Key findings

  • Atlanta has a Livability Score of 70/100, which is considered excellent
  • Atlanta crime rates are 100% higher than the Georgia average
  • Cost of living in Atlanta is 15% higher than the Georgia average
  • Atlanta real estate prices are 46% higher than the Georgia average
  • Rental prices in Atlanta are 11% higher than the Georgia average

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      Atlanta, GA

      Atlanta is the largest city in the south and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country. The city itself has a population of approximately 500,000, and the surrounding metropolitan counties are home to 5.9 million people. The cost of living is reasonable as cities go, and housing gets less expensive as you move out of the area inside the perimeter created by the circular highway known as I-285. The climate is mild most of the year, and mass transit, commonly known as MARTA, is a good way to get around in downtown, midtown and Buckhead though a car is a requirement for most suburban living.

      The city of Atlanta was founded as a terminus of the state run railroad, but soon became the meeting point for multiple railroad lines. During the Civil War, it was a major distribution point for troops and supplies which led General Sherman to burn the city to the ground in 1864. Due to this, and a wave of bulldozers in the 1980s, Atlanta’s downtown buildings have a modern flair. The vast amount of hotel space and large convention center makes Atlanta one of the leading places for corporations to gather for meetings. In addition, the downtown area hosts all the major tourist destinations including World of Coke, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

      Atlanta is the headquarters for many international companies including home grown brands Coca-Cola and Home Depot. It is the main hub for Delta Airlines and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is one the busiest airports in the world. All of this has created economic prosperity in Atlanta that draws newcomers from all over the world.

      The movie industry moved into Georgia in the early 2000s, and is mostly based in Atlanta at Pinewood Studios and Tyler Perry Studios. Netflix has filmed a number of its original shows in Atlanta, and movies filming on the streets downtown are a common sight. The city also has permanent companies for all the performing arts, and they are housed at the Woodruff Arts Center which is home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, and Atlanta Ballet. All the professional sports are represented with the NFL franchise Atlanta Falcons, The Atlanta Braves Baseball team, NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, and the newest arrival the MLS Atlanta United Football Club.

      Atlanta is made up of small neighborhoods. Downtown is home to the majority of the office space. Midtown and Buckhead are mixtures of business and apartments. Older homes can be found in Grant Park and Decatur, and Little Five Points is full of small funky businesses. The Old Fourth Ward has massive development that has turned abandoned buildings into thriving office complexes.

      You’ll find a variety of welcoming people in Atlanta. Life certainly has a southern flair, but people from all over the world call the ATL home, so the city is also cosmopolitan with much to offer newcomers.

      Top Rated Schools in Atlanta

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Morningside Elementary SchoolPK - 582779%
      Jackson Elementary SchoolKG - 583478%
      Lin Elementary SchoolPK - 564177%
      Brandon Elementary SchoolPK - 51,05777%
      Springdale Park Elementary SchoolPK - 567276%
      Fernbank Elementary SchoolPK - 560568%
      Inman Middle School6 - 81,00165%
      Smith Elementary SchoolPK - 51,11565%
      See all Atlanta schools

      Atlanta Reviews

      Write a review about Atlanta Tell people what you like or don't like about Atlanta…
      Review Atlanta
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      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      Please, do NOT make the mistake of moving here like I did!

      Attractions3/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      I've lived in several major cities across all of North America over the last six years. Atlanta is the MOST dangerous and unwelcoming place I have ever made the mistake of moving to, and I am so glad I left. I was unhappy almost the entire time. To start, my license plate was stolen off my car. Later, my car was almost broken into, confirmed by a mechanic -- the passenger door handle mechanism had been dismantled and the lock was broken. If the person had been successful, I am sure my car would be looted or stolen. (I lived in a GATED community, I never parked anywhere sketchy.) I only learned after this incident that Atlanta is known for its high volume of car thefts and home invasions.

