Atlanta ( or ) is the
capital and most populous city
in the state of Georgia, as well as the urban core of one of the
fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States.
With a 2008 estimated population of 537,958, Atlanta is the
in the United States, and the 28-county Atlanta Metropolitan Area
such region in the United States, and the largest in
the Southeastern U.S. with more than 5,376,285 residents. The
Atlanta Combined Statistical
, home to 5,729,304 people, is the tenth
in the country.
Considered a top business city and transportation hub, Atlanta is
the world headquarters of The
, and Delta Air Lines
surrounding area contains additional corporate headquarters,
including Home Depot and UPS.
Atlanta has the country's third largest
concentration of Fortune 500
along with Chicago inside city boundaries, and more than 75 percent
of the Fortune 1000
companies have a
presence in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport, which is located seven miles south of downtown Atlanta, is the world's busiest airport and the only
major airport to serve the city.
the county seat of Fulton County and the fifth location for the seat of government of the state of
Georgia. A small portion of the city of Atlanta
corporate limits extends into DeKalb County.
Residents of the city are known as
A map showing roads and Indian trails
circa 1815, with late 19th century Fulton County and City of
Atlanta outlines overlaid.
The land constituting the city of Atlanta was once a Native American
village called Standing Peachtree. The land that became the Atlanta area was
taken from the Cherokee and Creeks by white settlers in 1822, with the
first area settlement being Decatur.
On December 21, 1836, the Georgia General Assembly
build the Western and
to provide a trade route to the Midwestern United States
the forced removal
of the Cherokee Nation
between 1838 and 1839 the
newly depopulated area was opened for the construction of a
railroad. The area around the eastern terminus to the line began to
develop first, and so the settlement was named "Terminus" in 1837.
It was nicknamed Thrasherville after John
, who built homes and a general store there. By 1842,
the settlement had six buildings and 30 residents and the town was
renamed "Marthasville". The Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad,
Thomson, suggested that the area be renamed "Atlantica-Pacifica", which was
quickly shortened to "Atlanta".
The residents approved, and
the town was incorporated as Atlanta on December 29, 1847.
another railroad connected Atlanta to LaGrange, and the town grew to 9,554 by 1860.
During the American Civil War
Atlanta served as an important railroad and military supply hub.
the city became the target of a major Union invasion. The area now covered by Atlanta was the
scene of several battles, including the Battle of
Peachtree Creek, the Battle of
Atlanta, and the Battle of Ezra Church.
On September 1, 1864, Confederate
General John Bell Hood
evacuated Atlanta after a
four-month siege mounted by Union General William T. Sherman
and ordered all public
buildings and possible Confederate assets destroyed. The next day,
Mayor James Calhoun
city, and on September 7 Sherman ordered the civilian population to
evacuate. He then ordered Atlanta burned to the ground on November
11 in preparation for his march south, though he spared the city's
churches and hospitals.
The rebuilding of the city was gradual. From 1867 until 1888, U.S.
soldiers occupied McPherson
Barracks in southwest
Atlanta to ensure Reconstruction era
To help the newly freed slaves, the Freedmen's Bureau
worked in tandem with a
number of freedmen's aid organizations, especially the American
Missionary Association. In 1868, Atlanta became the fifth city to
serve as the state capital. Henry W.
, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution
, promoted the
city to investors as a city of the "New South", one built on a
modern economy, less reliant on agriculture. However, as Atlanta
grew, ethnic and racial tensions mounted. The Atlanta Race Riot
of 1906 left at least 27
dead and over 70 injured.
In 1907, Peachtree Street, the main
street of Atlanta, was busy with streetcars and automobiles.
December 15, 1939, Atlanta hosted the premiere of Gone with the Wind
, the movie
based on Atlanta-born Margaret
's best-selling novel of
the same name
. Stars Clark Gable
, and Olivia de Havilland
attended the gala,
which was held at Loew's Grand Theatre, now destroyed. The
reception was held at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, which is still
World War II, manufacturing such as the
Bell Aircraft factory in the suburb of
Marietta helped boost the city's population and
Shortly after the war, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
was founded in Atlanta. The recption
that followed was held at the
wake of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v.
, which helped usher in the Civil Rights Movement
, racial tensions
in Atlanta began to express themselves in acts of violence. On
October 12, 1958, a Reform
Jewish temple on Peachtree Street was bombed
; the synagogue's
rabbi, Jacob Rothschild, was an outspoken advocate of integration.
A group of anti-Semitic white supremacists calling themselves the
"Confederate Underground" claimed responsibility.
In the 1960s, Atlanta was a major organizing center of the Civil
, as Dr. Martin Luther King and students from
Atlanta's historically black colleges and universities played major
roles in the movement's leadership. Two of the most important civil
rights organizations, the Southern Christian
and the Student Nonviolent
, had their national headquarters in
Atlanta.Despite some racial protests during the Civil Rights era,
Atlanta's political and business leaders labored to foster
Atlanta's image as "the city too busy to hate". In 1961, Atlanta
Mayor Ivan Allen Jr.
became one of
the few Southern white mayors to support desegregation of his
city's public schools.
African-American Atlantans demonstrated growing political influence
with election of the first African-American mayor in 1973. They
became a majority in the city during the late 20th century but
suburbanization, rising prices, a booming economy and new migrants
have decreased their percentage in the city from a high of 69
percent in 1980 to about 54 percent in 2004. The addition of new
immigrants such as Latinos and Asians is also altering city
demographics, along with an influx of white residents.
