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Metro Atlanta population boost higher after pandemic slowed growth

Gwinnett got the most newcomers over the last 12-month period.

DULUTH, Ga. — Atlanta’s population growth rate rose again over the last year – after the pandemic had cut that rate. The growth is happening despite huge increases in the price of housing. And more folks moved into Gwinnett County than anywhere else in the state.  

"I moved here from Dallas," Joseph Moore said.  "So far, it’s been great.

Moore said he found a better job in metro Atlanta.

"I came because I wanted a change. I came because of the people. I have family here," Tikina Trigg said, who is a hairstylist who moved from Tennessee to start a business in Gwinnett County, "You have great economic opportunities."

They were at a state office in Norcross getting their new Georgia driver’s licenses.  

They are among the 65,000 residents who moved to Atlanta over the last year – at a rate that jumped following a pandemic lull in growth.  More newcomers moved to Gwinnett than any other Georgia County, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.  

More people is a good thing; ARC analyst Mike Alexander said,  "All the things we love about growth – wealth generation, increasing wages and real consumption in the economy  -- is generated by people."

But growth also drives up traffic on roads that are already crowded. It drives up demand for housing that has already gotten much more expensive  -- up 22% since last year in the 12 core counties, according to the real estate service Georgia MLS.

"I’ll get my own place as soon as I can," Bipin Chaudhary said, who moved to Gwinnett County from Tennessee.  

When asked about housing prices, he gestured toward the sky.  

"It’s a skyrocket, you know," he said.

Even with that sentiment, Chaudhary is among the newcomers optimistic about their re-made lives in metro Atlanta.  

"It’s a good sisterhood and a brotherhood, so it's more good for everybody," Trigg said. "I like the population growth."

   

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