METRO ATLANTA STILL AMONG FASTEST-GROWING IN NATION

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1 October 2012 Despite the dour economic news of the past few years, metro Atlanta remains the key economic driver of the Southeast. But, as with all metro areas, challenges abound. One of those challenges centers around education. Although metro Atlanta s overall educational attainment has it well-positioned, aligning educational needs of employers with the educational attainment of the workforce is critical if the region is to compete in the future. This special State of the Region Snapshot examines how metro Atlanta compares with other large metros across a range of demographic and economic indicators. METRO ATLANTA STILL AMONG FASTEST-GROWING IN NATION Population Change, , ,143 20,144-44,756 44,757-90,345 90, ,774 Map 1 Population Change, Despite growth that is well-below the boom years of the 1990s and early 2000s, estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that metro Atlanta is still one of the fastest-growing metros in the nation, ranking 7 th in total population added between April of 2010 and June of 2011 (latest available). Source: U.S. Census Estimates In terms of population growth from , metro Atlanta is most like: Los Angeles (Rank: 5th) Miami (Rank: 6th) Riverside (CA) (Rank: 8th) Phoenix (Rank: 9th) Much of the region s growth last decade went to County, but an area in south County added more than 26,000 people, the most in the region. In terms of densification (growth per square mile), Midtown had the highest rate of growth, adding 7,900 people per square mile between 2000 and (Source: 2010 Census, via Neighborhood Nexus). Figure 1 Population Change Per Square Mile,

2 GROWING OLDER, TOO Map 2 Percentage Point Change in Share of 65 and Older Population, Change 65+ Percent -1.9% % -0.9% - 0.0% 0.1% - 0.5% 0.6% - 1.0% 1.1% - 1.7% While metro Atlanta was the third-fastest growing metro area between , a lot of that growth came in the older ages. Metro Atlanta also had one of the fastest growth rates of its aging population. The share of those 65 and older grew from 7.7 percent in 2000 to 8.9 percent in 2010, an increase of 1.2 percent. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (through Brooking's) Figure 2 Percent of Those Age 65 and Older, 2010 In terms of growth in the 65 and older population (change in share) from , metro Atlanta is most like: Baton Rouge (1.2 percentage point growth) Minneapolis (1.2 percentage point growth) Boise City (1.2 percentage point growth) Chattanooga (1.2 percentage point growth) Detroit (1.2 percentage point growth) There are pockets of older adult population scattered throughout the region, with heavy concentrations in and counties on the south side, as well as pockets in the urban core and north in and counties. The place with the highest concentration of those 65 and older, however, is in Buckhead between Northside Drive and Peachtree Street. Almost 27 percent of this area s population is 65 or older. (Source: 2010 Census, via Neighborhood Nexus) 2

3 3 METRO ATLANTA A DIVERSE PLACE Map 3 Percent of Non-White Population, 2010 Non-White Population 6.1% % 18.2% % 26.7% % 39.7% % 56.9% % Generally, metro areas are hotbeds for ethnic and racial cultures. This is especially true in Sun Belt metros, where the recent explosion of the Hispanic/ Latino populations has been dramatic. Through the population boom of the last decade, metro Atlanta added more than one million new residents, with more than 90 percent of this growth coming from non-white populations, including almost 500,000 new Black residents. The Black population increase in metro Atlanta was by far the largest increase in the country, during the last decade. Metro Atlanta is now one of the more diverse metro areas in the country, with almost 48 percent of its population comprised of non-whites. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (through Brooking's) Figure 3 Percent Hispanic Population, 2010 While metro Atlanta remains a destination for the Black population, the explosion of the Hispanic population was one of the defining characteristics of the 2000s. and counties had the highest concentrations of Hispanic populations as of 2010, with other large pockets found in and counties. An area in Chamblee, however, near the Peachtree- Airport, has the highest concentration of Hispanic population in the region. Almost 92 percent of the population in this area between Buford Highway and Peachtree Road is Hispanic, according to the 2010 Census. (Source: 2010 Census, via Neighborhood Nexus) In terms of the percentage of the population that is non-white in 2010, metro Atlanta is most like: Columbus, GA (49.5 percent Non-white) Dallas (48.5 percent Non-white) Orlando (45.3 percent Non-white) Austin (44.6 percent Non-white) To view back issues of Regional Snapshot, go to