In 1990, Atlanta was selected as the site for the 1996 Summer Olympics
. Following the
announcement, Atlanta undertook several major construction projects
to improve the city's parks, sports facilities, and transportation.
Atlanta became the third American city to host the Summer Olympics
. The games themselves
were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies, as well as
the Centennial Olympic Park
Contemporary Atlanta is sometimes considered to be an archetype for
cities experiencing rapid growth and urban
. Unlike most major cities, metropolitan Atlanta does not
have any natural boundaries, such as an ocean, lakes, or mountains,
that might constrain growth.
The city has recently been commended by bodies such as the
Environmental Protection Agency for its eco-friendly policies. In
2009, Atlanta's Virginia-Highland became the first carbon-neutral
zone in the United States. Verus Carbon Neutral developed the
partnership that links 17 merchants of the historic Corner
Virginia-Highland shopping and dining neighborhood retail district,
through the Chicago Climate Exchange, to directly fund the Valley
Wood Carbon Sequestration Project (thousands of acres of forest in
Atlanta's Piedmont Park, with a
blanket of winter snow.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of . of it is
land and of it is water. The total area is 0.51% water. At about
above mean sea level (the airport is at ), Atlanta sits atop a
south of the Chattahoochee River
. Atlanta has the
second highest average elevation of any major city east of Denver, after
Continental Divide line enters Atlanta from the south, proceeding to
the downtown area.
From downtown, the divide line runs
eastward along DeKalb Avenue and the CSX
lines through Decatur. Rainwater that falls on the south and east
side runs eventually into the Atlantic Ocean, while rainwater on the north and west side of the
divide runs into the Gulf of Mexico via the Chattahoochee River.
is part of the ACF River Basin
from which Atlanta and many of its neighbors draw most of their
water. Being at the far northwestern edge of the
city, much of the river's natural habitat is still preserved, in
part by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation
Area. Downstream however, excessive water use
during droughts and pollution during floods has been a source of
contention and legal battles with neighboring states Alabama and Florida.
Atlanta has a humid
, (Cfa) according to the Köppen classification
with hot, humid summers and mild, but occasionally chilly winters
by the standards of the southern United States. July highs average
or above, and low average . Infrequently, temperatures can even
exceed . The highest temperature recorded in the city is , reached
in July, 1980. January is the coldest month, with an average high
of , and low of . Generally average lows are in the upper 20s and
lower 30s in the north Georgia region. Warm fronts can bring
springlike temperatures in the 60s (high teens) and 70s (low 20s)
in winter, and Arctic air masses can drop temperatures into the
single digits (around -15 C) as well. The coldest temperature ever
recorded was in February 1899. A close second was , reached in
January 1985. Atlanta has a more temperate climate than other
southern cities of the same latitude due to its relatively high
elevation of ( above sea level.
Like the rest of the southeastern U.S., Atlanta receives abundant
rainfall, which is relatively evenly distributed throughout the
year. Average annual rainfall is . An average year sees frost on 36
days; snowfall averages about annually. The heaviest single storm
brought on January 23, 1940.Blizzards
rare but possible; one hit in March 1993
. Frequent ice storms
can cause more problems than snow; the
most severe such storm may have occurred on January 7, 1973.
In 2007, the American Lung Association ranked Atlanta as having the
13th highest level of particle pollution in the United States. The
combination of pollution and pollen levels, and uninsured citizens
caused the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to name Atlanta
as the worst American city for asthma sufferers to live in.
On March 14, 2008, an EF2
hit downtown Atlanta with winds up
to . The
tornado caused damage to Philips Arena, the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, the Georgia
Dome, Centennial Olympic Park, the CNN
Center, and the Georgia World Congress Center. It also damaged the nearby neighborhoods of
Vine City to the west and Cabbagetown, and Fulton
Bag and Cotton Mills to the east.
While there were
dozens of injuries, only one fatality was reported. City officials
warned it could take months to clear the devastation left by the
Atlanta's skyline is punctuated with highrise and midrise buildings
of modern and postmodern vintage. Its tallest landmark – the Bank of
America Plaza – is the 37th-tallest building in
the world at . It is also the tallest building in the
United States outside of Chicago and New York
many other Southern cities such as Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, and New
Orleans, Atlanta chose not to retain its historic Old South
Instead, Atlanta viewed
itself as the leading city of a progressive "New South" and opted
for expressive modern structures. Atlanta's skyline includes works
by most major U.S. firms and some of the more prominent architects
of the 20th century, including Michael
, Richard Meier
, Renzo Piano
, Pickard Chilton, and soon, David Chipperfield
. Atlanta's most
notable hometown architect may be John
Portman whose creation of the atrium hotel beginning with the
Regency Atlanta (1967) made a significant mark on the hospitality
sector. Through his work, Portman—a graduate of
of Architecture -- reshaped downtown Atlanta with his designs
for the Atlanta Merchandise
Mart, Peachtree Center, the
Peachtree Plaza Hotel, and SunTrust Plaza.
The city's highrises are clustered in three
districts in the city — Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead.
are two more major suburban clusters, Perimeter Center to the north and Cumberland/Vinings to the northwest). The central business
district, clustered around the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel –
one of the tallest buildings in Atlanta at the time of its
completion in 1967 – also includes the newer 191
Peachtree Tower, Westin Peachtree Plaza, SunTrust
Tower, and the buildings of Peachtree Center. Midtown Atlanta, farther north, developed
rapidly after the completion of One Atlantic Center in 1987.
