DeKalb population continues rising as Decatur surpasses 25,000

Attendees enjoy the outdoors at a spring festival in Stone Mountain.
Attendees enjoy the outdoors at a spring festival in Stone Mountain.

If you think your neighborhood has been getting more cramped, you’re not going crazy. There are numbers to back up that feeling. Along with the rest of metro Atlanta, DeKalb County’s population increased last year, according to newly released population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The county’s population grew from an estimated 752,088 people in 2017 to 756,558 in 2018. That shows a large growth compared to 2010, when 692,471 people lived in DeKalb, according to the Census.

Nearly every city in the county grew in population last year, as well. Notably, Decatur surpassed 25,000 residents for the first time in 2018, growing about 8% from 2017, the Census estimated. Brookhaven grew by about 450 people in 2018, an 8.5% increase from 2017. Interestingly, Lithonia, the second smallest city in DeKalb, rose from 2,089 residents to 2,352, a 12.6% uptick, the Census estimated.


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Stonecrest, DeKalb’s newest and geographically largest city, remains the most populous, with an estimated 54,522 residents. Brookhaven follows closely behind, with 54,145 people.

The continued increase in population is partly due to metro Atlanta becoming a more popular place to live, said David Sjoquist, a Georgia State University professor who has studied local population trends. Decatur especially, he said, remains a popular place to live, contributing to its 25,000-person milestone.

He noted, though, that DeKalb’s 4,000-person increase was its smallest annual growth in the last 10 years.

“The land available for new development is going down,” Sjoquist said. “A lot of these inner counties are being built out.”

Overall, DeKalb remains the fourth-most populous county in Georgia, behind Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb, trailing Cobb by less than 500 people.

Here are the latest estimated population counts for DeKalb’s cities, and how they’ve grown since 2010:

  • Avondale Estates: 3,154 in 2018; 2,958 in 2010; 6.6% increase
  • Brookhaven: 54,145 in 2018; 49,659 in 2010; 9% increase
  • Chamblee: 29,691 in 2018; 26,836 in 2010; 10.6% increase
  • Clarkston: 12,757 in 2018; 12,113 in 2010; 5.3% increase
  • Decatur: 25,732 in 2018; 19,703 in 2010; 30.6% increase
  • Doraville: 10,526 in 2018; 9,953 in 2010; 5.8% increase
  • Dunwoody: 49,459 in 2018; 46,306 in 2010; 6.8% increase
  • Lithonia: 2,352 in 2018; 1,987 in 2010; 18.4% increase
  • Pine Lake: 761 in 2018; 730 in 2010; 4.2% increase
  • Stonecrest: 54,522 in 2018; 50,241 in 2010; 8.5% increase
  • Stone Mountain: 6,324 in 2018; 5,841 in 2010; 8.3% increase
  • Tucker: 36,206 in 2018; 33,396 in 2010; 8.4% increase

-- Newsroom Data Specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this report.

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