4 METRO ATLANTA STILL A LEADER IN BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED Map 4 Number of Residential Building Permits Issued in 2012 (Through July) Building Permits - YTD July ,408 1,409-3,617 3,618-7,686 7,687-15,203 15,204-23,800 In the not-too-distant past, metro Atlanta led the nation in the number of building permits issued, regularly permitting some 5,000 new units each month. While the pace of permit activity is well below that (around 1,200 per month, for a total of 8,400 thus far in 2012), metro Atlanta still ranks 9 th in the nation for the number of residential permits issued this year, through July. Source: National Association of Homebuilders Figure 4 Percent of Housing Units Built After 2000 In terms of the number of residential building permits issued this year through July, metro Atlanta is most like: Seattle (9,600 permits) Phoenix (8,800 permits) Miami (7,700 permits) Charlotte (7,200 permits) During the population and construction boom of the 2000s, new housing units were literally being built everywhere, but the areas that added the most new units (as a percentage of total units) since 2000 were generally those areas with lots of vacant land. Some intown, largely built-out neighborhoods didn t add many units, except those that had a housing project torn down. In fact, in southwest Atlanta s Mechanicsville community, the site of the former McDaniel-Glenn Homes, more than 80 percent of all housing units were built since 2000, the highest percentage in the region. (Source: American Community Survey, via Neighborhood Nexus) 4

5 5 HOUSING PRICES DROPPED DRAMATICALLY SINCE 2006 Map 5 Percent Change in Housing Prices, (Q1) Housing Prices -60% % -43.1% % -30.6% % -12.9% - 0.0% 0.1% % Metro Atlanta never experienced the housing price bubble that many coastal areas had, but home prices nonetheless took a beating locally, with a 21 percent decline between 2006 and 2012 (first quarter). While this is dramatic, many areas saw much steeper declines. The good news, however, is that according to the latest Case-Shiller Index (a different source than what is used in the map), prices in metro Atlanta are up 7.4 percent since the beginning of the year and have risen for three consecutive months. Still, prices have a long way to go to get back to pre-recession levels. Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency, HPI index (through Brooking's) Figure 5 Percent of Housing Units Valued $250,000 or Higher In terms of housing price decline between (Q1), according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency s HPI Index, metro Atlanta is most like: Poughkeepsie, NY (-22.6 percent) Chicago (-22.3 percent) Washington, DC (-20.9 percent) Worcester, MA (-19.8 percent) Highest housing value, like so many other phenomena, is concentrated in a relatively few areas north of the urban core, along with County to the south. In an area of Dunwoody (between Drive and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road), roughly 99 percent of all housing units are valued at $250,000 or higher, the highest percentage in the region, according to the latest American Community Survey. (Source: American Community Survey, via Neighborhood Nexus) To view back issues of Regional Snapshot, go to

6 METRO ATLANTA LOST JOBS SINCE THE RECESSION, BUT. Map 6 Percent Change in Total Employment, December June 2012 Percent Change % % -9.3% % -6.1% % -2.9% - 0.0% 0.1% - 5.8% The recession and the anemic economic recovery continue to take their toll on the nation s metro areas. Since December 2007, the official beginning of the recession, metro Atlanta has lost more than 140,000 jobs, or around 5.7 percent of its job base. While this is bad, it s not nearly the shock other metros experienced. And, thus far in 2012, metro Atlanta has added some 35,000 jobs. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (through Urban Institute) Figure 6 Total Forecast Jobs Added, In terms of the percent decline in total jobs between December 2007 and June 2012, metro Atlanta is most like: Wichita (-5.9 percent) San Francisco (-5.8 percent) Greenville, SC (-5.7 percent) Providence (-5.6 percent) While job growth has been decent (not great) lately, metro Atlanta still needs to add almost 150,000 jobs to recover to pre-recession levels. ARC s current forecasts show the region adding almost 1.8 million more jobs by the year This forecast job growth is not as strong as the robust 1990s, but still good. An area in Alpharetta around Georgia 400 and Old Milton Parkway is forecast to add more than 21,000 jobs by 2040, the most in the region. (Source: ARC s Plan2040 Forecasts, via Neighborhood Nexus) 6

