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On the Move: A Look at Who’s Relocating to Atlanta

relocating to Atlanta

Last week, Penske recognized metro Atlanta as the top moving destination in the country for the ninth year in a row. The number of years the city has led that list is remarkable. Of course, what really puts Atlanta on top is the fact that there are actually two distinct types of relocators that consistently make their way to the metro area: people and businesses. It’s a unique mix that illustrates the versatility of the city. Atlanta appeals not only to individuals who are looking for a certain lifestyle, but also to companies of all sizes that require a very specific business climate in order to succeed—and metro Atlanta checks all the boxes for both. Here, we take a deeper look at the people and businesses moving to the area and consider what the future holds.

The People

1. How many people are moving to Atlanta?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the metro Atlanta area receives, on average, 36 new residents every day. In 2016, the city itself welcomed the fourth-most residents in the nation, with more than 90,650 people making the area their new home. Currently, the metro region’s population sits at about 5.8 million people, which makes it the ninth largest metro area in the country.

2. How many people are expected to move to metro Atlanta in the future?
The Atlanta Regional Commission predicts that the metro Atlanta area will add 2.5 million residents by the year 2040, bringing the total population of the region to more than eight million.

The Atlanta Beltline

3. Who is moving to Atlanta?
There is great diversity among those who relocate to Atlanta, particularly in terms of age. One of the largest groups of new residents is comprised of millennials. In 2015, Money.com named Atlanta the number two city for people between the ages of 21 and 36; Forbes recognized Sandy Springs as the number 10 best city for millennials in 2017. Also making Atlanta home are retirees; WalletHub recognized Atlanta as the fifth-best place to settle down during your golden years thanks to affordability, quality of life, healthcare and availability of recreational activities. Of course, families love Atlanta as well. According to Niche, metro cities like Johns Creek, Decatur, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Milton, Peachtree Corners and Roswell are among the best for raising a family; the population growth in these areas reflect those positive rankings. Many of those new families come to Atlanta thanks to a corporate relocation.

4. Where are people relocating from when moving to Atlanta?
Real estate brokerage Redfin reports that many people moving to Atlanta come from coastal hubs and major cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

5. Where are residents settling down in the metro area?
There are five counties in metro Atlanta that are attracting the most new residents, according to the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association: Gwinnett, Fulton, Forsyth, Cherokee and Cobb.

6. Why are so many people moving to Atlanta?
There are many reasons to move to Atlanta. The city was ranked 65th on the 2017 Quality of Living list, a study conducted by Mercer that evaluates local living conditions in more than 450 cities worldwide; it was one of only 17 cities from the U.S. included on the list. The economy is the 10th largest in the country, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the area has had over-the-year employment gains every month since July 2010. Employment opportunities abound, the housing market is robust and people can choose either an urban lifestyle or a suburban way of life within the metro Atlanta area.

live_work_play-avalon in alpharetta

Did You Know?

According to WalletHub, Atlanta is the number four metro area in the country with the largest net migration between 2016 and 2017. And there are several other rankings that make Atlanta stand out. In fact, Atlanta is:

  • The number one most affordable big city.
  • The number three city in which to start a career.
  • The number two city for professional opportunities.
  • The number five city for the most entry-level jobs.
  • The number one metro area for openings for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates per capita.

Information courtesy of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and ATL Brand Box. 

The Businesses

1. How many businesses relocate to or choose to open locations in Atlanta?
According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, corporate facility investors and site consultants have named Georgia as the number one state for business climate four years in a row, as well as the number one state for business three years in a row. That kind of exceptional business environment has companies flocking to Atlanta; in 2018 alone, 57 companies announced the opening of new locations in the metro area. From headquarters to branch offices to distribution centers, there are new sites opening in Atlanta year-round.

