Atlanta Population to Change in Surprising Ways by 2040

people at festival in Atlanta

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) recently released county-level population forecasts that provide a fascinating glimpse of metro Atlanta’s future.

So, what will our region look like in 2040?

One thing seems clear: we will have a lot more people. ARC expects the region to add 2.5 million people, bringing the total population to 8 million.

Drilling down to the county level, the forecasts offer rich details about where these new residents will live and work and how the region’s demographics will change.

Here are some of the most interesting facts found in the forecasts:

Gwinnett County to be region’s most populous

Gwinnett County will take the region’s population crown from Fulton County. By 2040, ARC forecasts that Gwinnett will add nearly 500,000 people and have a population of 1.35 million, just above Fulton’s 1.26 million.

Gwinnett’s growth has been remarkable over the past four decades. In 1970, the county had just 74,000 people.

Bar Graph - Most populous counties in metro Atlanta

Outer suburbs will grow the fastest

While the region’s core counties of Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb will add the most people, metro Atlanta’s outlying counties will grow at the fastest rates.

Forsyth County will be at the epicenter of the population boom. ARC forecasts that county’s population will more than double, reaching 430,000. Meanwhile, Barrow, Paulding, Coweta and Cherokee counties will each grow by at least 60 percent.

Table - Fastest Growing Counties in Metro Atlanta

Diversity on display

The 20-county Atlanta region will become much more diverse, driven by a huge increase in the Hispanic population. The number of Hispanics in the region will grow from 694,000 in 2015 to 1.75 million in 2040, a 153 percent increase, according to ARC forecasts.

The Hispanic population is expected to surge in the region’s core counties. By 2040, Gwinnett County will be 37 percent Hispanic, while more than 20 percent of the population in DeKalb, Clayton and Cobb counties will be Hispanic.

Infographic on population diversity in Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton county

It’s all about the jobs

Metro Atlanta’s growth over the next 25 years is being driven in large part by the economy. ARC forecasts the Atlanta region will add 1.5 million jobs by 2040, with most located in the urban core. Nearly a quarter of all the new jobs will be in Fulton County, which will remain the region’s top employment center.

The top employment sector in 2040 will be health care, followed by retail, education, professional and scientific.

Want to know about your county? Explore the data for each county in the Atlanta Region’s Plan Forecasts and in ARC’s Regional Snapshot, Atlanta Region 2040.

2016-10-12T11:06:57+00:00 April 12th, 2016|Economy & Workforce, Research & Data, The Atlanta Region's Plan|