Moving to Atlanta, GA

Thinking of moving to Atlanta?

You’re in good company. The 29 counties that make up the metro are projected to add nearly 70,000 jobs in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 2.7 percent (compared to a 1.4 percent national average).

Atlanta’s growth has been sharply on the rise since it hosted the Olympic Games in 1996, nearly doubling its population in 20 years (residents now number close to 6 million). As the growth trend continues, over the next few years the city will open more than $2.5 billion in new hospitality development including two new stadiums (Mercedes-Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park), new hotels and expanded attractions. A flurry of new jobs, tech start-ups, tax credits to attract industry and new developments mean that the urban sprawl shows no sign of slowing. 

Atlanta Essential Resources

City of Atlanta website Everything you need to know about living in Atlanta. Chock full of useful resources, including information about the City of Atlanta government, calendars of city meetings and events, important city terminology…

Living in Atlanta

Atlantans love to nickname their city, so you might hear it referred to as The ATL, The A, The Big Peach, Dogwood City or Hot-Lanta. Within the more than 8,300-square-miles that make up metro Atlanta, each town or neighborhood has its own unique flavor. Atlanta is marked by a perimeter, I-285, which circles the in-town counties, including parts of Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb and Clayton counties. Residents tend to denote locations by “ITP” (inside the perimeter) or “OTP” (outside the perimeter).

Thanks to the influx of new residents, rent prices are on the rise and the real estate market is increasingly competitive. Because each neighborhood is unique – and the location (and its proximity to your work) can really make or break a commute – in-the-know residents recommend getting the lay of the land before putting down roots with a home purchase.

Atlanta Traffic & Transportation

Atlanta’s gridlocks are legendary, earning it the #9 spot on the list of “worst traffic cities in the U.S.” It’s no surprise that traffic is one of residents’ biggest complaints, since the average Atlantan wasted 59 hours in traffic jams in 2015. While there is public transportation in the form of MARTA (both busses and a rail system), it’s not as extensive or convenient as other cities with similarly large populations. To combat the volume, organizations like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition are actively working to increase Atlanta’s bikeway mileage.

Atlanta is a major travel hub, thanks to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which is ranked the #1 airport in the nation, world’s busiest airport for passenger traffic and nation’s #1 most high-tech airport.

Tech Tip: While I-285, I-85, I-75 and 400 are the major thoroughfares, surface streets (including more than 70 that have a variant of “Peachtree” in the name!) and back roads can often be a much faster way to get around. Download apps like Waze to navigate more easily on the go.

Atlanta Weather

The city’s oft-used “HOT-lanta” moniker is evidence of its balmy temperatures. That said, each of the seasons are unique, yielding brilliant summers, vibrant fall leaves, chilly winters and a proliferation of spring flowers. Atlanta’s myriad parks, greenways, and bike paths are well-loved as a result.

Summer Average (June – August): 86 F High, 69 F Low
Winter Average (December – February): 52 F High, 36 F Low

Where New Residents of Atlanta Are Moving From

Atlanta is one of the top cities in the South, regularly topping many of our “Best City” lists. No wonder people are moving here at a rapid clip. More than 95,000 people moved to the…

Atlanta Entertainment Industry

Thanks to serious tax credits (up to 30% for qualifying movies, TV shows, music videos and commercials), Georgia ranks in the top states for the entertainment industry. In fact, in 2015, the state had 248 projects, to the tune of $6 billion in economic impact, just behind California and New York.

In addition to cameos in The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, A Walk in the Woods and many others, Atlanta has several mammoth film production studios as well, so celebrity-spotting is an increasingly popular pastime. For music lovers, big-time stars like Elton John, Usher, Ludacris, the Indigo Girls, OutKast and others are either from Atlanta or have homes here. 

Atlanta Economy

Atlanta is home to 29 Fortune 1000 companies, including Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, UPS, NCR, Home Depot, SunTrust and more. It’s a top five city in the nation for medical device sales jobs, the business and financial services industries, aviation, and much more. With a ton of tech start-ups (like NexDenfense, ParkMobile and BitPay), the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce has launched ChooseATL to help brand the city as a place to live, build a career and start a business.

Atlanta Food Scene

Whether you’re looking for terrific Southern fare, a high-end meal or a diverse, global food scene, Atlanta has you covered. Atlanta-based chefs have gotten national attention, including Hugh Acheson (James Beard Award winner and Top Chef judge), Kevin Gillespie (Top Chef finalist) and Linton Hopkins (James Beard winner).

The metro has a huge international population, so there are terrific Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican and Chinese restaurants, concentrated along Buford Highway. Plus, a new breed of “food courts” have starting popping up, such as Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market. Both are housed in historic buildings, which have been repurposed in recent years. In addition, favorite fast food is close by: Waffle House Chick-fil-A, Krystal Co., Church’s Chicken, Arby’s, Hooters, and Cinnabon all have headquarters here.

Atlanta Nature Parks

Atlanta boasts more than 340 parks, so finding a bit of green is easy here. Some must-visit parks include 189-acre Piedmont Park, Stone Mountain Park (with the largest exposed mass of granite in the world), and Freedom Park. The Atlanta BeltLine is a path that repurposes the 26-mile loop of historic railroad tracks around the city. It’s still in-progress, but the finished sections provide a link between Piedmont Park and Krog Street Market and has fast-become a favorite spot for biking, roller blading, running and walking. Thanks to the Chattahoochee River, which runs along the city’s western side, kayakers, fishing enthusiasts and paddle boarders have a spot to get in the water close to home.

Atlanta Sports Teams

Sports fans will have plenty of teams to cheer on (whether they win or not!) in Atlanta. In 2017, the Atlanta Braves will move to their new stadium, SunTrust Park, after playing baseball at Turner Field downtown since 1997. Likewise, also in 2017 the Falcons NFL team, will get a new football venue called Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Basketball fans can still cheer on the Atlanta Hawks at downtown’s Phillips Arena. There are plans to launch a Major League Soccer team called Atlanta United FC in 2017 as well.

Atlanta Culture

As a cultural capital of the South, Atlanta has a packed roster of events and festivals. For foodies, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and Taste of Atlanta are must-visit, multi-day events that bring local and national chefs and beverage producers. Music lovers are sure to enjoy Music Midtown, Shaky Knees and Sweetwater 420 Fest, which draw top musical talent from around the world. In short, no matter what your interests, Atlanta likely has an event to suit.

Here are some stats from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Population estimates (as of July 1, 2015): 463,878
  • White alone, percent, April 1, 2010: 38.4%
  • Black or African American alone, percent, April 1, 2010: 54.0%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, April 1, 2010: 0.2%
  • Asian alone, percent, April 1, 2010: 3.1%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, April 1, 2010: N/A
  • Hispanic or Latino, percent, April 1, 2010: 5.2%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, April 1, 2010: 36.3%

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Moving to Atlanta, GA?

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