Moving to Georgia: State Relocation Guide

There are currently 66 songs written about the state of Georgia, and many of them are staples of the country music genre. And that’s for good reason: people love this state and the life they get to live after moving to Georgia. So, if you’re looking to move soon, Georgia should definitely be at the top of the list.

But before you pack your bags and hit the road, do a little research to ensure you’re making the right decision.

We compiled this guide to help you with this daunting decision and give you all the necessary information to make an informed choice. You’ll learn everything you need to know about moving to Georgia, including factors such as education, healthcare, jobs, and the best places to live. 

So read on, and see if Georgia is on your mind.

Georgia Climate

Whether you’re moving from a bordering state or clear across the country, Georgia is often on everybody’s mind. Its pristine weather conditions bring people from all over the country. 

Living in Georgia means warm and humid summers with mild and short winters. The northeast part of the state runs up towards the Carolinas, so you can expect an oceanic climate. On the other hand, the rest of the state is in a humid subtropical climate.

The majority of the state deals with consistently humid weather for most of the year, so those conditions are what most people will experience after moving to Georgia.

The average temperature in Georgia varies between summer and winter. During the summer months, temperatures average around 80-85℉. The winter temperatures average above freezing at 42℉ in January.

Because Georgia is quite humid most of the year, you can count on rain. The average rainfall can be anywhere from 45 inches to 75 inches per year, depending on where you live. Northern regions experience more rain than the southern regions.

Georgia is a coastal state on the east coast, so it is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and thunderstorms.

The humid subtropical climate is perfect for storms bringing violent winds and destruction. Georgia averages 30 tornadoes per year, with most of them occurring during hurricane season.

Although hurricanes are a threat every year, only 22 have made landfall in Georgia since 1851, making it the 8th state with the most hurricanes. However, that doesn’t mean Georgia is unaffected by tropical storms or severe thunderstorms.

Living in Georgia means preparing for bad weather at a moment’s notice. Thunderstorms are the biggest threat of damage, so it’s essential to have a plan and listen to warning notices from the state.

Taxes in Georgia

Like most states, Georgia has income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. So after moving to Georgia, you’ll still pay taxes.

However, one of the most significant differences between Georgia and other states that tax the same categories is that the Peach State’s rates are average to below-average, meaning you don’t pay as much in taxes each year.

Georgia has a graduated state income tax system. There are six brackets beginning with 1% and going to 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, and 5.75%. Each bracket has a set income standard depending on whether you’re married, filing jointly, or single.

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The left-side values are for single filers, and the right-side values are for those married filing jointly.

Georgia’s income tax rate is close to nearby states, although Florida and Tennessee are two neighboring states without a state income tax.

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Georgia enforces both state and local taxes when it comes to sales tax. This enforcement makes its sales tax the 19th highest in the country. 

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Although this tax rate is slightly above average, Georgia’s sales tax is significantly lower than Alabama and Tennessee, and only marginally higher than Florida. 

The sales tax and income tax rates balance each other out regarding the national average.

If you are looking to start a corporation in Georgia or are looking to join a corporation, prepare for taxes. However, it’s not as bad as you might think. Georgia is so business-friendly that hundreds of companies have their headquarters in Georgia.

  • 18 Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in GA
  • 32 Fortune 1000 companies are in the Peach State
  • An additional 450 Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the state, meaning that they have at least one corporate office in Georgia.

And there’s good reason for all this business–not only does Georgia has easy access to a worldwide market, but its corporate taxes are low at just 5.75%

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There is no bracket system or minimum value which means the 5.75% rate is the same regardless of how much your company makes.

If you decide to move to Georgia, there’s a lot to consider. When you look at the tax amounts, you’ll find that each type of tax is around the national average or lower than nearby states. So, Georgia is a decently tax-friendly state.

Job Opportunities and Costs in Georgia

Regardless of which state you move to, it’s essential to consider the job market. You want to be in a place where you can grow professionally, pursue your professional dreams and achieve your goals—no matter your industry.

With that in mind, Georgia is an excellent location for someone looking to climb the corporate ladder or work in various businesses.

There are several industries in Georgia that you can compare to the national average.

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The highly competitive environment in Georgia pushes each industry to fairly compensate their employees, which helps you ensure a livable wage and comfortable living.

Georgia’s vast employment opportunities are no secret, though. The Peach State’s economy ranks #12 because of its job growth and employment opportunities.

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Living and working in Georgia is an excellent option for someone looking to climb the corporate ladder or grow in work experience. It’s an excellent career move because the Peach State has a growing job market.

Georgia’s job growth is 2% compared to the US average of 1.4%. And when you combine this growth with a low unemployment rate of 4%, you have a healthy economy.

When you combine relatively low taxes with an excellent economy, you would expect the cost of living to be higher than average. And although that might be true in some states, Georgia is an anomaly.

If the US average living cost is 100, Georgia rates a 93.4. So, moving to Georgia will give you a lower than average cost of living.

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The cost of grocery shopping, health, and the state’s real estate market are significantly lower than the average cost. Especially in 2022’s housing market and cost of materials, it’s good to know you can build a low-cost house after moving to Georgia.

However, if owning a home isn’t an option for you, renting in Georgia is also a viable option. The average one-bedroom apartment in America is $1048/month, but it only costs $936/month in Georgia.

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Overall, the cost of living in Georgia is comparable to nearby states and drastically lower than the rest of the country, making moving to Georgia a financially savvy decision.

