Someone turned off the people faucet: Metro Atlanta population growth slows to trickle unseen since the 1950s

For anyone who’s grown up in metro Atlanta during these last four boom-boom decades, the monthly report from the Atlanta Regional Commission is simply astounding:

[The] ARC estimated that the 10-county Atlanta region added 31,500 new residents between April 1, 2009, and April 1, 2010. This growth is dramatically slower than historical levels, as the national recession and the housing slowdown continue to take their toll.

Since the recession began more than two years ago, the 10-county region has added approximately 56,000 people, which is the slowest growth period in the region since the 1950s.

The Atlanta region’s slowdown is directly attributable to the national economy. During weak economic periods, people don’t move as much for several reasons. Job opportunities are slim, meaning people don’t move to take new jobs. And, with the housing market in such disarray, it is hard to sell a house, which tends to keep people stationary….

Overall, however, this decade has been characterized by fast growth. The Atlanta region has averaged more than 72,000 new residents each year.

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58 comments Add your comment

MiltonMan

August 26th, 2010
4:52 pm

…and states like Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, etc. continue to lose thousands of residents. These states would die for any positive trend in new residents.

Trae

August 26th, 2010
4:54 pm

California is the worst MiltonMan. I am glad personally. It is about time these yankees stay put! lol!

Disavantaged Insider

August 26th, 2010
4:55 pm

I wonder how we compare with Charlotte, which has made it their mission to Eat Our Lunch.

northfultonite

August 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

good. we don’t need any more people here. traffic, water and pollution are bad enough as is.

Innocent Bystander

August 26th, 2010
5:00 pm

We still seem to have an inordinate number of yankees here. Maybe they could improve New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio?

Ward

August 26th, 2010
5:12 pm

Crime, traffic, high unemployment, incompetent government, water problems, the hottest summer in 30 years… why the heck would anyone WANT to come here?

phil

August 26th, 2010
5:22 pm

Everyone knows it’s the liberal democrats’ fault. They are to blame for all of Georgia’s problems.

Rob Vinson

August 26th, 2010
6:18 pm

No one wants to come here because we are the laughing stock of the country!

Belle

August 26th, 2010
6:33 pm

Thank God! Migration to Atlanta is what boomed our economy which is now BUST. Charlotte (banking of the South) and Raleigh (IT of the South) are worse of than we are in many respects. I swear the Real Housewives of NJ have taken over my neighborhood in the pasdt several years. If I hear one more time how there are no good deli’s or pizza joints down in ATL, I am going to scratch their eyes out and pelt them with fried okra and collard greens.

DannyX

August 26th, 2010
6:39 pm

No one wants to come here anymore because the agenda the republicans have put forth is incomplete. People will be flocking here once Republicans finish the job.

1. We have the microchip implant ban, but it does not go far enough. We need a strong bill that rids us of the Georgia Power Smart Meters that are secretly sending all our internet habits off to Washington. These Smart Meters are also transmitting our phone calls to Nancy Pelosi. Obamacare knows if you look up analwarts. These new meters must be banned.

2. Who would want to move here if you can’t bring a gun to church? Legislative action is needed now to bring this much needed security into our sanctuaries of worship.

3. Abortion Billboard Act must be enacted now. Any woman that wants an abortion should be forced to rent a billboard with a picture of the fetus prominently displayed on a major highway or freeway before being allowed to go through with the procedure.

4. We need to schedule anti gay votes for the next 10 years. Anti gay propaganda should not be limited to the Republican governor primary season every four years. This is a family values state.

5. Lets get rid of the Mexicans. And Muslims too. We’ll show our tolerance by letting the Catholics stay. (However, caution must be used with the Episcopalians.)

If we stay on track we will be welcoming thousands of new residents yearly. God Bless.

MiltonMan

August 26th, 2010
6:59 pm

DannyX = DannyClueless. No one has moved here the past 8 years because of Sonny? Stick your head back in the sand & quit posting.

Thanks

godogssicem

August 26th, 2010
7:03 pm

I work in the metro area…but would not move there if gas cost $15.00 a gallon. NO WAY NO HOW…watched the news lately? Maybe everyone wised up. If it is not Meth it’s a stray bullet. Why would ANYONE want to live in Metro Atlanta? I am thinking when the economy picks up the pop there might SHRINK. Oh yea…Clark Atlanta Tech AKA GT SUX…and always will.

Us vs Us

August 26th, 2010
7:03 pm

MiltonMan = Not relevant and unable to detect satire. Stop posting. Thanks.

