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Demographics of Atlanta
Population pyramid of Atlanta in 2021
Population420,003 (2010)
Map of race and ethnicity in Atlanta
  white
  black
  Hispanic (of any race)
  Asian

Atlanta is the capital and largest city in the state of Georgia. Atlanta ranks as the 38th-largest in the United States, and the sixth-largest city in the southeastern region. 2010 census results varied dramatically with previous Census Bureau estimates, counting 420,003 residents.[1][2] Atlanta is the core city of the ninth most populous United States metropolitan area at 5,268,860 (est. 2010),[3] with a combined statistical area of 5,626,400.[4] A 2015 article, written by Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, found that Atlanta was the second most segregated city in the U.S.[5]

City of Atlanta

History

Atlanta's population grew steadily during the first 100 years of the city's existence, and peaked in 1970 at around 496,000. However, from 1970 to 2000, the city lost over 100,000 residents, a decrease of around 16 percent. During the same time, the metro area gained over three million people, cutting the city's share of the metro population in half, from over 25 percent in 1970 to around 12 percent in 2000.[6] However, the city's population bottomed out in 1990 at around 394,000, and it has been increasing every year since then, reaching 420,003 residents in 2010. The population count for the 2020 census was 498,715, surpassing the 1970 population.[7]

Racial composition 2010[8] 1990[9] 1970[9] 1940[9]
White 38.4% 31.0% 48.4% 65.4%
Non-Hispanic 36.3% 30.3% 47.3%[10] n/a
Black or African American 54.0% 67.1% 51.3% 34.6%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 5.2% 1.9% 1.5%[10] n/a

2010 Census

Historical populations
Census City[11] Region[12]
1850 2,572 N/A
1860 9,554 N/A
1870 21,789 N/A
1880 37,409 N/A
1890 65,533 N/A
1900 89,872 419,375
1910 154,839 522,442
1920 200,616 622,283
1930 270,366 715,391
1940 302,288 820,579
1950 331,314 997,666
1960 487,455 1,312,474
1970 496,973 1,763,626
1980 425,022 2,233,324
1990 394,017 2,959,950
2000 416,474 4,112,198
2010 420,003 5,729,304
*Estimates[13][14]
Region: Combined Statistical Area (CSA)


Income

In 2009, the median income for a household in the city was $47,464 and the median income for a family was $59,711. About 21.8% of the population and 17.2% of families lived below the poverty line.[15]

Race and ethnicity

Main articles: History of the Jews in Atlanta and African Americans in Atlanta

Atlanta city, Georgia – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[16] Pop 2010[17] Pop 2020[18] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 130,222 152,377 192,148 31.27% 36.28% 38.53%
Black or African American alone (NH) 254,062 224,316 233,018 61.00% 53.41% 46.72%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 594 754 767 0.14% 0.18% 0.15%
Asian alone (NH) 7,949 13,098 22,208 1.91% 3.12% 4.45%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 131 115 171 0.03% 0.03% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 630 739 2,493 0.15% 0.18% 0.50%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 4,166 6,789 17,922 1.00% 1.62% 3.59%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 18,720 21,815 29,988 4.49% 5.19% 6.01%
Total 416,474 420,003 498,715 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

Once the nation's 4th largest black-majority city, Atlanta fell below 50% non-Hispanic African American in the 2020 census. The non-Hispanic African-American population has the largest percentage decline in the city since the 2000 census. [19]

The non-Hispanic white alone population of the city of Atlanta has grown significantly since 2000. Between 2000 and 2020, Atlanta's non-Hispanic white population had increased by 61,296 people while the Black population declined by 21,044. The non-Hispanic white percentage increased from 31.3% in 2000, to 36.3% in 2010, to 38.5% in 2020. Since 2000, Atlanta demographics have drastically changed due to an influx of whites into gentrifying intown neighborhoods, such as East Atlanta and the Old Fourth Ward, coupled with a stronger movement of Blacks into surrounding suburbs, especially in Clayton County and DeKalb County.[20][21][22] an influx of Asians and Hispanics moving into the city, combined with increased identification as mixed race and more children born in interracial marriages.

The city of Atlanta has recently become relatively more diverse. The city long consisted overwhelmingly of non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites; those groups made up 92.1% of the city in 1990, but by 2020 their proportion had shrunk to 85.3%. Atlanta's Hispanic population increased 11,268 from 2000 to 2020, and in 2020 the city was 6.0% Hispanic. The Asian American population increased by 14,259 and in 2020 Asian Americans made up 4.5% of the city.

