According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,118 km˛ (432 mi˛). 1,105 km˛ (427 mi˛) of it is land and 13 km˛ (5 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 1.19% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 23,456 people, 9,071 households, and 6,694 families residing in the county. The population density is 21/km˛ (55/mi˛). There are 11,924 housing units at an average density of 11/km˛ (28/mi˛). The racial makeup of the county is 93.63% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.26% Pacific Islander, 3.76% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 7.74% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 9,071 households out of which 30.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.10% are married couples living together, 8.40% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.20% are non-families. 22.20% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.60% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.57 and the average family size is 2.96.
In the county the population is spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 103.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 101.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $35,140, and the median income for a family is $38,863. Males have a median income of $29,198 versus $21,070 for females. The per capita income for the county is $17,147. 12.50% of the population and 9.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 12.60% are under the age of 18 and 16.90% are 65 or older.
As it was in 1854
Gilmer is a county in the North part of Georgia, bordering on Tennessee, has an area of 792 square miles. It is intersected in the N. E. part by the Tocoa river, and also drained by the head waters of the Connasauga, Coosawattee, and Ellijay rivers. The names of the principal creeks are Talking Rock, Mountain Town, and Carticay. The surface is diversified by mountain ridges connected with the Blue Ridge, and is remarkable for picturesque scenery. Some of these elevations are known as the Cohuttah, Frog, Bald, Tallona, and Sharptop mountains. The soil of the valleys is fertile, and the highlands produce pasture. Indian corn, oats, rye, and potatoes are the staples. In 1850, this county produced 214,193 bushels of corn; 24,894 of oats, and 20,097 of sweet potatoes. There were 2 grist mills, 3 saw mills, and 1 tannery. It contained 10 churches, 205 pupils attending public schools, and 30 attending an academy. Gilmer county is remarkably rich in minerals. Gold mines are worked in several places, and are productive. Many persons are employed in quarrying marble, which is of fine quality; and the county contains an abundance of good iron. Named in honor of George R. Gilmer, who was governor of Georgia in 1830. Capital (County Seat) is Ellijay. Population, 8440, of whom 8240 were free, and 200 were slaves.
Page 429, New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States. Baldwin, Thomas and J. Thomas, M.D. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Grambo, & Co., 1854.
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