Atlanta in top 5 of fastest growing large cities

Georgia has eight cities overall on WalletHub’s ranking

Financial news and opinion company 24/7 Wall St. released its list of the best city in every state. In Georgia, the city of Milton took the crown. Milton, a planned community incorporated in 2006, is one of Georgia's fastest growing cities. During the past five years, Milton's population has risen more than 19 percent. The typical household income is nearly $110,000 a year, and most residents have high paying jobs. Milton also boasts a low crime rate, with just 23 violent crimes for every 100,000 resident

The South is currently the place to live, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau reports eight of the 15 cities with the largest population gains between 2010 and 2019 are in the South.

“Some cities thrive even through hard economic times, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, while others struggle,” WalletHub wrote for its analysis of “2020′s Fastest-Growing Cities in America."

To determine the most rapidly growing local economies, WalletHub compared 515 cities of varying population sizes on two key dimensions: sociodemographics and jobs & economy.

The financial website then evaluated those dimensions using 17 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the fastest economic growth.

WalletHub considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area. It then categorized each city according to the following population-size guidelines:

  • Large city: More than 300,000 people
  • Midsize city: 100,000 to 300,000 people
  • Small city: Fewer than 100,000 people

So each city has two rankings: overall, which includes all cities, and by city size.

Overall, Atlanta finished No. 25, with a score of 62.2. The city ranked No. 33 for sociodemographics and No. 108 for jobs & economy.

Among the 17 metrics, Atlanta finished:

  • 50th – Population growth
  • 72nd – Median household income growth
  • 54th – Job growth
  • 221st – Poverty rate decrease
  • 136th – Regional GDP growth
  • 96th – Unemployment rate decrease
  • 131st – Growth in number of businesses
  • 50th – Working-age population growth
  • 158th – Foreclosure rate decrease
  • 50th – Median house price growth

When listed by city size, however, Atlanta finished No. 3 among large cities. Although it’s Georgia’s only large city on the list, it’s not the state’s only city.

Not far behind Atlanta was Sandy Springs, ranked No. 39 overall with a score of 62.03. The city ranked No. 36 for sociodemographics and No. 111 for jobs & economy. It was No. 25 among midsize cities.

At No. 106 overall was Athens-Clarke, with a score of 53.06. The city ranked No. 104 for sociodemographics and No. 177 for jobs & economy. It was No. 63 among midsize cities.

Roswell finished No 320 overall, with a score of 40.02. The city ranked No. 396 for sociodemographics and No. 208 for jobs & economy. It was No. 100 among small cities.

At No. 334 was Savannah with a score of 39.1. The city ranked No. 376 for sociodemographics and No. 248 for jobs & economy. It was No. 179 among midsize cities.

Augusta finished at No. 431, with a score of 33.28. The city ranked No. 452 for sociodemographics and No. 336 for jobs & economy. It was No. 220 among midsize cities.

No. 498 was Columbus, with a score of 26.39. The city ranked No. 479 for sociodemographics and No. 489 for jobs & economy. It was No. 248 among midsize cities.

Rounding out the Georgia contingent was Albany, which finished No. 510 with a score of 21.68. The city ranked No. 505 for sociodemographics and No. 507 for jobs & economy. It was No. 191 among small cities.