The Metro Atlanta as a whole is also growing more diverse in which non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites make up only 76.9% of the population.[23] The metro area's Hispanic population more than doubled from 268,851 in 2000 to 730,470 in 2020, and now makes up 12.0% of the region's population while Blacks have declined to 33.2%.[23] These immigrant communities have altered the economic, cultural, and religious landscape of metro Atlanta.[24] The Asian American population in the metro makes up 6.5% of the region's population per the 2020 census.[23] Gwinnett County has become one of the most diverse counties in the nation.[25]

Race and ethnicity by neighborhood

See also: Table of Atlanta neighborhoods by population and Neighborhoods of Atlanta

2010 census figures for Atlanta's 25 neighborhood planning units reveal several key facts about Atlanta's neighborhoods:

Source:[26]

Neighborhood
Planning
Unit
(NPU)
Major neighborhoods 2010 pop. 2000 pop. Growth % White Black Asian All other Hispanic Source
Downtown/Midtown
M Downtown, Old Fourth Ward, Sweet Auburn, Castleberry Hill 26,886 21,359 25.9% 34.1% 56.1% 4.9% 4.9% 4.8% [27]
E Midtown, Georgia Tech, Atlantic Station, Loring Heights, Brookwood Hills 42,121 34,461 22.2% 65.4% 17.4% 12.6% 4.6% 4.9% [28]
Buckhead
A Paces, Margaret Mitchell, Mt. Paran/Northside, Chastain Park 11,687 11,300 3.4% 91.7% 3.2% 3.5% 1.7% 2.3% [29]
B Buckhead Village, North Buckhead, Lindbergh, Pine Hills, Peachtree Heights, Garden Hills 47,292 38,645 22.4% 75.5% 12.3% 5.3% 6.8% 9.5% [30]
C Collier Hills, Peachtree Battle, Arden/Habersham, SW Buckhead (W of Northside, S of Wesley) 18,122 16,199 11.9% 83.5% 8.4% 3.2% 4.9% 6.0% [31]
Northwest
G West Highlands, Carey Park 8,381 11,632 -27.9% 3.3% 94.2% 0.5% 2.1% 1.9% [32]
J Grove Park, Center Hill 12,533 17,085 -26.6% 1.9% 96.4% 0.1% 1.7% 1.3% [33]
K Bankhead, Washington Park, Mozley Park, Hunter Hills 9,399 11,997 -21.7% 9.1% 88.5% 0.4% 2.0% 1.9% [34]
L English Avenue, Vine City, (The Bluff) 6,148 7,316 -16.0% 6.1% 89.1% 1.0% 3.8% 2.8% [35]
Border Buckhead/West Midtown/Northwest
D Whittier Mill Village, Riverside, Bolton, Underwood Hills, Huff Rd in W Midtown, Berkeley Park 10,690 8,690 23.0% 59.2% 23.9% 4.5% 12.4% 15.7% [36]
Northeast / East
F Virginia-Highland, Morningside/Lenox Park 23,641 20,890 13.2% 79.6% 10.0% 3.3% 7.2% 9.7% [37]
N Inman Park, Candler Park, Poncey-Highland, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, Lake Claire 17,389 14,688 18.4% 79.9% 13.2% 2.7% 4.2% 4.2% [38]
O Edgewood, Kirkwood, East Lake 13,886 14,724 -5.7% 36.9% 58.7% 1.4% 3.0% 2.5% [39]
W Grant Park, East Atlanta, Ormewood Park, Benteen Park 19,233 20,054 -4.1% 54.8% 38.0% 1.7% 5.5% 6.5% [40]
Southwest
H Adamsville, areas S of I-20, W of I-285, N of Cascade Rd 14,049 17,274 -18.7% 2.1% 92.3% 0.2% 5.4% 6.2% [41]
I Collier Heights, Peyton Forest, Cascade Heights 20,741 21,500 -3.5% 2.2% 94.1% 0.1% 3.6% 4.2% [42]
P Ben Hill, (SW Atlanta W of I-285) 17,363 11,911 45.8% 1.9% 95.0% 0.6% 2.5% 1.9% [43]
Q Midwest Cascade, Regency Trace 1,770 1,024 72.9% 1.5% 96.5% 1.0% 1.0% 0.6% [44]
R Adams Park, Campbellton Road, Greenbriar 16,452 16,679 -1.4% 1.4% 96.8% 0.1% 1.6% 1.4% [45]
S Oakland City, Venetian Hills, Cascade Avenue/Road, Fort McPherson 10,204 12,396 -17.7% 4.0% 93.8% 0.2% 2.0% 1.2% [46]
T West End, Westview, Atlanta University Center, Ashview Heights 16,280 20,095 -19.0% 2.3% 94.5% 0.4% 2.9% 2.3% [47]
V Capitol Gateway, Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh, Adair Park 14,198 15,825 -10.3% 6.3% 89.3% 1.3% 3.1% 2.5% [48]
X Metropolitan Parkway (Atlanta) corridor: Capitol View, Sylvan Hills, Perkerson 12,398 14,999 -17.3% 10.5% 83.2% 0.7% 5.6% 5.8% [49]
Southeast
Y South Atlanta, Lakewood Heights, Chosewood Park 11,111 12,472 -10.9% 14.3% 80.6% 0.4% 4.7% 9.2% [50]
Z Thomasville Heights, Glenrose Park, Southern Jonesboro Rd Corridor 18,050 24,210 -25.4% 3.1% 92.8% 0.4% 3.7% 4.2% [51]
Major shifts from 2000 to 2010

