Ultimate Pros and Cons List of Living In Georgia

the pros and cons of living in georgia

Georgia’s unmatched beauty and rich opportunities make it a desirable destination for those in transition. When you think of the State of Georgia, the busy city of Atlanta probably springs to mind. But the Peach State is far more than a bustling metropolis. Though, is it an ideal place to live? It depends. As with any place, there are pros and cons to living in Georgia.

Some of the pros of living in Georgia include a low cost of living, mild weather with four seasons, a variety of terrain and landscapes, diverse culture, and ease of travel. The cons include sometimes extreme weather, poor healthcare, and the Georgia “gnat line.”

This article delves into the pros and cons of living in Georgia. It discusses living costs, weather, landscape, culture, travel, healthcare, and crime. Read on to learn more.

The Pros of Living in Georgia

Georgia is the eighth-most populated state. With over 10 million residents, it’s safe to say that there are many positives to living in the Empire State of the South.

Georgia Has a Low Cost of Living

Families, couples, or singles who desire to live in an area with a reasonable cost of living may benefit from choosing Georgia as their permanent place of residence.

Georgia’s cost of living regularly ranks lower than the national average. It’s listed as the fifth-lowest cost of living in the United States, and household income continues to rise. With a median household income of $61,000 in 2020, Georgians experienced a 9% income increase since 2015.

As far as home costs, Georgia sits below the national average.

The average home cost in Georgia is roughly $269,000, versus the national average home value of $337,560. Median rent prices in Georgia are also below the national average, with the exception of Atlanta.

The State Boasts Comfortable Weather

Those looking to permanently relocate to a warmer climate may find that Georgia is an ideal state to live in. Overall, weather in the Peach State remains mild year-round. According to the University of Georgia, the state experienced an average temperature of 64.5°F (18°C) in 2021.

Average precipitation in 2021 was 57.06” (145 cm), which is approximately 7” (18 cm) above the long-term average, with the wettest areas being the coastal plains and the northwestern corner.

However, because of Georgia’s differing terrain, temperatures and precipitation vary by region. For example, northern Georgia experiences summer temperatures at or near the upper 80s (30.5-31.6°C). In the northern Blue Ridge Mountains, however, the temperatures are lower, around 85°F (29°C), and rarely go above 91°F (33°C).

Georgia Experiences Four Seasons

In addition to the relatively mild temperatures, Georgia experiences four seasons.

Spring in Georgia is a magical (though short) sight to behold. Around the state, adorning the grasses, fields, and cities with vibrancy, are flowering life including:

  • Azaleas
  • Hyacinths
  • Tulips
  • Spanish bluebells
  • Larkspur

Light pink and white cherry blossoms explode in bloom during March and April.

Summers in Georgia are warm and feature temperatures in the upper 80s (30.5-31.6°C) and mid 90s (32-34°C), with the more than occasional afternoon shower. Peaches and other fruits ripen during these warmer months, often appearing for sale in pop-up roadside produce stands.

Sunflowers, Shasta daisies, and purple coneflowers spring up, and the native Magnolias, which are a symbol of southern beauty, show off their fragrant blossoms.

Autumn, too, produces quite the view, especially near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rusted orange, vibrant yellow, deep purple, and crimson leaves paint the landscape as the weather becomes chillier.

Autumn temperatures average between 64 to 83°F (17.8 to 28.3°C).

Georgia winters are mild compared to northern states, and snow is uncommon, but not unheard of. When it does snow, it’s usually no more than a dusting, unless you live in a mountainous region.

Average winter temperatures in Georgia sit between 55 to 58°F (12.8 to 14.4°C).

The Peach State Has a Beautiful, Diverse Landscape

From the shimmering, sandy coastline to the muggy, green swamps, Georgia offers a vast, expansive landscape that differs in terrain. There are mountains, beaches, and forests all over the state.

The diverse terrain provides a multitude of outdoor activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Golf
  • Sports
  • Mountain climbing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting

Trees and Forests

About 67% of Georgia is forested land. With over 15 billion trees in the state, nature touches all of the state, even the cities. In fact, Atlanta is known as the “City in a Forest.” The tree-to-concrete ratio is unlike any other bustling city in the country.

Over 47% of Atlanta boasts a lush tree canopy.


Georgia’s mountain range, the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretches from the northeast corner to the westernmost part of the state.

It’s Georgia’s highest mountain range, and it offers awe-inspiring views in addition to a multitude of outdoor recreation. From kayaking and canoeing to camping and hiking, there’s no limit to adventurous fun in the Georgia hills.


With nearly 500 swamps in the Peach State, visitors are certain to witness some awe-inspiring biodiversity:

  • Bald Cypress trees
  • Water lilies
  • Floating hearts
  • Minks
  • Herons
  • Alligators
  • Turtles

In fact, swamps, marshes, and bogs are Georgia’s most important ecosystems and create the habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals.

