, officially Athens–Clarke County
, is a consolidated city–county and college town in the U.S. state of Georgia. Athens lies about 70 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. The University of Georgia, the state's flagship public university and an R1 research institution, is in Athens and contributed to its initial growth. In 1991, after a vote the preceding year, the original City of Athens abandoned its charter to form a unified government with Clarke County, referred to jointly as Athens–Clarke County. As of 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau's estimated population of the consolidated city-county was 126,913; the entire county including Winterville and Bogart had a population of 127,064. Athens is the sixth-largest city in Georgia, and the principal city of the Athens metropolitan area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 209,271, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Metropolitan Athens is a component of the larger Atlanta–Athens–Clarke County–Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area, a trading area.