Rise in white population:

Increasing black population:

Sexual orientation and marital status

The city of Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita in the nation. It ranked third of all major cities, behind San Francisco and slightly behind Seattle, with 12.8% of the city's total population recognizing themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.[52][53] Also, Atlanta is home to two highly attended and notable LGBT events, Atlanta Pride and Atlanta Black Pride.[54]

According to a 2024 Chamber of Commerce report, Atlanta is fourth in the nation for single-person households. Within the past 10 years, the number of people living alone has increased by almost 5 million. Nearly half of those single-person households manifested during the pandemic. Compared to pre-pandemic (2019) rates, 2.4 million more people are living alone in 2024. Nationwide, 37,161,100 people are living alone — 28.6% of all households. Atlanta ranked 3rd in the nation for the most women living alone (29%) and 10th for men (24%).[55]

Born out-of-state and foreign-born

In the city of Atlanta, Ga. 53% of residents were born in Georgia, 19.1% elsewhere in the South, 18.6% outside the South and 8.0% in a foreign country. Although the foreign-born population in the city itself is low among large US cities and even compared to Atlanta's own metro area, it is high compared to other nearby Southern cities. For example, in Macon, Georgia, 7.1% were US-born outside the South and 3.0% foreign-born, and in Birmingham, Alabama only 7.7% were US-born outside the South and 3.2% foreign-born.[56]

Daytime population

According to a 2000 daytime population estimate by the Census Bureau,[57] over 250,000 more people commuted to Atlanta on any given workday, boosting the city's estimated daytime population to 676,431. This is an increase of 62.4% over Atlanta's resident population, making it the largest gain in daytime population in the country among cities with fewer than 500,000 residents.

Timeline

1850 - 2,572

1860 - 9,554

1870 - 21,789

1880 - 37,409

1890 - 65,533

1900 - 89,872, including 2500 persons of foreign birth and 35,900 of African descent.

1910 - 154,839 (metro 522,442)

1920 - 200,616 (metro 622,283)

1930 - 270,688 (metro 715,391)

1940 - 302,288 (metro 820,579)

1950 - 331,314 (metro 997,666)

1960 - 487,455 (metro 1,312,474)

1970 - 496,973 (metro 1,763,626)

1980 - 425,022 (metro 2,233,324)

1990 - 394,017 (metro 2,959,950)

2000 - 416,474 (metro 4,112,198)

2010 - 420,003 (metro 5,268,860)

Political implications

Atlanta's changing demographics have had effects on its political system. In the 2009 mayoral race, Mary Norwood lost by just 714 votes (out of over 84,000 cast) to Kasim Reed. Norwood, who is white, would have become the city's first non-black mayor since 1974. This comes amid the fact that in recent years, an influx of whites, Asians and Hispanics into Atlanta has shifted the demographics in what was once a city guaranteed to elect a black mayor. In fact, the percentage of blacks dropped to 54 percent in 2010 from 61 percent in 2000. This demographic change and its possible historic effect on Atlanta's city government was a factor that, among others, helped draw supporters of both candidates to the polls.[65]

