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ATLANTA

Atlanta is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia. With a 2020 census population of 498,715, it is the 38th most populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to more than six million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. Situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta features unique topography that includes rolling hills and the most dense urban tree coverage in the United States.

Atlanta was originally founded as the terminus of a major state-sponsored railroad. With rapid expansion, however, it soon became the convergence point among multiple railroads, spurring its rapid growth. The city's name derives from that of the Western and Atlantic Railroad's local depot, signifying the town's growing reputation as a transportation hub. Toward the end of the American Civil War, in November 1864, the city was almost entirely burned to the ground in General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea. However, the city rose from its ashes and quickly became a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South". During the 1950s and 1960s, Atlanta became a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and many other locals playing major roles in the movement's leadership. During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $406 billion, Atlanta has the 10th largest economy in the U.S. and the 20th largest in the world. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include aerospace, transportation, logistics, film and television production, media operations, professional and business services, medical services, and information technology. The gentrificationof some Atlanta neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Summer Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century with the growth of the Atlanta Beltline. This has altered the city's demographics, politics, aesthetic, and culture.

Metro Atlanta, designated by the United States Office of Management and Budget as the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Alpharetta, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area, is the most populous metro area in the US state of Georgia and the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States. Its economic, cultural and demographic center is Atlanta, and has a total population of 6,089,815 according to the 2020 census. The metro area forms the core of a broader trading area, the Atlanta–Athens-Clarke–Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area. The Combined Statistical Area spans up to 39 counties in north Georgia and has a total 2020 census population of 6,930,423. Atlanta is considered a "beta(+) world city." It is the third-largest metropolitan region in the Census Bureau's Southeast region behind Greater Washington and Greater Miami.

Crowd

DEMOGRAPHICS

POPULATION: 498,715

  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 4.3%

  • White (non-Hispanic): 38.3%

  • Black (non-Hispanic): 51.0%

  • Asian: 4.4%

 In the 2010 Census, Atlanta was recorded as the nation's fourth-largest majority-black city. The New Great Migrationbrought an insurgence of African Americans from California and the North to the Atlanta area. It has long been known as a center of African-American political power, education, economic prosperity, and culture, often called a black mecca. Some middle and upper class African-American residents of Atlanta followed an influx of whites to newer housing and public schools in the suburbs in the early 21st century.

Early immigrants in the Atlanta area were mostly Jews and Greeks. Since 1970, the Hispanic immigrant population, especially Mexicans, has experienced the most rapid growth, particularly in Gwinnett, Cobb, and DeKalb counties. Since 2010, the Atlanta area has seen very notable growth with immigrants from India, China, South Korea, and Jamaica. Other notable countries immigrants come from are Vietnam, Eritrea, Nigeria, the Arabian gulf, Ukraine and Poland. Within a few decades, and in keeping with national trends, immigrants from England, Ireland, and German-speaking central Europe were no longer the majority of Atlanta's foreign-born population. The city's Italians included immigrants from northern Italy, many of whom had been in Atlanta since the 1890s; more recent arrivals from southern Italy; and Sephardic Jews from the Isle of Rhodes, which Italy had seized from Turkey in 1912.

Of the total population five years and older, 83.3% spoke only English at home, while 8.8% spoke Spanish, 3.9% another Indo-European language, and 2.8% an Asian language. 7.3% of Atlantans were born abroad (86th in the US). Atlanta's dialect has traditionally been a variation of Southern American English. The Chattahoochee River long formed a border between the Coastal Southern and Southern Appalachian dialects. Because of the development of corporate headquarters in the region, attracting migrants from other areas of the country, by 2003, Atlanta magazine concluded that Atlanta had become significantly "de-Southernized". A Southern accent was considered a handicap in some circumstances. In general, Southern accents are less prevalent among residents of the city and inner suburbs and among younger people; they are more common in the outer suburbs and among older people. At the same time, some residents of the city speak in Southern variations of African-American English.

Religion in Atlanta, while historically centered on Protestant Christianity, now encompasses many faiths, as a result of the city and metro area's increasingly international population. Some 63% of residents identify as some type of Protestant, but in recent decades the Catholic Church has increased in numbers and influence because of new migrants to the region. Metro Atlanta also has numerous ethnic or national Christian congregations, including Korean and Indian churches. The larger non-Christian faiths are Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Overall, there are over 1,000 places of worship within Atlanta.

