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The Triad could outpace Charlotte and the Triangle

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Survey: N.C. metro areas to see job growth

Firms in 3 zones expect to add workers in 2004

Associated Press

REENSBORO - G North Carolina's largest metro areas should see a strong economy in 2004, if a new business poll is an accurate indication.

A survey of 1,481 companies in Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle determined that all three regions should see higher employment in the months ahead.

The Triad (the Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem area) could experience an employment growth rate of 6.9 percent, with 4.7 percent for greater Charlotte and 3 percent for the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), according to the National Center for Business and Economic Research.

More than 25 percent of the companies surveyed in the Triad -- the most of any region -- said they anticipated adding employees, the survey said.

The figures released Monday surprised Triad-area experts on the economy.

"It is very good news that there are a lot of optimistic business people in the Triad," said Gary Shoesmith, a professor of economics at the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.

About 23 percent of Charlotte-area companies surveyed anticipate adding workers, while 18 percent of Raleigh-Durham firms look to add employees.

The person who conducted the survey acknowledges the initial data could be too glowing.

"This was just a taste of what we were finding," said Scott Tobiassen, director of survey operations for the center, based in San Diego, Calif. "You have to be very cautious when looking at a preliminary report."

The survey, designed to determine the current state of business in the Piedmont, will be given to area chambers of commerce so they can take steps to support local firms.

Tobiassen said he expects job growth in the Triad in manufacturing, transportation, utilities and business services.

He anticipates job growth numbers to fluctuate before the survey is finished.

Still, he said, "it appears the confidence level of growth is up in North Carolina compared to other regions I surveyed a year ago."

Meanwhile, Shoesmith said he anticipates "the Triad will be growing in a start-stop, uneven manner."

He expects jobs will be lost in textiles, furniture and tobacco and added in banking and finance, health care and business services.

The survey, performed Aug. 21 to Nov. 21, found 50 percent of the Triad companies expect revenues to grow next year, with 49 percent for Charlotte and 43 percent for the Triangle.

Eighty-eight percent of Charlotte-area companies reported being profitable last year, followed by the Triangle at 86 percent and the Triad at 85 percent.

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It will be interesting to see if NC ends up like TX with two cities that compete for domination, and neither wins. Austin, the third horse, along with SA seems like it will become the 3rd city, further complicating the race no dominated by the other two.

I always think of Charlotte as the major city of NC. Is that the general belief in NC?

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I think it's funny. Triangle news speaks of Greensboro or Charlotte in the same tone that they speak of Selma or Fuquay-Varina...

At the same time, Charlotte media is no better. I remember the mini-tornado that hit a Cary daycare facility in the South Hills mall area about a year or so ago (across the street from Crossroads Ford truck center)... The coverage in Charlotte showed picture of the damage, but the caption said "Wake County"... no mention of "Cary", "The Triangle", or even a mention of "the Raleigh area". hahahaha

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I always found the Charlotte vs. Raleigh conflict idiotic and immature, to say the least. If this state is a great place to live is not [exclusively] because of the aforementioned cities. On the other hand, both cities contribute to the well-being of North Carolina and residents of both areas should be thankful for having the other place in their state. As a resident of Raleigh, I am grateful for having Charlotte in North Carolina. I prefer living here, so there is my vote, but I love Charlotte, as well.

As far as the Triad is concerned, I will be very happy to see it growing into a larger power. While some competition may be inevitable, there will be more benefits for the entire state than damages, in my opinion. Higher job growth for the Triad will secure that all major NC metros remain competitive and prosperous. Just my 2 cents.

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It's weird that many years ago, before I got the Internet and started searching for city/skyscraper info, I didn't realize that Charlotte was the largest city in the state. I thought Charlotte was about the size of Wilmington or Asheville. Obviously I live in the eastern part of the state. I expect the Raleigh news to talk about Charlotte, but not too much. Charlotte's metro is only about 500,000 people larger than Raleigh's. If Charlotte had several million more people then I would expect much more coverage.