Projections

Atlanta is projected to have a population of around 590,000 people by 2030. However, this projection assumes Atlanta garners only seven percent of the metro's growth during that period. If the city were to capture ten percent of metro Atlanta's growth, it would reach a population of 660,000 people by 2030.[6]

Metro Atlanta

Race, ethnicity, or
foreign-born status
Pop. 2010 % of total 2010 Pop. 2000[A] % of total 2000 absolute
change 2000-2010[B]
% change 2000-2010[B]
Total 5,268,860 4,112,198
White only 2,920,480 55.4% 2,589,888 63.0% 330,592 12.8%
    Non-Hispanic white only 2,671,757 50.7% 2,447,856 59.5% 223,901 9.1%
Black only 1,707,913 32.4% 1,189,179 28.9% 518,734 43.6%
Asian only and Pacific Islander only   356,956 4.9% 137,640 3.3% 119,316 86.7%
    Asian Indian 178,980 1.5% 37,162 0.9% 41,818 112.5%
    Korean 93,870 0.8% 22,317 0.5% 21,553 96.6%
    Chinese 67,660 0.7% 22,564 0.5% 15,096 66.9%
    Vietnamese 56,554 0.7% 23,996 0.6% 12,558 52.3%
Hispanic or Latino of any race 547,400 10.4% 268,851 6.5% 278,549 103.6%
    Mexican 314,351 6.0% 165,109 4.0% 149,242 90.4%
    Puerto Rican 93,337 0.8% 19,358 0.5% 23,979 123.9%
    Cuban 47,648 0.3% 9,206 0.2% 8,442 91.7%
    Colombian 42,500 0.3% 8,500 0.1% 33,000 91.7%
Foreign-born 716,434 13.6% 424,519 10.3% 291,915 68.8%

A Atlanta MSA in 2000 did not include Butts, Dawson, Haralson, Heard, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, and Pike counties, whose population totalled in 2000: 135,783; in 2010: 156,368 (2.96% of total new 28-county metro)[66]
B Compares the larger 28-county Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta MSA 2010 with a smaller 20-county Atlanta MSA 2000; however the 8 new counties represent less than 3% of the larger 28-county metro.
Source: for race and Hispanic population, U.S. Census Bureau 2010 and 2000 census; for foreign-born population: US Census Bureau 2010 and 2000 American Community Surveys; Immigrants in 2010 Metropolitan America, Brookings Institution

Race and ethnicity

The 2010 census counted 5,268,860 people in the 28-county metropolitan area. This was an increase of 1,020,879 since 2000, the second largest growth of any U.S. metropolitan area behind that of Houston. This represented a proportional increase of 24.0%, again second-highest (after Houston) among the ten largest metropolitan areas of the United States.

White Americans made up 55.4% of metro Atlanta's population, a relative decrease from 63.0% ten years earlier, but still an absolute increase of over 330,000 people. Non-Hispanic whites dropped from 59.5% to 50.7% of the metro's population, increasing by about 224,000 people.

Black Americans are the largest racial minority with 32.4% of the population, up from 28.9% in 2000. The city of Atlanta has long been regarded as a "black mecca" for its role as a center of black education, political power, wealth, and culture. From 2000 to 2010, the geographic disbursement of blacks in Metro Atlanta changed radically. Long concentrated in the city of Atlanta and DeKalb County, the black population there dropped while over half a million African Americans settled across other parts of the metro area, including approximately 112,000 in Gwinnett County, 71,000 in Fulton outside Atlanta, 58,000 in Cobb, 50,000 in Clayton, 34,000 in Douglas, and 27,000 each in Newton and Rockdale Counties.[67]

Year Black pop. in
City of Atlanta
Black pop. in
DeKalb County
Total black pop.
Atlanta + DeKalb
Total black pop.
Metro Atlanta
Proportion of black pop.
in Atlanta + DeKalb
2000 255,689 361,111 616,800 1,189,179 51.9%
2010 226,894 375,697 602,591 1,707,913 35.2%

