Atlanta, Georgia Population 2020
Atlanta is Georgia's capital and most populous city, as well as the economic and cultural hub of the Atlanta metropolitan area. It also ranks 10th economically in the nation with a GDP of $276 billion. The most recent estimated population of Atlanta is 498,044.
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.
Population Density in Atlanta
Atlanta has a population density of 630 people per square mile or 243 per square kilometer.
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.
Cherokee and Creek Indians inhabited Atlanta before 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 formerly as Terminus and later as Thrashervile.
By 1842, Thrasherville had six 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 shortened to Atlanta, and the town was incorporated in 1847.
Atlanta's population proliferated 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 rebuilt slowly. 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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Atlanta was:
- Black or African American: 51.85%
- White: 40.27%
- Asian: 4.16%
- Two or more races: 2.41%
- Other race: 1.05%
- Native American: 0.24%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%