With decades of rich history, skyrocketing rates of job growth and desirable neighborhoods, it’s no wonder thousands of people are moving to Atlanta, GA. Here’s what you need to know before moving there.
Last year, Metro Atlanta gained the fourth highest number of residents in the nation. With vibrant, diverse communities, affordable housing and a booming economy, it’s no wonder thousands of people are moving to Atlanta from all over the country. It’s easy to fall in love with the city’s award-winning restaurants, decades of rich history and mild, sunny weather—but it’s even easier to plant roots in the ATL. The city boasts some of the best businesses, highest rates of job growth and most desirable neighborhoods for families.
With a 4.9% unemployment rate and a projected 1.5 million jobs to be added by 2040, Atlanta is one of the most popular destinations for job seekers. Over 90,000 people moved to Atlanta in 2016 alone—and many of these people are young professionals settling down into their careers.
Atlanta boasts a very reasonable cost of living, particularly in comparison to other major cities like LA and NYC. Homes can be found on fairly large lots and the cost of building isn’t as high. Renting is also a popular housing choice for residents, with apartment rentals averaging $1,500 per month. The affordable housing cost coupled with the promising career growth has people flocking to the metro area by the thousands.
Atlanta is also home to the third-most Fortune 500 companies in America. Sixteen of the 18 Fortune 500 company headquarters based in Georgia can be found in metro Atlanta, including Mercedes-Benz, Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Aflac. Each year, Millennials flock to Atlanta to join its major industries: agribusiness, energy, film, aerospace and more.
Despite its reputation as a dangerous place to live—it often turns up in the national top 10 cities with the highest crime rate— Atlanta has a wide variety of safe neighborhoods. Atlanta’s public safety improvement efforts have made getting around a breeze.
The number of total year-over-year crimes in Atlanta is also on the decline. Other large metro areas such as Memphis, Oakland and Detroit all have significantly higher crime rates.
The average temperature in Atlanta is 70°F. While summers can be brutal due to the heat, it’s actually the humidity that makes it unbearable at times. But don’t worry: the pools are plentiful.
Before we get to our Atlanta neighborhood guide, here are some must-know details about living in the ATL:
Atlanta’s population is nearing 5.8 million people, making it the ninth largest metropolitan area in the U.S. According to researchers, it’s not slowing down anytime soon. The city is expected to see some major population growth over the next two decades.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) predicts that the 10-county metro area will add 2.5 million people by 2040—roughly the size of metro Charlotte, North Carolina! Officials project that 500,000 of them will live within city limits, more than doubling the city’s current population.
“We were one of three metros over the last decade to add more than 1 million people,” notes ARC official Mike Carnathan. “If you look at the recent past, Atlanta has been one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation.”
As you consider all of your options, we put together everything you need to know about moving to Atlanta, GA. And you might be surprised at some of our findings.
With a diverse musical heritage, vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and thriving NFL, MLB and NBA franchises, Atlanta is home to artists and celebrities alike. While many are originally from Atlanta and wish to remain close to friends and family, many also migrate to the city due to the ability to interact with other entertainers (and proximity to Nashville). Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in the world, allowing celebrities to travel to their destinations quickly and easily.
Some of the famous names that stem from the ATL include Julia Roberts, Tyler Perry, Usher, Chris Tucker, Martin Luther King, Jane Fonda, T.I., Ludacris, Jeff Foxworthy, Jamie Foxx, Eric Decker, Kenny Rogers and more.
Atlanta can be simplified into a conglomeration of suburbs—each one with its own charm, vibe and neighbors. Whether you’re relocating to Georgia as a young and single professional, raising a family or looking to settle down, Atlanta has the perfect niche for everyone. Here are the best areas to live in Atlanta:
Virginia Highland—or VaHi, as residents call it—combines vibrant city living with small-town community charm. Located east of Ansley Park and close to Downtown, the area consists of four distinct villages connected by walkable blocks. With over 100-year-old homes, Virginia Highland is one of Atlanta’s most sought-after places to live. Styles range from charming bungalows to beautiful Victorians to modern townhouses.
Just east of Ansley Park, close to Midtown and Downtown, Virginia Highland offers numerous attractions including the Beltline, Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park. Historic Virginia-Highland is Atlanta’s most popular neighborhood for art, shopping, dining and nightlife.
Neighbors: Artists, families and students
Average home price: $750,000
Average rent: $1,700
Known for: Charming, eclectic, family-friendly community
If you’re looking for an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Buckhead is for you. Located north of Midtown and south of Brookhaven, the prestigious area is known as the Beverly Hills of the South. Here you’ll find fine dining, endless entertainment and numerous renowned cultural centers—such as the Atlanta History Center and Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the largest park in Atlanta.
If you’re moving to Atlanta with kids, Buckhead makes an ideal destination due to its top-quality schools and family friendly amenities in the area. While homes are on the pricier side, you’ll find a wide variety of options from modern single condos to large estates.
Neighbors: Athletes, celebrities, affluent
Average home price: $1,000,000
Average rent: $2,000
Known for: Old money, celebrity sightings, rich in history
The Old Fourth Ward is one of Atlanta’s hippest new communities. This young and affordable neighborhood is the perfect destination for students, young professionals and first-time homebuyers. Located east of Downtown and south of Midtown, the area is experiencing a significant resurgence.
Originally one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the 19th century, the Old Fourth Ward was where Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up and perfected his preaching style. Since then, the neighborhood has been undergoing substantial revitalization while still staying true to its roots.
“In recent years, the Old Fourth Ward has become a striking symbol of intelligent gentrification in the Georgia capital,” notes Cameron Decker, Atlanta Realtor. “It’s a place where abandoned warehouses are being converted to lofts and small businesses are thriving–while the authentic flavor of this historic area remains preserved.”
Neighbors: Young professionals, artists, hipsters
Average home price: $350,000
Average rent: $1,500
Known for: Hip neighborhood, public parks and spaces, recent resurgence.
If you’re moving to Atlanta and looking for convenience, Midtown is the place for you. Known as the city’s cultural epicenter (and one of the most desirable areas to live in Atlanta), the neighborhood offers easy access to Atlanta’s transportation, parks, restaurants and thriving Midtown Arts District. It’s home to the Woodruff Arts Center, Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Arts.
But there’s more: you also won’t want to miss Atlanta’s Midtown Mile, which runs along Peachtree Street (Atlanta’s most famous roadway). The area features one-of-a-kind restaurants and boutique shops and has shown rapid residential development over the last decade.
Homeowners can expect everything from old, Victorian homes to modern condos. Midtown offers all of these attractions right around the corner, with ample walkways and bike paths throughout the neighborhood.
Neighbors: Professionals, empty nesters
Average home price: $700,000
Average rent: $2,000
Known for: Thriving arts scene, commercial business district, vibrant community