers, and by distance and on-line delivery. For the past decade, the university has combined a capital building program with beautification of the nearly 700-acre (2.8 km2) campus. The university facilities include a museum of cultural and natural history, a botanical garden, and a center for wildlife education located within the campus grounds. The university's Division I athletic teams, the Georgia Southern Eagles, compete in the Sun Belt Conference.

Two community colleges are also located in Statesboro. East Georgia State College (EGSC), a USG institution based in nearby Swainsboro, operates a satellite center within the campus of Georgia Southern. Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) is a part of the Technical College System of Georgia, providing technical and adult education to area students; OTC is located on U.S. Highway 301 South, outside of the city limits and approximately 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Georgia Southern's campus.

Bulloch County School District[edit]

The Bulloch County Board of Education runs the public school district in Statesboro. The largest school in the city is Statesboro High School. Other public schools include Southeast Bulloch High School, William James Middle School, Langston Chapel Middle School, Southeast Bulloch Middle School, Julia P. Bryant Elementary School, Sallie Zetterower Elementary School, Mattie Lively Elementary School, Langston Chapel Elementary School, and Mill Creek Elementary School. Private schools include Bulloch Academy, Trinity Christian School, and Bible Baptist Christian School. The Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology, part of the CCAT public school district, is a charter school located within the city limits. In 2016 CCAT was renamed Statesboro STEAM - College, Careers, Arts, & Technology Academy.


Statesboro is served by a variety of media outlets in print, radio, television, and the Internet. Statesboro Magazine is the community's premier quality of life publication. The local newspaper is the Statesboro Herald, a daily with a circulation of about 6,000. Other newspapers include the George-Anne produced by Georgia Southern University students, Connect Statesboro, a weekly entertainment publication, and the E11eventh Hour, a twice-a-month entertainment publication. Radio stations include WHKN, WMCD, WPMX, WPTB, WWNS, and WVGS. Statesboro Business Magazine offers Statesboro and area business news, articles, features, jobs, real estate listings and other area business information and reviews. has received numerous state[34] and national awards[35] from the newspaper industry for online innovation.





Approximately 3 miles (5 km) outside of Statesboro is the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport, which can accommodate private aircraft but does not have a control tower or commercial flights. Most travelers use the nearby Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is located 45 miles (72 km) to the east and is served by eight commercial airlines. Statesboro is about three hours by highway from the major Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


Interstate 16 is located 10 miles (16 km) to the south of Statesboro. Statesboro is also served by three U.S. highways: U.S. Highway 301, which runs north–south through the city, U.S. Highway 25, which runs northwest–south through the city, and U.S. Highway 80, which is the main east–west route through the city. The Veterans Memorial Parkway (Highway 301 Bypass and Highway 25 Bypass) forms a near circle around the city.

U.S. Routes:

State Routes:

Pedestrians and cycling[edit]

  • S&S Greenway Trail


Rail service for freight is provided by Norfolk Southern Railway.

Notable people[edit]

Points of interest[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Statesboro, Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau Archived March 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Taisha White; Tandra Smith. "Statesboro places in America's Best Communities contest". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 212. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  9. ^ "Bullochhistory - Timeline". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  10. ^ Meyers, Christopher C (2006). ""Killing Them by the Wholesale": A Lynching Rampage in South Georgia". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. JSTOR. 90 (2): 214–235. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Charlton Moseley and Frederick Brogdon, Review: "A Lynching at Statesboro: The Story of Paul Reed and Will Cato", The Georgia Historical Quarterly Vol. 65, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 104-118, via JSTOR; accessed 29 July 2016
  12. ^ Pittsburg Press, 17 August 1904; accessed 29 July 2016
  13. ^ a b Jenel Few, "Racial strife" Archived 2015-06-01 at the Wayback Machine, Savannah Morning News, 20 August 2000; accessed 29 July 2016
  14. ^ Ralph Ginzburg, 100 Years of Lynching, Black Classic Press (1967/reprint paperback 1996); W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Lynching in the New South, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Statesboro city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  17. ^ "Average Weather for Statesboro, GA - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  21. ^ "Statesboro, Bulloch County: Good Timing", Georgia Trend, July 2010
  22. ^ a b "Statesboro/Bulloch County: Brisk Business - Georgia Trend". June 30, 2012.
  23. ^ "Existing Industries". Archived from the original on April 20, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  24. ^ Shivers, David. " Statesboro | Bulloch County: History Meets High-Tech", Georgia Trend, March 1, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Georgia Southern - Graduate Admissions". Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  26. ^ "Visit Statesboro". Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  27. ^ "Georgia's Renaissance Cities - Georgia Trend". February 2013.
  28. ^ "New arts center opens today in Statesboro : Savannah Morning News". September 8, 2004. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  29. ^ "Now and Then (1995)".
  30. ^ "Attractions", Georgia Southern University[dead link]
  31. ^ "Mill Creek Regional Park" Archived October 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Georgia Southern at a Glance | Newsroom | Georgia Southern University". University Newsroom. May 24, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  33. ^ "Champions – Tormenta rules League One". November 7, 2022. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  34. ^ "Georgia Press Association". Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  35. ^ "Inland Press Association > Contests > Contest Results". April 15, 2013. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013.
  36. ^ "Statesboros Sharma Lewis makes history". Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  37. ^ Bastin, Bruce (1995). Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast. University of Illinois Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-252-06521-7. "Statesboro, Georgia was my real home." McTell to John Lomax in 1940 interview
  38. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. p. 291. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)

External links[edit]