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Smyrna is Cobb’s fastest-growing city, U.S. Census report says

051920 Smyrna: Jerry Luzar leads a daily Smyrna PE class for children whose parents are tied of them sitting at home starting out on their daily 5 to 7 mile bike ride from the Smyrna Community Center on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Smyrna.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
051920 Smyrna: Jerry Luzar leads a daily Smyrna PE class for children whose parents are tied of them sitting at home starting out on their daily 5 to 7 mile bike ride from the Smyrna Community Center on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Smyrna. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Marietta may still be Cobb County’s largest city, but its neighbor to the south added the most residents since 2010 of any Cobb city.

That’s according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday, which show Smyrna gained about 5,600 residents from 2010 to July 1, 2019. Smyrna’s population grew from about 51,037 to 56,666. Marietta, the Cobb County seat, grew by about 4,300 people from 56,486 to 60,867 last year.

Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton said he wasn’t surprised by the numbers, because the city’s “sense of community,” parks and recreation amenities and proximity to Atlanta make Smyrna a great attraction to newcomers.

“We’ve got a lot of great things going on in the city,” he said.

To keep up with the growth, Norton said Smyrna staff will maintain its “top notch” service, revamp its downtown, implement its parks and recreation master plan and study various ways to move people around the city.


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Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin said the growth Marietta has experienced will most likely continue through the 2030 Census. He said the city has been adapting to that growth by changing its services and expenditures to meet demand.

“Cobb has grown exponentially since Bell Bomber came to town in the 1940s, and our pastures and farms became residential neighborhoods and viable businesses,” he said, referring to the aircraft manufacturing plant that later became home to Lockheed Martin.

To the north, Kennesaw saw its population grow by 3,400 from 30,603 to 34,077. Mayor Derek Easterling said he credits the city’s economic development team, planning and zoning staff members and the citizens who have done their part to create a “safe community.”

Kennesaw is attractive because of amenities like Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Swift-Cantrell Park, the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, the Depot Park amphitheater and its work to connect its trail system to Cobb County, Easterling said. He said new residential units that will soon open near downtown Kennesaw will attract more people to the city.

“That’s what the market is calling for, and that’s what people want,” he said.

Population growth estimates for other Cobb cities since 2010 are: Acworth from 20,491 to 22,818; Austell from 6,525 to 7,170; and Powder Springs from 13,938 to 15,758.


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