QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more. In early 1932, as an austerity measure to save money during the Great Depression, Fulton County annexed Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the southwest, to centralize administration. This resulted in the county's current elongated shape along 80 miles (130 km) of the Chattahoochee River. On May 9 of that year, neighboring Cobb County ceded the city of Roswell and the land east of Willeo Creek to Fulton County to make it more adjacent to the land ceded by Milton County.
In the second half of the 20th century, Atlanta and Fulton County became the location of numerous national and international headquarters of leading companies, attracting highly qualified employees from across the country. This led to the city and county becoming more cosmopolitan and diverse. In 1992, Fulton County elected the first African-American woman, Jacquelyn Harrison Barrett, to the position of sheriff in United States history. According to the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 534 square miles (1,380 km), of which 527 square miles (1,360 km) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km) (1.4%) is water.
The county is located in the Piedmont region of the state, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the north. The shape of the county resembles a sword, with the handle in the northeastern part and the tip in the southwestern part. Fulton County is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners, whose members are elected from single-member districts. The county has a county administration system, in which the daily operation of the county is carried out by a manager appointed by the board.
The chairman of the Board of Commissioners is generally elected to office throughout the county. The vice-president is elected by his peers once a year. Since the 1970s, residents of Sandy Springs had waged a long battle to incorporate their community as a city, which would make it independent of the control of the county council. Atlanta Democrats repeatedly blocked them in the state legislature, but when control of the state government passed to suburban Republicans after the 2002 and 2004 elections, the movement to build the city gained momentum.
Some residents of the northern suburbs of Fulton have advocated that they be allowed to separate and reform Milton County, after the county that was absorbed by Fulton County in 1932 during the Great Depression. Fulton County, compared to other counties in the state, is physically large. Its population is larger than that of each of the six smallest United States. Nearly all major highways and all major interstate highways in the Atlanta metropolitan area pass through Fulton County.
Outside of Atlanta proper, the Georgia 400 is the main highway that crosses north northwardly from Fulton and Interstate 85 to its southwest corner. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport extends on both sides of its border with Clayton County to its south and is the busiest airport in the world. The Fulton County airport, often called Charlie Brown Field in honor of politician Charles M. Brown, is located just west-southwest from the Atlanta city limit.
The county manages it as a municipal or general aviation airport, serving business and private aircraft. The Atlanta-Fulton County library system began in 1902 as the Carnegie Library in Atlanta, one of the first public libraries in the United States. In 1935, the City of Atlanta and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners signed a contract under which library service was extended to all parts of Fulton County. Then, in 1982, Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment that authorized the transfer of responsibility for the library system from the city to the county.
On July 1st 1983, the transfer finally became official and the system was renamed the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. In 2002 after one hundred years providing library service to the public, a major renovation was completed at the Central Library. The ages, races and population density within Fulton County tell a story about changes in demographic trends over time. Four cities include land outside the county, but they still have their government center and most land within Fulton County.
State Senator Vincent Fort strongly opposes any plan to divide the county. Approximately 90% of the city lies within Fulton County; while the other 10%, lies within DeKalb County. Before that vote North Fulton had discussed forcing residents from South Fulton to become a city so that Fulton County would abandon its municipal services business. The race most likely to be living below poverty level in Fulton County is native race with 33.16% below poverty level; while white race has 6.3% below poverty level.
Fulton County has a total sales tax rate at 7%, which includes 4% state sales tax rate; 1% SPLOST; 1% housing exemption; and 1% MARTA tax rate. He has voted for Democrats in every presidential election since 1876 except for those in 1928 and 1972 when George McGovern failed to win a single county in Georgia. Atlanta is largest city within Fulton County occupying narrow central section thus geographically dividing northern and southern parts. The main opponents for proposed division are those who are against any change.