      Livability is laughable. To start, the air quality sucks. It was not unusual to get air quality danger warnings since so many cars are crammed onto the roads. Yes, the traffic is just as bad as the Internet says it is, if not worse. There is not a huge homeless population compared to other cities I've visited, like Seattle. But there were a number of strange people who I saw wandering around and would not want to cross paths with. I was advised by locals to avoid even certain shopping centers like Target, etc. unless I brought someone with me and to avoid going at night, period, and this was in a 'good' part of town. Drivers are some of the WORST I've ever encountered -- they are either insane or just can't drive. Oh, and I can't forget the drivers who decide they need to shift over five lanes at random to make their exit, usually less than a mile or two before. My favorite! I felt like I was taking my life in my hands every time I got on the highway. The roads can get backed up forever, especially when there's an accident. (Shockingly, there are many accidents.)

      The entertainment options are alright if you like museums, the aquarium, and bars, but the majority of really fun things to do are in Midtown. Midtown is insanely expensive and unless you make close to 6 figures, it's hard to afford it. Piedmont Park is so overrun with people -- well, the whole city is, for whatever reason, since people keep moving here -- that you can barely park and enjoy it on a Sunday. (Plenty of natives complained to me about the huge influx of people moving down to ATL, so expect a housing crisis by 2022 or sooner.) The LGBT scene is average, at best; I mean, I GUESS if you're moving from a tiny conservative town in GA or AL it'll feel like a dream. But I've lived in major liberal cities, so Midtown's amazing rainbow crosswalks and dinky gay club scene was a let down. Shopping is dismal, at best, particularly Atlantic Station in downtown. The largest mall is in Buckhead, and again, nothing to write home about if you've been to major malls across the U.S. But that's not the REAL problem.

      The REAL problem is how no one recommending Atlanta is willing to admit how unsafe and generally, unwelcoming the city is, especially if you're not Southern. Go South of Atlanta and you'll instantly hit a bad area, particularly by the airport. Go north to Buckhead and Sandy Springs etc., and you'll find small bumpkin towns sandwiched between overpriced riche-rich mini-cities with unfriendly people that normies call 'bougie' -- and, well, it fits, since these types definitely like to think they're the sh/t. And trust me, the Southern 'charm' here is like a fake veneer that you could rub off as easily as rust takes off Coca-cola -- get the joke?

      Do yourself a favor and stay far away from Atlanta unless you have a truly compelling reason to move here or absolutely can't get out of it for work. Do not be taken in by the allure of low priced housing and the up and coming TV and movie industry. Sure, there are plenty of listings for auditions here, but living conditions are so awful that you should just save your money and live in LA or outside of NYC. Because you can't actually LIVE here and feel human, and it's not worth it to kill yourself to possibly get a few small movie or commercial roles. It's generally more affordable than some big cities, sure, BUT the places that are cheaper are usually so sketch or downtrodden that living there would be self-sabotage.

      Moral of the story: Make an educated decision and somewhere relatively safe. Live somewhere that shouldn't be renamed Car Theft, U.S.A. Live somewhere that has a sense of community. Don't move to this overrated nightmare.
      • 10 -10
      Great City to live, play, and work.