Businesses continue to move into the Midtown district. The district's newest
office tower, 1180
there in 2006 at a height of , and achieved a Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification that year from
Green Building Council. Atlanta has been in the
midst of a construction and retail boom, with over 60 new highrise
or midrise buildings either proposed or under construction as of
April 19, 2006. October 2005 marked the opening of Atlantic
Station, a former brownfield
steel plant site redeveloped into a mixed-use urban
district. In early 2006, Mayor Franklin set in motion
a plan to make the 14-block stretch of Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta
(nicknamed "Midtown Mile") a street-level shopping destination
envisioned to rival Beverly
Drive or Chicago's Magnificent
of civic efforts such as the opening of Centennial
Olympic Park in downtown in 1996, Atlanta ranks near last in
area of park land per capita among cities of similar
population density, with per thousand residents (36 m²/resident) in
Atlanta at night.
The city has a reputation, however, as a "city of
trees" or a "city in a forest"; beyond the central Atlanta and
Buckhead business districts, the skyline gives way to a sometimes
dense canopy of woods that spreads into the suburbs. Founded in
1985, Trees Atlanta
has planted and
distributed over 68,000 shade trees.
city's northern district, Buckhead, is eight miles north of downtown Atlanta and
features wealthy neighborhoods, such as Peachtree Battle, Tuxedo
Park, Peachtree Hills, and Chastain Park, and is consistently
ranked as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in America.
Atlanta's East Side is quickly emerging as an intown destination as
a result of the rapid gentrification
it has undergone in the current decade. It boasts hip and urban
neighborhoods with craftsman
mansions, and new infill. Some of the more established neighborhoods
Park, Lake Claire,
and Little Five
Points. The more affordable neighborhoods of
Kirkwood, Old Fourth Ward,
Atlanta, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown and
Edgewood also have much to offer.
These areas of the
city are also appealing to the younger, hip generation of people
between the ages of 18-35 due to the location of shopping,
transportation and cultural living. In addition to creating new
space within the city, developers have also utilized many old
buildings to create living space for the forementioned
neighborhoods. In the city's Southwestern section, Collier
Heights is home for the wealthy and elite African-American
population of the city, and features neighborhoods such as Cascade
Heights and Peyton Forest.
Entertainment and performing arts
Atlanta's classical music scene includes the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
, Atlanta Ballet
, New Trinity Baroque
, the Metropolitan Symphony
, Georgia Boy Choir
and the Atlanta Boy Choir
Classical musicians have included renowned conductors Robert Shaw
and the Atlanta
Symphony's Robert Spano
The city has a well-known and active live music scene. The Fox
Theatre is an historic landmark and one of the highest
grossing venues in the world.
The city also has a large
collection of highly successful music venues of various sizes that
host top and emerging touring acts. Popular local venues include the
Playhouse, The Masquerade and the EARL.
famous galleries in the city include the renowned High Museum
of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Institute for the
Arts, and the Georgia Museum of
Atlanta attracts the thirteenth-highest number of foreign tourists
of any city in the United States, with more than 478,000 foreign
visitors arriving in the city in 2007. That same year (according to
), it was estimated that
Atlanta attracted 37 million visitors into the city. The city features the
world's largest indoor aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which officially opened to the public on November
23, 2005. The new World of Coca-Cola, opened adjacent to the Aquarium in May 2007,
features the history of the world-famous soft drink brand and
provides visitors the opportunity to taste different Coca-Cola
products from around the world. Underground
Atlanta, a historic shopping and entertainment complex
lies under the streets of downtown Atlanta. Atlantic
Station, a huge new urban renewal project on the
northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, officially opened in October
Atlanta hosts a variety of museums on subjects ranging from history
to fine arts, natural history, and beverages. Museums and
attractions in the city include the Atlanta
History Center; the Carter Center;
the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic
Site; the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War
Museum; historic house museum Rhodes Hall; and the Margaret
Mitchell House and Museum. Children's museums include The Fernbank
Science Center and Imagine It!
Children's Museum of
Piedmont Park hosts many of Atlanta's festivals and cultural
events. Atlanta Botanical Garden sits next to the park. Zoo Atlanta, in Grant Park, features a panda
exhibit. Just east of the city rises Stone
largest piece of exposed granite in the
During Labor Day weekend each year, Atlanta hosts the popular
multi-genre convention Dragon*Con
downtown at the Hyatt Regency, Marriot Marquis, Hilton and Sheraton
hotels. The event attracts an estimated 30,000 attendees
Atlanta is home to several professional sports franchises,
including teams from all four different
major league sports in the U.S.
The Atlanta Braves
of Major League Baseball
and the Atlanta Falcons
of the National Football League
played in the city since 1966. The Braves began playing in 1871 as
the Boston Red Stockings, and is the oldest continually operating
professional sports franchise in America. The Braves won the
in 1995, and had an
unprecedented run of 14 straight divisional championships from 1991
The Atlanta Falcons
are an American football
team of the National Football League
played in Atlanta since 1966. The team currently plays at the Georgia Dome.
They have won the division title three
times, and one conference championship – going on to lose to
the Denver Broncos
in Super Bowl XXXIII
on January 31, 1999.
Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXVIII
in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV
The Atlanta Hawks
of the National Basketball
have played in Atlanta since 1968. The team's history
goes back to 1946, when they were known as the Tri-Cities
Blackhawks, playing in the area now known as the Quad Cities (Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa).
The team then moved to Milwaukee in 1951,
and to St. Louis in 1955, where they won their sole NBA Championship
as the St. Louis Hawks. In 1968,
they came to Atlanta. In October 2007, the Women's National
(WNBA) announced that Atlanta would
receive an expansion franchise, that commenced their first season
in May 2008. The new team is the Atlanta Dream, and plays in Philips Arena.
The new franchise is not affiliated with
the Atlanta Hawks.
From 1972–1980, the Atlanta Flames
played ice hockey
in the National Hockey League
moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1980, due to financial difficulties of
the owner, and became the Calgary
On June 25, 1997, Atlanta was awarded an NHL
expansion franchise, and the Atlanta
became the city's newest ice
team. The Thrashers play at Philips Arena.
The team began play on September 18, 1999,
losing to the New York Rangers
in overtime in a preseason game. The Thrashers first home victory
came on October 26, 1999, defeating the Calgary Flames
Atlanta was also home to the Atlanta
of the United
First Division (men) and W-League (women). In
2007, the Silverbacks had their best season advancing to the USL
Finals against the Seattle
, who have since been promoted to the MLS
. The city is supposedly also being
considered for a potential expansion team in Major League Soccer
. The Atlanta Chiefs
won the championship of the
now-defunct North American
in 1968. In golf, the final PGA
Tour event of the season that features elite players, The Tour Championship, is played
annually at East Lake
This golf course is used because of its
connection to the great amateur golfer Bobby Jones
, an Atlanta native.
Atlanta has a rich tradition in collegiate athletics. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
participate in seventeen intercollegiate sports, including football
. Tech competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and is
home to Bobby Dodd
Stadium, the oldest continuously used on campus site for
college football in the southern
United States, and oldest currently in Division I FBS.
stadium was built in 1913 by students of Georgia
Tech. Atlanta also played host to the second
intercollegiate football game in the South, played between Auburn
University and the University of Georgia in Piedmont
Park in 1892; this game is now called the Deep South's Oldest
The city hosts college football's annual
(Formerly known as
The Peach Bowl) and the Peachtree
, the world’s largest race.
Atlanta was the host city for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics
Olympic Park, built for 1996 Summer Olympics, sits adjacent to
Center and Philips
Arena. It is now operated by the Georgia
World Congress Center Authority.
Atlanta hosted the NCAA Final
Men's Basketball Championship most recently in April
Atlanta is home to two of the nation's Gaelic Football teams, Na
Fianna Ladies Gaelic Football Club and Clan na nGael Ladies Gaelic
Football Club. Both are members of the North American County Board,
a branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association, the worldwide
governing body of Gaelic games.
||League Championships/Championship Appearances
||0, Super Bowl XXXIII
||Major League Baseball,
||3 (1914, 1957, 1995), 5(1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999)
National Basketball Association
||USL First Division
||RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
||0, 1 (2007)
||RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
Women's Football League
||James R. Halford Stadium
||1 (2006), 3 (2005, 2006, 2007)
||Arena Football League
||Arena at Gwinnett Center
||0, 1 (ArenaBowl XIX)
||Arena at Gwinnett Center
||0, 1 (2005–2006 Kelly Cup
The Atlanta metro area
by many local television stations and is the eighth largest
designated market area
in the U.S. with 2,310,490 homes (2.0% of the total U.S.). There
are also numerous local radio stations serving every genre of music
and sports.The four major networks are WSB-TV (ABC), WAGA-TV (FOX),
WXIA-TV (NBC), and WGCL-TV (CBS). WXIA also owns MyAtl-TV (My
Network TV) and airs their 10 pm news there.
Atlanta is commonly seen as the Hip-Hop capital of the world, being
the home of many aspiring and upcoming artists, not to mention the
home of major recording studios/companies such as So So Def
is one of eight U.S. cities classified as a "beta world city" by a 2008 study at Loughborough
University, and ranks third in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within city
boundaries, behind New York
City and Houston. Several major national and international
companies are headquartered in Atlanta or its nearby suburbs,
including three Fortune 100 companies:
The Coca-Cola Company,
Home Depot, and United Parcel
Service in adjacent Sandy Springs. The headquarters of AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular
Wireless), the second largest mobile
phone service provider in the United States, is located near
is one of the most recent companies to relocate to
the metro area; in October 2006, it announced plans to move its
headquarters to Sandy Springs. Other headquarters for some major
companies in Atlanta and around the metro area include Arby's
Gentiva Health Services
, Oxford Industries
, RaceTrac Petroleum
, Southern Company
, SunTrust Banks
and Waffle House
. In early June 2009,
NCR Corporation announced that they
will relocate its headquarters to the nearby suburb of Duluth,
Over 75% of the Fortune 1000
companies have a presence in the
Atlanta area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250
multinational corporations. As of 2006 Atlanta Metropolitan Area
ranks as the 10th largest cybercity(high-tech center) in the US,
with 126,700 high-tech jobs.
