Bright flight visualized

Lanier County gained more than 30% in children under 18. Lanier looks like the exurbs around Atlanta, except it’s even more striking. Also visible on the map is Hamilton, County, Tennessee, home of Chattanooga, CUEE’s favorite example of school unification: Hamilton County showed a loss of children while just across the state line Catoosa County, Georgia gained 15-30%. If school unification doesn’t cause bright flight, it doesn’t seem to stop it.

Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg wrote in USA Today 3 June 2011, Census reveals plummeting U.S. birthrates

Because families with children tend to live near each other,

the result is an increasingly patchy landscape of communities teeming with kids, and others with very few.

Even in counties where the percentage of children grew, only 49 gained more than 1 percentage point — many of them suburbs on the outer edge of metropolitan areas such as Forsyth, Whitfield and Newton outside Atlanta and Cabarrus and Union outside Charlotte.

So that makes Lanier County one of only 49


of the 3,140 counties in the entire country that grew more than 1% in children: 30 times more!

And no, it’s not hispanics: Lanier County has fewer hispanics than Lowndes County, as well as fewer blacks, and Lanier is also whiter than the Georgia average.

Bright flight from Lowndes County has already begun, and CUEE’s school unification plan would only accelerate it.

How about instead we come up with a plan to improve education?


1 thought on “Bright flight visualized

  1. Tim Carroll

    You may want to consider other reasons for Lanier’s residential growth. There was an explosion of lower cost housing there over the past 10 years. It has attracted a large percentage of Moody folks. This was in part a response to the cost of homes in Lowndes Co. More specifically land cost. One component of the ULDC adoption was a call for higher density developments in the unicorporated areas where at the time, land was cheaper. Unfortunately, those that owned the land picked on the demand and guess what…..the prices started to climb quickly.
    Some might refer to this as sprawl. The other item of interest is the budget woes the Lanier County Board of Ed is having as a result of this growth. Residential property demands more in services than it pays for in taxes.
    Just something to consider. There may not be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

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