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.
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.
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.
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