5 Towns In Georgia That Will Be Important Cities By 2050

Written by Justin Sexton
Published: November 4, 2023
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Macon, GA

Macon, Georgia, USA historic downtown skyline.

©Sean Pavone/ via Getty Images

The Peach State has grown from a past reputation as a rural state to having one of the most popular cities in America today in Atlanta. Georgia has a long history of contributions to the world such as Coca-Cola, Southern rap music, cotton, and peaches. Thanks to their growth in popularity in the 2000s, many people have traveled down to Georgia to live there and develop their full-time careers. TNT (Turner Network Television) launched in Georgia. And today, people move down there for television and media careers.

Outside of Atlanta, Georgia is still a very rural state as it’s a top state that produces peanuts, peaches, and pecans. The state is also a hunting state that loves to hunt quail. With The Peach State’s increasing popularity, what 5 Georgia towns will be important to the state by 2050? Keep reading to find out.

Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is experiencing growth.

©Evilarry at English Wikipedia (Original text: David Selby), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The city of Atlanta is one of the most popular cities in the United States. Yet, compared to other major media market cities like Los Angeles and New York City, Atlanta’s population is significantly smaller. Los Angeles’s population is roughly seven million people and New York has nine million people. Now in 2023 via WSB-TV, Atlanta’s metro population is over five million people. Georgia has a total population of ten million people. It’s one of the most populated Georgia towns because of the great employment opportunities Atlanta has.

Atlanta’s Growing Film & Entertainment Industry

Turner Studios (TNT) is based in the center of Atlanta. Atlanta is recognized as the third-largest film industry. Other notable media companies in Atlanta are Tyler Perry Studios and William Street Productions which produce multiple Adult Swim Series. Atlanta’s media industry is also popular for its contributions to the horror genre with Goosebumps and The Walking Dead. Cartoon Network and Cox Cable Company, the third largest cable provider in the United States, are also based in Atlanta.

The city’s music scene has grown tremendously since the 2000s and the 2010s with the likes of T.I., Jeezy, Outkast (who now has the highest-selling rap album of all time), Young Thug, Gunna, Summer Walker, and 21 Savage. Plenty of aspiring artists and creatives who want to get their big break in the music industry move to Atlanta because of the major networking opportunities.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was established in Atlanta, Georgia in 1892. The huge face of soda or pop owns many different soda brands from all over the world. In their museum, they allow visitors to taste different Coca-Cola products from different countries like Italy, Honduras, Japan, Portugal, and more. Coca-Cola doesn’t just own soda though. They also own different beverage products such as Powerade, Dasani, Glaceau Smartwater, Fuze Tea several coffee companies, and many more. Coca-Cola has plenty of job opportunities for its residents in warehouses, manufacturing, marketing, and different sales avenues.

Healthcare

Atlanta is home to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC for short. The CDC has a staff of fifteen thousand health workers that are composed of epidemiologists, scientists, clinical research associates, physicians, nurses, statisticians, toxic chemists, pathologists, and engineers just to name a few fields. The city is also home to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II, which helped the city become more known in the biotech sector.

Savannah

Commercial Container / Cargo Ship on Savannah River at Sunset

A commercial cargo ship as it leaves the Port of Savannah in Georgia at sunset

©CrackerClips/iStock via Getty Images

Although the capital of Georiga lives in Atlanta’s shadow nowadays, Savannah is one of the biggest Georgia towns. The state’s capital metro area has a population of roughly 339,000 people. People move to Savannah to get away from the traffic that Atlanta has. Like Atlanta, Savannah also provides great job employment opportunities. Savannah has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing cities in America. Why? Keep reading to find out.

Electric Vehicles

In 2022, Hyundai Motor Group announced they would be opening a manufacturing factory. Hyundai invested over five billion into the factory. The new factory has created over eight thousand jobs and the final touches on the factory will be finished in 2025.

Port of Savannah

The city’s Port of Savannah is one of the main economic draws in Savannah, Georgia. The Port of Savannah has historical significance as the first steamboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean took off from the Port of Savannah and traveled to Liverpool, England. Port of Savannah is home to the Center of Innovation for Logistics for the state of Georgia.

