Forsyth County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. The county seat is Cumming, Georgia. Forsyth County is a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 175,511.
Forsyth County has been one of the fastest growing areas in the United States in terms of percentage of growth for several years during the 2000s. The population growth was caused by the county's proximity to Atlanta and its appeal as a commuter area for people working in the Atlanta area. The influx of high earning professionals increased the average income to a point where Forbes.com named it as the 13th wealthiest county in the United States in terms of median household income for 2008. At near $84,872 it is also the wealthiest county in the state of Georgia, and currently is the 30th wealthiest county in the nation.
Forsyth County gained national media attention in the 1980s because of a series of civil rights demonstrations and counter demonstrations that began as an attempt to show that the county had moved past a history of extreme racism. The county also received national media attention because of Lake Lanier, which forms the eastern border of the county, and the scarcity of water resources during a drought that threatened water supplies for the metro Atlanta area and, downstream, areas of Alabama and Florida.
Forsyth County was partitioned in 1832 from a section of the Cherokee County territory along with nine other counties in the area. The territory was formed a year earlier in response to the discovery of gold in the surrounding area in 1829. The land had been settled by the Cherokee Nation who were relocated during the trail of tears.
Forsyth County was named for John Forsyth, Governor of Georgia from 1827–1829 and Secretary of State under Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. For many years, much of the area was set aside for agriculture and as a result was fairly poor. During the 1950s with the introduction of the poultry industry the county saw a steady economic growth and also saw the planning stages of Georgia State Route 400. Georgia 400 was first opened in 1971 and was eventually extended through the county and northward. Expansions have taken place to support the population boom as the county became a bedroom community for Atlanta.
Today, Forsyth County maintains a large percentage of new homeowners. Due to rapid suburban sprawl and skyrocketing housing prices in neighboring Fulton County, a large number of affluent professionals have moved into the county. Over 60% of the current population either lived elsewhere or had not been born yet in 1987.
In 2008 Forsyth County had been in the top ten fastest growing counties of the United States for several years. Many new subdivisions with elegant houses have been constructed, several around world class golf courses. The county's nearness to Atlanta and the Blue Ridge mountains and bordering Lake Sidney Lanier has attracted many of the Metro area's new residents. The growth is tempered by water availability and the efforts of several county organizations to make sure growth is planned and sustains the high quality of life in the area.
Forsyth County is also the home of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" reality star Nene Leakes and Kim Zolciak.