Location in Macon County and the state of Georgia
The town was originally named Joetown, but when two railroad executives stopped in the town, one proclaimed it an "ideal" place for a railroad station, and the other declared he'd just named it
Ideal is located at (32.372918, -84.188822)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), all of it land. It resides at the confluence of Whitewater and Cedar Creeks, two spring fed tributaries of the Flint River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 518 people, 174 households, and 123 families residing in the city. Thepopulation density was 444.4 people per square mile (170.9/km²). There were 217 housing units at an average density of 186.2 per square mile (71.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 32.43% White, 66.22% African American, 0.19% Native American, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.39% of the population.
There were 174 households out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% weremarried couples living together, 28.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 20.8% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 24.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 63.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 61.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $16,538, and the median income for a family was $21,250. Males had a median income of $28,125 versus $15,714 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,712. About 31.3% of families and 31.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.5% of those under age 18 and 43.0% of those age 65 or over.