In 1970, the Atlanta MSA, as defined by the federal government, consisted of five counties (Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett), spanned 1,731 square miles and had a population of 1,387,865. By 2015, the Atlanta MSA consisted of 29 counties, encompassed 8,376 square miles and had a population of 5,710,795.
Over the 45-year period, the current 29-county Atlanta MSA saw a major transformation.
The chart at the right shows the change in education for the population over the age of 25 in the metro-Atlanta area.
The percentage of the population that was nonwhite nearly doubled, increasing from 22.2 percent to 44.2 percent of the total population. The percentage of the adult population with less than a high school diploma decreased from 52.6 percent to 11.8 percent, while the percentage with a college degree or more increased from 12.0 percent to 35.8 percent.
Percentage of Educational Attainment
of Population Age 25+
- Less than high school
- Bachelor degree or higher
As of July 2015, 50 cities in 31 states had joined an initiative called Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities, a national grassroots cooperative for immigrant-welcoming communities to share resources and ideas. In this new study, researchers examine these cities’ characteristics, as well as the cities’ programs for immigrants and motivations for starting a “welcoming city.” Authors: Xi Huang and Cathy Yang Liu
CSLF Report, Publication No. 38, Feb. 13, 2018, Fred Brooks, Anna Chaney and Sara Mack
This report presents major findings from 87 face-to-face interviews conducted between February and July 2016 with people who left the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in Georgia. The study examined the lives of ex-recipients who left TANF between 2009 and 2015. The personal interviews include questions about: their experience with the TANF program, employment, income, housing, child well-being, participant health, food security, transportation and debt.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 37, Jan. 3, 2018, Audrey Clubb, Dean Dabney and Joshua Hinkle
This report details the development of an analytic tool intended to help police and other government agencies in DeKalb County, Georgia, predict areas most likely to have crime problems in the future. The analytic tool is based on risk-terrain modeling, which uses a number of local area characteristics (such as demographics, foreclosures, and school performance) and previous crime trends to forecast areas at the highest risk of future crime.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 33, April 11, 2017, Chandrayee Chatterjee, Lakshmi Pandey and David Sjoquist
This study provides a brief but detailed analysis of the shrinking middle class in every U.S. state between 2000 and 2013. It includes a descriptive table summarizing the change in share of low-income and high-income households for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as specifics about Georgia's middle class.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 32. March 15, 2017, Carolyn Bourdeaux and Lakshmi Pandey
This study examines the characteristics of Georgians who exit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), focusing on the population that left TANF after the recession (2009-15). Data is highlighted for short- and long-term outcomes, including whether participants were able to hold stable employment and transition out of poverty.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 28, Sept. 13, 2016, Xi Huang and Cathy Yang Liu
As of July 2015, 50 cities in 31 states had joined an initiative called Welcoming America's Welcoming Cities, a national grassroots cooperative for immigrant-welcoming communities to share resources and ideas. In this new study, researchers examine these cities' characteristics, as well as the cities' programs for immigrants and motivations for starting a "welcoming city."
Jobs in Georgia’s Urban and Rural Regions and Counties: Changes in Distribution, Type and Quality from 2007 to 2014
CSLF Report, Publication No. 27, Sept. 13, 2016, Peter Bluestone and Mels de Zeeuw
This report is an update to an earlier study on Georgia's jobs in urban and rural regions and counties from 2000 to 2012. This new report examines the immediate outcome of the recession, which began in 2007, and the subsequent economic recovery until 2014. Job growth, job quality and job type are compared in the regions studied.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 26, Aug. 2, 2016, Dave Sjoquist
This report explores trends in employment and wages in manufacturing, focusing on the period since 1996 when the decline in Georgia manufacturing jobs began. The trends are then compared to the United States. As of 2014, manufacturing jobs accounted for less than 7 percent of employment in the state, and these jobs were not expected to grow in the long run, even after the U.S. fully recovers from the Great Recession.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 25. June 24, 2016, Lindsay Kuhn, Sarah Larson and Carolyn Bourdeaux
In a new report, researchers examine the landscape of Georgia’s community improvement districts (CIDs), focusing on their evolution and key characteristics, as well as providing an in-depth analysis of five select districts.