      Attractions10/10
      Community10/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      Compared to my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, Atlanta has been the BEST city to live in. I left Jacksonville back in Jan of 09 when i was just about to turn 25 and moved to Atlanta. Its now 01/24/2017 and Atlanta still continues to make impressive progress on all genres of city living. From Jobs, to recreational events, entertainment, living and so on, Atlanta is on Point. Yes of course there are con's to this city, but what city doesn't? Compare Atlanta to most cities specially in the South, and deep south east, Atlanta is my opinion is a two tier city just a step behind major cities like NYC, Chicago and DC. SInce Mayor Reed took over back in 09, the city matured. Corruption is diminished a lot, and neighborhoods are finally getting revamped left and right. Most cities these days you hear locals talking about their neighborhoods how they are up and coming and when you come back and visit these neighborhoods years later you'll see that nothing has changed, and if even if it did it would result in the construction of a few homes or a apartment complex. In Atlanta and surrounding suburbs is not the case. Up and coming has true meaning here. Almost every neighborhood in this city, from neighborhoods that have industrial warehouses, or older left out communities, to section 8 housing are all being revamped. Most industrial neighborhoods like West Midtown and the Upper Westside are not either warehouses converted into luxurious shoppes, or lofts, or have been replaced with upscale condo's and parks. I live in the Bolton Community which ten years ago living here you would have thought you were in the West End or Bankhead. Not anymore. Old houses are either being remodeled heavily, or being torn down and new homes being built. Home prices are getting high. Compared to most cities now like Jacksonville Florida, if you live in Atlanta during the recession back in 07 chances now your home is now worth more than it was in 07. Jacksonville on the other hand are still behind. My parents in Oakleaf are still well under in value than what they paid for back in 03. Midtown is booming, sidewalks, roads, infrastructure are improving, and fast, and parks are being revamped and/or created everywhere. Yes Marta could be better, and yes there are still lots of improvements left to do, but if all you can do is see more negative and not see how far the city has come since 2007, than you naive, and close minded. This city has much to offer and even outside of it is even more spectacular. North Ga mountains are with-in an hour or two reach from the city, and the surrounding suburbs/cities around Atlanta are all jumping on board with revamping their towns, and jumping on board with Change. If you are moving to Atlanta, and are looking for a good JOB, with more than just clubs, and a bar, than Atlanta has a LOT to offer. Movie, and Music industry is insane now in this state and specially in this city. Fine dinning, arts, board way shows off the ying yang, and events are constantly scheduled. and not seasonally, or monthly, but daily. Downtown is now on the move to be the best places to live in, as Midtown is just about built up.
      • 9 -5
      There are some serious corruption issues here in this pit.

      Attractions3/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife4/10
      Dining4/10
      Shopping4/10
      There are some serious corruption issues here in this pit. If you go anywhere to do any thing you are going to be over runned by every kind mess that can come out of the dark. You want to retain a positive out look and attitude with life then don't listen to the news or radio because they both will bring you down. Good people have gone bad here. Honestly!!!! It is a very inappropriate place. My family can not wait to move out as soon as we can. The people here are wicked and sneaky (Untrust worthy).
      • 5 -2
      Great city for nightlife and single young people ready to have fun

      Attractions8/10
      Community6/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping8/10
      Overall this is not a bad city many celebrities have moved to atlanta for modeling acting jobs and it brings a lot of money to the city. Here are examples of what actors have moved here.
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      With many actors and actresses it brings lots of fame and riches.
      Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich
      • 2 -8
      Armpit of the state

      Attractions2/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping2/10
      What an awful city that USED to be nice. After the 1996 Olympics, the city has gone completely in the toilet! I have lived here 35 years and watched people pour into this city and destroy it. Crime is awful, that's why it has an "F" rating. And if there was a rating lower than an F, it would earn that. The traffic is ridiculous, road rage is everywhere. We no longer go downtown because I fear for my family's safety. We are currently looking to move out of state, and in my opinion it can't happen soon enough! Hotlanta? NOTlanta.
      • 3 -1
      CORRECTION: Atlanta is a Beautiful City, aesthetically speaking

      Attractions10/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      I was born in Colorado, but raised in a small town in Georgia from the age of 5.

      I moved to Atlanta as an adult in the early 1990s, and it was beautiful. Gorgeous. Clean mostly and bright, not blighted. There was plenty to do, it wasn't overcrowded, and on the weekends everyone stayed close to home and didn't come in to the "city" unless it was a special occasion, like the "Peach Drop" on New Year's Eve.

      I could drive around 285 on a Saturday and Sunday, circle the entire perimeter around the city, and not run across 10 cars as I drove around it. I used to go "Sunday driving" and it was quite enjoyable and fun.

      Everything changed after The Olympics and after Hurricane Katrina.

      After the Olympics, too many people came here from New York and turned this city in a big nasty ratty place with nasty temperaments and attitudes like most New Yorkians are known for. Then, the crime rates went up and the influx from New Orleans made it even worse.

      This is not to disparage any individual person from those areas, it just means Atlanta was a lovely big city with a small town mentality, a fun place, a good place, until folks who don't anything about southern living and hospitality came here and made what was meant for good into something unspeakable.

