Atlanta ranks 10th in population increase, U.S. Census Bureau reports

New migration report by U-Haul shows an increase in moves to Atlanta, as the summer moving season approaches (AJC Staff Photo/Phil Skinner)
New migration report by U-Haul shows an increase in moves to Atlanta, as the summer moving season approaches (AJC Staff Photo/Phil Skinner)

Among the U.S. cities with the biggest jump in population, Atlanta ranked 10th last year, according to a newly released report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The city saw an influx of 13,323 new residents between July 2016 and July 2017, translating to about 36 people moving in each day. Nationally, at the top of the list, San Antonio registered the largest population gain — with more than 24,200 people taking up residence, or an average of 66 newcomers per day.

The South was a popular destination. Eight of the 15 top cities were below the Mason-Dixon line, seven of them in Texas.

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Mike Carnathan, Research & Analytics group manager at the Atlanta Regional Commission, said the increase in new residents to Atlanta reflect trends noticeable since the end of the last recession.

“Findings of the report itself are not surprising at all. Atlanta has been growing pretty quickly through the decade,” said Carnathan.

Such an increase in population means greater demand for housing, transportation and other amenities and services. The commission also reported an increase in building permits during the period.

According to Carnathan, new residents are drawn by the availability of jobs in the city.

A 2017 report by job site Glassdoor ranked Atlanta among the Top 25 best job cities.

"If you look at all the investments happening in the city of Atlanta, through the MARTA program, the SPLOST program, the Beltline and normal day-to-day operations, they are anticipating Atlanta continuing to be a fast-growth area," said Carnathan.

The latest U-Haul migration report showed Atlanta ranks 20th nationwide as a destination city for one way, do it yourself movers.

The company expects a surge in the numbers as the nation gears for the summer moving season, which begins around Memorial Day and extends through Labor Day.

Jason Petty, Metro Atlanta’s U-Haul Marketing company president, said the season is already picking up. In the first three weeks of May, 81 more moves were recorded compared to the same period last year.

“It will be interesting to see what’s goes on this weekend,” said Petty.

According to U-Haul, approximately 45 percent of moves nationwide happen during this time.

Migration trends for the company showed most of the moves to the city were from neighboring cities and states such as Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia.

Metro Atlanta counties that recorded the largest influx in 2017

  1. Fulton County, 17,100
  2. Gwinnett County 16,900
  3. Cobb County 12,800
  4. Cherokee County 7,300

SOURCE: Atlanta Regional Commission

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