Region’s Population Still Growing Despite Slow Economy

ARC Press Release

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) estimates that the 10-county Atlanta region* added some 34,550 people between April 1, 2010, and April 1, 2011. This marks a third consecutive year of slower-than-normal growth when compared to what the region experienced from 2000-2007.

“Although slower, this pace is impressive in the face of the economic pressures we face,” said Tad Leithead, ARC Chairman. “This gives us a chance to catch our breath, while we plan for the more rapid growth we project, and which we’ve experienced during the last two decades.”

Over the last three years, during the recession, metro Atlanta has added approximately 91,000 people. During the decade of the 2000s, it routinely added more than 100,000 each year. According to the U.S. Census, metro Atlanta (28 counties) ranked third in overall growth in the nation between 2000 and 2010, adding more than one million people.

According to ARC, the slower growth pattern is directly related to the national economy and is similar to what most metro areas around the nation are experiencing.

“When job opportunities are scarce, people are less likely to move,” said Mike Alexander, Chief of ARC’s Research Division. “And, with property values declining and financing more difficult to obtain, fewer people are able to sell their homes and move to a different metro area.”

Gwinnett County led the region’s growth, adding 8,779 residents during the year. Fulton County added 7,619 and was followed in growth by Cobb (5,522), Cherokee (4,154) and Henry (3,878) counties. All 10 counties and the City of Atlanta experienced growth during the year. None saw an overall loss of population.

This growth means that metro Atlanta is now home to 4,142,300 people, making it larger than 24 states, according to Census data.

The Regional Snapshot newsletter provides more detailed information on the region’s population growth.

These estimates are unofficial until adopted by the ARC on August 24. Population estimates by county and smaller areas will be available at a later date.

*The 10-county region includes: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.

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