Thanks to their deepwater ports and inland barge terminals, the port creates over five hundred thousand jobs annually and creates over thirty-three billion dollars in income for Georgia. Between 2000 and 2005, it was the fastest-growing seaport in the nation.

What Can Cause An Increase In Savannah’s Population?

Tourism. The traffic that Atlanta has and their respective booming job market has hindered Savannah in the past. It’s nearly guaranteed that the population in Savannah will double in the next thirty years because of traffic and tourism. The traffic issues will need a solution in construction and infrastructure. Possible expansion of the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport can help bring in more domestic and international visitors. Other job sectors that are expected to grow even more before 2050 are hospitality, information technology (IT), and port activities.

Columbus

Columbus, Georgia, USA downtown skyline.

A picture of Columbus, Georgia, USA downtown skyline.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The city of Columbus is one of the most western Georgia towns. It rests alongside the Chattahoochee River and Phenix City, Alabama is on the opposite side of the river. The city’s metro population is at 328,883 thousand people. “The Fountain City” is near Fort Moore, the United States Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence. It is one of the city’s major employers. Its population has slightly declined over the years but it still remains one of the most populated cities in Georgia.

What Draws People Into Columbus, Georgia?

Columbus State University, the military, and tourism can help Columbus become one of the largest Georgia towns in 2050.

Columbus State University draws in over six thousand new students each year. In 2022, they had an undergrad enrollment of 6,022 new students. The university also supports Fort Moore and allows students to have classes at the Army Fort. They have farmer student programs, international student programs, and more that bring diversity into Columbus. What draws people to attend Columbus State University is its accredited business school and its film and theater program. The university also has a Coca-Cola Space Science Center that has a space mission simulator, planetarium, and many space shuttle artifacts.

The town itself is also home to the National Infantry Museum. It’s a 190,000-square-foot facility that’s dedicated to celebrating American Infantrymen and displays military artifacts. Columbus also has several different museums. Port Columbus has the National Civil War Museum that focuses on the naval bases’ history in the Civil War. It features a replica of the USS Hartford, the CSS Jackson, and the CSS Albemarle.

The Columbus Art Museum is the second-largest art museum in Georgia. It contains over fifteen thousand different pieces that make it a cultural center like no other. They also have more hotels than people would think and some award-winning food spots in Columbus. Columbus will be one of the more important Georgia towns by 2050 due to its military presence and increased tourism.

A List Of Major Employers In Columbus

  • Fort Moore
  • Muscogee County School District
  • TSYS
  • Aflac
  • Kia Motors
  • Columbus Consolidated Government
  • Piedmont Columbus Regional Healthcare
  • Pezold Companies
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • St. Francis-Emory Healthcare

Augusta

Savannah River and Augusta, Georgia, USA Aerial.

Savannah River and Augusta, Georgia, USA Aerial.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Augusta, Georgia is in Richmond County and has a population of six hundred eight thousand people. When many people hear the words Augusta, Georgia, they think of one thing: The U.S. Masters. It’s held every first full week of April. Today, Augusta is also recognized as a military center, healthcare center, and various manufacturing companies. Compared to other cities, Augusta is one of the larger Georgia cities with a small-town feel to its environment.

The U.S. Masters Golf Tournament

The U.S. Masters Golf Tournament drives in over two hundred thousand visitors annually. To get a membership at the Augusta Masters Golf Club is considered the most exclusive golf club to be a part of. Augusta is two hours away from Atlanta, so it’s a fun trip for Atlanta natives. The U.S. Masters was created in 1930 by Amatrue Golf champion Bobby Jones and an investment banker named Clifford Roberts.

There are several traditions tied to the history of The Masters. The most recognizable is the Green Jacket tradition. That began in 1949. The winner of The Masters gets to keep his green jacket for a whole year and must return it back to the club. Then the jacket is stored in a cloakroom alongside the other jackets from past winners. In 1952, the tradition of the Champions Dinner began. The Champions Dinner is held with past Masters Champions and specific board members of the Augusta Golf Club every Tuesday before the Masters start.

