Georgia’s Population Has Grown 133% in 50 Years… Discover What’s Driving the Huge Growth

Written by Justin Sexton
Published: November 13, 2023
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Suwanee Georgia City Hall

Suwanee Georgia City Hall

©Thomson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Georgia is one of the most popular southern states in the United States. It’s home to the Coca-Cola soda and beverages company, Turner Network Television (TNT), and several sports teams. The state is home to what many consider the modern-day mecca of hip-hop in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks to its increasing popularity, which seems like it will continue to grow, they’ll continue their monumental population growth. Ever since the 1970s, Georgia’s state population has grown by 133% in a fifty-year span! In the 1970s, the population was at 4,589,575 people. Today in the 2020s, it’s at 10,711,908 people! How has the population grown so much since the 1970s? Keep reading to find out what’s causing the huge growth.

The Massive Popularity of Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is experiencing growth.

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

Atlanta’s booming job market has led to the metro Atlanta area having a little over six million people living in the city. Before the seventies, the Atlanta Falcons football team launched in 1965. Then the St. Louis Hawks basketball team moved to Atlanta in 1968. The city’s sports teams weren’t too great at first in regards to sales and popularity. Then the Hawks found a superstar in Dominique Wilkins who shined in the Peach State throughout the 1980s. A few years later, the Falcons started to gain success with a Super Bowl appearance in the late nineties, and that carried over to divisional title success with superstar quarterbacks Michael Vick and Matt Ryan.

Atlanta’s emerging hip-hop culture and venues also drove many aspiring music industry workers and artists to make their dreams come true. Thanks to artists like Outkast (Andre 3000 and Big Boi), T.I., Gunna, Young Thug, Jeezy, 2Chainz, Future, Gucci Mane, Cee-Lo Green, Ludacris, and more, they showed that a city down south can be a go-to destination for major artists.

Notable County Growth In Various Parts of Georgia

NPG cited that several Georiga counties increased tremendously in the past decade. They said that Georgia is the sixth fastest-growing state in the country and is now dealing with the downsides of population growth. Some of those downsides involve increased traffic jams and reduced farmland so urban development can be made in place of it. The two main causes of population shifts are net migration (people moving to one area versus moving out to another area) and natural shifts (the number of births versus the number of deaths). More people have stayed in Georgia in the past fifty years than people have moved out of the state.

When Was Georgia’s Biggest Population Jump In A 10-Year Span?

The biggest population increase Georiga witnessed between the 1970s and 2020s was the ten-year mark between the 1990s and the 2000s. In the early nineties, the population was at 6.4 million. By the 2000s, the population was at 8.2 million. To put it in perspective, Atlanta’s population today is almost the same size as Georgia’s population in the 1990s.

Since Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia, let’s look at some metrics of Atlanta’s growth. Atlanta Magazine cited that forty-three percent of their suburban rate grew between 1990 and 1998. They also provided some additional metrics on why their population grew more than 650,000 people moved to the northern suburbs. The Atlanta Hispanic population grew by an impressive 995% between 1980 and 2000. In 1995, the metro Atlanta area had over one thousand foreign companies. Today, the popular Georgia city has over 2,800 foreign companies.

Immigration in Georgia was also a major cause of the state’s population growth. in 1990, Georgia had 153,000 foreign residents. By the end of the decade in 1999, the state had 288,000 foreign residents. Georgia’s one hundred fifty-nine counties did not lose a significant amount of people. For example, Gwinnett County’s population grew from 353,000 people to 588,488. Douglas County saw a massive increase from 21,000 people to 92,000 in the ten years.

How Does Georgia’s Population Growth Compare To Other States?

Georgia’s population has grown by 133% in the last fifty years. That’s an insane amount of growth, but there are a few other states that have more population growth. The states with more population growth in the last fifty years are Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Idaho, and Alaska.


Alaska’s government actually pays a monthly stipend to live there. Their incentive program launched in 1976 and as of 2022, residents receive $3,200 to live there if they qualify for it. Alaska is home to plenty of salmon, nature sites, an underrated hip-hop scene, and 40 days of night/daylight. Georiga sadly doesn’t have a monthly stipend to live there, but it doesn’t need one due to its massive job market.


Nevada has been the fastest-growing state in the past fifty years. In 2017, over fifty thousand Californians moved from California to Nevada. Most people move to Nevada for lower taxes and lower costs of living outside of Las Vegas.


Business is booming sign in Austin, Texas market

Business is booming sign in the Austin, Texas market.

©Cin8 Films/

The state of Texas is the largest state land mass-wise. Its population grew from eleven million to twenty-nine million in the past fifty years, almost tripling its population since 1970. One of the driving forces in how Texas’s population grew is immigration. Aside from immigration, more people had birth in Texas than died in the state since the 1970s. Its appealing real estate market is up there with Georgia and the job market had similar growth to Atlanta. The three main appealing cities in Texas are Houston, Austin, and Dallas.


Utah’s high birth rate and explosion in the tech industry make the state a good place to live. They also have a low unemployment population and an affordable quality of life. Utah’s population grew from one million to 3.2 million in the past fifty years.


Colorado was a state ahead of the curve in regard to cannabis legalization as it was one of the first major states to legalize recreational cannabis use. Colorado’s population grew from 2.2 million to 5.8 million. Their job market is great and even their smaller towns have noticed great increases in their population due to newcomers.


Idaho has a cheaper real estate market compared to Georiga and has much more farmland. People can move to Idaho to capitalize on the farmland. Their job market is also great as they have low unemployment rates.


This state is right below Georgia so people can easily move from Georgia to Florida just by driving past the state borders. Florida also has a much larger population than Georgia. Georgia’s population today is at 10.7 million while Florida’s population is at a massive 21.5 million. How come?

Its growing tourist attractions, real estate, and wonderful weather aside from hurricane season make it a fantastic place to live. It also gained over 600,000 new residents in the past two years. One of the major reasons it has a strong population is immigration. Plenty of people come from different islands to reside in Florida. Many people also move to Florida as it is a top retirement destination.


Arizona has a lower total population today compared to Georgia. They have 7.1 million people today, but they had 1.7 million people in the 1970s. What led to their population growth? Their vast economic opportunities and the different attractions in Phoenix gather people from all over. Arizona has been home to several sports championship games in this century and major wrestling events like Wrestlemania 26. The state’s population grew by a massive 516% between 1958 and 2002. The population in 1958 was 1.1 million people.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Wirestock/ 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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