7 7 METRO ATLANTA HAS 1.6 JOB OPENINGS PER UNEMPLOYED WORKER Map 7 Number of Job Openings Per Unemployed Worker, 2010 Job Openings While having more job openings than unemployed workers is always a good thing, metro Atlanta ranks relatively low on this measure compared to other large metro areas. With 1.6 job openings per unemployed worker, metro Atlanta ranks in the second-lowest quintile among the 99 largest metros. But education matters, because for those jobs that require at least a Bachelor s degree, there are 3.6 job openings for every unemployed worker with a Bachelor s degree. Source: "Education, Job Openings, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America", Brookings Figure 7 Percent of Those 16 and Older Not Employed In terms of the ratio of job openings to the total number of unemployed workers in 2010, metro Atlanta is most like: Birmingham (1.58 openings per unemployed worker) Houston (1.61 openings per unemployed worker) Baton Rouge (1.64 openings per unemployed worker) Oxnard, CA (1.65 openings per unemployed worker) While the unemployment rate in metro Atlanta remains higher than the nation as a whole, not all areas within the region are affected equally. Place matters. Generally, the unemployment rate is higher in the southern portions of the region than in the north. According to the American Community Survey, an area in Brookhaven has the lowest unemployment rate, less than two percent unemployed, in the region. (Source: American Community Survey, via Neighborhood Nexus) To view back issues of Regional Snapshot, go to

8 METRO ATLANTA STRONG IN INFORMATION JOBS Map 8 Percent of Total Employment in Information Sector Percent Employed in Information Jobs 0% - 1.3% 1.4% - 1.9% 2.0% - 2.8% 2.9% - 3.5% 3.6% - 5.8% Many jobs in the Information sector are considered new economy jobs, as this sector includes software and web publishing, data processing and other occupations that require high levels of education. They are also among the highest-paying jobs in the region. Among the largest metro areas in the nation, metro Atlanta ranks 9 th with 3.3 percent of total employment found within the Information sector. Source: 2010 American Community Survey Figure 8 Total Number of Jobs in Information Sector, 2010 In terms of the percent of employment within the Information sector, metro Atlanta is most like: San Francisco (3.4 percent in Information Sector) Madison, WI (3.3 percent in Information Sector) New York (3.2 percent in Information Sector) Boston (3.0 percent in Information Sector) Information jobs are clustered north of the urban core, although there are pockets dotted throughout the region, particularly in city and town centers in the suburban counties. The heaviest concentration of Information jobs, however, is located in the Central Business District in downtown Atlanta, with more than 11,000 jobs in the Information sector. (Source: ARC s Plan 2040 Forecasts (for 2010), via Neighborhood Nexus) 8

9 9 THE YOUNG AND THE EDUCATED Map 9 Percent of Those Age With At Least a Bachelor s Degree Age with Bachelor's 12.6% % 21.7% % 29.1% % 35.3% % 42.9% % Whatever surprises the new economy may have in store for us, having an educated workforce is key to competing. Metro Atlanta is well-positioned with almost 36 percent of those age holding at least a Bachelor s degree. Source: 2010 American Community Survey Figure 9 Percent of Those 25 & Older With At Least a Bachelor s Degree In terms of the percent of those ages with at least a Bachelor s degree, metro Atlanta is most like: Portland, ME (36.5 percent) Kansas City (36.0 percent) St. Louis (35.7 percent) Milwaukee (35.5 percent) Those with the highest levels of education tend to cluster in relatively concentrated areas, stretching mostly northward from the urban core. This is also where most of the job centers in the region are located. An area in Buckhead (east of I-75, south of W. Wesley) has the highest percentage of the population (25+) with at least a Bachelor s degree at almost 93 percent. (Source: American Community Survey, via Neighborhood Nexus) To view back issues of Regional Snapshot, go to

