From its county population in 2000 of 17496 to its current population estimate of 17464, the county has experienced a growth change of -32.
Ben Hill county was carved from Irwin and Wilcox counties in 1906 and is named for Benjamin Hill, a U.S. senator who served as Troup County's state representative and senator in the mid-1800s.
The county seat is Fitzgerald, founded in 1895 by Philander H. Fitzgerald, a newspaperman from Indiana. .
The town's settlers opened a public school, which became the first school to provide textbooks free of charge.