Delta Air Lines
is the city's
largest employer and the metro area's third largest. Delta operates one of
the world's largest airline hubs at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport and, together with the hub of competing carrier
AirTran Airways, has helped make
Hartsfield-Jackson the world's
busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and
The airport, since its construction in
the 1950s, has served as a key engine of Atlanta's economic
Atlanta has a sizable financial sector. SunTrust Banks
, the seventh largest bank by
asset holdings in the United States, has its home office on
Peachtree Street in downtown. The Federal Reserve System
has a district
headquarters in Atlanta; the Federal Reserve Bank of
, which oversees much of the deep
, relocated from downtown to midtown in 2001. Wachovia
announced plans in August 2006 to place
its new credit-card
division in Atlanta,
and city, state and civic leaders harbor long-term hopes of having
the city serve as the home of the secretariat of a future Free Trade Area of the
manufacturing sector in metropolitan Atlanta has suffered setbacks
recently, including the planned closure of the General Motors Doraville Assembly plant in 2008, and the shutdown of Ford Motor Company's Atlanta
Assembly plant in Hapeville in 2006. Kia, however, has
broken ground on a new assembly plant near West
The city is a major cable television
programming center. Ted Turner
media empire in Atlanta, where he bought a UHF station
that eventually became WTBS
established the headquarters of the Cable News Network at CNN Center, adjacent today to Centennial
As his company grew, its other
channels – the Cartoon Network
, Turner South
, Turner Classic Movies
, CNN International
, CNN en Español
and CNN Airport Network
centered their operations in Atlanta as well (Turner South has
since been sold). Turner Broadcasting is a division of Time Warner
. The Weather Channel,
owned by a consortium of NBC
Universal, Blackstone Group,
and Bain Capital, has its offices in
the nearby suburb of Marietta.
Cox Enterprises, a privately held company
controlled by siblings Barbara Cox
Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers
has substantial media holdings in and beyond Atlanta; it is
headquartered in the City of Sandy Springs. Its Cox
Communications division, headquartered in unincorporated DeKalb
County, is the third-largest cable television service
provider in the United States; the company also publishes over a
dozen daily newspapers in the United States, including The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. WSB –
the flagship station of Cox Radio –
was the first AM radio station in the
Unincorporated DeKalb County is also home to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
(CDC). Adjacent to Emory University, with a staff of nearly 15,000 (including 6,000
contractors and 840 Commissioned Corps officers) in 170
occupations, including: engineers, entomologists, epidemiologists,
biologists, physicians, veterinarians, behavioral scientists,
nurses, medical technologists, economists, health communicators,
toxicologists, chemists, computer scientists, and
Headquartered in DeKalb County, CDC has 10
other offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. In
addition, CDC staff are located in local health agencies,
quarantine/border health offices at ports of entry, and 45
countries around the world. Originally established in 1946 as the
Communicable Disease Center, its primary function was to combat
, the deep southeast being the heart
of the U.S. malaria zone at the time.
Law and government
Atlanta is governed by a mayor
and a city
council. The city council consists of 15 representatives—one from
each of the city's twelve districts and three at-large positions.
The mayor may veto a bill passed by the council, but the council
can override the veto with a two-thirds majority. The mayor of
Atlanta is Shirley Franklin
Every mayor elected since 1973 has been black. Maynard Jackson
served two terms and was
succeeded by Andrew Young
Jackson returned for a third term in 1990 and was succeeded by
. In 2001,
Shirley Franklin became the first woman to be elected Mayor of
Atlanta, and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of
a major southern city. She was re-elected for a second term in
2005, winning 90% of the vote. Atlanta city politics during the
Campbell administration suffered from a notorious reputation for
corruption, and in 2006 a federal jury convicted former mayor
on three counts
of tax evasion in connection with gambling income he received while
Mayor during trips he took with city contractors.
As the state
, Atlanta is the site of most of Georgia's state
government. The Georgia State Capitol building, located downtown, houses the offices
of the governor, lieutenant
governor and secretary of state, as well as the General Assembly.
Mansion is located on West Paces
Ferry Road, in a residential section of Buckhead.
is also home to Georgia Public Broadcasting headquarters and Peachnet,
and is the county seat of Fulton County, with which it shares
responsibility for the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
The city of Atlanta is served by the
Atlanta Police Department
which has an estimated 1700 officers working in the force.
The United States Postal
operates several post offices throughout the city.
Atlanta Main Post Office is located at 3900 Crown Road SW, in close
proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform
Crime Report, Atlanta recorded 141 homicides in 2006, down from 151
in 2004. In 2007 Dekalb County had a record 102 murders, Clayton
County amassed 56 murders, and unincorparted parts of Fulton County
(East Point, College Park, and Union City) recorded 75. All
together, the five-county core area of metro Atlanta (Cobb,
Clayton, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Dekalb counties) recorded 487
murders in 2007. Atlanta's incident rate for violent crimes is
higher than most other major US cities.
Mayor Franklin is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal
Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired
by New York
City mayor Michael
Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas
According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey, Blacks
made up 55.8% of Atlanta's population. White Americans
made up 38.4% of Atlanta's
population. American Indian
up 0.2% of the city's population. Asian
made up 1.9% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans
less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some
other race made up 2.6% of the city's population. Individuals from
two or more races
made up 1.1%
of the city's population. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos
4.9% of Atlanta's population.