10 YOU CAN T BE TOO EDUCATED Map 10 Education Gap For Job Openings, 2012 The Education Gap is the ratio of the years of education required by the average job vacancy divided by the years of education attained by the average working-age person. Higher the value, the larger the Education Gap. Education Gap Despite being a relatively educated place, metro Atlanta faces a relatively wide education gap i.e. the education required by the average vacant job is higher than the educational attainment of the average working-age person. In metro Atlanta, the number of years of education required by vacant jobs is about six percent higher than the number of years of education attained by the average working-age person, which is among the largest gaps in the nation. Source: "Education, Job Openings, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America", Brookings Figure 10 Percent of Those 25 & Older With At Least a Graduate s Degree In terms of the Education Gap, metro Atlanta is most like: Wichita (Education requirements are 6.4 percent higher than educational attainment) Richmond (Education requirements are 6.4 percent higher than educational attainment) Chicago (Education requirements are 6.3 percent higher than educational attainment) Youngstown (Education requirements are 6.1 percent higher than educational attainment) Highly educated people tend to live next to other highly educated people. At least that is one explanation why those with at least a graduate or professional degree are clustered so tightly just north of the urban core. Not surprisingly, an area near Emory (south of N. Decatur Road and north of Scott Blvd.) has the highest percentage of those with at least a graduate or professional degree just over 50 percent according to the latest American Community Survey. (Source: American Community Survey, via Neighborhood Nexus) 10

11 11 BRING ON THE INNOVATION Map 11 Number of Patents ( ) per 1,000 Population (2010) Patents While metro Atlanta ranks in the middle of the pack for the number of patents per 1,000 residents, the overall number of patents increased more than 30 percent between 2006 and 2010, the largest change among the 10 most populous metros during that time. With the presence of so many well-respected research universities, increasing the pace of innovation in the region is critical path to future economic prosperity. Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Figure 11 Percent of Population Age 18 to 29 (~Millennials), 2010 In terms of the number of patents (issued between ) per 1,000 population (based on 2010 Census population), metro Atlanta is most like: Pittsburgh (1.24 patents per 1,000 population) Washington, DC (1.23 patents per 1,000 population) Indianapolis (1.21 patents per 1,000 population) Providence (1.18 patents per 1,000 population) Some of the areas with the highest patent- per-capita rates are known for their universities, like Austin (5.7 patents per 1,000 population), San Francisco (5.6 patents per 1,000 population) and Raleigh, NC (4.2 patents per 1,000 population), to name a few. Metro Atlanta is also known for its universities, and it will be the Millennials - those recently-graduated or currently in college who will continue to innovate in this region or elsewhere, as the Baby Boom generation heads into retirement. Not surprisingly, the area around Morehouse University has the highest percentage, more than 90 percent, of those age (roughly considered Millennials, or Generation Y). (Source: 2010 Census, via Neighborhood Nexus) To view back issues of Regional Snapshot, go to

12 12 CONNECTIVITY IS KEY Map 12 Number of Fixed-Residential Broadband Connections Per 100 Households, December 2010 Percent Subscribership 12/ Access to broadband is critical in today s world. More and more services like applying for jobs, student homework and even commerce are conducted online. Those who do not have access are being left on the other side of the digital divide. Again, metro Atlanta falls in the middle of the pack nationally on this measure, with roughly 60 percent of all households having broadband accessibility. Source: FCC, through analysis by Investigative Reporting Workshop (Broadband defined as speeds of 768 Kbps download and 200 Kbps upload) Figure 12 Percent of Households With Broadband Access, 2010 In terms of the number of fixed residential broadband connections per 100 households, metro Atlanta is most like: Albuquerque (60 percent) Miami (60 percent) Oklahoma City (60 percent) Riverside (60 percent) Wichita (60 percent) Overall, metro Atlanta s broadband adoption rate is relatively low, especially considering all the universities present, along with all the highly educated people living here. But like so many things, place matters. In some areas (in red), at least 80 percent of the households have broadband access. In other areas (in blue), fewer than 20 percent of the households have broadband access. Also notice how this correlates to educational attainment (see previous maps). (Source: FCC) Note: FCC reports the broadband access in ranges, so we cannot determine which single area has the highest broadband adoption rate. For more information on these issues or to suggest new subjects, please Atlanta Regional Commission 40 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA Phone: Fax: regional impact + local relevance

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