Hispanic Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group. At 10.4% of the metro's population in 2010, versus only 6.5% in 2000, the metro's Hispanic population increased an astounding 103.6%, or 278,459 people, in ten years. Major Hispanic groups include 314,351 Mexicans, 43,337 Puerto Ricans and 17,648 Cubans. All of those groups' populations increased by over 90% in the ten-year period. Of the metro's 279,000-person increase in the Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010, 98,000 came in Gwinnett County, 37,000 in Cobb, 25,000 in Fulton (all but 3,000 outside the city of Atlanta), 20,000 in Hall, and 15,000 in DeKalb County.[68] The Hispanic population is heavily concentrated in the northeastern section of the Atlanta metropolitan Area.[citation needed]

The Asian American population also increased rapidly from 2000 to 2010. There were 256,956 Asian Americans in the metro area in 2010, making up 4.9% of the population. This represented an 87% increase over 2000. The largest Asian groups are 78,980 Indians, 43,870 Koreans, 37,660 Chinese and 36,554 Vietnamese.

Atlanta has Georgia's largest Bosnian American population with approximately 10,000 in the metro area, mainly in Gwinnett County and DeKalb County[69]

The most common reported ancestries in Atlanta were English, American, German, Irish, Italian, Scottish, African, French, Polish, Russian and Dutch.[70]

109,023 Italians live in the Atlanta area.[71]

There is a small Romani community in Atlanta.[72]

There is a substantial Mexican population in Atlanta. Mexicans are concentrated in Gwinnett County.[73]

Jamaicans are concentrated in Stone Mountain, Decatur, Lithonia, Lawrenceville and Snellville.[74]

Ethiopians and Eritreans are present in Atlanta.[75]

There is a small Japanese community in the metro Atlanta area.[76]

There is a Brazilian community in the metro Atlanta area. Brazilians are concentrated in Marietta, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.[77]

There is a Nigerian community in Atlanta. Nigerians are concentrated in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.[78]

There is an Iranian presence in Atlanta. Cobb County is home to the largest population of Iranians in Atlanta.[79]

About 9,400 Cubans live in the Atlanta area. Approximately 4,900 were born in Cuba. DeKalb County has the largest Cuban population in Atlanta.[80]

Haitians are present in Atlanta.[81]

There is a Pakistani community in metro Atlanta.[82]

Foreign-born population

Metro Atlanta is increasingly international, with its 716,434 foreign-born residents in 2010, a 69% increase versus 2000. This was the fourth largest rate of growth among the nation's top 100 metros, after Baltimore, Orlando and Las Vegas. The foreign-born proportion of the population went up from 10.3% to 13.6%, and Atlanta moved up from 14th to 12th in ranking of US metro areas with the largest immigrant population by sheer numbers. Still, its 13.6% proportion of immigrants is only the 29th highest of the nation's top 100 metros.[83]

Metro Atlanta's immigrants are more suburban than most other cities'. Out of the top 100 US metros, Atlanta has the 11th highest ratio of the foreign-born living in the suburbs and not in the core city.[83] Atlanta does not have single centers of ethnic groups such as a Koreatown, but rather areas such as the Buford Highway Corridor in DeKalb County and parts of Gwinnett County are commercial centers for multiple ethnic communities.[citation needed]

In 1990 Greater Atlanta had the largest Japanese population in the Southeast United States. The Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta estimated that, during that year, 3,500 to 4,000 Japanese lived in Greater Atlanta. Of the metropolitan areas in the Southeast United States, in 1990 Greater Atlanta had the most extensive education network for Japanese nationals.[84]

8% of the foreign born population in Atlanta is black. Cobb County has the largest Haitian population. Nigerians are concentrated in DeKalb County.

3.2 percent of immigrants in Atlanta were born in Jamaica and are Jamaican.[85]

In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs- Marietta, GA area the African foreign born population came from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa, Somalia, Cameroon Sierra Leone and Togo.[86]

There is an Eritrean community in Atlanta.[87]

Religion

Main article: Religion in Atlanta

Religion in Atlanta, while historically centered around Protestant Christianity, now involves many faiths as a result of the city and metro area's increasingly international population. While Protestant Christianity still maintains a strong presence in the city (63%),[88][89] in recent decades Catholicism has gained a strong foothold due to migration patterns. Metro Atlanta also has a considerable number of ethnic Christian congregations, including Korean and Indian churches. Large non-Christian faiths are present in the form of Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. Overall, there are over 1,000 places of worship within Atlanta.[90]

Language

Signs in English, Spanish and Chinese along Buford Highway in Metro 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, making 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.[91][92]

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