Cobb adds nearly 7,000 new residents in last year, study finds

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Jul. 14—Since the boom decades of yore, Cobb County has seen a steady leveling off in its annual population growth.

That trend has continued in 2022 with an estimated 6,900 new residents added to the county, according to numbers released this week by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). The new neighbors account for less than 1% growth in a county that the ARC now figures numbers about 779,249.

The Atlanta metro at-large, meanwhile, now totals some 5.1 million residents. Cobb was the third-fastest growing county in the region, with Gwinnett (13,460) and Fulton (11,200) counties leading the pack in new residents.

Cobb's growth, in fact, lagged behind the regional rate of 1.3% over the last year.

In 1980, the county numbered just 297,000 people. Though it's grown by more than 160% since then, most of that growth came in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. During the 80s and 90s, the county grew by more than 15,000 residents per year. The last dozen years have seen a steady flattening of the curve, dropping to an average of less than 8,000 per year.

This year's growth was driven largely by new construction (calculated by increases in building permits) and a bounce back from pandemic-related job losses, the ARC said.

Metro Atlanta's job growth outpaced the national average between April 2021 and April 2022. Building permits increased more than five fold from 2020 to 2021.

"We are clearly recovering from the initial shock of the pandemic in 2020," said Anna Roach, the ARC's executive director. "These population gains are encouraging, and they are a testament to the quality of life metro Atlanta offers. As we look to the future, we must continue to work on housing affordability, access to transit, transportation infrastructure, and other critical issues so that we foster a region where everyone thrives."