Where did Atlanta go?

One of the most startling Georgia numbers to come out the U.S. Census Bureau data dump last week was the 120,000 people who suddenly went missing in the city of Atlanta.

The bureau’s 2009 estimate for the city was 540,922 – reflecting what was thought to be an influx of new young residents attempting to escape a grinding suburban commute.

Instead, the official 2010 number for the city of Atlanta is 420,003. Not even close to the half-million mark. The ’09 estimate was off by 22 percent. Was it the home mortgage crisis? The collapse of the condo market?

That’s the question more than one politico will be asking this week.
Here’s how the census undercount broke down in metro Atlanta’s top five counties:

Clayton: 2009 estimate of 275,772; 2010 Census count of 259,424. Gap: -16,348 or 6 percent;

Cobb: 2009 estimate of 714,692; 2010 Census count of 688,078. Gap: -26,614 or 3.7 percent.

DeKalb: 2009 estimate of 747,274; 2010 Census count of 691,893. Gap: -55,381 or 7 percent;

Fulton: 2009 estimate of 1,033,756; 2010 Census count of 920,581. Gap: -113,175 or 11 percent;

And Gwinnett: 2009 estimate of 808,167; 2010 Census count of 805,321. Gap: -2,846 or .3 percent.

The undercount in metro Atlanta could be good news for south Georgia’s political clout. For instance, number-crunchers were anticipating that growth in metro Atlanta would require a shift of five House districts out of south Georgia. Now, only four may move.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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80 comments Add your comment

dc

March 21st, 2011
2:55 pm

Is this citizens, or all people? If people, then the economy driving many folks back to their home country could easily account for this disparity.

bob smith

March 21st, 2011
3:00 pm

I live in Midtown Atlanta. I’d move to Cobb county in a heartbeat if I could just sell my (overly inflated property tax) house. Taxes, school system,crime, traffic…bleh, what’s left to like?

Centrist

March 21st, 2011
3:44 pm

A detailed census “undercount” versus the 2009 “estimate”?

I think this is verbage reversal.

Last Man Standing

March 21st, 2011
4:05 pm

Now, if you want to do something really interesting, compare the crime figures from the year 200 for Atlanta against the 2010 figures while keeping in mind the 22% loss in population. Then tell me that Atlanta doesn’t have a MAJOR crime problem.

Last Man Standing

March 21st, 2011
4:06 pm

Left off a zero! Should read “from the year 2000″.

Jenn B

March 21st, 2011
4:09 pm

Well, I moved from Atlanta to Cobb County but both numbers went down. Where did I go?! @bob we did just that. We lived in Westside Atlanta for ten years but we finally took off to East Cobb thanks to the crime, increased traffic (Howell Mill is a nightmare these days), crazy water bills, taxes, etc, etc. Unfortunately we won’t be able to sell that house anytime soon so we are renting it out. Still taking a bath on it, but not nearly as bad. On a positive note we got a GREAT deal on a house in East Cobb.

SB

March 21st, 2011
4:24 pm

We all live in Atlanta regardless of city limits for Atlanta or any other surrounding municipality. We are Atlanta residents. Do you think people in the burbs of Seattle say “oh no no we live in XYC County not Seattle”? Have some pride in your city, the only city in Georgia most the county has ever heard of.

Hollis

March 21st, 2011
4:29 pm

Who wants to live in Atlanta??????????

rooster

March 21st, 2011
4:29 pm

SB: Except Savannah, of course.

GaBlue

March 21st, 2011
4:31 pm

Atlanta was a nice place to live before the millions of ill-mannered transplants arrived and started jamming up our roads and cramming their mcmansions everywhere, pushing the middle class farther and farther into the congested, suburban (now exo-burban) sprawl with the exact same cookie-cutter corporate chain stores every three miles, so that driving from county to county is like deja vu vu vu and vu. TIP: If you moved here from someplace else, you have no right to beech about the traffic. It’s YOUR fault!

gsueagle

March 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

move to southeast georgia. it’s beautiful

Roekest

March 21st, 2011
4:47 pm

@ SB,

I fear you are severely mistaken. I live 30+ miles outside of Atlanta. It will be a cold day in he!! when I call myself an “Atlantan”. And I do have pride in MY city, not yours.

scottbravesfan

March 21st, 2011
4:51 pm

There is nothing to do in south east Georgia. South Georgia is like Alabama and Mississippi nothing there.

