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Gwinnett's Population Growing, but at Slower Rate

Overall, metro Atlanta is expanding at a slower pace.

Despite the economy's slow growth, the population of the 10-county Atlanta region which includes Gwinnett County, has increased by some 37,200 people for the 12 months ending April 1, 2012 according to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).

According to the ARC, it's the fourth consecutive year that the area's population growth has been slower when compared to the region's growth from 2000-2007.

Despite the downturn in population growth, "Gwinnett County led the region’s growth, adding 9,000 residents during the year. Fulton County added 7,900 and was followed in growth by DeKalb (6,300) and Cobb (5,900) counties.  All 10 counties and the City of Atlanta experienced growth during the year. None saw an overall loss of population" according to ARC's report.

This growth means that metro Atlanta is now home to 4,179,500 people, making it larger than 24 states, according to U.S. Census data.

“While this growth is certainly slower than what we became accustomed to in the 90s and 2000s, this pace is laudable in the face of the economic pressures we face,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “This blip in our growth pattern allows the region and our local governments to catch our collective breaths and prepare for the return of more typical growth.”

The Atlanta metro area added some 72,000 people in the last two years, in comparison the population increased by nearly 100,000 each year.

During the years between 2000 and 2010, only Dallas and Houston grew faster. The U.S. Census report for the metro Atlanta's 28 surrounding counties was ranked third in overall growth in the nation, adding more than one million people.

The ARC reports that the slow growth is attributed to the national economy and is similar to what most metro areas are experiencing.

“People just don’t move as much when the economy is slow,” said Mike Alexander, Chief of ARC’s Research Division. “And, considering that this recession started in the housing market and crippled that industry, property values have declined. That means fewer people are able to sell their homes and move to a different metro area.”

Gwinnett County led the region’s growth, adding 9,000 residents during the year. Fulton County added 7,900 and was followed in growth by DeKalb (6,300) and Cobb (5,900) counties.  All 10 counties and the City of Atlanta experienced growth during the year. None saw an overall loss of population.

This growth means that metro Atlanta is now home to 4,179,500 people, making it larger than 24 states, according to U.S. Census data.

You can find more detailed information on the region’s population growth at: http://documents.atlantaregional.com/enewsletters/reg_snapshot/0812/RS_July_2012_Pop.pdf.

These population estimates are unofficial until adopted by ARC on August 22.

*The 10-county region includes: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties.

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