The Masters Golf Field was created in 1933, three years after the tournament’s inception. Since then, the field has undergone minor and major renovations in order to keep the grounds at a high-quality level.

The Economy Today

Augusta’s economy today is supported by houses at great value. The cheaper housing makes it an attractive place for people to move to. Their population is projected to grow by over twenty-seven thousand in the next five years. The city’s annual median income is 9k lower than the national average. However, considering the lower costs of things in Augusta versus other cities like Savannah or Atlanta, it makes sense why people would move to Augusta. Some of the top job sectors in Augusta include:

  • Government jobs
  • Healthcare and Social assistance
  • Retail Trade
  • Manufacturing
  • Administrative and Support System
  • Construction
  • Finances

Athens

Georgia - US State, Athens - Georgia, USA, University of Georgia, University

Georgia – US State, Athens – Georgia, USA, University of Georgia, University.

©Sean Pavone/ via Getty Images

Athens, Georgia metro population is at 215, 415 people. It’s the sixth most populated city in Georgia. The city is dominated by a college presence thanks to the University of Georgia. Athens also has an underrated rock/alternative music scene as it is home to several bands. Some of the bands are Widespread Panic, Harvey Milk, Indigo Girls, and Drive-By-Truckers. In 2015, Outside Magazine named Athens sixth on a list of “The 16 Best Places To Live In The U.S.”

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is one of the main attractions in the city. It’s a public institution that was founded in 1785. In fall 2022, the university welcomed over 30,000 new undergrad students. The University of Georgia is one of the oldest universities in the United States. It does have two satellite campuses in Atlanta and Lawrenceville. One of the things the university is recognized for is being a highly regarded research university. Their mascot is the Georgia Bulldogs and their collegiate athletics are widely successful. Rolling Stone once had the University of Georgia as a “Top Ten School That Rocks”.

The university has plenty of athletics from American Football, gymnastics, college basketball, and volleyball. It also has a university golf course.

Outside of athletics, the university is known for its graduate engineering and law schools. The University of Georgia is the first state-chartered university in America’s history. It is one of the top fifty national universities per U.S. News & World Report.

Athens Economy And Job Market

The Athens economy is a steady one. It has cheaper housing and gas prices compared to the other major cities. It has recovered somewhat from the COVID-19 pandemic as it lost 13.7% of its jobs to the recession. The economy has shifted towards healthcare and education as its two main drivers in stimulating the city’s economy. A pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim expanded its R&D and animal vaccine manufacturing facility. In 2022, jobs in Athens grew by 2.0%. Which is good but it’s below the state’s average of 3.9%.

Piedmont Health System acquired Athens Regional Medical Center. UAG also collaborated with Augusta Univeristy on a health facility that brought new jobs into the area. The Engineering College enhanced the entrepreneurial development and innovation climate for the city. An increased population growth along with many students returning back to the UAG college campuses has aided Athens in bouncing back from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

With the growing popularity of the University of Georgia, its short one-hour-long commute to and from Atlanta, and its increasing healthcare job market, Athens is going to be one of the more important Georgia towns by 2050.

Summary

The 5 Towns In Georgia That Will Be Important Cities By 2050 are Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, Augusta, and Athens. There are some similarities between the cities as to why they’ll be very important cities in 2050. Their expansive healthcare jobs in Atlanta, Athens, and Augusta make them great for the health sectors.

An increase in college enrollment at every city on this list will drive more visitors and tourists to check out each city and what they have to offer. Savannah’s introduction of the electric vehicle industry will bring in more eco-friendly people and become a staple in Southern eco-green communities like Charlotte, North Carolina.

Columbus has a unique military presence near Alabama and it can draw tourists to the western Georgia city. Savannah’s Port of Savannah makes it a strong logistics city. The increase in the port’s needs for logistics and imports makes it a great place to live for job opportunities.

Nowadays, Atlanta is one of the most popular cities in the United States. Yet, it has a lot of growing to do so it can catch up to New York and Los Angeles.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sean Pavone/ via Getty Images


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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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