Rooster: A lot of people in this country have no idea where Savannah is. It’s not a major city. If it was not for metro Atlanta the entire state of Georgia would be awful and like Alabama and South Carolina. Some of you people should have a little pride in where you live.

Port O'John

March 21st, 2011
4:53 pm

What’s the quickest way to Alabama from Little Five Points?

20 miles in any direction. Once you are outside the perimeter, it’s all Alabama.

bullyrebel01

March 21st, 2011
4:54 pm

I remember when I felt like SB. It was before the Olympics, when we all felt we were part of something much bigger, at least bigger than Bill Campbell’s wallet, or his patronage decisions that stunk up the place in front of God and everybody. Sorry, SB, no more pride. This place is a crime-infested, systemically corrupt cesspool, and it’s expensive. Shoot, Delta isn’t even ready when you are, like it used to be. The HJIIA is a surly snot-patch too. Wah-wah-wah. Yeah-yeah-yeah, I retire in 18 months, and me and my 6-figure income is outa here.

td

March 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

@SB,

When I am in any other part of the country I tell people I am from Cobb county. Had very few that did not know where I was talking about.

GaBlue

March 21st, 2011
5:01 pm

… of course you are.

SOGA

March 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

Alabama is looking better all the time.

Burp Bacharach

March 21st, 2011
5:05 pm

The streets of buckhead debacle was the last nail in the proverbial coffin….

SOGA

March 21st, 2011
5:08 pm

That’s what makes South Georgia so great, All you people are not there. Go back to Atlanta.

BigAl

March 21st, 2011
5:16 pm

Surprise!! No one wants to live in Atlanta. High crime, high taxes, poorly run, terrible schools, terrible leadership, awful traffic. Did I mention crime? I know that trolley from the MLK Center to the World of Coke will bring people back by the 1000s though.

Back to Bama

March 21st, 2011
5:35 pm

Enter your comments here

las cruces

March 21st, 2011
5:36 pm

atl is the promised land surrounded by the masses of ignorant rednecks who make the south the laughing stock of the free World

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
5:38 pm

Interesting…

In the year 2000 whites accounted for 67% of the population in Gwinnett, 10 years later that percentage is down to 44%.

Why are whites fleeing Gwinnett?

Atlanta actually increased its white population, it went from 31% to 36%.

Was there white flight from Gwinnett to Atlanta?

Charles

March 21st, 2011
5:38 pm

NO JOBS! That explains the exodus from here!

Reality

March 21st, 2011
5:39 pm

Everybody sing: We call it A-T-L because it’s easy to spell.

Chief

March 21st, 2011
5:40 pm

Too funny GABlue – most cities would recognize the demographic trends that were so evident for years and would have planned accordingly so that the city could grow and prosper. Things like transit, sewers, infrastructure, etc. But our backwards state and city government is too clueless to allow prosperity, so we are now mired in the muck. Don’t blame the people who moved here expecting competent government. Blame the incompetent government.

BigAl

March 21st, 2011
5:41 pm

Maybe they should build a GA Rap Museum in honor of all the Atlanta rappers who have shot each other or are in jail. That should put Atlanta back on the map and rush 1000s to call Atlanta their new home.

Back to Bama

March 21st, 2011
5:45 pm

I lived in Atlanta from 1995-2011 it wasn’t that bad made friends from all over the country who like myself relocated during the Olympic era. I did enjoy the convenience of the airport; however, the traffic and crime is absolutely horrible. I personally feel Atlanta will become Detroit in the next 10 years a city of doom and gloom. I relocated to Birmingham and for the most part not a major difference other than the “nightlife” great place to raise kids. All the crime started in ATL as a result of a self promoted nightlife and “D” list celebrites. Good Luck!!!

