Metro Atlanta Speaks Survey

An Eye on the Key Trends in Metro Atlanta

Each year, ARC and its community partners conduct the Metro Atlanta Speaks public opinion survey to take the pulse of metro Atlanta residents and help guide the region’s planning and decision-making.

The survey, which began in 2013, is the largest of its kind in the Atlanta region. It offers a snapshot of residents’ views on a range of critical issues such as transportation, the economy, education, aging, and neighborhood quality of life. Metro Atlanta Speaks currently covers a 13-county region and is statistically significant to the county level, as well as for the City of Atlanta.

The 2019 survey offered some fresh insights.

 2019 Metro Atlanta Speaks Survey

Housing Concerns are High

  • New questions on this year’s survey indicate that housing is a significant concern. Nearly half (46%) of metro Atlanta residents said that if they had to move today, they could not afford to stay in their communities.
  • 57% of respondents said older homes in their communities are being replaced by new, more expensive housing.
  • 68% responded that they live in areas experiencing “property flipping,” in which homes are remodeled to be sold or rented at higher prices.

Transportation Remains Metro Atlanta’s Top Concern

  • When asked to name the biggest problem facing the region, 28% of respondents said transportation. This was the sixth straight year this topic topped the list of residents’ concerns.
  • Crime came in second, at 18%, with public education third, at 10%.
  • 25% of respondents said they frequently lacked transportation to get where they needed to go.
  • 48% of respondents said expanding public transit offers the best long-term solution to the region’s traffic challenges.

Jobs and Automation

  • 28% of respondents said their current job doesn’t allow them to use their current education and skills to the fullest extent possible.
  • 91% say that for now, they aren’t worried about losing their job to an automated process.

Metro Atlanta Economy Looking Good…

  • The economy remains strong, and that’s reflected in this year’s survey. Only 7% of respondents called the economy the biggest problem facing our region, compared to 24% in 2013.

…But Challenges Persist

  • If faced with a $400 emergency expense, 27% of us would either have to borrow money, sell or pawn something, be unable to pay right now—or not know what we would do.

Survey Resources

About the 2019 Survey

The 2019 survey, conducted by Kennesaw State University’s A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research, asked questions of 5,450 people across 13 counties about key quality-of-life issues.  Survey results are statistically valid for each of those 13 counties and the city of Atlanta, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3% for the 13-county region as a whole and plus or minus 3.8% to 7% for the individual jurisdictions.

For more information about the survey, please visit ARC Research & Analytics’ 33N blog

NOTICE: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended a public health emergency declaration and a statewide shelter-in-place order for older adults and medically fragile residents through June 12.

The Atlanta Regional Commission office at 229 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, is closed to the public until further notice. All employees are working remotely and conducting business operations. ARC employees can be contacted directly during normal business hours. However, if you need immediate assistance call 404-463-3100.

If you are seeking resources for older persons and individuals with disabilities, contact us at404-463-3333 or visit

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