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Metro Atlanta Adds 78,300 People in Past Year as Growth Picks up Steam

Atlanta — Aug 10, 2017

The 10-county Atlanta region added 78,300 new residents between April 2016 and April 2017, according to annual population estimates released today by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The fastest growth occurred in the region’s suburbs, led by Cherokee and Henry counties. The city of Atlanta continued its recent growth spurt, sparked by a surge in multi-family housing units.

The region’s population grew at a faster rate than at any time since the Great Recession, increasing by 1.8 percent, compared to 1.6 percent (69,800) a year earlier. The Atlanta region is now home to 4,480,100 people, more than that of 24 states.

“Metro Atlanta offers a world-class quality of life along with one of the nation’s best business environments,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chair. “It’s a winning combination that has fueled tremendous growth in recent years.”

Jobs growth fueled the region’s population boom. Metro Atlanta added jobs at the fastest rate in the nation – 3.3 percent – in the past year.

Each of the region’s 10 core counties experienced population growth during the past year. Fulton County led the way, adding 17,100 residents, followed by Gwinnett County (16,900) and Cobb County (12,800). Cherokee and Henry grew at the fastest rate over the past year, at 3 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. The city of Atlanta added 9,900 new residents in the past year, compared to 7,900 last year and 4,800 the year before.

Long-term trends show that the outer suburbs have led the region’s growth. Cherokee on the saw its population grow by 15 percent between 2010 and 2017, tops in the region. Henry followed closely behind with a population increase of 12 percent.

Meanwhile, the city of Atlanta, which had been steadily losing population for several decades until the 2000 Census, grew by 7 percent between 2010 and 2017.

For more details about ARC’s population estimates, including county level data, check out ARC’s latest Regional Snapshot.

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 23.

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

Contact Name: Jim Jaquish
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