On Friday, we considered population growth in the metro and found that, over time, growth in the Atlanta area can account for a large portion of population growth statewide. The maps and interactive tool below show change statewide at both the county and tract level, using the 2000 Decennial Census and 2013-2017 ACS estimates.

County-level population change

The map below symbolizes counties across the state according to their population losses and gains. The map is symbolized so that the darker the blue, the greater the population gain, and the darker the red, the greater the population loss. Keep in mind that the gains and losses are not on equivalent scales: The county with the greatest statewide population gain since 2000 was Gwinnett County, at a little more than 300,000 residents, and the county with the greatest population loss during the time period was Dougherty County, which saw its numbers decrease by about 4,500 people.

While the most obvious observation from this map is the outsize role metro Atlanta plays in population growth, a secondary observation is that areas of greater growth tend to be around Georgia’s better-known cities, including Augusta, Savannah and to a lesser degree Columbus. What else do these areas have in common? Many also saw increases in their job density at the tract level between 2013 and 2017. (Big caveat: We haven’t done a formal analysis to show a relationship here; it’s just a visual observation.)

Sources: Decennial Census 2000 and ACS 2013-2017

Tract-level population change

Below, we’re taking a look at tract-level changes in population statewide. Again, the scales are not equivalent. Across Georgia, the tract that experienced the largest gain was Chatham County (where Savannah is located) Census Tract 107, at more than 20,000 people between 2000 and 2017. The area of greatest loss was Baldwin County (home of Milledgeville) Census Tract 9707.02, at -4,507 people.

Sources: Decennial Census 2000 and ACS 2013-2017

From a statewide perspective, it looks as though a lot of North Atlanta, North Fulton and the surrounding areas (read: places where it feels as though construction cranes have become a permanent feature of our landscape) haven’t experienced much population gain. Part of this is because they are smaller Census tracts, so they’re more physically constrained for growth. The metro-area view below shows, however, that many of these tracts have experienced population increases, they’re just modest compared with the physically larger Census tracts at the outer edges of the metro.

And some of those areas where we see population loss in South Atlanta? Don’t forget that we’re measuring the time period in which the Atlanta Housing Authority completed razing all its housing projects. While not all the areas of loss are influenced by this turn of events, it’s possible that many of them were.

Sources: Decennial Census 2000 and ACS 2013-2017

Map explorer tool

The interactive tool below opens to show absolute population gain or loss at the county level, and you can see tract-level change as well as more details about 2013-2017 ACS population estimates by turning different layers on or off. Use the slider tool to directly compare two layers. Clicking on a geography of interest will open a pop-up box with population details; if at first you don’t see what you’re looking for, use the arrow in the upper right to click through to a different window of information. Those who really want to dive into the data can click on the arrow at the bottom of the map pane to reveal a spreadsheet with the underlying data.

Sources: Decennial Census 2000 and ACS 2013-2017 rolling averages, with analysis by ARC’s research and analytics group. All data available through ARC’s Open Data Portal.