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Metro Atlanta Adds 72,500 Residents in Past Year as Population Hits 4.6 Million


Fastest Growth in City of Atlanta, Cherokee and Henry Counties

Atlanta — Aug 28, 2019

Metro Atlanta added 72,500 people in the past year, pushing the region’s 10-county population to more than 4.6 million, according to 2019 population estimates released today by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).

Each of metro Atlanta’s 10 counties saw population increases in the past year. Fulton and Gwinnett counties added the most residents, while the highest growth rates occurred in Cherokee and Henry counties and the City of Atlanta.

“The Atlanta region’s growth remains strong, driven by our diverse economy and great quality of life,” said Doug Hooker, Executive Director of ARC. “But to ensure our region’s future success, we must continue to invest in our region’s infrastructure and tackle key issues like housing affordability and equity.”

The region’s growth rate, while still among the highest in the past decade, has slowed slightly – dropping to 1.6%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. This reflects a similar dip in employment growth.

Chart of population growth in the 10-county Atlanta region

ARC’s 2019 population estimates illustrate several notable trends.

First is a story of continued growth in the City of Atlanta amid a surge in multifamily housing. The city added 10,900 residents in the past year, the most this decade, and is now home to more than 470,000 people, a number not seen seen since the 1970’s.

The numbers also show that Cherokee and Henry counties have become regional growth engines.

Cherokee added 8,200 people in the past year – outpacing neighboring Cobb County for the first time. Henry added 6,100, its largest yearly increase this decade. Population in Cherokee and Henry has about doubled since 2000.

“Regional planning is key to preparing for the region’s continued growth,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC Board Chair. “Population change impacts many issues that affect quality of life for metro Atlanta, such as transportation, the economy, and natural resources.” For more information about ARC’s population estimates, check out ARC’s latest Regional Snapshot.

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 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.

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