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It seems like when Greensboro makes national headlines, they never say Greensboro, they say North Carolina. I remember when the news broke ou about the box cutter kid from Guilford College, they would always say in North Carolina as if Greensboro didn't even exist. The Fox News channel was the only network that actually said in Greensboro , NC. The 3 metros of NC usually report news thats exclusively to their area. They'll report news about another metro if its major enough. One thing I have notice is that the inter metro rivalry between Greensboro and Winston-Salem even exist in the local news media. Winston-Salem news (tv and New print) seems to focus on more negative news about Greensboro than positive news. When I look at the Winston-Salem Journal you always seem to read news about certain companies in Greensboro cutting jobs but they never seem to report the news when Greensboro adds jobs or when new developments are coming to downtown. Its the same thing vice-versa with Greensboro. You never see Greensboro news report on alot of the Great things that are happening in WInston-Salem that are definately news worthy. I remember when WXII channel 12 of Winston-Salem reported on the development of Greensboro's downtown ballpark, they made it sound like it wasn't going to happen. When in fact it was the very opposite. Channel 12 was also alttle deceptive in their reporting when they said private backers would fund most of the construction of the ballpark. That left viewers with the impression that tax dollars would have tobe used to fund the rest. The truth is that its being funded completely with private dollars. I think both cities get a little envious of the other when something great happen downtown or within the citiy in general. Greensboro and Winston-Salem are definately the greatest intermetro rivalary in the Carolinas. I think because both cities are so close in size this rivary comes naturally. Both cities are wanting to be the "Charlotte" of the Triad and its been very difficult to get the two cities to work together on anything. These two cities are only about 5 miles apart yet they seem to want live in their own little world.

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monsoon, I am in total agreement with you. A high-speed rail network would definitely help the 5 largest cities of North Carolina unite and create a stronger bond, instead of competing with each other. Given the financial state of NC, I do not see this happening any time soon :(

Cityboi, it is all about perception... People get more educated now that they used to before. Out of all the debates we've had in the past we must have learned that every city has something unique to offer and the ONLY way to avoid misjudging a place is to learn more about it. Sure, we all want to see our place of residence grow into a top destination... the greatest place to live, if you will. However, every city has its 15 minutes of fame and then another one becomes the center for another 15 minutes. Someday we should all organize a tour of North Carolina; get together in a small bus we can rent and tour this beautiful state. Then we can all sit down and exchange views. I know it sounds silly, but what else can we do to create the bond required? Arguing with residents of Nashville, Washington, Miami, or Philadelphia as to which place has better future, or more glorious past, won't help. People who live in North Carolina should develop interest about the rest of the state and not only on the places they live in. Good connectivity between the major metros (Charlotte, Triad, Triangle, Asheville and Wilmington) should help create a unified North Carolina... but that's way ahead of us.

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I remember reading the Greensboro New and Record's Triad New Resident guide and they praised Greensboro and said all the wonderful things to do there, listing every attraction and thing to do. For Winston-Salem the made the city sound bad and only listed a few of the biggest attractions there such as Reynold House Museum of American Art and Old Salem. I found that odd and it turned me away from reading or trusting the News and Record. The Journal does seem to cover big Greensboro news subjects in a positive light, but they are reported as regional. To understand this, you have to understand who subscribes to the Journal. The Journal is the major newspaper for Northwest North Carolina. That is their market and their growth area. I think all papers like negative news, since it brings in the most readers.

The Journal is also negative on downtown development in Winston-Salem. They seem to look for any reason a project won't work. They should praise development, but they don't. They will go off subject to find some reason why a project will fail. If they see a problem, no matter how small, they blow it up and cover it as front page news. For the downtown movie theatre complex, they talked about how a movie theatre showing independent films on the north side closed and this was evidence that the movie theatre wouldn't work. When in reality, the independent movies were moving to the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem and leaving their bad location on the far north side. Of course they also said independent films wouldn't work, but they did. I'm starting to not trust the Journal for Winston-Salem news! :o They didn't even bother covering the African American Small Business Center and Airport Business Park meeting and announcement. They had a small write-up on it two days before the meeting, but didn't say anything after that. I had to ask another forum member in Winston-Salem what happened! :huh:

When I stay the night in the Triad, I usually stay at the hotel on 1st Street (room 501 Uptown View :D ) in Winston-Salem and watch the TV news. I found all channels to be pro-Triad. In fact the Greensboro and High Point Channels have studios in downtown Winston-Salem. Channel 8 has a studio on Fifth Street in Winston-Salem that's as important as their High Point studio. Channel 2 has a studio in One Salem Tower, across from Old Salem in Brookstown on the strollway. You can see Channel 2 trucks/cars and look into their studio from the strollway. I think ABC 45 and UPN 48 in eastern Winston-Salem (near the Pepsi Bottling Plant) may be pro Winston-Salem, but I don't think they have good ratings to begin with. I didn't watch their news on my last trip to Winston-Salem. I watch channel 8 on my visits. If I lived there, I think I would watch channel 8. Channel 8 almost seems like a Winston-Salem channel and they have great coverage of all three cities.

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It funny because the UPN Station is in Winston-Salem yet they portray themselves as being in Greensboro. The Media in both Greensboro and Winston-Salem are suppose have regional coverage. FOX 8 News in High Point is arguably the most popular news station in the Triad. One reason is because they have a 10 pm news slot while the others are at 11pm. Many people from all Triad Cities tune in. Another reason FOX 8 is popular is because the news is balanced between whats going on in the 3 Triad cities. WXII 12 seems to report mainly on things that are happening in Winston-Salem and WFMY 2 seems to report things that are mainly happening in Greensboro. However WFMY does do a better job than WXII in covering more regional news. WFMY also has a studio in Lexington. FOX 8 covers an eqaul balance of news happening all across the Triad and I think thats a big reason ratings are so high for FOX 8. WXII in Winston-Salem has lagged behind WFMY and FOX 8 for many years. I think WXII should report more news thats happening in High Point and Greensboro. to attract more viewers from from Guilford County. Guilford is the most densly populated county in the Triad and that should be WXII's target if they want to become number 1 in the Triad TV Market. However, WXII does have a contract with the Greensboro based PAX station and the 6pm wxii news is aired on PAX at 7:00 and the 11 pm news is aired at 11:30 on PAX. This could be a way WXII is trying to get its foot in the door to attract Guilford County viewers. Even though I look at WFMY news during live broadcasts I always look at wxii replay on PAX TV. When the WXLV Winston-Salem news was on ABC, they also had eqaul coverage of what was happening all across the Triad. It was difficult to figure out which city the station was located in based on the news the stateion reported. WFMY, FOX 8 and WXII have just been around for along time and its difficult for new stations to attract a large viewing audience. The first TV news stations in North Carolina were Greensboro's WFMY News 2 and an NBC affilate station in Charlotte. Both those station came on air at the same time back in the 1950's

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12 (NBC), 16 (PAX), 26 (PBS), 45 (ABC) and 48 (UPN) have their studios or offices in Winston-Salem.

2 (CBS) 20 (WB) have their studios or offices in Greensboro.

8 (Fox) has their studio in High Point.

61 (TBN) has their office in Kernersville.

Leaders in the "Car Dealer Demo" 25-54.

Channel 8 has the leading 6 am newcast

Channel 8 has the leading 5 pm newscast

Channel 2 has the leading 6 pm newcast

Channel 8 has the leading 10 pm newscast

Channel 12 has the leading 11 pm newscast.

That car dealer demo is the prize to win in both radio and tv. It looks like Channel 8 is the overall winner. I can see why. It's a good all-around newscast.

Channel 12 is now reporting news from Greensboro and has taken several advertisers and personalities from Channel 2. During the February Nielsen, Channel 12 beat Channel 2 overall. In that book, Channel 2 was last in every time slot. The main reason was a loss of personalities from channel 2 to channels 8 and 12. I think Channel 2 has also stepped up coverage of Winston-Salem. They are just now starting to recover some of their lost audience. Also channel 2 lost their main lead-in show to channel 12. There's still a lot of money to be made by winning half of the metro. It's cheaper because you only have one studio and less staff. Also you can tell advertisers in a region that your #1 in the area they target. These two regions are like their own seperate metros with advertisers wanting to reach their market inside those areas. That's why 12 and 2 have done that for so long.

