Like many rural counties, its population is small. Just over 6,000 people live here.
What may come as a surprise is that a good portion of its residents all live under the same roof, behind bars at Calhoun State Prison in Morgan.
"It's almost 25 % of our population, maybe more than that." says county commission chairman Mike Stuart.
This year the 2010 census will reflect prisoners as residents of Calhoun County, even though the 1,700 prisoners serving time here are from different parts of the state.
But the population boost equals more federal money. And this is good news in an area where nearly 1 in 4 lives below the poverty level.
"Prisoners add to our population count according to the information I've been given. And the census numbers brings dollars. So yes, that will bring more dollars to Calhoun County," says Stuart.
In a rural area with little industry, Calhoun State Prison is the county's largest employer with 260 positions currently filled.
While this all may sound like a win-win situation, the prison here is not exactly cost free to county tax payers.
"Because of the number of people in the prison, we have a higher population which means we have to pay our probate judge, our superior court clerk, and all these people higher salaries based on the inmate population. And they (prisoners) don't pay any taxes in Calhoun County. So citizens have to foot that bill," says Stuart.
Plus, tax payers must pay for prisoner appeals which are filed through the local court system. In the end, it's likely whatever federal money Calhoun County receives will even out what it's had to pay out.
Stuart says, "Maybe we will get back some of the money so we can get things to wash out in our budgets. So it's a good and bad on both ends."
The idea of counting prisoners as part of the population in counties with state and federal prisons is not without its controversy. But census officials say it would be costly to determine the exact residence of every prisoner prior to their incarceration.
The U.S. Census also uses the same method when counting college students who live on campus even though this may only serve as their temporary residence.
But county leaders are certainly happy for the boost they get from prisoners who, temporarily, call Calhoun County home.
©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved. Feedback
As you try to prepare your child for heading back to the classroom, here is a list to help make sure you and your student are prepared for the upcoming year.More >>
Downtown Tifton’s occupancy level is at 98% and the City’s economic development director said that’s good news for residents.More >>
If you were shocked the last time you opened your power bill, Georgia Power has good news for you. The power company says its customers usually see their highest bills during this time of year, but there are ways to save on energy.More >>
This week, Karla Heath-Sands, Cade Fowler and Chris Zelman are all learning the results of their genetic makeup on Today in Georgia. This is Karla's journey.More >>
An Albany hairstylist wants to make sure students look their best when they step through the doors on the first day of school by offering free hairstyles.More >>