Georgia Healthcare

With every year that passes, health insurance becomes more and more necessary. Healthcare in Georgia is 4% cheaper than the national average. Many residents can find affordable health coverage between employers and the healthcare marketplace.

The state currently ranks #43 because of access to facilities and physicians, quality of care, and overall public health. There are 174 physicians per 100,000 residents in Georgia, whereas the national average is 210. This difference means there are fewer establishments nearby and longer wait times.

Overall, Georgia’s healthcare is most beneficial with a combination of employer-sponsored coverage and a healthy lifestyle.

Georgia Education

Whether you’re looking to go back to school at some point or you have children, knowing your state’s educational ranking is a critical determining factor for your move.

When you move to Georgia, you live in a state with the 19th best secondary education programs and the 30th best Pre-K–12 schools.

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Between these two factors and the criteria in each category, Georgia education ranks #26 in the nation. 

So, where can you ensure your children get the best education after moving to Georgia?

Here are some of the best school districts in the state:

Buford County Schools

Located between Atlanta and Athens, Buford Country School District is rated the best in the state for many reasons. 

The students perform exceptionally well on tests and academic standing, and the athletic programs are state powerhouses. And, it’s not too far from Georgia State University.

Oconee County Schools

Oconee County School District is the second-best district out of all of the public schools in the state. Located right outside of Athens, GA, your children will grow up near the University of Georgia, a prestigious, highly-touted university.

When students graduate from Oconee County Schools, 74% are proficient in math and 71% in reading.

Forsyth County Schools

On the west side of Lake Lanier, your students can attend Forsyth County Schools–the third-best district in the state. Even though this district is much larger than the previous three districts–it has over 50,000 students–Forsyth County Schools continue to set the standard for academics and athletics alike.

There are several great districts in Georgia, so it’s essential to find one that works for you based on the location you desire.

However, once a child graduates high school, it’s helpful to have a plan for secondary education. Georgia has three top 50 universities: Emory University (#21), Georgia Institute of Technology (#38), and the University of Georgia (#48).

Regardless of which school you or your children choose, you can receive some of the best education available all within Georgia. 

Notable Highlights

There are many reasons to move to Georgia. Whether it’s the taxes, education, or job opportunities, you can find a reason to come here. But there is more to life than crunching numbers and figuring out the best place to live.

It’s important to enjoy where you live. Part of that enjoyment is learning a little history about your state. 

Here are some notable highlights to help you learn about your new home:

  • Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi.
  • The state’s name comes from the king of Britain, George II, who was in power around 1733.
  • Georgia was the headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, in which Martin Luther King Jr. played a pivotal role.
  • Dr. John Pemberton invented “Coca-Cola” in Atlanta, Georgia, which now has the World of Coke. Located in downtown Atlanta, this popular tourist spot shares the company’s history and allows visitors to taste Coca-Cola products from around the world.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, locally known as the Atlanta airport, is the largest airport globally because of the number of passengers it handles.
  • Atlanta served as the home of the Olympics in 1996.
  • For sports fans, Georgia is home to the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, and the Georgia Bulldogs.

Best Places to Live in Georgia

With all this information, it’s clear that Georgia is a great place to live. You and your family can settle down in this historical state for generations to come.

Before you can move here and enjoy your new life in Georgia, there are a few things you need to take care of first.

  • Remember, most of Georgia is a humid subtropical climate, so bring plenty of summer clothes with enough winter clothing to help you get through the mild cold spells.
  • Pack fragile items carefully. You can use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect items and prevent damage.
  • Carry all essential documents with you during your travel. These documents include your driver’s license, vehicle registration, social security card, and voter registration.
  • Think about what you want to do with your car. You’ve put off your vehicle because it stresses you out — how will you get it to Georgia? With Guardian Auto Transport, you don’t have to worry about that. We offer state-to-state car shipping, so your vehicle will meet you at your new home. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, we will help you.

Once you’ve taken care of those things, you can begin looking at some of the best neighborhoods in Georgia. Here are a few to help you jumpstart your research.

Alpharetta

Located 25 miles north of Atlanta, this suburb is not that small. It has a population of over 60,000 residents. This affluent community is a great place to raise a family and has a low crime rate. If you want to live in an area that has it all–restaurants, parks, coffee shops, and shopping centers–Alpharetta is the place to call home.

Canton

At about half the size of Alpharetta, Canton is a great place to live for those who want more country living with access to urban life. With only 30,000 residents and plenty of available property, moving to Canton gives you the peace you crave after a long workday. Additionally, Canton has a top-rated school system for your children.

Athens

This historic town is one of the gems of Georgia. Its classy style and historical roots make it the epicenter for college students at the University of Georgia to experience nightlife and great food. And this town is perfect for families and retirees to enjoy southern hospitality.

On top of accessible living and an excellent school system, living in Athens means affordable housing. Even in a college town, you can find most homes starting at around $178,000. These housing expenses make it pretty affordable.

There are so many great places to live in Georgia. Whether you settle for these three or look further into Decatur, Gainesville, or Peachtree City, you’re bound to find your new home.

Conclusion

Georgia is a beautiful state that checks many boxes for many people. But the critical question is whether or not it’s right for you.

If you love warmer weather, top-tier school systems, and many job opportunities, you might be ready to make Georgia your new home.

If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to find your next home. But while you’re doing that, let Guardian Auto Transport help you move your car to Georgia or any other state. You can get an instant quote today.

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