As of the 2008 American Community Survey, the city of Atlanta had a
population of 537,958; an increase of 28% from the 2000 Census. As
of the 2007 U.S. Census estimates, the Atlanta metropolitan area
estimated population of 5,376,285. The racial makeup of the city
was 56.8% black, 37.7% white, 2.0% Asian, 0.2% American Indian,
2.3% from some other race, and 1.0% from two or more races; 4.7% of
the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The city of
Atlanta also has one of the highest LGBT
populations per capita. It ranks 3rd of all major cities, behind
slightly behind Seattle, with 12.8% of the city's total population
recognizing themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
According to the 2000 United States Census (revised in 2004),
Atlanta has the twelfth highest proportion of single-person
households nationwide among cities of 100,000 or more residents,
which was at 38.5%.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,482 and the
median income for a family was $55,939. Males had a median income
of $36,162 compared to $30,178 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$29,772. About 22.7% of the population and 21.3% of families lived
below the poverty
According to a 2000 daytime population estimate by the Census
Bureau, over 250,000 more people commuted to Atlanta on any given
workday, boosting the city's estimated daytime population to
676,431. This is an increase of 62.4% over Atlanta's resident
population, making it the largest gain in daytime population in the
country among cities with fewer than 500,000 residents.
According to census estimates, Metropolitan Atlanta
is the fastest
growing area in the nation since 2000 by numerical increase. It was
the fourth-fastest growing metro area from 2007 to 2008 in terms of
numerical increase. The city of Atlanta itself was the thirteenth
fastest growing city in the nation, in terms of both percentage and
Much of the growth is driven by the increase in the African
American population. Atlanta has long been a magnet for
African-American professionals, drawn by the city's historically
black colleges, the civil rights legacy and the city's black
political structure, with African-American mayors dating to Maynard
Jackson in the 1970s. Recently, Atlanta passed Chicago as the
metropolitan area with the second largest black population, after
Atlanta is also seeing a unique and drastic demographic increase in
its white population, and at a pace that outstrips the rest of the
nation. The proportion of whites in the city's population,
according to Brookings
, grew faster between 2000 and 2006 than that of any
other U.S. city. It increased from 31% in 2000 to 35% in 2006, a
numeric gain of 26,000, more than double the increase between 1990
and 2000. The trend seems to be gathering strength with each
passing year. Only Washington, D.C. saw a comparable increase in white population share
during those years.
population of Metro Atlanta
has also seen a drastic change.
Metro Atlanta currently is home to the fastest-growing Korean
population in the country. The Korean population saw a sharp
increase from 42,000 in 2000, to an estimated 80,000 in 2006.
Since the 1990s, the number of immigrants from Latin America to the
Atlanta metropolitan area has greatly increased. This flow of
immigrants has brought new cultural and religious practices and
affect the economy and demography of the urban area, resulting in
vibrant Hispanic communities
within the city.
Atlanta is also home to the fastest growing millionaire population
in the United States. The number of households in Atlanta with $1
million or more in investable assets, not including primary
residence and consumable goods, will increase 69% through 2011, to
approximately 103,000 households.
population of the Atlanta region spreads across a metropolitan area
of – a land area larger than that of Massachusetts.
Because Georgia contains more counties than
any other state east of the Mississippi River
, area residents live
under a heavily decentralized collection of governments. As of the
2000 census, fewer than one in ten residents of the metropolitan
area lived inside Atlanta city proper.
Al-Farooq Masjid Mosque Atlanta
There are over 1,000 places of worship within the city of Atlanta.
Christian faiths are well
represented in Atlanta, the city historically being a major center
for traditional Southern denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention
United Methodist Church
the Presbyterian Church
There are a large number of "mega churches" in the area, especially
in suburban areas.
Atlanta contains a large, and rapidly growing, Roman Catholic
population which grew from
292,300 members in 1998 to 750,000 members in 2008, an increase of
156 percent. About 10 percent of all metropolitan Atlanta residents
are Catholic. As the see of the 84 parish Archdiocese of Atlanta
serves as the metropolitan see
for the Province of Atlanta. The archdiocesan cathedral is the
Christ the King
and the current archbishop is the Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory
. Also located in the
metropolitan area are several Eastern Catholic
fall in the jurisdiction of Eastern Catholic eparchies
for the Melkite
The city hosts the Greek Orthodox
Annunciation Cathedral, the see of the Metropolis of Atlanta and
its bishop, Alexios. Other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions
represented by parishes in the Atlanta area include the Antiochian
Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox
Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church
and the Orthodox Church in America.
Atlanta is also the see
Episcopal Diocese of
, which includes all of northern Georgia, much of middle
Georgia and the Chattahoochee
valley of western Georgia. This Diocese is headquartered
at the Cathedral of St
in Buckhead and is led by the Right Reverend J. Neil
Atlanta serves as headquarters for several regional church bodies
also. The Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America
maintains offices in downtown Atlanta; ELCA
parishes are numerous throughout the metro area. There are eight
United Church of Christ
congregations in the Atlanta metro area, one of which, First
Congregational in the Sweet Auburn
neighborhood, is noted for being the church with which former mayor
Andrew Young is affiliated.
Traditional African American denominations such as the National Baptist
and the African Methodist Episcopal
are strongly represented in the area. These churches have
several seminaries that form the Interdenominational Theological
Center complex in the Atlanta University
The headquarters for The Salvation
's United States Southern Territory is located in Atlanta.