FRC Report, Publication No. 280. Feb. 23, 2016, Oronde Small and Laura Wheeler
In a new brief, researchers provide a detailed description of Georgia's film tax credit, a review of the incentive's significant features compared to those offered by other states, and a snapshot of the industry in Georgia compared to the rest of the nation.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 23, Jan. 26, 2016, Dick Layton
This report is intended as an update to a 2004 report entitled "Policy Guide to the Evaluation and Use of Tax Allocation Districts.” Among other findings, the report shows that revenues from Atlanta’s 10 tax allocation districts (TADs) are expected to be up significantly in the current tax year. The report reviews the overall financial condition of tax allocation districts (TADs), documents concerns and lessons learned about TAD management, as well as outlines other redevelopment finance tools.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 24, Dec. 3, 2015, Peter Bluestone, Carolyn Bourdeaux and Nicholas Warner
This brief, prepared for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, examines governmental funding for education and workforce development in Georgia, including pre-K, K-12, higher education and federal job training.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 18, Oct. 6, 2015, David Sjoquist and Lakshmi Pandey
This report analyzes data over a 23-year period for 31 metropolitan areas that had at least 2 million people in 2013. It finds that metro-Atlanta population and job growth has been greater compared to other metropolitan locations. However, job quality has seen the same impact.
CSLF Special Report, Publication No. 17, Sept. 29, 2015, Sarah Larson and David Sjoquist
The city of College Park proposed the creation of Tax Allocation District #1 (Downtown and Airport Gateways) in June 2015. The Fulton County School District asked the Center for State and Local Finance to conduct an analysis of the proposed TAD using the district’s current policies. This report was updated March 2, 2016.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 16, July 14, 2015, Carlianne Patrick
The primary goal for state and local economic development policy in the United States is to support business retention and recruitment. In this report, Dr. Carlianne Patrick takes a look at the non-tax economic development incentives in Georgia, and compares them to those of four competing states: Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
FRC/CSLF Policy Brief, FRC Publication No. 275, June 16, 2015, Sherman A. Cooper and Laura Wheeler
This joint brief looks at migration in Georgia from 1991-2011. Although there was significant migration to the state during the early 1990s through the early 2000s, it has slowed substantially since then. The brief analyzes trends, including looking at income of those moving to and away from Georgia.
CSLF Special Report, Publication No. 10, March 24, 2015 , The Center for State and Local Finance
The Center for State and Local Finance (CSLF) has released new report on the proposed city of Tucker, and it finds that the city would be financially feasible. The report provides a detailed analysis of the expected revenue and expenses of the proposed city.
Jobs in Georgia’s Urban and Rural Regions, Changes in Distribution, Type, and Quality of Jobs in Georgia Counties from 2000-2012
CSLF Report, Publication No. 4, Nov. 10, 2014, Peter Bluestone
This report indicates changes in Georgia’s economy from 2000-2012 affected employment differently in the state’s urban and rural regions. Further, Bluestone indicates Georgia lost 1.1 percent of its jobs during this period, losses that were not evenly distributed between the state’s urban and rural areas.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 7, Nov. 3, 2014, Cathy Yang Liu
This report explains that as of 2007 almost 30 percent of state businesses are minority-owned and 8.8 percent are immigrant-owned. These businesses fill important niches in the market by serving minority and immigrant communities and play a role in the export economy as well.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 6, October 25, 2014, Carlianne Patrick
This report discusses constitutional provisions on public aid to private enterprises, and reviews changes to these provisions, the incentives environment index, and available non-tax incentives. Dr. Patrick then explores the capital expenditure and industrial composition effects of increasing non-tax economic development incentives.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 5, October, 25 2014, Carlianne Patrick
This brief explains that employment in rural counties may be harmed by increasing non-tax economic development incentives in this summary of a recently released full report.
The State and Local Government Workforce: Trends and Patterns in Georgia, the South, and the United States
CSLF Report, Publication No. 2, September 24, 2014, Gregory B. Lewis and Rahul Pathak
This report compares state and local governments (SLGs) workforce patterns in Georgia, the region and U.S. CSLF experts find that Georgia’s governmental workforce faces one of the largest public-private pay disparities in the country. The report goes on to explore pay differentials by state and local government and by sector.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 1, June 17, 2014, Lakshmi Pandey, David L. Sjoquist, Laura Wheeler
According to a recent Brookings Institute report, income inequality in the city of Atlanta is the highest among the 50 cities studied. We find that the level of inequality in the city of Atlanta is due more to the very high income at the 95th percentile than at the 20th percentile. Income inequality at the metropolitan level is less for most cities.