Atlanta — Oct 10, 2019
Metro Atlanta will add 2.9 million people by 2050, pushing the 21-county region’s population to 8.6 million, according to population and employment forecasts released today by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
ARC’s forecasts also show that the region will become much more racially and ethnically diverse, while the number of older adults will increase sharply. And 1.2 million jobs will be added by 2050, bringing the region’s total to 4.7 million, including self-employed.
To put the numbers in context, the forecast population growth of 2.9 million is equivalent to today’s population of metro Denver, and slightly more than all of metro Charlotte.
“Metro Atlanta has been one of the nation’s growth engines for the past few decades, fueled by our high quality of life and dynamic, diverse economy,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “But of course there’s no crystal ball, and our continued prosperity is not a certainty. We must continue to carefully plan for the future and invest in the programs and infrastructure needed for our region to remain a great place to live.”
ARC issues long-range population and employment forecasts every four years to help inform major updates to the Atlanta Region’s Plan, the long-range blueprint for metro Atlanta’s future to improve the region’s quality of life.
Here are some highlights of the 2050 forecasts:
- The largest population increases are expected to occur in several areas: parts of intown Atlanta; in the northern suburbs along the I-75, I-85 and Ga. 400 corridors; and on the Southside near the airport.
- The share of the region’s white residents will decline sharply, from 47.5% in 2015 to 31% in 2050.
- The share of Hispanic residents will reach 21% in 2050, up from 12% in 2015, while the share of black residents will remain steady at about 33%.
- The share of residents age 75 or older will triple by 2050, to 12%.
- Gwinnett County will become the most populous county in the region with 1.48 million residents, narrowly edging Fulton County.
- Forsyth County will have the fastest rate of growth by 2050, more than doubling in population, followed by Henry County with a growth rate of 70%.
- The largest employment gains will occur in the following sectors: health care and social assistance; professional, scientific and technical; and construction. The largest job losses are forecast to occur in the manufacturing and utilities sectors.
More information about the population and employment forecasts can be found at ARC’s interactive data dashboard and at ARC’s data and research blog, 33°N.
ARC’s population and employment forecasts were created using a combination of public and private sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, computer models and consultation with economists. The data will be used to help ARC and its partners develop The Atlanta Region’s Plan, a comprehensive, long-range blueprint to secure the region’s future. The plan is expected to be approved early next year.
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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