The city's name was originally spelled Jonesborough, and during the American Civil War the final skirmish in the Battle of Atlanta was fought here south of Atlanta, cutting off the city and forcing the mayor of Atlanta to surrender at Marietta in early September of 1864. The final fall of Atlanta in the Battle of Jonesborough ended up being a decisive point in the nation's history, propelling Abraham Lincoln to re-election two months later, and continuing the war until the Confederacy finally surrenedered the following year.
Jonesboro is located at 33°31'28" North, 84°21'15" West (33.524512, -84.354290)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.8 km² (2.6 mi²). 6.7 km² (2.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.89% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 3,829 people, 1,466 households, and 1,023 families residing in the city. The population density is 570.8/km² (1,477.4/mi²). There are 1,561 housing units at an average density of 232.7/km² (602.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 62.63% White, 30.79% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.73% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 3.45% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. 7.55% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,466 households out of which 34.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% are married couples living together, 25.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% are non-families. 25.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.60 and the average family size is 3.09.
In the city the population is spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 78.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,951, and the median income for a family is $39,143. Males have a median income of $29,236 versus $25,797 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,178. 20.2% of the population and 19.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 33.9% are under the age of 18 and 19.7% are 65 or older.