Cherokee County grew at a fast pace over the past 12 months, adding 8,200 new residents and having the highest growth rate in the metro Atlanta area.
According to 2019 population estimates released Wednesday by the Atlanta Regional Commission, this brings the county’s total population to 262,700. In addition to seeing a 3.2 percent increase in population over the past year, statistics from ARC show Cherokee County has added nearly 48,000 people since 2010, and the population has virtually doubled since 2000.
All 10 counties in the metro Atlanta area experienced population increases in the past year, according to ARC. The region added 72,500 residents during the past 12 months, bringing the total population of metro Atlanta to 4.6 million. Fulton and Gwinnett counties added the most number of residents during this time, while Cherokee and Henry counties, along with the city of Atlanta itself, had the highest overall growth rates.
“The Atlanta region’s growth remains strong, driven by our diverse economy and great quality of life,” ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker said in a news release. “But to ensure our region’s future success, we must continue to invest in our region’s infrastructure and tackle key issues, like housing affordability and equity.”
Although the region’s growth rate still ranks among the highest over the past decade, it has slowed slightly, dropping to 1.6%, down from 1.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018. This reflects a similar dip in employment growth.
ARC’s 2019 population estimates showed continued growth in the city of Atlanta amid a surge in multi-family housing. The city added 10,900 residents in the past year, the most this decade, and is now home to more than 470,000 people, a number not seen since the 1970s.
“Regional planning is key to preparing for the region’s continued growth,” ARC Board Chair Kerry Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “Population change impacts many issues that affect the quality of life for metro Atlanta, such as transportation, the economy and natural resources.”
The ARC’s population estimates for major jurisdictions are developed using a combination of data sources, including building permit data, a demographic accounting equation generated by the Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia, school enrollment trends, occupancy rates and more. The base for each successive year’s estimates is the previous year’s estimates, with the starting point for the decade’s estimates between census counts being the most recent Census report.