Atlanta Population 2017

According to 2015 US Census estimates, Atlanta's population is roughly 463,878 in the city, up from 456,002 in the prior year's estimate.

Atlanta's population represents the residents of the city proper, although the urban population is 4.5 million and the Atlanta metropolitan area is home to 5.6 million, making it the 9th largest in the United States. The Combined Statistical Area is even larger at 6.2 million.


Atlanta has a population density of 630 people per square mile, or 243 per square kilometer.

Atlanta Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, the racial makeup of Atlanta was as follows:

  • Black or African American: 54%
  • White: 38.4%
  • Asian: 3.1%
  • Native American: 0.2%
  • Other race: 2.2%
  • Two or more races: 2.0%
  • Hispanic of any race: 5.2%

Atlanta is also home to one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, which is 19th among major US metropolitan areas. An estimated 4.2% of Atlanta's metro population is gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Atlanta is also the 2nd largest majority black metro area in the country. Still, African Americans in the city have been moving to the suburbs over the last 10 years, and the city's black population shrank from 61.4% in 2000 to 54% in 2010.

Meanwhile, Atlanta has seen the fastest growth in the proportion of whites in the city than any other US city. The white population grew from 31% to 38% from 2000 to 2010.

Atlanta History

Atlanta was inhabited by Cherokee and Creek Indians prior to the arrival of Europeans. Standing Peachtree, a Creek village, is now the closest Indian settlement to Atlanta.

The Western and Atlantic Railroad was approved in 1836 to connect Savannah to the Midwest. After the area was surveyed, the zero milepost was driven into what is now called Five Points. Just a year later, the area around this milepost had become a settlement, known originally as Terminus and later as Thrashervile.

By 1842, Thrasherville had 6 buildings and 30 residents and was renamed as Marthasville. J. Edgar Thomson of the Georgia Railroad suggested renaming the settlement to Atlantica-Pacifica, which was then shortened to Atlanta, and the town was incorporated in 1847.

Atlanta's population grew rapidly over the next decade. During the Civil War, its railroads made it a hub for distributing military supplies, and the Union Army moved southward and invaded north Georgia in 1860. Four years later, Confederate General Hood ordered a retreat from Atlanta and all buildings destroyed. The next day, the Mayor of Atlanta surrendered the city to the Union Army.

Union General William T. Sherman ordered Atlanta burned to the ground in 1864 when it became apparent it would be lost to the Union, but the city was slowly rebuilt. By 1880, it surpassed Savannah as the state's largest city, and it had a period of unprecedented growth during the early 20th century.

Atlanta Population Growth

Atlanta is a rapidly growing city, and its metropolitan area exceeded 5.5 million for the first time in 2013. While the area's growth is not as high as it was in the 1990s and early 2000s, it's higher than the previous year and this growth is expected to continue as Atlanta attracts new people.

Slow growth is normal for the United States, as the country is still recovering from the Great Recession. Still, the U.S. Census Bureau found that metro Atlanta was the 6th fastest growing metro area in the country from 2012 to 2013.

It's projected that metro Atlanta's population will reach over 8 million by 2020.

Year Population Change
2015 463,878 10.40%
2010 420,003 0.80%
2000 416,474 5.70%
1990 394,017 -7.30%
1980 425,022 -14.10%
1970 495,039 1.60%
1960 487,455 47.10%
1950 331,314 9.60%
1940 302,288 11.80%
1930 270,366 34.80%
1920 200,616 29.60%
1910 154,839 72.30%
1900 89,872 37.10%
1890 65,533 75.20%
1880 37,409 71.70%
1870 21,789 128.10%
1860 9,554 271.50%
1850 2,572 0.00%

Atlanta Population in 2017 Source: Mike

Atlanta Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 174,974 39.71%
Black or African American 233,142 52.91%
American Indian and Alaska Native 790 0.18%
Asian 16,649 3.78%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 109 0.02%
Some Other Race 6,353 1.44%
Two or More Races 8,624 1.96%

Population Pyramid

Atlanta Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 228,579
Owner-Occupied Units 80,984
Renter-Occupied Units 104,836
Median Home Value $209,200
Median Rent $975
Vacancy Rate 18.7%
Houses With Mortgage 58,620
Houses Without Mortgage 22,364
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 4.8

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Atlanta for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 7.5% and the labor force participation rate is 65%.

Atlanta Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.25
Average Family Size 3.4
Married Couple Families 45,523
Male Householder (no wife) Families 6,098
Female Householder (no husband) Families 27,218
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 4.5%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 1.4%