Atlanta: The South’s City
If you are energized by modern metropolises and traditional Southern charm…. then Atlanta fits the bill. The South’s capital city, metro Atlanta, is home to more than 5.6 million people and nearly 150,000 businesses.
The city offers a mix of antebellum architecture and modern glass high-rises, countless parks and rivers, and a vibrant arts, music and dining scene–not to mention having the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and the busiest airport.
Building on its origins as a transportation crossroads, Atlanta has become a vibrant and growing community, the nation’s ninth-largest metro area and home to entertainers and entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs and physicians, academics and artists.
A city of neighborhoods, Atlanta loves its festivals and historical home tours, and offers new residents many housing options from intown lofts and updated apartments to spacious homes in the burbs.
The city’s turn as host to the 1996 Olympics put it on the map as a cultural and international destination, helping fuel its growth over the last two decades. But unlike other major urban centers on either U.S. coast, Atlanta offers an affordable cost of living. Your money goes further here.
In the past two decades, metro Atlanta has experienced unprecedented growth – between 2000 and 2010, it was one of only three major metros in the nation to add more than a million people (the other two cities were Houston and Dallas). Low cost of living, favorable climate, and job opportunities are all factors that have spurred this growth.
The official city population stands at 456,000 as of 2014. The metro population has grown dramatically over the last decade to 5.6 million people as of 2014. The constantly evolving downtown skyline, along with skyscrapers constructed in the Midtown, Buckhead, and outer perimeter (fringing I-285) business districts, reflect this growth, while the growing popularity of intown living, spurred by construction of a new transit greenway known as the Atlanta Beltline, means that Atlanta will continue to be a desirable destination for people who are attracted to the Southeast’s fastest-growing city.
Below you’ll find the top 11 reasons to move to Atlanta:
1. Amazing Weather– A temperate climate with mild winters and extended spring and fall seasons means that residents can be outside year-round. Because Atlanta is 1,000 feet above sea level, it cools off in the evenings, even in the summer.
2. Plentiful Jobs –Metro Atlanta region was No. 2 in the nation for job growth (up 3.2 percent), and No. 4 for total jobs added (79,600), according to survey data from the Atlanta Regional Commission. The fastest-growing employment sectors are leisure and hospitality, construction and professional and business services.
3. Affordable Cost of Living – A lower cost of living in Atlanta for major expenses like housing, clothing, food, and gasoline help keep the region’s cost of living below the U.S. average – and well below those of most major metropolitan areas. The median sale price for an Atlanta home is currently $177,500.
4. Bustling Economy – With Georgia Tech leading the charge with its Technology Square innovation district in the heart of Midtown, Fortune 500 firms like NCR Corporation and start-ups are moving their headquarters to the city to tap into Atlanta’s talent pool. For three years’ running, Georgia has been named the best state in the nation for business. So many Fortune 1000 firms are moving here that two-term Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has called Atlanta the “New Headquarters Capital.”
5. Affordable and Convenient Travel–Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, serving 100 million passengers in 2015 alone. Residents get the perk of cheaper airline tickets and more direct flights. Plus, 83% of major U.S. cities are less than two hours away. The airport also contributes more than $34 billion in direct business revenue to the local economy.
6. The Atlanta Beltline – This visionary use of intown Atlanta’s abandoned rail path to create walkable trails has spurred economic development while connecting the city’s urban
neighborhoods — transforming Atlanta into a transit greenway.
7. Hollywood of the South – Filmmakers love Atlanta, with the city serving as the location for TV’s #1 rated show, “The Walking Dead” and blockbusters like “The Hunger Games.” Thanks to generous tax incentives, Georgia generated more than $6 billion from film production budgets in 2014 and recently has been named the number one state for growth in the film industry.
8. Millennial-friendly – Not only is Atlanta the #2 city in the country for millennials and the #4 city for dating, but it’s also a mecca for young people looking for a quality university experience and to begin their post-college careers. It’s no surprise that two in three residents of Midtown, one of the fastest-growing intown areas, are millennials.
9. City of Neighborhoods – From historic Victorian communities to edgy and artsy enclaves to high-rise luxury apartments, Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods and spacious suburban communities offer something for everyone. With tree-canopied streets and proximity to public transit, residents can enjoy a neighborhood feel with all the big-city advantages.
10. Higher Ed Mecca – With 66 colleges offering an array of programs, including the largest concentration of historically black colleges and universities in the United States and one of the U.S.’s best engineering schools, Metro Atlanta is bubbling with students from diverse areas of study. In the 2013-14 school year, Georgia was among the top four states in the country to give the greatest amount of grant aid on a per capita basis, thanks in large part to the HOPE Scholarship.
11. Diversity – Atlanta residents are visionary, entrepreneurial, and include a thriving creative class. Long hailed as the unofficial capital of black America, Atlanta attracts and cultivates black artists and professionals. It also is known for being LGBT-friendly, with Georgia’s first high school for LGBT students and teachers slated to open in Atlanta in 2016. Many people consider Atlanta’s diversity one of its greatest strengths.