By Olivia Parker
Are you tired of the same old scenery? Ready to move on and explore the world, one city at a time? For people looking to add a little excitement in their lives, Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S.
From 2010 -2014, Atlanta reigned as the number one city for relocation in America. For those looking at cities to move to, here are seven reasons why Atlanta is a popular city for relocation.
1. Opportunity for Employment: For those of you looking for a change of pace in the job sector, Atlanta is the place to find a career. In 2016, glass door ranked Atlanta as the 24th best city for jobs. With company headquarters like Coca-Cola located here, it’s no surprise to learn the city of Atlanta has the third most Fortune 500 companies in America. Like Coca-Cola, 15 other Fortune 500 Companies have their headquarters located in Atlanta, including Mercedes-Benz, UPS, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines.
In 2014, Atlanta boasted the number-one spot as the top city for recent graduates and young professionals with the ranking moving down to 9th in 2016. However, the median starting salary for college graduates is estimated to be over $50,000.
2. Keeping Busy: Atlanta is not only the home of the popular AMC series, The Walking Dead, but it is also home to many other attractions. The city hosts family-friendly activities such as visiting Fernbank Forest or exploring Atlanta’s Botanical Garden. Atlanta is also host to Dragon Con—one of the largest conventions where kids and adults alike dress up as their favorite characters and meet some of their favorite authors.
If you’re interested in a more cultural experience, Atlanta is ranked the 9th most influential city and boasts attractions such as the Center for Civil and Human Rights and Atlanta History Center.
For the older crowd, Atlanta is ranked as the 10th best city for beer lovers and offers a variety of breweries to visit such as SweetWater Brewing Company or Monday Night Brewing. Other attractions include food spots for those who enjoy quality food and the second-busiest airport in the world. Atlanta’s most famous restaurant, The Varsity, is older than “Gone with the Wind.” Along Buford Highway, you can find some of the best Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese food in the state.
The music scene is also lively in Atlanta. One of my favorite venues to go to is The Masquerade. You can see many cool local bands, as well as more well-known rock bands. Music festivals are also popular, with one of the more famous festivals being Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park.
3. Weather: If you’re a Northerner who is getting tired of the cold, Atlanta has an average of 217 sunny days a year. This weather is better than Seattle, which only has an average of around 152 sunny days, or Boston with 200 sunny days a year. The average amount of snowfall in Atlanta is only 0.3 inches, and the average high in the summer is 89 degrees Fahrenheit while the average low in winter is only 34 degrees.
4. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Atlanta is lower than the national average, with the mean monthly rent being $977. According to U.S. News, the average housing costs of Atlanta are $194,856 in comparison to the U.S. cost of $211,731. With a lot of renovation going on, the cost of living is expected to rise over the next few years but should remain below the national average. Previously declining areas, such as the Ponce City Market, are being given a second chance at development.
5. Housing Availability: Atlanta has grown a lot over the years. If you’re moving to Georgia, it’s hard to avoid living in the city. With a total area of 134 miles squared, Atlanta was ranked the fourth biggest city in the world in 2007. Not only is there a low cost of living, but Atlanta is continually expanding in the housing department.
As of 2016, Gwinnett County—a suburb of Atlanta—has been focusing on constructing new housing. In fact, 93% of new housing permits in 2014 were for single family homes while Fulton County issued 70% of its permits for multi-family houses. Construction in Duluth, another suburb of Atlanta, will provide over 1,000 new housing units in 2017, and 639 of these units were already under construction in 2016.
6. Diversity: Atlanta has a strong trend of cultural and ethnic diversity. As of 2010, Atlanta was composed of mostly non-white residents, with 54% of the city being made up of black residents and 38.4% of white residents. The city is seeing a large demographic increase in its white population, however, and it is expected to outpace the rest of the nation. Minority groups made up a total of 83.1% of Atlanta’s population in 2010.
7. Higher Education: Another major draw to Atlanta is the presence of several top colleges, including Georgia State University, Emory University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. GA Tech is ranked 8th among public universities in the United States for 2017 and is ranked 1st for women in engineering.
They also have a top engineering program with first-place rankings in Biomedical and Industrial Engineering. GA State is behind with a ranking of 182 for best public colleges in America. Emory University is a private university but is ranked 20th for national colleges and is tied with notable institutions such as the University of California—Berkeley and Georgetown University in Washington DC. Going along with diversity, Spelman College is ranked 1st for best historically black colleges and universities, while Morehouse University is ranked 4th.
Final Thoughts: Atlanta is ideal for families and young professionals. Not only is there a lot to do, but the city boasts a rich cultural center. There is something for everyone here. The city is planning several improvements over the next few years, including a $300 million budget for an infrastructure project that will solidify clean and safe drinking water for residents and businesses.