      Couple that with "Hollywood mentality" coming from California "rappers" and folks hanging around TP Studios trying to "get discovered," mega church wannabe superstars, and New York attitude "everybody wants to be a star but all they bring to the table are wharf and gutter rats with no talent" and you've got a very different Atlanta than the way it started.

      All of us Georgians wished that the folks from California, New Orleans and New York would go home so we could have our beautiful city of a little more than 100,000 people back to the nice place it was, but alas it was not to be.

      ALL of Georgia is backward now, and Atlanta is rightfully known as a "diamond in a pig's a$$;" however, it was more livable in the 1980s and early 1990s than it is now. Now it's just a bunch of over-bloated Ugly New Yorkian messiness.

      I hope one day it will return to its rightful inheritance as a beautiful southern peach of a capital; but after 25 years of it ... I'd rather be in the "other country" in the other parts of the state.

      I'll be back when Atlanta is TRUE ATLANTA again - pre-Olympics.
      • 2 -3
      Atlanta is a Beautiful City, aesthetically speaking

      Attractions10/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      I was born in Colorado, but raised in a small town in Georgia. I moved to Atlanta as an adult in the early 1990s, and it was beautiful.

      There was plenty to do, it wasn't overcrowded, and on the weekends everyone stayed close to home and didn't come in to the "city" unless it was a special occasion, like the "Peach Drop" on New Years.

      Everything changed after The Olympics and after Hurricane Katrina.

      After the Olympics, too many people came here from New York and turned this city in a big nasty place with nasty temperaments and attitudes like most New Yorkans are known in Georgia to be. Then, the crime rates went up and the influx from New Orleans made it even worse.

      This is not to disparage any individual person from those areas, it just means Atlanta was a lovely big city with a small town mentality until folks who don't anything about southern living and hospitality came here and made what was meant for good into something unspeakable.

      Couple that with "Hollywood mentality" coming from California "rappers" and New York "everybody wants to be a star but all they bring to the table are gutter rats" and you've got a very different Atlanta.

      All of us Georgians wished that the folks from California, New Orleans and New York would go home so we could have our beautiful city of a little more than 100,000 people back to the nice place it was, but alas it was not to be.

      ALL of Georgia is backward, and Atlanta is rightfully known as a "diamond in a pig's a$$," however, it was more livable in the 1980s and early 1990s than it is now.

      Now it's just a bunch of overbloated Ugly New Yorkian mess.

      I hope one day it will return to its rightful inheritance as a beautiful southern capital; but after 25 years of it ... I'd rather be in the "other country" of the rest of the state.

      I'll be back when Atlanta is TRUE ATLANTA again.
      • 0 0
      Welcome to Atlanta, GA

      Attractions7/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping9/10
      I have lived in the Atlanta metro area for most of my life - about 32 years now. The city is known for a lot of things, including Coca-Cola and the 1996 Olympic Games, BUT what it should be known for is the traffic, the shopping, and the anomie. Not to mention the endless, sweltering summers, of course.

      Anyone has driven in Atlanta has probably in one fashion or another pondered our desire for physical closeness while also moving at 70 mph. The distance between bumpers in most cities is more than a car-length. In Atlanta, more than a car-length means your allowing someone to change lanes in front of you, right? This is something someone relocating from friendlier driving metros will get used to. Because remember: Atlanta has limited mass transit options.

      As a reward for risking the road perhaps, Atlanta has some of the BEST shopping in the Southeast, if not the entire lower half of the country. The malls are amazing. I highly recommend Lenox Square in the heart of Buckhead, the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia just east of the city, and North Point Mall in Alpharetta to the north. Little Five Points has some excellent non-mall shopping for the exceptionally brave.

      Sadly, one of the things newcomers notice first in Atlanta is the anomie - the lack of a greater sense of community. Only a few neighborhoods in the traditional sense really exist anymore. Atlanta lost its Southern Charm sometime during the last twenty years, replacing it with modern urban mores than may not be universally appealing.