As far as density goes, Forsyth's population density is 747.24 and Guilford's is 648.34. Forsyth is one of the state's smallest counties and has the fourth highest population. Guilford is one of the larger counties in the state, with only the third highest. This gives Forsyth County a higher population density.

Still Winston-Salem and Greensboro are two seperate places. You have Greensboro-High Point-Burlington-Lexington-Ashboro-Reidsville. Then you have Winston-Salem-Yadkinville-Danbury. Both are seperated and share very little in common with each other. Channel 2 is at an advantage, since most of the land and population is on their side. Winston-Salem's side is only 450,000 people and half of that is inside the city limits and about three quarters of that is in Forsyth County. The rest are farms and small communities in the mountains.

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Forsyth is higher than Guilford because Forsyth is smaller than Guilford in land area. But the center of the Triad's populational density is in Greensboro near the airport. its the populational numbers within the county that WXII should be focused on. WFMY has lost some personalities to wxii. but over all WFMY still is in a cat and mouse race with FOX 8 WGHP for 1st place. The populational numbers are the big reason. People tend to look at the news station that is located in their community or county. WFMY also has alot of viewers in Asheboro, Burlington and other some what populated comunities north, east and south of Guilford County. Geography plays a role in that because cities like Burlington and Asheboro are closer to Greensboro. But I think overall in the Triad Market, FOX 8 may edge out as the number 1 news cast. It usually is back and forth between FOX 8 and WFMY. Before Lee Kinard retired as the head news anchor at WFMY, WFMY was always on top. When he left, ratings began to slip.

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here is an interesting comparison chart between Guilford and Forsyth in the 2000 census. The numbers on the left are Forsyth and the numbers on th right are Guilford. This does show the density of Forsyth being higher.

