Atlanta is a city located in Georgia. With a 2020 population of 523,738, it is the largest city in Georgia and the 36th largest city in the United States. Atlanta is currently growing at a rate of 2.51% annually and its population has increased by 24.70% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 420,003 in 2010. Spanning over 137 miles, Atlanta has a population density of 3,858 people per square mile.
The average household income in Atlanta is $98,575 with a poverty rate of 21.63%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,099 per month, and the median house value is $261,400. The median age in Atlanta is 33.2 years, 32.9 years for males, and 33.6 years for females. For every 100 females there are 94.8 males.
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.
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 is 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 ten 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 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.
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.