Georgia (i /ˈdʒɔrdʒə/) is a state located in the southeastern United States. Georgia was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 21, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. With an estimated 9,829,211 residents as of July 1, 2009, Georgia is the ninth most populous state. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the capital and the most populous city.
Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the vast Appalachian Mountains system. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is sea level.
With an area of 59,425 square miles (153,909 km2), Georgia is ranked 24th in size among the 50 U.S. states. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth largest (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, a term which includes expanses of water which are part of state territory.