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Metro Atlanta Adds 69,200 People in Past Year as Growth Picks up Steam

Posted on: Aug 12, 2016

Contact: Jim Jaquish
Phone: 404-463-3194

(Atlanta – Aug 12, 2016)

(ATLANTA, August 11, 2016) – The 10-county Atlanta region added 69,200 new residents between April 2015 and April 2016, according to the latest annual population estimates from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The region’s population grew at a faster rate than at any time since the Great Recession, increasing by 1.6 percent, compared to 1.4 percent (60,300) a year earlier and 1.2 percent (52,700) in 2014. The Atlanta region is now home to 4,401,800 people, more than that of 24 states.

The population increase is being fueled by strong employment growth. The 29-county Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) region added nearly 77,000 jobs between May 2015 and May 2016, the third-highest total among the largest metros in the nation.

“As always, more jobs means more people,” said Mike Carnathan, manager of ARC’s Research & Analytics Division. “Newcomers are increasingly attracted to our region as our economy picks up steam, post-recession.”

Each of the region’s 10 core counties experienced population growth during the year. Gwinnett County led the way, adding 17,300 residents. Fulton County added 15,300 people, while Cobb County grew by 9,900.

Cherokee County added 6,800 people, DeKalb County 6,600, Henry County 4,900, Clayton County 3,700, Rockdale County 1,500, Douglas County 1,600 and Fayette County 1,600.

The City of Atlanta, fueled by a surge in multi-family housing units, added 7,900 new residents in the past year, compared to 4,800 last year.

“These latest ARC population estimates show that the Atlanta region is resilient and continues to be a place of opportunity and a magnet for people seeking a high quality of life,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chair.

population rates in Atlanta GA region

Under state law, ARC is required to estimate the population for the 10 ARC counties and the City of Atlanta each year for the purpose of collecting dues from its member jurisdictions. These population estimates are unofficial until adopted by the ARC Board at its monthly meeting on August 24.

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. The base for each successive year’s estimates is the previous year’s estimate, with the starting point for the decade’s intracensal estimates the decennial Census count.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 70 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.