Clarke County is a county in the US state of Georgia. In the 2000 census the county had a population of 101,489 inhabitants. The county seat is Athens, the county and Athens operate under the consolidated city-county system. The county is part of the Athens metropolitan area. Clarke County was founded on December 5,1801 and was named in honor of Elijah Clarke, a hero of the United States War of Independence. Originally the county included 640 km² that later were used to create the county of Jackson.