Metro Atlanta Rebounding: Attracting New Residents

Recently, the Atlanta Regional Commission released their latest population estimates and studies done on the past year of growth. According to the new numbers, in the past year, the 10 county Atlanta Region* has experienced the largest single year growth post Great Recession, adding 52,700 new residents. All 10 counties experienced positive population growth, a strong sign that the economy of the region is on the rebound.

This new estimate puts the total population of the region at roughly 4,272,300. Metro Atlanta now has more residents than 24 states. Fulton County has added the largest number of new residents, with 12,700, a growth rate of 1.3%, while Gwinnett County is growing at the fastest rate, adding 11,900 new residents at a rate of 1.9%. While the growth isn’t matching the pace of the boom years of the 90’s or early 2000’s, positive growth is still a strong signifier of development and economic recovery.

pop-estimates chart

Chart courtesy of the ARC

“The Atlanta region’s job growth is on the rise,” said Mike Alexander, manager of ARC’s Research & Analytics Division. “Because the Atlanta region is an attractive place for employers and employees, we tend to attract people from all over the country, creating more in-migration than out-migration.”

Another trend to be noted is the rise of building permits being issued. There is a direct correlation between building permit activity and population growth. In 2013, 18,400 new building permits were issued in the 10 county region, 5,500 more than in 2012, but still less than half of the numbers from the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Additionally, according to the Census Bureau, metro Atlanta is the seventh fastest growing metro region in the country during 2013-2014. This is based on the Census Bureau’s definition of the Atlanta “urbanized area”, which encompasses 28 counties.

To see the full ARC Population Estimate Report, click HERE.

*The 10 County Region includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.