      If a new resident is looking for somewhere more traditionally Southern or more welcoming, they should considering relocation to communities considerably OTP - outside the perimeter - or in Decatur, which is a separate city in terms of politics and perspective, but not necessarily location.
      • 0 -2
      i dont understand

      Attractions4/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping6/10
      Georgia is extremely slow! there isn't much to do out here, seriously. everything is so far away. you MUST have a car if you want to get around because there are literally no trains out here, except maybe in the city. taxis are very hard to find if your not in the city itself. and you have to get on the highway for EVERYTHING. I just don't understand how Georgia is one of the hottest/ humid states and there are NO BEACHES or SWIMMING LAKES out here. seriously the only FREE beach out here is in Savannah i think and im about 3 hours away from that. no one is going to travel 3 hrs every week to go to the beach to cool yourself down. there's not even public pools you can go to out here, the only pools i know about are the community pools, and those you have to live in the community in a townhouse in order to be allowed in that pool. that means they check for passes that the club house gives you when you move in the little community. its so sad. im from new York and there are beaches and lakes EVERYWHERE! how is that even possible that Georgia doesn't have any beaches or lakes???! oh wait that's right, they have maybe 3 MANMADE "beaches" or should i say recreation parks, and they charge out the ass to get into. not to mention the police here are very racist. they will pull you over if you even look Spanish just to ask for papers, and forget about it, black people are always targeted for no reason. and for some reason the people in Georgia think you owe them something with their snotty ass attitudes, the way they look at you, the workers at food joints are very disrespectful and rude, that's why i never order from anywhere over the phone, because with my attitude i get nast right back with them and i don't trust them around my food. Georgia is a nice place for the eldery, because they don't really like to go places anyway. i would recommend somewhere else if you want to enjoy the weather and nature itself, and also attractions
      • 1 -2
      Atlanta, GA - Friendly Folk

      Attractions8/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping7/10
      I traveled to Atlanta GA in March of 2011, and found the city to be extremely busy, very scattered, and to have horrible traffic. Although it did give that big city vibe I was hoping to find, the big name restaurants and dining hot spots, the night clubs and night life are excellent, there is something to do every night of the week, and the people are actually quite friendly, which I was surprised and happy to find. But, although there was the night life, which was what I was looking for since I was on vacation, there were quite a few things I did not enjoy about the city.

      First off, the traffic is horrific, and it seems as though rush hour lasts all day long, especially in Downtown. The crime rate is also extremely high, so traveling in a group I found to be a must. There is also very little to do during the day. I found that there were very few art exhibits, shopping centers, or any cultural (museums, theater, etc), things to see. And, although there is always something to do at night, and the city is thriving with clubs, during the day, I really did not enjoy myself, and found the city to be lacking in culture.

      Overall, I loved the trip, since I am younger and was going for the clubs and night life, yet I would have liked to see more theater or art related stops to visit during the day time as well.

      I had a great time, but would have loved to see more, and would have liked for things to have been closer together, and less sprawled around the city, since the traffic was so horrible.
      • 0 -1
      Atlanta - The City Too Busy to Hate

      Attractions10/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping9/10
      I have lived in Atlanta for six years. Affectionately known as "The City Too Busy To Hate", "Hotlanta", or simply just "ATL", this bustling city has a lot to offer to residents and tourists alike. Atlanta is home to many popular attractions, restaurants, bars, nightlife and shopping areas. Finding things to do in Atlanta to keep you busy is incredibly easy. Atlanta is home to the World of Coca Cola, Turner Studios, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Fabulous Fox Theater.

      I love that no matter how long I live in Atlanta, I find something new to discover each and every weekend. A lot of the downtown Atlanta attractions are easily accessible from MARTA stations, which provide both bus and rail services to major points in the city. I love getting away to take mini-vacations, without straying to far from home. The only downside to this great city is the traffic! Rush hour in Atlanta is the worst and long commutes are the norm. Still, I wouldn't live anywhere else. For me, Atlanta will always be home!
      • 0 -1
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Atlanta, GA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).