The denomination has eight churches, numerous social service
centers, and youth clubs located throughout the Atlanta area.
temple of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in the suburb of
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Atlanta in adjacent Lilburn, Georgia is currently the largest Hindu temple in the world outside of India.
is one of approximately 15 Hindu
in the metro Atlanta area, along with 7 other Hindu temples
in Georgia serving nearly 100,000
in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, Perry,
Savannah, Columbus, Rome/Cartersville and other remote
There also are an estimated 75,000 Muslims
in the area and approximately 35 mosques
Metropolitan Atlanta is also home to a Jewish community estimated
to include 120,000 individuals in 61,300 households. This study
places Atlanta's Jewish population as the 11th largest in the
United States, up from 17th largest in 1996. Atlanta also has a
considerable number of ethnic Christian congregations such as
Korean Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian Churches, Tamil Church Atlanta
, Telugu Church,
Hindi Church, Malayalam Church, Ethiopian, Chinese, and many more
traditional ethnic religious groups.
Colleges and universities
Atlanta is home to one of the largest concentrations of colleges
and universities in the country. The city has more than 30 institutions of
higher education, including the
Institute of Technology, a predominant engineering and research university
that has been ranked in the top ten public universities since 1999
by US News and World Report, and Georgia
The city also hosts the Atlanta University Center
largest consortium of historically black
colleges and universities
in the country. Its members include
Clark Atlanta University,
College, Spelman College,
and the Interdenominational Theological
Adjoining the AUC schools, but independent
from them, is the Morehouse
School of Medicine
. The Savannah College of Art and
opened a Midtown Atlanta campus in 2005 and shortly
thereafter bought out and closed the Atlanta College of Art
. Also in the
city are the John
Marshall Law School
and the Reformed Theological
Atlanta contains several colleges, including Emory
University, an internationally prominent liberal arts and
research institution that has been consistently ranked as one of
the top 20 schools in the United States by US News and World Report;
Oglethorpe University, a small
liberal arts school named for the founder of Georgia with a faculty rated
15th in the nation by the Princeton
Review; Agnes Scott College, a women's college; and several state-run
institutions such as Clayton
State University, Georgia
Perimeter College, Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State
University, and the University of West
Elementary and secondary schools
The public school system (Atlanta
) is run by the Atlanta Board of Education with
superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. As of 2007, the system has an
active enrollment of 49,773 students, attending a total of 106
schools: including 58 elementary schools (three of which operate on
a year-round calendar), 16 middle schools, 20 high schools, and 7
charter schools. The school system also supports two alternative
schools for middle and/or high school students, two single-sex
academies, and an adult learning center. The school system
also owns and operates radio station WABE-FM 90.1, a National
Public Radio affiliate, and Public Broadcasting Service
television station WPBA 30.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport , the world's busiest airport as measured by
traffic and by aircraft
traffic, provides air service between Atlanta and many national
and international destinations. Delta Air Lines
and Airtran Airways
maintains their largest hubs
at the airport. Situated ( ) south of downtown, the airport covers
most of the land inside a wedge formed by Interstate 75
, Interstate 85
, and Interstate 285
. The MARTA rail system has a
station in the airport terminal, and provides direct service to
Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Sandy Springs. The major general aviation airports near the city
proper are DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and Brown Field .
See List of airports in the
for a more complete listing.
With a comprehensive network of freeways that radiate out from the
city, Atlantans rely on their cars as the dominant mode of
transportation in the region Atlanta is mostly encircled by
, a beltway
locally known as "the Perimeter" which has
come to mark the boundary between the interior of the region and
its surrounding suburbs
Three major interstate highways
converge in Atlanta; I-20
runs east to
west across town, while I-75 runs from northwest to southeast, and
I-85 runs from northeast to southwest. The latter two combine to
form the Downtown Connector
(I-75/85) through the middle of the city. The combined highway
carries more than 340,000 vehicles per day. The Connector is one of
the ten most congested segments of interstate highway in the United
States. The intersection of I-85 and I-285 in
Doraville – officially called the Tom
Moreland Interchange, is known to most residents as Spaghetti Junction.
Atlanta is approached by thirteen freeways. In addition to the
aforementioned interstates, I-575
, Georgia 400
, Georgia 316
Mountain Freeway (US 78
), and Langford Parkway
(SR 166) all terminate just within or beyond the Perimeter, with
the exception of Langford Parkway, limiting the transportation
options in the central city.
This strong automotive reliance has resulted in heavy traffic
and contributes to Atlanta's air pollution
, which has made Atlanta one of
the more polluted cities in the country. The Clean Air Campaign
was created in
1996 to help reduce pollution in metro Atlanta.
Around 2008 the Atlanta metro area has ranked at or near the top of
the longest average commute times in the U.S. Also, the Atlanta
metro area has ranked at or near the top for worst traffic in the
Notwithstanding heavy automotive usage, Atlanta's subway
system, operated by Metropolitan
Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
(MARTA), is the seventh
busiest in the country
. MARTA also operates a bus
system within Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett
Counties. Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties each operate
separate, autonomous transit authorities, using buses but no
Atlanta has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous cities
for pedestrians, as far back as 1949 when the Gone with the Wind
author Margaret Mitchell
was struck by a speeding
car and killed while crossing Peachtree
The proposed Beltline
create a greenway and public transit system in a circle around the
city from a series of mostly abandoned rail lines. This rail
accommodate multi-use trails
string of existing and new parks. In addition, there is a proposed
project that would create a
streetcar line along Peachtree Street from downtown to the Buckhead
area, as well as possibly another East-West MARTA line.
