Can metro Atlanta handle its population spike of 66,000 in the last year?

Nearly 2 million more people will move to Atlanta and its surrounding counties by the year 2048. (Courtesy of Joey Kyber)

Metro Atlanta experienced an explosion in population over the last year — more than 66,000 people moved to the region in the last year, an upward trend from previous years according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Fulton County alone added roughly 18,000 new residents.

The ARC says this growth spurt reflects a strong job base that exceeds pre-pandemic levels, but officials report demands for housing and high prices eventually put a brake on growth.

But can our region’s infrastructure handle that population boom? How does that affect housing for legacy residents or Atlanta transplants already scrambling to find something affordable?

Mike Carnathan is the author behind the report and manages research and analytics at the ARC. He sat down with WABE’s “Morning Edition” to address the factors behind the spike. Overall, he cites the region is now home to roughly 5,158,300 people.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.