Quality of Life

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Wayne County’s quality of life includes award-winning healthcare and educational systems, abundant Southeast Georgia outdoor sporting opportunities, proximity to Georgia's Golden Isles, a thriving business community, and an authentic small-town atmosphere where residents know and care about each other.

Cities & Towns

Wayne County has three incorporated municipalities: Jesup (the county seat), Odum, and Screven.

Jesup (population 9,814) exudes a sense of community and nostalgia, where a person can catch a movie at one of Georgia’s few remaining drive-in theaters, enjoy train watching from a track-side platform, or do some shopping at more than 75 businesses that operate in the downtown area. Residents are friendly and enjoy a mix of city and country life.

Odum (population 506) is a quiet town with friendly people. Residents enjoy little to no traffic noise, and beautiful starry nights with the sounds of owls and crickets in the background. Odum is home to Poppell Farms, a popular fall destination for its 10-acre corn maze, petting farm and pumpkins. Odum is also located along U.S. Highway 341 which is part of the annual Peaches to the Beaches Antiques and Yard Sale.

Screven (population 1,065), like Jesup, is considered a railroad town and has a railfan observation area in Martha Frazier Fisher Park on Martha Street. Screven is also home to the Screven Ghost Light, a light that has been reported floating along the railroad tracks on Bennett Road for more than 125 years. Residents are neighborly and caring.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Wayne County is nearly 25% less than the national average and nearly 16% less than the state average, meaning your dollar stretches much further and enables you to live a good quality of life for less money.

Housing

The low cost of living in Wayne County, particularly in the Housing sector, means you can buy a lovely home, even large amounts of acreage, for not a lot of money. The median home cost in Wayne County is $123,347, compared to the median in Georgia at $186,500 and in the U.S. at $231,200.

Cost of Living Index (100 = National Average)
  Wayne Co. GA US
Food/Grocery 95.0 95.5 100
Health 86.1 95.5 100
Housing 53.4 80.7 100
Utilities 103.3 103.2 100
Transportation 76.1 105.1 100
Miscellaneous 91.8 94.8 100
Overall 77.7 93.4 100

Source: Sperling's BestPlaces.com

Outdoors & Recreation

Many residents choose Wayne County because of its breathtaking natural scenery. Thousands of acres in Wayne County are dedicated to activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking.

The Altamaha River forms the county’s northwest boundary and the Little Satilla River forms the southwest boundary. The Nature Conservancy has named the Altamaha as one of the 75 “Last Great Places on Earth.” Wayne County has miles of protected river corridors used by paddlers and anglers year-round.

Four Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) provide thousands of acres of hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and picnicking opportunities.

Wayne County residents stay active through a variety of parks, fishing lakes, recreation centers, and ball fields managed by the Wayne County Recreation Department, and meet friends through civic clubs, churches and other organizations. The City of Jesup also has “pocket” parks throughout the city, as well as the mile-long McMillan Creek Greenway.

Lake Lindsay Grace in Screven is a 250-acre county water reservoir that is ideal for fishing, boating, skiing, picnicking or just sunbathing along the shoreline.

Healthcare

Healthcare needs are met through Wayne Memorial Hospital, Georgia’s 2019 Small Hospital of the Year. In 2019, Wayne Memorial opened the Nancy and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion, bringing chemotherapy services closer to home for patients in the community. They also opened two additional operating rooms.

Additionally, a network of local physicians and other practitioners who are also neighbors promote good health in our community.

Arts & Culture

Wayne County residents enjoy a full calendar of arts events and cultural opportunities, from arts festivals to galleries to live performances.

The Wayne County Arts Council hosts and supports a diverse selection of events such as the Dogwood Festival, the Art and Soul Art Show, the Mistletoe Market, concerts, plays, open mic nights, mystery theatre, and sip & paint sessions.

Partners of the Arts Council include the Altamaha Community Theatre and the Writers’ Guild. The Council is also in the process of launching a community chorus.

Education

Wayne County’s 5,000+ school children who attend Cognia-accredited Wayne County School System are empowered to reach their highest levels of achievement. Solid Rock Christian Academy, a private, faith-based facility, educates about 70 students in grades PK through 7, challenging those students to think critically and to use problem-solving skills as they become life-long learners.

Our schools annually meet or exceed the accreditation standards that support student achievement. The Wayne County School District has a four-year graduation rate of 93.8% (2019), the second-highest rate in southeast Georgia.

Many students who graduate continue their education at area institutions such as Coastal Pines Technical College, the College of Coastal Georgia, Georgia Southern University, and Troy University.