Ouside the Perimeter

March 21st, 2011
5:54 pm

Don’t know ’bout the rest of you but n our travels we DO tell people we are from The NE metro area of Atlanta in a small town called (*****). they have heard of Atlanta…so what?
Do I care how many people in the county(sic) have ever hear of my town, or any other town in GA for that matter? Not in the least.
And, having been born and reared in extreme SE GA on the St. Marys River, I do like it down there, except for the gnats.
Finally, Brother Dave Gardner (God rest his soul), used to quip: “The only reason people live up North is ’cause they have jobs up there!” If that didn’t get their attention, he further stated, “How many people have you ever know who have retired to the North?”
Selah

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
5:55 pm

What are these changing demographics you speak of chief?

Gwinnett white population 2010= 67%….in 2010= 44%

Atlanta black population 2000= 61%…in 2010= 53%

Atlanta white population 2000= 31%…in 2010= 36%

Cliff

March 21st, 2011
5:56 pm

I have enjoyed living within the city limits of Atlanta for the past 23 years, first as a student, then as a renter, and now as a home owner. Are there problems? Sure, the ones you all have mentioned make a good list, but they are not unique to the city of Atlanta. Do i get frustrated with the city’s leadership and decision-making? Certainly, but even our area’s newly created cities have had problems. Do I worry about crime? Yes, my house has been broken into once and I have had car break-ins, too. But, Cobb and Gwinett also have police forces, so something must be keeping them busy.

On balance, however, I like the folks living on my street and the neighborhood has a warm, community feeling. Sunday was the annual spring planting where folks brought trowels and flowers to spruce up East Atlanta Village. I appreciate all the things Atlanta has to offer, including excellent music, a wide variety of great restaurants, beautiful churches, lively theater, the parade of springtime trees and flowers blooming, the creative cinema scene and interesting places to shop. Although the number of choices can be overwhelming, I love that there are so many things to do, including sipping tea on the porch swing while watching the squirrels chase each other through the trees. So, on the whole, the good outweighs the bad for me at the moment and is worth the extra money.

Jay

March 21st, 2011
6:00 pm

This city has become so violent. That may be the reason.

Atlanta = Hipster Disneyland

March 21st, 2011
6:03 pm

Atlanta physically rebuilt itself between 2000 and 2010 but forgot one tiny thing. You have to have families to make a city appealing. The only people moving to the City are singles of various persuasions. The City is not easy on families: high taxes, high crime, poor schools, limited parks, no recreation, expensive housing.

The only people who do not mind this are gullible hipsters who value riding their bikes to class or work, proudly sporting their spandex racing outfits, over other trivial concerns such as taxes, crime, public education. Of course this enlightenment makes them our moral superiors, just ask them.

OldTech

March 21st, 2011
6:07 pm

I lived in Atlanta, Smyrna & Marietta from 1975 – 1988. Loved Herren’s, tubing the ‘hooch, the Omni & Plaza Drugs. Thank God the Fox was saved. Atlanta feels more & more like a cookie cutter cutout of every large city in the U.S., it is losing the personality that made it great.
And before you say that South Georgia makes Georgia a laughing stock to the rest of the country, you should look at the news reports that the rest of the U.S. sees about the Atlanta Public School System.

Atlanta=Detroit

March 21st, 2011
6:13 pm

Out of Darkness
By James Howard Kunstler
on May 24, 2010 6:55 AM

If the Devil created an anti-city, a place where people would feel least human, Atlanta would surely be that place — despite the prayerful babble of tongues emanating from the evangelical roller rinks at every freeway off-ramp. One might think: Los Angeles, but that city at least came up with the amenity of valet parking, mostly lacking in Atlanta, where the suffocating heat slows the journey of blood from heart to brain.

transplant

March 21st, 2011
6:15 pm

Who would choose to be crammed together like sardines when housing is still affordable in the suburbs? Too bad all the suburbs are putting high-density people warehouses everywhere and calling it Smart Growth. Great. Atlanta Regional Commission wants to urbanize the suburbs after people have voted with their feet to escape it.

