For more than 35 years, Money magazine has been listing the best places to live in the U.S., and, this year, Atlanta tops the list.
In the annual ranking, Money examines economic opportunities, quality of life, diversity, and where the best futures lie.
According to Money, Atlanta took the top spot because “it is a city where anyone can feel like they belong.”
In the 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2022 – 2023 list, Money outlines the city’s best attributes, which include:
- Ample green space
- Historical relevance
- A food and music scene with global influences
- Bike and walking trails
- An airport
- Four professional sports teams
- Numerous post-secondary institutions
With 21 farmers markets active across the city, food availability was another pro for Atlanta.
It is the fourth-largest Black-majority city in the U.S. and the proud hometown of Martin Luther King Jr.
The exploding job market is another win for the city. The unemployment rate sits below the national average. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth has been outpacing national averages for more than a year.
This growth is said to be primarily driven by the region’s startup ecosystem, which is being fuelled by tech incubators and venture capital firms.
Atlanta has become a tech hub and a new wave of residents has begun to move in.
The 11 counties that make up the city’s commutable area are expected to gain 2.5 million people by 2040. This will bring the total population to 8 million.
Of course, with any growth comes growing pains and Atlanta is no expectation. The wave of incoming residents is driving up prices, and pushing thousands of residents to Atlanta’s outskirts.
According to Anna Roach, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the city is “hyper-focused” on building out the workforce that will support the city’s growth.
“We are very focused on the tremendous opportunity … in almost every sector,” she said. “We are also very sensitive to the needs of the community, and preserving its fabric while we embrace this progress.”
The city is facing a balancing act between an economic boom caused by new tech talent and staying true to its roots.
In an effort to protect the city’s affordability, organizations like the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MAC) have begun implementing a series of citywide policies that encourage investment in black-owned businesses, retooling corporate diversity standards, and creating strategic partnerships.