Us vs Us

August 26th, 2010
7:06 pm

I work downtown and live no more than 5 min away. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but to each his or her own.

Boodle

August 26th, 2010
7:40 pm

Disadvantaged insider: according to the Charlotte Chamber, that area added 50K residents from 08 to 09, BUT bear in mind, the entire Charlotte MSA only has 1.7 million people compared to Atlanta MSA with 5.6 million, so it’s a big big difference between the two. If you’ve ever been there–no comparison.

RGB

August 26th, 2010
8:17 pm

Us vs Us knows not the definition of satire.

That the 5 things Danny Boy listed are top of mind–and that he believes that other people share his fixation with these things–is perplexing.

But I’ll bet the “God Bless” part constituted satire. Why would a lib not want to use a literary device to bash Christianity. It makes them appear sophisticated.

max

August 26th, 2010
8:27 pm

@ Rob Vinson-You sound like a high school girl who nobody wants to hang with. “we are the laughing stock of the country”..WAAAAAHHH. Why do you think so? I would love to hear what you think. seriously. I am aware of our changes to local government that are happening, some bad, some good. But I look forward to positive things that are being done to Atlanta, and I will be try to be an active part in going in the right direction.

Curious

August 26th, 2010
8:37 pm

Jim, not trying to bait (just genuinely curious), but any idea if these estimates include illegals?

Bobby

August 26th, 2010
8:52 pm

Hey DannyX. I thought your post was great. I’m still chuckling.

leo

August 26th, 2010
8:59 pm

DannyX, you hit the nail on the head!!!

Rob Vinson

August 26th, 2010
9:24 pm

Max, I’m a 4th generation Atlanta resident. I feel that as of late, we are a laughing stock of the nation because of what this city and state has turned into. We have “brother Sonny,” who perpetually looks like he just finished a bucket of fried chicken with that greasy cheshire cat grin….who has been inept for the past 8 years. The traffic sucks, the air quality sucks, the water situation is a mess and the schools consistently are ranked near the bottom compared to the other states. The city of Atlanta with the corruption in City Hall, the APS and the airport don’t do anything to help our image either. This is home for me and I don’t plan on leaving, but we have real work to do to improve the quality of life here as well as the image that the rest of the country has of us.

max

August 26th, 2010
9:39 pm

Thank you Rob. I agree with most of what you are saying. Atlanta does have alot of work to be done to better the quality of life for residents who who reside here. I hope that people will go out and vote for changes come November. I guess that I don’t care what other states think of us. I don’t hear that we are the laughing stock at all with my colleagues at our offices in California, Washington D.C and New York. Yes, a positive image would be nice to portray, no Norman Rockwell painting, but a nice postcard. Most states are dealing with similar issues, so other states should we worrying about their own local problems. The media portrays a way different story than what really is going on. Have a good night.

WE have lost our way

August 26th, 2010
10:06 pm

When my wife retires in four years; we will get the hell out of here.I have lived in Atlanta all of my life. It has taken a large step backwards in the last 20 years.Quality of life,traffic,government,cost of living,crime all over the place and people who have become rude like northerner’s or maybe they are northerner’s.Hell,I guess we are out numbered.

Us vs Us

August 26th, 2010
10:31 pm

RGB does not know the definition of satire. My guess is you Googled it like Gretchen Carlson and still got it wrong. Thanks for the laugh.

Goobers

August 26th, 2010
10:38 pm

Beautiful Words from James Howard Kunstler:

“Behind the incoherent cargo of conflicting complaints that makes up Tea Party doctrine — like “keeping the government’s hands off our medicare!” — stands the more basic dissolution of the Sunbelt’s miracle economy, along with the pain and bewilderment of the southern peckerwood political nexus that rose out of the dust after World War Two to build the suburban nirvana of universal air-conditioning, happy motoring, Jesus tub-thumping, over-eating, and Friday night football that defined Sunbelt culture. They sense now that history is about to thrust them back into the okra patch, with the hookworms and the chiggers, as the economy whirls down the drain, and the car dealerships close up, and the idle production homebuilders succumb to methedrine addiction, and the price of Reba McEntire tickets exceeds their dwindling resources, and they are none too happy about any of that.
Of course this Sunbelt political culture has tentacles and outposts all over the USA, wherever a few generations of laboring folk enjoyed debt-fueled parabolic rises in living standards during the cheap oil decades, and now find themselves in foreclosure hell, indentured to the very WalMarts that they welcomed with open arms (and allowed to destroy their local businesses) — and, of course, it’s yet another paradox that these are the same folk who will still defend the big box masters to their deaths. The America they stand for is a weird contradictory mish-mash of Confederate nostalgia, hyper-individualism that really owes allegiance to nothing, racial enmity, religious paranoia, and potemkin patriotism — especially involving anything in the constitution that allows them to wriggle out of obligations to the public interest at the same time that they get to push other groups of people around