2. How many jobs do businesses bring to Atlanta?
In late 2017, Cushman & Wakefield reported that Atlanta’s job market continues to be strong, with the city adding the fifth-most jobs year-over-year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A forecast of projected job growth from 2018 to 2121 released by Moody’s places Atlanta in the number four spot in the country. In fact, February 2018 saw the addition of 20,800 jobs—a statistic the Georgia Department of Labor recognizes as the third-best showing of the last 20 years. And the Atlanta Business Chronicle notes that metro Atlanta accounted for 59 percent of the new jobs in Georgia in 2017.

Georgia Pacific PhotoCredMAC

3. What kinds of businesses are moving to Atlanta?
The Metro Atlanta Chamber has identified key industry segments for the area, and it’s these segments that are seeing incredible growth: bioscience, financial technology (FinTech), technology, supply chain management and Internet of Things (loT) and Mobile. While some businesses are being started right here in the city, many companies are moving from their founding cities to the metro area as well.

4. Where are businesses relocating from when moving to the metro area?
Companies relocating to Atlanta actually come not only from across the country, but also from around the world. And when it comes to technology, Atlanta has become a very attractive option for companies of all sizes. The city has become known as a major tech hub and location for company growth, and it has attracted tech firms from other well-known technology locales like Silicon Valley, New York and Durham, N.C.

5. Where are businesses relocating to within the metro Atlanta area?
Of course, three locations inside the perimeter are key business centers: downtown, midtown and Buckhead. Yet, counties and cities outside the perimeter are welcoming relocating companies as well. For instance, Alpharetta is quickly becoming known as the “Technology City of the South,” as Tech Alpharetta notes that it is now home to 640 technology companies, including 45 FinTech companies, 20 biotech companies, 105 software development companies, 22 data centers and virtual hosting companies and 197 IT service and consulting companies, among others. What’s more, the Metro Atlanta Chamber reports that companies are moving to or opening in counties across the metro area, from Cobb to Gwinnett to DeKalb.

6. Why are so many businesses moving to Atlanta?
For many companies, tax benefits are a key draw to the metro Atlanta area. Just look at the film industry, which has skyrocketed in Atlanta thanks to the Georgia Film, Television and Digital Entertainment Tax Credit, which allows for a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production or post production in Georgia. Production companies have either relocated to or opened satellite locations at production studios throughout metro Atlanta. Additionally, Atlanta is a primary transportation hub in the southeast, with access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, railways, deep water ports and interstate highway systems. Inc. Magazine also points to advantages like the city’s impressive and diverse talent pool (which stems from a large number of local higher education institutions), the strong startup scene and the low cost of living and high quality of life for employees as reasons to locate a business in Atlanta.

In Their Own Words

Business owners, executives and entrepreneurs across a wide variety of industries understand the draw of Atlanta. That’s why there has been an incredible influx of new and relocating companies within the metro area over the last several years. Here’s what some of those professionals have to say about the city and the opportunities it provides businesses of all sizes.

“Atlanta has a confluence of digital media companies, startup culture, top-notch higher education and city size unmatched anywhere in the world. Atlanta was our choice because we valued the ability to network with technology and video game innovators, to recruit top tier talent and access a major travel gateway.”
— Stephen Johnson, President, Launch Media Network

“Today’s the day where we bring our 127-year history, and we plant our flag here in Atlanta, Georgia. People ask me why and I say, ‘Well really it’s not just one thing. It’s all things added up. It’s the business environment. It’s the quality of life. It’s the infrastructure.’ Atlanta is a premier city which provides the perfect foundation to write the next chapter of our success story here in the U.S.”
— Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Group, LLC

“Show me another major U.S. city that has quick access to a large number of highly talented, creative people and a 30 percent tax break.”
— Matt Thompson, Principal/Executive Producer, Archer

“Atlanta is a vibrant and growing international city with a diverse culture. We will use the region’s transportation network and deep pool of talent to deliver ASOS’ best-in-class service to U.S. customers.”
— Brent Dorfman, Vice President of Logistics, ASOS.com 

Information courtesy of the Metro Atlanta Chamber and ATL Brand Box.

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