Atlanta region adds 62,700 residents in past year, according to new report

The 11-county Atlanta region added 62,700 residents between April 2023 and April 2024, bringing the total population to 5.2 million, according to 2024 population estimates presented to the Atlanta Regional Commission today.

The population figures are unofficial until formerly voted on by the ARC Board in August.

The 11-county region’s growth slowed a bit compared to 2022-23, when the region added 66,730 people. This reflects a slowdown in housing permit activity and a slight moderation in jobs growth. High housing prices also have acted as a brake on population growth.

The fastest rate of growth in the past year occurred in the City of Atlanta (2.1%), which added 10,800 people, followed by Cherokee County (1.9%), which added 5,400 people, and Henry County (1.8%), which added 4,750.

Courtesy ARC

“People from around the country are choosing metro Atlanta because of our great quality of life and our dynamic, diverse economy,” said ARC Board Chair and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “Of course, our continued growth is not guaranteed. We must continue to invest in our region’s infrastructure to ensure a successful future.”

The region’s growth is being driven by the economy, the report says. Metro Atlanta’s job employment base has increased 6.4% since the pandemic began in early 2020. That’s the seventh highest in the nation among selected peer metro areas, trailing Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Houston, and Miami.

Each of metro Atlanta’s 11 counties saw population increases in the past year. Fulton County, including the City of Atlanta, added 17,400 residents, the largest numeric increase in the region, followed by Gwinnett (14,900), Cobb (6,700) and Cherokee (5,400). Gwinnett County’s population topped 1 million for the first time and now totals 1,012,112.

Douglas County showed a sizable year-over-year increase, growing a rate of 1.6%, compared to 0.9% in 2022-23. Douglas added 2,400 residents in the past year and now has a population of 153,000.

In 2023, 28,595 residential building permits were issued in the 11-county region, a decrease of 21%, or nearly 7,500 permits, compared to 2022. Current building permit activity remains lower than pre-Great Recession permit levels and fell below the 1980-2023 average annual level of 33,430.

The City of Atlanta once again led the region in number of building permits issued, with 7,621 – 85% of which were for multifamily housing units. Gwinnett had the second-most permits issued at 5,423, followed by Cobb at 2,956 and DeKalb at 2,276.

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