Atlanta began as a railroad town and it still serves as a major
rail junction, with several freight lines belonging to Norfolk Southern
intersecting below street level in
downtown. It is the home of major classification yards
for both railroads,
Inman Yard on the NS and Tilford Yard on the CSX. Long-distance
passenger service is provided by Amtrak
, which connects
Atlanta with many cities between New Orleans and New York.
station is located several miles north of downtown —
and it lacks a connection to the MARTA rail system.
ambitious, long-standing proposal would create a Multi-Modal
Passenger Terminal downtown, adjacent to Philips Arena and the Five
Points MARTA station, which would link, in a single facility, MARTA
bus and rail, intercity bus services, proposed commuter rail
services to other Georgia cities, and Amtrak.
bus service between Atlanta and many locations throughout the
United States, Canada, and the Mexican border.
Atlanta has eighteen sister cities
designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):
Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
- Brussels, Belgium (1967)
- Bucharest, Romania (1994)
- Cotonou, Benin (1995)
- Daegu, South Korea (1981)
- Fukuoka, Japan (2005)
- Lagos, Nigeria (1974)
- Montego Bay, Jamaica (1972)
- Newcastle, United Kingdom (1977)
- Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Germany (1998)
- Ancient Olympia, Greece (1994)
- Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (1987)
- Ra'anana, Israel (2000)
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1972)
- Salcedo, Dominican Republic (1996)
- Salzburg, Austria (1967)
- Taipei, Republic of
- Tbilisi, Georgia (1988)
- Toulouse, France (1974)
- Ahmedabad, Gujrat, India (2008)
- Demographia United States Metropolitan Areas 2000–2006 (County
Based) | publisher = Demographia | date= 2007-03-23 | url =
- The term "Atlantans" is widely used by both local media and national media.
- Thrasherville State Historical Marker,
retrieved on 2009-11-13.
- Atlanta Premiere of Gone With The Wind
- Eberly, Tim; Shea, Paul. " Tornado Claims One in Polk County."
Atlanta Journal and
Constitution. March 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Staff Writer. " Police to Atlantans: If you can, 'stay out of the
city'." CNN. March
17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Craig (1995), p. 15
- Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
- Overseas Visitation Estimates for U.S. States,
Cities, and Census Regions: 2007, retrieved on 2009-11-13.
- America's 30 Most Visited Cities -
ForbesTraveler.com, retrieved on 2009-11-13.
- " The Story of the Braves." Atlanta Braves.
Retrieved on April 29, 2008.
- " History: Atlanta Falcons." Atlanta Falcons.
Retrieved on April 29, 2008.
- " A Franchise Rich With Tradition: From Pettit To
'Pistol Pete' To The 'Human Highlight Film'." Atlanta Hawks.
Retrieved on April 29, 2008.
- " History." Atlanta Thrashers. Retrieved on
April 29, 2008.
- Before the 2007 season, this was the last event of the PGA Tour
season. However, a revamping of the Tour calendar in 2007 created a
season-long points race known as the FedEx Cup to determine the Tour's season champion.
The Tour Championship, now held in late September, is the final
event in the FedEx Cup, although the Tour season continues into
November with the Fall Series.
- " Georgia And Auburn Face Off In Deep South's Oldest
Rivalry." georgiadogs.com. November 6, 2006. Retrieved on
April 29, 2008.
- Ladies Gaelic Football Na Fianna Atlanta, retrieved on
- " Nielsen Reports 1.3% increase in U.S. Television
Households for the 2007–2008 Season." Nielsen
Media Research. (September 22, 2007) Retrieved on April
- NCR move a burst of good news amid recession,
retrieved on 2009-11-13.
- AeA ranks Atlanta 10th-largest U.S.
- " Cox Enterprises, Inc. Reaches Agreement to Acquire
Public Minority Stake in Cox Communications, Inc."
Enterprises. October 19, 2004. Retrieved on July 4, 2009.
- " City Council Districts." City of Sandy Springs.
Retrieved on July 4, 2009.
- " Atlanta Headquarters." Cox Communications.
Retrieved on April 22, 2009.
- " Post Office Location - ATLANTA."
United States Postal
Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
- Gary J. Gates . The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation
Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law October, 2006.
- http://www.governing.com/articles/0807atlanta.htm Governing
Magazine: Atlanta and the Urban Future, July 2008.
- These include St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church; St. Joseph Maronite
Catholic Church in the Eparchy of Saint Maron of
Brooklyn; and Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church.
- American Public Transportation Association, Heavy Rail Transit Ridership Report, Fourth
- Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events:
Years of Change and Challenge, 1940–1976 by Franklin M. Garrett,
Harold H. Martin
- Atlanta, Then and Now. Part of the Then and Now book
- Darlene R. Roth and Andy Ambrose. Metropolitan Frontiers: A
short history of Atlanta. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996. An
overview of the city's history with an emphasis on its growth.
- Sjoquist, Dave (ed.) The Atlanta Paradox. New York:
Russell Sage Foundation. 2000.
- Stone, Clarence. Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta,
1946–1988. University Press of Kansas. 1989.
- Elise Reid Boylston. Atlanta: Its Lore, Legends and
Laughter. Doraville: privately printed, 1968. Lots of neat
anecdotes about the history of the city.
- Frederick Allen. Atlanta Rising. Atlanta: Longstreet
Press, 1996. A detailed history of Atlanta from 1946 to 1996, with
much about City Councilman, later Mayor, William B. Hartsfield's
work in making Atlanta a major air transport hub, and about the
Civil Rights Movement as it affected (and was affected by)