Fed says that Florida leads the South, but Georgia too draws millions


The overall mobility of Americans has dropped. But the southeast, especially Florida, continues to gain population.

The Sunshine State had 14 million people move there from elsewhere during the past five decades, according to the Federal Reserves’ Charles Davidson.

In 1950, Florida had just 2.77 million people and was the 20th largest state. By comparison, New York was most populous, with 14.8 million people.

But now Florida is the third most-populous state with 20.6 million residents – ranking ahead of New York, according to the Census Bureau.

Georgia, in 1950, was the 13th largest state, smaller than Indiana. About 3.4 million people lived in the state.

In contrast, the most recent Census Bureau estimate has Georgia with more than 10.3 million residents, making it the eighth-largest state, ahead of North Carolina and just behind Ohio.

Migration has been a big part of the story for Georgia, too.

In 1950, 85 percent of the people who lived in Georgia had been born in the state. By 2015, just 55 percent of the state’s residents were Georgia-born.

And of course, Atlanta has been much of the Georgia story, Davidson wrote recently on the Fed website’s regional economics page.

“Metro Atlanta’s estimated 2016 population of 5.8 million is nearly nine times its 1950 size. The U.S. population roughly doubled over the same period.”

Georgia, like most of the South, was actually losing population during the 1950s, largely because of the “Great Migration” of African Americans from south to north, demographers say.

But then the tide turned.

Millions of blacks returned to the South, with metro Atlanta luring many. Davidson cites Census data that shows metro Atlanta to be second only to New York City as home to blacks. Other studies show metro Atlanta as the third-largest black middle class behind New York and Washington, D.C.

Despite that slowdown in mobility, growth is expected to continue.

A recent study by the Atlanta Regional Commission estimated that by 2040, metro Atlanta alone will have more than 8 million people.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com. 

More on Metro Atlanta population:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Business stories of the week: Amazon, 2018 priorities, Phipps Plaza
Business stories of the week: Amazon, 2018 priorities, Phipps Plaza

The week had no shortage of business headlines among Atlanta area companies – or perhaps companies that want to become Atlanta area companies. From the Amazon second headquarters search to major development projects, here are some of the big business headlines you might have missed from the past week. Georgia and Atlanta area economic development...
More job cuts coming to Atlanta as part of Coca-Cola restructuring
More job cuts coming to Atlanta as part of Coca-Cola restructuring

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola plans to cut an additional 179 jobs in its hometown as part of a broader restructuring the beverage giant announced earlier this year. In filings with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division, Coke identified layoffs at three corporate offices in the city effective by the end of December...
Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza makeover plan shifts into overdrive
Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza makeover plan shifts into overdrive

The reinvention of Phipps Plaza into a mixed-use entertainment and shopping complex has been in the works for more than a decade. But the announcement Tuesday of a $200 million-plus expansion, including a flagship Nobu hotel and restaurant, will take that the makeover to a new level, officials with mall owner Simon hope. In Nobu, Phipps will add...
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
More Stories