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All about Buford, GA
Buford is a city in Gwinnett and Hall counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 17,144. Most of the city is in Gwinnett County, which is part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. The northern sliver of the city is in Hall County, which comprises the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area and is part of the larger Atlanta-Athens-Clarke-Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area.
The city was founded in 1872 after a railroad was built in the area connecting Charlotte, North Carolina, with Atlanta. Buford was named after Algernon Sidney Buford, who at the time was president of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway. The city’s leather industry, led by the Bona Allen Company, as well as its location as a railway stop, caused the population to expand during the early 1900s until after the Great Depression had ended.
The city operates its own school district, the Buford City School District, and has been the birthplace and home of several musicians and athletes. Various tourist locations, including museums and community centers, the largest mall in the state of Georgia, the Mall of Georgia, and Lake Lanier Islands are in the Buford region.
History of Buford, GA
Buford appears in historical records beginning in the early 19th century. The area that is now Buford was originally part of Cherokee territory. Despite the treaty in 1817 that ceded the territory to the United States and Gwinnett County’s legislative establishment in 1818, the area was still largely inhabited by the Cherokee until the 1830s. The first non-Native Americans moved to the Buford area in the late 1820s or early 1830s, although the Buford area was not largely settled by them until the 1860s.
During the post-Civil War construction of the extended Richmond and Danville Railroad System in 1865, railroad stockholders Thomas Garner and Larkin Smith purchased land around the railroad’s right-of-way and began developing the city of Buford. The city was named after Algernon Sidney Buford, who was president of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway during the railroad’s construction. The town began rapidly expanding around the railway after its completion in 1871, and it was incorporated as the Town of Buford on August 24, 1872, and renamed the City of Buford in 1896.
The Bona Allen Company constructed Tannery Row in downtown Buford as a shoe factory in 1919. After a brief employee strike the shoe factory was closed in 1942, although it was briefly reopened by the request of the federal government during World War II to make footwear for the military. Afterwards, the factory closed in 1945. In 2003 Tannery Row became home to the Tannery Row Artist Colony, which houses galleries and studios for artists.
Geography and Demographics of Buford, GA
Buford is located in both northern Gwinnett County in northern Georgia, with a small portion extending north into Hall County. The city is a suburb within the Atlanta metropolitan area. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010 the city has a total land area of 17.09 square miles (44.26 km2), of which 17.01 square miles (44.06 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.20 km2), or 0.44%, is water. The city’s elevation is 1,183 feet (361 m).
Buford’s city limits are 4.5 miles (7.2 km) west of the Eastern Continental Divide. Ridge Road, part of which uses Buford as a mailing address, runs along the Eastern Continental Divide, although the road itself is outside the city limits. Buford’s primary water supply comes from Lake Lanier an impoundment on the Chattahoochee River.
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 17,144 people, 5,003 households, and 3,607 families residing in the city.
As of 2010 Buford had a population of 12,225. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 65.8% white, 13.8% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 14.7% reporting some other race and 2.5% reporting two or more races. 25.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,016 households, out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.35.
The median age was 35.1 years, and there were 5,973 males and 6,252 females.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,546, and the median income for a family was $44,797. Males had a median income of $31,902 versus $32,218 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,905. About 18.1% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.2% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those aged 65 or over.
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