Goobers

August 26th, 2010
10:41 pm

As explained earlier, the cotton curtain is coming down on Dixie. Back to goat-roping and sister-poking.Dixie is circling the drain and lots of fecal matter in the vortex.

Goobers

August 26th, 2010
10:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Truth Speaker

August 26th, 2010
10:52 pm

we have lost our way,

what? From what I remember Yankees like me put Atlanta on the map by sending jobs to the cheap south. You southerners were not doing a good job running your economies and needed the educated and experienced people of the north and pacific coast to bring this state into the 21st century.

Your welcome.

PLEASE TAKE US BACK 2 DA 1950'S GUD OLE BOY DAYS

August 27th, 2010
3:44 am

TELL’EM TRUTH SPEAKER! WE MIGHT NEED TO BRING SHERMAN BACK ALIVE TO BURN DOWN ALL OF RACIST RURAL GEORGIA,NOW TAKE THAT DIXIE!

P.S. THE REBELS WITH LEE AND JEFF SISSY DAVIS LOST,NOW GO AND BURN A CONFEDERATE FLAG,DOWN WITH DIXIE!

Appalachian

August 27th, 2010
5:55 am

The South has always offered quality of life in a number of ways that cannot be measured in dollars. When GA population increases went ballistic, too many people were only interested in making money off the increase to the detriment of quality of life issues. Now that growth has slowed, maybe we should all slow down, take a hard look at the monster we have created and try to make amends.

Billy in Savannah

August 27th, 2010
6:00 am

These comments are hilarious. I do not agree with MiltonMan but enjoy his posts. It seems to me Georgia has lost the image of the most progressive state in the south to NC. Georgians need to think of out motto (”wisdom, justice and moderation”) when voting in November. Early voting actually begins in mid September. I will not even say who I support although you can probably guess. Turn out and vote in record numbers!

lmno

August 27th, 2010
7:00 am

Well, that means at least one positive has come from this recession.

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell” – Ed Abbey

The truth

August 27th, 2010
7:25 am

What do you call a Yankee when you see him or her? Boss.

WE have lost our way

August 27th, 2010
7:50 am

@ The truth—-You know what Boss means spelled backwards–DoubleSOB!!! Have a great day you carpetbagger.

November

August 27th, 2010
7:52 am

Folks, have y’all not been listening to the news or reading that fine publication :) known as the AJC? The reason people have stopped coming to our area is because our school systems suck. Why would you move to Atlanta Proper if you had school age children? or DeKalb County or Clayton County? I don’t have any school age children and frankly, I’m thinking of moving out because as the school systems go, so goes the area in general. Look at the local news on TV and what do you see? Our new governor (Purdue’ not gonna do it) needs to clean all this up or we’re headed the way of Detroit……we’re pretty close now. We’re the State Of Adventure, but I’m not sure that’s the kind of adventure we’re looking for.

Bill

August 27th, 2010
8:13 am

godogssicem,

I live in the city of Atlanta, and when I watch the news it makes me afraid to go to the suburbs. Just a matter of perspective I guess. Most folks think their neighborhood is pretty good, but other places are scary. Just as three fourths of Americans think the school their kids go to is an “A or B”, but we only 1/3 say the same thing about schools nationally.

Bill

August 27th, 2010
8:15 am

November,

I am from Detroit. The only thing that Atlanta and Detroit have in common is a majority black population. The decay and devastation in Detroit has to be seen to be believed. It has been a 60 year process.

Bill

August 27th, 2010
8:20 am

There are two reasons that people are not moving here. It is not the republicans, or the rednecks, or the bible thumpers, or the traffic, or the crime. First, have you looked at the unemployment rate? People move where there are jobs. Second, many people have to sell a house in order to move, and that is very difficult to do right now.

Jess

August 27th, 2010
8:25 am

Hey Truth Speaker,

If you’re so educated, why did you sign your post “your welcome?” It should be “you’re welcome” as in “you are welcome.” Now I may have been educated here in Georgia, but I do know simple grammar.

