Atlanta is a growing city that has earned the moniker, “Hollywood of the South.” If you are thinking about moving to Atlanta, you probably are wondering what to expect regarding the cost of living, employment, schools, and more. In this post, we will go over these and other aspects of what it is like to live in Atlanta.
Sperling’s Best Places rates cost of living on a scale where the US average is 100. Values above 100 are a higher than average cost of living, while values below 100 are a lower than average cost of living.
The overall cost of living on that scale for Atlanta is 107.5. That is very reasonable for one of the country’s key metropolitan centers!
In scale, some Atlanta costs are lower than average, for example groceries, healthcare expenses, and miscellaneous costs.
One of the areas where the cost of living in Atlanta is higher than it is nationwide on average is housing. Sperling’s says that the median home cost in the US is $291,700. In Atlanta, it is $334,200.
Once again, that is not bad for a major metropolitan area, especially one experiencing population growth at a rate like Atlanta.
The US Census reports a median household income from 2016 through 2020 of $64,179. The per capita income is $50,032.
That is right in line with the median household income the Census reports here for the nation as a whole: $64,994. Interestingly, the average per capita income the Census reports for the US is $35,384.
The $50,032 per capita income reported for Atlanta is much higher than that.That suggests that an individual working in the Atlanta area may have a better chance of earning a higher income than one working in most other locations nationwide. So this is a great city to settle in if you are a sole earner.
In fact, Atlanta is booming economically as the 10th-largest metropolitan area in the country (when measured by GDP). Additionally, it is the 20th-largest worldwide.
Some prominent industries in Atlanta include logistics, IT, broadcasting and film. Top employers in Atlanta include Delta Air Lines, Emory University & Emory Healthcare, The Home Depot, Northside Hospital, Piedmont Healthcare, Publix Super Markets, WellStar Health System, The Kroger Co., AT&T, UPS, and Marriot International.
Parents will be pleased to know that Atlanta offers some excellent schools. There are 158 public schools and 65 private schools. Not only that, but Atlanta schools spend $16,062 on every student. That is much higher than the $12,383 US average per student.
Most students are enrolled in Atlanta Public Schools (APS). But if you are looking for private schools for your child, you can consider options like Atlanta Jewish Academy, The Westminster Schools, and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.
As far as post-secondary options go, there are numerous possibilities. Higher education is offered by institutions such as American InterContinental University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, Interdenominational Theological Center, University of Georgia, Morehouse School of Medicine, Art Institute of Atlanta, Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Atlanta Technical College, and others.
Those are just the options in Atlanta itself; in the surrounding region, you will find plenty of other universities and colleges to attend.
Not only is Atlanta great for work and education, but it is also awesome for public transit! You can use heavy and light rail systems as well as buses operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to make your way around the metropolitan area. In fact, the eight busiest subway system nationwide is Atlanta’s.
This is also an incredibly cyclist-friendly city in which to live. At times, stats have suggested that up to 1.1% of commutes took the form of cycling.
Sperling’s Best Places does not track cycling for commute data, but does provide a breakdown for driving, carpooling, work from home and mass transit.
According to those stats, 68.7% drive to work on their own, 6.9% carpool, 7.6% work from home, and 10.2% use mass transit.
We are pretty sure that the stats for commuting Sperling’s provides are pre-pandemic, so the work from home percentage is likely higher now. But the 7.6% listed here already was significantly higher than the typical percentage in most locations in the US. So, in a way, Atlanta was always ahead of the curve.
The 10.2% mass transit stat is also much higher than is typical for a US city. This, too, shows Atlanta to be a city that is ahead of its time and looking to give its residents as many options as it can.
What about commute times? The average one-way commute is 26.3 minutes in Atlanta. That is just shy of the 26.4-minute US average.
If you are someone who likes having four distinct seasons, you are going to love the weather in Atlanta.
This city gets around 52 annual inches of rain and about 1 inch of snow each year. There are around 217 sunny days per year.
Highs in summer can range up to around 88 degrees Fahrenheit, while wintertime lows can drop down to around 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the most comfortable possible climate, the score for Atlanta is 7.6, which is better than the US average of 7. The summer rating is 6.7, and the winter rating is 6.9.
One awesome thing about living in the Atlanta area is that you will always be entertained. Along with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, and coffee shops, the area is home to numerous exciting attractions.
Some popular places to visit include the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park, and SkyView Atlanta.
Atlanta also is considered one of the best cities where you can live if you are into arts and theater. You can enjoy performances at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Opera, and Alliance Theatre.
Sports fans also will love living in Atlanta and following teams like the Braves, Hawks and Falcons.
Looking for green spaces? You do not have to drive far from Atlanta or the surrounding suburbs to reach state parks like Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo, Don Carter, Sweetwater Creek, and others.
Atlanta is growing every year for many good reasons—not only is it a major economic hub, but it also is a forward-looking city that prioritizes education, transportation, leisure, and quality of life.
Buckhead Home Loans makes it easy to purchase your Atlanta dream home with a flexible mortgage. Please give us a call today at (404) 303-7411 to schedule your consultation. We have offices in Roswell, GA, Pensacola, FL, and Lake Wylie, SC, and work with homebuyers and homeowners throughout the states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Buchhead Home Loans is an Equal Housing Lender. As prohibited by federal law, we do not engage in business practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, because all or part of your income may be derived from any public assistance program, or because you have, in good faith, exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Disclaimer: Programs subject to change without notice. All borrowers must qualify per program guidelines.