Population Forsyth Guilford

Population 1990 265,878 347,420

Population 2000 306,067 421,048

Population Density 2000 747 647

Percent Population Change 1990-2000 15.1% 21.2%

Percent 0-17 23.9% 23.7%

Percent 65 and over 12.6% 11.8%

Median Age 36 34.9

Percent Born in NC 61.9% 61.2%

Income and Poverty Forsyth Guilford

Median Household Income 2000 $42,097 $42,618

Per Capita Income 2000 $23,023 $23,340

Population in Poverty 2000 32,699 43,227

Poverty Rate 2000 11.0% 10.6%

Child Poverty Rate 15.1% 13.8%

Elderly Poverty Rate 9.7% 9.9%

Percent Receiving Food Stamps 4.4% 4.9%

Housing Forsyth Guilford

Percent Unaffordable Housing 21.4% 23.9%

Percent Substandard Housing 0.1% 0.1%

Home-ownership Rate 65.6% 62.7%

Health Forsyth Guilford

Physicians Per Population 37.3 21.9

Infant Mortality Rate 11.6 9.2

Percent Uninsured 14.8% 14.9%

Emergency Room Visit Rate 399 340

Education Forsyth Guilford

Students Passing End of Grade Exams 72.2% 72.6%

White Students Passing End of Grade Exams 87.2% 87.5%

Black Students Passing End of Grade Exams 53.2% 55.8%

American Indian Students Passing End of Grade Exams 67.3% 73.2%

Asian Students Passing End of Grade Exams 86.7% 73.5%

Hispanic Students Passing End of Grade Exams 50.6% 63.9%

Per Student Expenditures K-12 $6,721 $6,819

Dropout Rate 6.1% 3.8%

Percent with Less Than High School Education 18.0% 17.0%

Percent with High School Diploma 27.0% 25.1%

Percent with Bachelor's Degree or Higher 28.7% 30.3%

Labor Force and Employment Forsyth Guilford

Percent Working Age Population 63.5% 64.5%

Unemployment Rate 2002 5.6% 6.4%

Female Labor Force Participation Rate 60.1% 63.3%

Percent Working in Manufacturing 16.5% 17.1%

Average Wage for Manufacturing $45,655 $40,231

Percent Professionals 35.6% 34.7%

Percent Working in Production 15.9% 15.5%

Percent Working in Sales 25.9% 28.8%

Total Announced Layoffs 2002 1,515 1,981

Agriculture and Natural Resources Forsyth Guilford

Total Agricultural Receipts $15,666,000 $76,871,000

Total Farms 1997 621 920

Percent Family Owned Farms 93.4% 89.8%

Average Farm Size 1997 82 121

Tobacco Dependency Ranking High Medium

Other Forsyth Guilford

Crime Rate 69.7 62.9

Property Tax Rate $0.69 $0.67

Ability to Pay 57 64

Percent Employed in Traditional Industries 6.2% 6.4%

Voting Rate 58.1% 58.7%

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Here is a wake/mecklanburg comparison. (Wake of the left Mecklenburg on the right)

Population Wake Mecklenburg

Population 1990 423,380 511,433

Population 2000 627,846 695,454

Population Density 2000 752 1,318

Percent Population Change 1990-2000 48.3% 36.0%

Percent 0-17 25.1% 25.1%

Percent 65 and over 7.4% 8.6%

Median Age 32.9 33.1

Percent Born in NC 47.1% 46.2%

Income and Poverty Wake Mecklenburg

Median Household Income 2000 $54,988 $50,579

Per Capita Income 2000 $27,004 $27,352

Population in Poverty 2000 47,685 62,652

Poverty Rate 2000 7.8% 9.2%

Child Poverty Rate 8.6% 11.5%

Elderly Poverty Rate 8.9% 9.3%

Percent Receiving Food Stamps 3.1% 5.0%

Housing Wake Mecklenburg

Percent Unaffordable Housing 23.7% 25.4%

Percent Substandard Housing 0.0% 0.1%

Home-ownership Rate 65.9% 62.3%

Health Wake Mecklenburg

Physicians Per Population 22.2 24.4

Infant Mortality Rate 7.8 7.2

Percent Uninsured 12.9% 14.2%

Emergency Room Visit Rate 271 407

Education Wake Mecklenburg

Students Passing End of Grade Exams 84.6% 71.8%

White Students Passing End of Grade Exams 93.7% 89.3%

Black Students Passing End of Grade Exams 63.7% 54.9%

American Indian Students Passing End of Grade Exams 81.1% 64.1%

Asian Students Passing End of Grade Exams 95.1% 81.2%

Hispanic Students Passing End of Grade Exams 70.2% 59.7%

Per Student Expenditures K-12 $6,584 $7,298

Dropout Rate 3.6% 5.2%

Percent with Less Than High School Education 10.7% 13.8%

Percent with High School Diploma 17.8% 19.9%

Percent with Bachelor's Degree or Higher 43.9% 37.1%

Labor Force and Employment Wake Mecklenburg

Percent Working Age Population 67.5% 66.4%

Unemployment Rate 2002 5.3% 5.9%

Female Labor Force Participation Rate 66.3% 65.3%

Percent Working in Manufacturing 7.0% 8.8%

Average Wage for Manufacturing $47,791 $47,913

Percent Professionals 47.0% 39.5%

Percent Working in Production 7.9% 11.1%

Percent Working in Sales 26.0% 29.2%

Total Announced Layoffs 2002 4,466 4,372

Agriculture and Natural Resources Wake Mecklenburg

Total Agricultural Receipts $62,085,000 $137,175,000

Total Farms 1997 772 295

Percent Family Owned Farms 89.2% 91.2%

Average Farm Size 1997 146 98

Tobacco Dependency Ranking Low Low

Other Wake Mecklenburg

Crime Rate 45.1 73.9

Property Tax Rate $0.56 $0.84

Ability to Pay 100

Percent Employed in Traditional Industries 1.6% 2.4%

Voting Rate 67.4% 57.2%

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The numbers aren't much different on good and bad, even though Guilford has two major cities. I would expect that to be a major advantage, but it doesn't appear to be. I also expected East Winston to be a more "Hard Core Ghetto" than the numbers reflect, but the neighborhoods over there were all great places to explore, with little fear.