Ssej

August 27th, 2010
8:40 am

Jess “you’re” a sad redneck. Using the redneck school of reasoning where you don’t examine an opposing point of view but just dismiss it entirely on the basis of something irrelevant. I guess it saves the trouble of thinking, tell me – are you an urban planner too?

Why don’t people understand how strange it is that the major ‘want’ of living in the metro area is only to be close to your workplace?

lmno

August 27th, 2010
9:06 am

I plan on leaving here one day. Someone once said to me, “Atlanta is far too south to not be on the ocean”, and that made a lot of sense.

But in the end, I’m goin out West where they’ll appreciate me.

P.S. Thank you Mr. Carter!

Mike

August 27th, 2010
9:21 am

So who wants to live in Atlanta? Terrible traffic, high taxes, crime. I guess if you’re from up north, it’s heaven. Not me, when I retired I moved out of the rat race to South Georgia. At least there’s still a snese of community here. Help save America, vote conservative.

Us vs Us

August 27th, 2010
9:28 am

@Ssej – “Why don’t people understand how strange it is that the major ‘want’ of living in the metro area is only to be close to your workplace?”

For me that is a huge consideration, though certainly not the only reason. The 5 min commute allows me to spend at least 21-22 extra days with my family based on a one hour probable commute each way. I nearly get an extra month of my life NOT sitting in traffic. If I worked OTP I would likely move there for the same reason. I also enjoy the diversity of people, viewpoints, lifestyles, backgrounds etc. There are people from all over the world in Atlanta, it’s like on big international terminal. Having grown up in the burbs I know they can be a bit different in these respects and I like the change. I also really like the fact that I can travel a short distance from my home which is in a neighborhood that looks like Anytown, USA and be in the middle of a bustling urban city that, despite what naysayers will tell you, is still expanding, changing, developing, and improving. There is a level of excitement here which I really enjoy. All my opinions and observations of course.

Us vs Us

August 27th, 2010
9:31 am

Mike, for what it’s worth there are many areas that have an amazing sense of community in metro Atlanta, my area included. We have parent networks, public safety networks, groups who team up to improve parks and other public spaces,very strong neighborhood associations, loads of civic involvement, festivals, events, and more spontaneous porch parties than you can stumble to and from in one night. :) I’ve seen people come together for each other more times than I can remember and it’s another reason I remain.

NUTZ @ U

August 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Enter your comments here

Lifelong Georgian

August 27th, 2010
9:38 am

Goober and Milton Man – Excellent Post!!!

Bill – Unemployment is only the byproduct of a lack of progressive thinking for job creation in getting companies to relocate to Atlanta or Georgia. It needs to be a paradigm shift from simply belieing that being Pro-Business goes beyond giving tax cuts to corporations. When politicians stop trying to simply win elections and start developing policies that drive infastructure improvements, effectively reduce crime and improve education will we then see a quality of life improvement and a net decrease in unemployment.

Disavantaged Insider

August 27th, 2010
9:55 am

I thought DannyX’s post was hilarious! @ Boodle, I have been there, lots of times, and I’ve talked to the people and the leaders there. You are correct that there is no comparison; in terms of livability, Charlotte is well beyond us. We are becoming the Detroit of the South. Eeeww.

jm

August 27th, 2010
9:55 am

Yep. I’ve had 2 friends and one neighbor move to other cities in the last 30 days. One went to Charleston, the other Jacksonville, the last one Chicago.

Everyone’s evacuating out of Atlanta – no jobs. This city may be sunk…. Detroit v 2.0 unless the city and state quickly get their act together.

jm

August 27th, 2010
9:58 am

Billy in Savannah – funny too, I think Savannah is more cosmopolitan than Atlanta these days. More interesting things going on in a city 1/20 the size of Atlanta. Better place, better lifestyle, better efforts on the business front.

Mind boggling. This state and city need to get their act together.

Decatur Bubber

August 27th, 2010
10:13 am

So what’s the problem? We’ve been on pro-growth-at-any-price steroids for waaaaaaay too long. And, just look at all the “positives” all that growth done brought us: highways clogged with cars, no way to walk to where we need to go, sprawled development, no regional transit, dirty air, diminishing greenspace, filthy water, and government run by GOP yahoos who just want to line their pockets by keeping the growth machine well-oiled with their PAC-funded politicians. Gawlee, I jest don’t see a problem with slowin it all down. Maybe ending it entirely.