Metro Atlanta Tops U.S. Population Growth

<p>Confirming what Atlanta residents have long sensed based on mind-numbing traffic and high-rise condo towers breeding like bunnies, the Census Bureau announced that the Atlanta region has added more residents since 2000 than any other U.S. metro.</p>
April 5, 2007, 2pm PDT | Alex Pearlstein
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"No other metro area in the country added more residents (than Atlanta) - roughly 890,000 - between 2000 to 2006, according to U.S. Census Bureau city rankings released today. Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Riverside, Calif., rounded out the top five."

"Atlanta's surge has pushed the area above the 5 million-person mark, the census reported last month, to an estimated 5,138,000 in July 2006. That has led to less desirable No. 1 rankings - in average commute time increases, for example."

"Many newcomers to the 28 counties of metro Atlanta have arrived from old economy cities around the Great Lakes. Others are fleeing the expensive housing bubbles of the Northeast in favor of Atlanta's comparatively cheap houses."

"The growth has challenged school systems and transportation officials to keep up, said Mike Alexander, chief of the research division at the Atlanta Regional Commission planning agency. Trailer classrooms and traffic jams are a daily reality in many parts of the region."

"But the good news, Alexander said, is that people have had enough confidence to move here despite slower job growth than in the late 1990s. And now there are signs that employment is catching up...While roughly a third of metro Atlanta's growth came in the form of births, newcomers from outside the region drove most of the increase, the census figures revealed."

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Published on Thursday, April 5, 2007 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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