Back on subject, here is what Myles Away said on the original subject at SSP. It looks to me like Raleigh is still ahead, so Durham must be holding the Triangle back a little? Again, notice that Greensboro-High Point is listed as it's own area. I do believe that the true "Triad" is Greensboro-High Point-Burlington. All of those cities have city limits in Guilford County (this is a major flaw in the numbers above, since Forsyth only has one big city) and Greensboro-High Point-Burlington are connected by development. I also believe that Winston-Salem (seperated by forests and farms from the other big three in the Triad) is it's own metro area. When I talk about Winston-Salem, I talk about it as it's own city in it's own metro area.

Percentage of companies adding workers in the first quarter

Raleigh: 67%

Winston-Salem: 48%

Statewide Average: 19%

Greensboro-High Point: 13%

Percentage of companies cutting workers (layoffs) in the first quarter

Greensboro: 23%

High Point: 17%

Winston-Salem: 10%

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Most Charlotte stations will send a reporter to the Legislature in Raleigh when there is a major State Legislative issue or protest. WBTV used to have a Raleigh buereu but shut that down about 10 years ago. WCNC has a weekly live report from Raleigh covering state legislative news, the reporter is a Charlotte Observer writer, and they use the WNCN studios in Raleigh.

Most NC stations send reporters to cover the Panthers games in Charlotte...SC stations from the GSP and CAE markets also show up for those.

At the same time, Charlotte will send reporters to the Triangle to cover the big basketball and football games at the colleges there (NC State, UNC, Duke).

On a regular basis, most newscasts in NC devote a few minutes to cover the top stories from across NC and SC... WCNC in Charlotte actually says "Now we Cover the Carolinas using the resources of our 9 NBC sister stations, and they actually have logos of all those stations in the background.

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I still think of the Triad as Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point because this is the classification for the "combined MSA". If you talk to leaders or any body that lives in the Triad cities, they still think of themselves as one metro and not two seperate metros. Nothing has really changed though except the government has divided the Triad up into two "sub-metros". Its like a city being divided up into neighborhoods or wards. You may be in different neighborhhoods but you're in the same city. Obviously a few leaders in Winston-Salem would like to sever any ties to Greensboro so Winston-Salem can be more noticed as a core city but the truth is, thats not going to happen. The two cities are only going to grow closer together and sooner or later those sub-metros won't even exist. Greensboro and Winston-Salem are only about 5 miles apart and people should stop talking about the cities like they are 50 miles apart. Greensboro and Winston-Salem are just going to have to share the glory and work together as one unit like the Triangle Thats the only way the Triad will emerge into the national spot light. As individual cities, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point can't do it alone and it doesn't matter which city has the international airport, the most interstate highways or how many skyscrapers a downtown has because none of that really matters, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point are not where they should be and the cities need to work together. The Triad will never become a one core city like Atlanta where Greensboro is the sole core city of the Triad or Winston-Salem as the sole core city. The Triad will be more like Tampa/St. Petersburg, Dallas/Ft. Worth and the Hampton Roads area in Virginia where there is no clear defined urban core.

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I wonder when Mecklenburg county will get to 1 million? In comparison to Atlanta, whats the population of Fulton County?

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Fulton County is 825,431 people in 529 square miles. Mecklenburg has 526 square miles, if you want to compare. Most of southern Fulton is farm land, but that's developing fast. South Fulton is one of metro Atlanta's hottest residential markets right now. It's so close to the city and they are expanding water and sewer in that area.

Georgia Counties: (July 1, 2002 US Census Estimate)

Fulton 825,431 (Atlanta)

DeKalb 676,996 (Atlanta)

Cobb 651,485 (Atlanta)

Gwinnett 650,771 (Atlanta)

Clayton 252,733 (Atlanta)

Chatham 233,702 (Savannah)

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