11-County population hits 5.16 million; City of Atlanta, outer suburbs pace growth
Atlanta — Aug 09, 2023
The 11-county Atlanta region added 66,730 residents between April 2022 and April 2023, bringing the total population to 5.16 million, according to estimates released today by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The fastest rate of growth occurred in the City of Atlanta (2.8%), followed by Cherokee County (2.5%) and Forsyth and Henry counties (2.1%).
The region’s population increase is being fueled by continued strong employment growth. Metro Atlanta’s job employment base has increased 5.4% since the pandemic began in early 2020. That’s the fifth-highest in the nation, trailing only Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Orlando.
“People are moving here for one simple reason: jobs are plentiful,” said Mike Carnathan, ARC’s managing director of Research & Analytics. “The Atlanta region continues to be an attractive place for businesses to set up shop or expand. It’s a testament to our well-educated population and strong business climate.”
The City of Atlanta added 14,300 residents in the past year, nearly three times the previous 12-month period, bringing the city’s population to 521,315. Atlanta’s growth spurt reflects a surge in multi-family housing unit construction. The city issued nearly 12,000 building permits in the past year for single-family and multi-family housing, by far the most in the Atlanta region. Gwinnett County had the second-largest number of building permits, with 5,400.
Each of metro Atlanta’s 11 counties saw population increases in the past year. Fulton County added 18,500 residents, the largest numeric increase in the region, followed by Gwinnett (13,510), Cherokee (7,120) and Cobb (6,100).
More details about ARC’s population estimates are available in this ARC report.
Under state law, ARC is required to estimate the population for the 11 ARC counties and the City of Atlanta each year for the purpose of collecting dues from its member jurisdictions.
ARC’s population estimates for major jurisdictions are developed using a combination of data sources including building permit data, a demographic accounting equation generated by Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia, school enrollment trends, occupancy rates and more.
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The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission’s mission is to foster thriving communities for all within the Atlanta region through collaborative, data-informed planning and investments.
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