Last Man Standing

March 21st, 2011
6:18 pm

DannyX:

“Was there white flight from Gwinnett to Atlanta?”

Nope, the white flight from Gwinnett is to Walton, Morgan and other counties even further out. I guess before it’s over with, a lot of people are going to have to learn to fly – if they commute to Atlanta.

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
6:24 pm

White flight from Gwinnett? Why? I thought Gwinnett was so wonderful.

There was no white flight in Atlanta the past 10 years, in fact whites increased their percentage.

CCP games in Gwinnett County just announced they are moving from Gwinnett to Decatur. They said Decatur offers a better quality of life for their 300 employees.

Last Man Standing

March 21st, 2011
6:30 pm

My in-laws lived on Sinclair Avenue in Inman Park. In 1986, my mother-in-law was followed home as she returned from the grocery store. Her assailant followed her into her home, fractured her skull and knocked out three teeth for the very little money she had in her purse. She was able to give a very good description of the perpetrator who, of course, was never found by APD.

I feel sorry for the people who are “trapped” in Atlanta because of the housing bust. When I retired in 1993, I swore that I would never return to Atlanta even to visit. That is one promise that I have kept.

SOGA

March 21st, 2011
6:33 pm

I live 75 miles south of Atlanta and will drive 50 miles out of the way to get around it.

The Burbs

March 21st, 2011
6:39 pm

Port O’John

March 21st, 2011
4:53 pm
What’s the quickest way to Alabama from Little Five Points?
20 miles in any direction. Once you are outside the perimeter, it’s all Alabama.

And once you’re inside it’s all Zimbabwe.

Alabama Communist

March 21st, 2011
6:54 pm

No doubt the Alien Lizards from the Planet ” Newt” swoop in and ate 120 thousand Atlanta voters to insured that President Newt wins the State of Georgia and makes it a Republican Paradise in waiting!!!!!!!!

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
6:55 pm

SOGA. your political leaders from south Georgia sure don’t make a u-turn.

When in session your boys are here feasting on lobby pork. Pork, pork, pork, breakfast lunch and dinner. For dessert they haul off 35% of all Atlanta tax dollars and funnel into more south Georgia pork. Pork, pork , pork, for you and your friends to stuff your faces with.

rooster

March 21st, 2011
6:57 pm

scottbravesfan: I do take great pride in Atlanta, because I have lived in several other large cities that think highly of themselves, and I think Atlanta compares favorably to them. But sir, if a person in this country doesn’t know where Savannah is, there is going to be a long list of things that person doesn’t know.

dan

March 21st, 2011
7:01 pm

so what is the solution, where has atlanta failed us over the years? what is lacking and how do we go about fixing the many problems we encounter here on the regular. i moved here from the army stationed in savannah back in 1983. this place was wonderful and i loved living here. but over the years my desire to live here has diminished with time. i too will look for greener pastures once junior finishes high school. this place is not even a shadow of what it once was or the potential it could have been. who do we blame it on. i know i did my part working law enforcement in atl. for 19 yrs trying to make this place safe. what this place once promised is now hard to find, to many negatives around for my taste….

SOGA

March 21st, 2011
7:02 pm

Hey DannyX – not as much as your Politicians. It’s not Atlanta Tax dollars, it’s Georgia’s tax dollars.

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
7:12 pm

“It’s not Atlanta Tax dollars, it’s Georgia’s tax dollars.”

You must be a Socialist.

DannyX

March 21st, 2011
7:14 pm

“It’s not Atlanta Tax dollars, it’s Georgia’s tax dollars.”

Or perhaps its just good old fashioned entitlement mentality.

SOGA

March 21st, 2011
7:16 pm

DannyX – For dessert they haul off 35% of all Atlanta tax dollars and funnel into more south Georgia pork. Pork, pork , pork, for you and your friends to stuff your faces with.

You sound like the socialists.