About the Region

Serving 375,000 People in 16 Counties

Sixteen Counties. Thirty-five communities. 5,400 square miles of Georgia. Roughly 375,000 people living, working, and thriving.

The River Valley region is diverse. Some of America’s top businesses are headquartered in Columbus, yet several of the state and nation’s poorest counties are also located here. People work across the region. They may live in Columbus but work in Americus or Lumpkin. They may like the rural setting of Marion County to live but work in West Point at KIA.

The River Valley Region serves:

History & the Importance of the River Valley

The River Valley is home to the second largest city in Georgia, as well as some of the poorest and smallest rural counties in the southeastern United States. The region is home to a former U.S. president, a world-class whitewater course, and an important inland shipping center. Columbus is a major metropolitan city, with headquarters for 3 Fortune 1000 companies (TSYS, AFLAC, and Synovus). Ft. Benning is a major employer with more than a quarter of the regional workforce employed on post. The rest of the region is classified as rural, but Americus and Cordele have become important centers of secondary education, healthcare, and retail. Other counties in the region have important businesses but are often reliant on these centers of gravity for services, shopping, and jobs.