Coast and Beaches

Georgia’s coastline spans roughly 110 miles (177 km) and boasts over a dozen barrier islands. Even if you live at the westernmost point in Georgia, the coast is only four to five hours away. A beach vacation is always within reach and relatively affordable, thanks to Georgia’s low cost of living.

If you are interested in Georgia beaches, hold up for a second. I encourage you to check out this article I wrote on the closest beaches to Augusta, GA.

Georgia’s Rich Cultural Identity

Residents stand by their “southern charm”, continually expressing it through southern hospitality. Atlanta, in particular, is a melting pot of diverse people and cultures.

Georgia is notable for its multiple distinct neighborhoods that include diverse places of worship, eateries, and attractions. Museums and cultural attractions are featured throughout the state, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

In addition, Georgia provides a diverse arts and theater scene.

Ease of Travel Locally, Nationally, and Internationally

With multiple airports, interstates, and public transportation systems, it’s easy to arrive in and get around Georgia. The well-connected transportation system makes for smooth travel locally, nationally, and internationally.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, and the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport transports travelers directly to the Georgia coastline for a day at the beach. With four major interstate highways, it’s easy to get anywhere in the state.

Public transportation includes the:

  • Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in Atlanta
  • Chatham Area Transit (CAT) in Savannah
  • Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) in several other cities

The Cons of Living in Georgia

While there are many upsides to living in the Empire State of the South, there are also some drawbacks to living in Georgia.

Georgia Has a Poor Healthcare System

Georgia has a consistently low-performing healthcare system when compared to other states. Georgia has the third-highest number of uninsured patients in the country and the tenth-lowest number of primary care doctors per 100,000 residents.

Infant and maternal mortality and preventable hospital visit rates are also exceptionally high. Senior healthcare ranks second-worst among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., ahead of only Oklahoma. Additionally, rural areas have poor access to healthcare.

The State Experiences High Crime Rates

Violent crime in Georgia sits at 12% below the national average, but the property crime rate is substantially higher at 17% above the national average.

Georgia ranks as the ninth-most dangerous state in the United States, with property crimes and theft being the most frequent unlawful acts. Atlanta, in particular, has one of the highest crime rates in the United States. The chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in ATL is around 4.54%.

The Peach State Has Severe Weather

While Georgia’s weather is mild and comfortable compared to states further north and south, humidity stays high mostly year-round. When combined with oppressive temperatures, this can make for an extremely unpleasant environment.

In addition, pollen is heavy in the warmer months, so Georgia may not be the best place to live for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Georgia also experiences its fair share of dangerous weather, and severe weather is possible every month. In 2021, five different tropical storms impacted the state, with each adding to Georgia’s annual precipitation. Additional rainfall often comes from gulf coast storms, even if they don’t directly impact the state.

Bands of rain often float across Georgia before the remnants move out to sea.

While snow is uncommon, ice is a hazard that occasionally impacts the state, causing travel issues. On the plus side, however, temperatures rarely drop below freezing.

Georgia’s Gnat Line

For people not fond of insects, living south of Georgia’s gnat line may not be the best idea.

The Gnat Line is an imaginary line running west to east, from Columbus to Augusta. The line divides the northern and southern portions of Georgia, with the north experiencing far fewer gnats than the south.

The heat and humidity, which worsen the further south you travel, play a significant role in the gnat line, but the soil plays an even greater role. North of Georgia’s gnat line is hilly land with thick, red clay soil, whereas the south consists of sandy, flat land.

Gnats naturally prefer the sandy soil of the south.

Gnats include fruit flies, drain flies, and fungus flies, among others. Many species do not bite, but Georgia’s gnats, also known as sand gnats, do bite. Female sand gnats bite and suck blood, often leaving red, itchy bumps.

Is Moving to Georgia a Good Idea?

Moving to Georgia is a good idea if you want a low cost of living, warm climate, beautiful land, cultural diversity, and easy travel. However, Georgia’s healthcare system is worse off compared to other states, severe weather is occasionally an issue, and there are biting gnats in the south.

If you’re considering moving to Georgia, it’s best to thoroughly research the city that you intend to live in.

Is It Cheaper To Live in Georgia or Florida?

It’s cheaper to live in Georgia than in Florida. Georgia has the fifth-lowest cost of living in the U.S., with Florida ranking number 27. In addition, Georgia’s housing costs are lower than the national average, whereas Florida’s housing expenses are 2.6% higher than the national average.

Despite Florida having a higher cost of living than Georgia, Florida has a lower household income for a four-person family ($85,203 versus $92,286 in Georgia). With that said, the minimum wage in Georgia is only $5.15 ($7.25 if going by federal minimum wage) per hour, which is the lowest in the country, and $10 per hour in Florida.

Final Thoughts

With its vast, variable landscape, low cost of living, mild weather, diverse culture, and easy transportation, the Empire State of the South is a desirable destination to start a life.

However, Georgia is also recognized for its gnat line, severe weather, and the fact that its healthcare system needs work.

Before settling on one place to live, thoroughly research the city and infrastructure to determine if it’s a proper fit for you and your family.


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