Metro Atlanta grows by nearly 67,000 people

Metro Atlanta grows by nearly 67,000 people

by Kristal Dixon, Alex Perry


Despite the claim by some that we are full, more people continue to move to metro Atlanta.

Driving the news: The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) yesterday released its 11-county population estimates for 2023, showing the region added 66,730 new residents from April 1, 2022 to April 1 of this year.

  • Our population is now 5.16 million, up from 5 million last year.

Why it matters: This latest growth spurt presents additional challenges to a fiefdom-driven region already experiencing low affordable housing inventory that's keeping prices high and limited connectivity that makes it difficult to get around the city.

The big picture: Job creation spurred the growth, the ARC says. Metro Atlanta saw the fifth-largest percentage increase in new jobs in the U.S. since early 2020, trailing Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas and Orlando.

What they're saying: Mike Carnathan, managing director of research & analytics at the ARC, told Axios the region's growth also ties in with the boom in residential building permits,

  • Last year, 36,074 permits were issued across the 11-county region, 9,000 more than the previous year.
  • Atlanta issued close to 12,000 residential permits last year alone, with Gwinnett coming in a distant second with around 5,400.
  • "That residential building boom in the city of Atlanta translates into the biggest single year population growth that we've seen in the city of Atlanta at least for the past two decades," Carnathan told Axios.

Of note: Carnathan said it's "fascinating" to see the number of multi-family housing permits being issued in the outer metro counties.

  • "That's a relatively big sea change compared to say 20 years ago, where you didn't see hardly any multi-family construction out in the suburban or exurban counties," he said.

Zoom in: The city of Atlanta added 14,300 additional people between 2022 and this year, which was nearly three times the 5,070 who moved here from 2021 to 2022.

  • The previous record — 10,900 — was set in 2018 and 2019.
  • Atlanta's estimated population is now 521,000, ARC data shows.

What we're watching: The two major challenges facing the metro region are maintaining its "competitive edge" in terms of housing affordability and investing in its infrastructure so it can handle the influx of people, Carnathan said.

  • "That's the conversations that we have here at ARC every single day with local governments," Carnathan said.


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