The survey, which began in 2013, is the largest of its kind in the Atlanta region. It offers a snapshot of residents’ views on a range of critical issues such as transportation, the economy, housing, and neighborhood quality of life. In 2023, Metro Atlanta Speaks covers a 11-county region and is statistically significant to the county level, as well as for the City of Atlanta.
The “executive summary” slide deck below and here was shown at the October, 2023 State of the Region Breakfast. Please scroll down the page for more “in-depth” summary resources and findings.
Crime Tops List of Respondents’ Concerns
Crime and the economy are the Atlanta region’s top concerns, according to the 2023 Metro Atlanta Speaks survey. When asked about the biggest challenge facing metro Atlanta, 27% of the respondents said crime, followed by the economy at 24% and transportation at 11%.
Even though crime remains top of mind for metro Atlanta residents, more than 2 out of 3 respondents said they feel safe walking in their neighborhoods at night. Crime was also the region’s top concern in 2021, when the last Metro Atlanta Speaks survey was conducted.
The 2023 Metro Atlanta Speaks survey included several new questions related to housing affordability, automation/ artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, and climate change. It also revisited transportation priorities and land use preferences of residents.
- Housing affordability is a challenge for many: Six of 10 respondents said they could not afford to move to another house or apartment in their current neighborhood. Nearly as many said they could not afford to move anywhere in the metro Atlanta area.
- Residents are concerned about how technology may impact the workplace: More than 75% of respondents believe “too many” workers will lose their jobs to automation or artificial intelligence.
- Support for public transit remains strong: About 90 percent of respondents feel an improved public transit system is either “very important” or “somewhat important” to the future of metro Atlanta. However, less than half said they’d pay more taxes to fund transit improvements.
- Mixed views on climate change: Nearly half of respondents believe that climate change is a “major threat” to our region, while a third feel it will be a “minor threat.” Those figures rise when respondents are asked about the threat climate change poses globally.
- Environmental concerns spark interest in electric vehicles: Nearly 1 out of 3 respondents said they plan to buy an electric vehicle in the next 5 years. About half cited the environment as the primary reason doing so. Of the respondents who said they did not plan to purchase an EV in the next five years, 28% said cost was the most important reason, followed by inconvenience of charging the vehicle (25%) and reliability (15.5%).
- The future is uncertain: The survey also found that residents are more pessimistic about the future than they have been since ARC began administering Metro Atlanta Speaks in 2013. When asked what living conditions would be like in 3-4 years, 36.5% said it would be worse, 35% said about the same, and 25% said it would be better, down from 32% in August 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing.
- Anna Roach, ARC Executive Director & CEO : “We’ve known that electric vehicles are the future of the auto industry, but this year’s Metro Atlanta Speaks survey suggests that this future may be just around the corner for the Atlanta region. It’s clear that our region must make the investments needed to help with this historic transformation.”
- Mike Carnathan, Senior Manager, ARC Research and Analytics: “Residents in metro Atlanta, like the rest of the country, have been through a lot in the past few years. The pandemic upended our lives. Inflation has taken a toll on people’s pocketbooks. And housing prices have soared.”
Survey Resources and Summaries of Results
About the 2023 Survey
The 2023 survey, conducted by Kennesaw State University’s A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research, was a hybrid phone and online instrument. It asked 21 questions of 4,852 people across 11 counties about key quality-of-life issues in August 2023.
Survey results are statistically significant –at the top line– for each of the 11 counties in the ARC Region and for the city of Atlanta. The margins of error are plus or minus 1.5% for the 11-county region as a whole, and plus or minus 3.8% to 5% for the individual jurisdictions.
See the survey resources above for more details