In 2008, approximately 83.3% of the population five years and older spoke only English at home, which is roughly 4,125,000 people. Over 436,000 people (8.8%) spoke Spanish at home, giving Metro Atlanta the 15th highest number of Spanish speakers among American metropolitan areas (MSAs). Over 193,000 people (3.9%) spoke other Indo-European languages at home. People who speak an Asian language at home numbered over 137,000 and made up 2.8% of the population.

HOUSING UNITS:   186,998

OWNER-OCCUPIED HOUSING UNIT RATE:   43.5%

MEDIAN VALUE OF HOUSING UNIT:   $334,200

MEDIAN GROSS RENT:   $1,102

Colourful Terraced Houses

HOUSING

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$1,857

Dollar Bill in Jar

ECONOMY

Atlanta has seen the job market increase by 2.9% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 46.8%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%

Tax Rates for Atlanta

  • The Sales Tax Rate for Atlanta is 8.8%. The US average is 7.3%.

  • The Income Tax Rate for Atlanta is 6.0%. The US average is 4.6%.

  • Tax Rates can have big impact when Comparing Cost of Living.

Income and Salaries for Atlanta

  • The average income of a Atlanta resident is $35,719 a year. The US average is $28,555 a year. 

  • The Median household income of a Atlanta resident is $46,439 a year. The US average is $53,482 a year.

With a GDP of $385 billion, the Atlanta metropolitan area's economy is the tenth-largest in the country and among the top 20-largest in the world. Corporate operations play a major role in Atlanta's economy, as the city claims the nation's third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. It also hosts the global headquarters of corporations like The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, Chick-fil-A, and UPS. Over 75% of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the city's metro area, and the region hosts offices of over 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to the city by its educated workforce; as of 2014, 45% of adults aged 25 or older residing in the city have at least 4-year college degrees, compared to the national average of 28%.

Atlanta started as a railroad town, and logistics has been a major component of the city's economy to this day. Atlanta serves as an important rail junction and contains major classification yards for Norfolk Southern and CSX. Since its construction in the 1950s, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has served as a key engine of the city's economic growth. Delta Air Lines, the city's largest employer and the metro area's third-largest, operates the world's largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson, and it has helped make it the world's busiest airport, in terms of both passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Partly due to the airport, Atlanta has been also a hub for diplomatic missions; as of 2017, the city contains 26 consulates general, the seventh-highest concentration of diplomatic missions in the US.

Broadcasting is also an important aspect of Atlanta's economy. In the 1980s, media mogul Ted Turner founded the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in the city. Around the same time, Cox Enterprises, now the nation's third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a dozen American newspapers, moved its headquarters to the city. The Weather Channel is also based just outside of the city in suburban Cobb County.

Information technology (IT) has become an increasingly important part of Atlanta's economic output, earning the city the nickname the "Silicon peach". As of 2013, Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration of IT jobs in the US, numbering 85,000+. The city is also ranked as the sixth fastest-growing for IT jobs, with an employment growth of 4.8% in 2012 and a three-year growth near 9%, or 16,000 jobs. Companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce.

Recently, Atlanta has been the center for film and television production, largely because of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which awards qualified productions a transferable income tax credit of 20% of all in-state costs for film and television investments of $500,000 or more. Some film and television production facilities based in Atlanta include Turner Studios, Pinewood Atlanta Studios, Tyler Perry Studios, Williams Street Productions, and the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages. Film and television production injected $9.5 billion into Georgia's economy in 2017, with Atlanta garnering most of the projects. Atlanta has emerged as the all-time most popular destination for film production in the United States and one of the ten most popular destinations globally.

Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy in the past had been disproportionately affected by the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent recession, with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68 among 100 American cities in a September 2014 report due to an elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a depressed housing market. From 2010 to 2011, Atlanta saw a 0.9% contraction in employment and plateauing income growth at 0.4%. Although unemployment had decreased to 7% by late 2014, this was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8% Atlanta's housing market has also struggled, with home prices dropping by 2.1% in January 2012, reaching levels not seen since 1996. Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta plummeted to 17.3% in February 2012, thus becoming the largest annual drop in the history of the index for any American or global city. The decline in home prices prompted some economists to deem Atlanta the worst housing market in the nation at the height of the depression. Nevertheless, the city's real estate market has resurged since 2012, so much median home value and rent growth significantly outpaced the national average by 2018, thanks to a rapidly-growing regional economy.

Housing

Low-density residential subdivision development dominates the metro Atlanta suburbs.

Changes in house prices for the metro area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor'sand is also a component of S&P's 20‑city composite index of the value of the U.S. residential real estate market.

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