The health care, entertainment, and technology industries are expanding each year in Atlanta.
$35,970 Median Millennial earnings 
22,000 People work as software developers—applications, in the Metro Atlanta area 
49,000 People work in the health care and social assistance industry 
$6 billion Economic impact of television and film productions filmed in Georgia in FY15 
Atlanta has an overall lower cost of living compared with other major cities, which means you can get more bang for your buck.
No. 1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world 
71 Number of streets with “Peachtree” in the name. Your GPS is your new best friend! 
500,000 Number of passengers that board the MARTA public transit system each weekday 
$156,175 Median home value (homeownership is doable with a $35,970 salary, the Atlanta average) 
43.6% Homeownership rate 
95.3 Cost of living index (the nationwide average is 100) 
Atlanta has no shortage of historic and contemporary attractions. You could spend your weekend getting an interactive history lesson by day, followed by a night on the town.
$19.38 Average cost for a ticket to an Atlanta Braves baseball game 
195 Number of bars, taverns, and nightclubs in Atlanta 
21 acres Size of the Centennial Olympic Park, which hosts live entertainment events in downtown Atlanta 
200 feet Height of the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, which gives passengers a bird’s-eye view of the downtown skyline 
Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in Atlanta, as told by locals.
Cofounder of Adorn Media Group
Time spent in Atlanta
Two years. I grew up in the suburbs outside of Atlanta but moved back to the city after working in Washington, D.C. I wanted to be back in the South to be closer to family and friends and pursue a new career opportunity. In addition to doing digital marketing at my firm, I created a fashion and lifestyle blog, Fashionably Lo.
Coming from Washington, D.C., where rent is high and happy hours are overpriced, I was pretty ecstatic to be in Atlanta, where I knew I would get more bang for my buck. It’s an awesome feeling to live in a good part of town (and in a cute loft at that) and still have the funds to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
The fun nightlife and culture here are particularly appealing to young professionals moving in. I like the fact that I can enjoy my single years in the city, and then move a little outside of the “Perimeter” (outside I-285) to start a family, but still remain close to Atlanta and my career. Having those options is something I think most people my age are looking for in the place they want to call home.
Best neighborhoods, IMO
Inman Park is probably my favorite neighborhood. It has a laid-back, hipster feel; there are tons of awesome brunch spots, great nightlife, and new shops and dining options popping up everywhere on North Highland Avenue. But I live Downtown and absolutely love it. The new Georgia Dome, where the Falcons will play, is going up a block from my house, and I love going to Centennial Olympic Park, and the Castleberry Art Stroll every second Friday. I love being in the center of all the culture that makes Atlanta special.
Only in Atlanta to-do list
Grabbing a milkshake and overly greasy fries at The Varsity is a must. Taking in a show at The Fox — whether it’s Robin Thicke or Grease — is always a fun thing to do in the city. And people-watching at Lenox Mall is a favorite pastime of mine.
Surprises about Atlanta
Atlanta is turning into the Hollywood of the South. It feels like every time I turn around, they’re filming a different movie or TV show in the city. They filmed parts of Fast and Furious 7, The Hunger Games, and The Walking Dead here, to name a few.
After work to-do list
Some of my favorite places in the city for happy hour bites and drinks after work are Bartaco in West Midtown, Gypsy Kitchen in Buckhead, and Livingston in Downtown. Sunday fun for me is a day trip with my girlfriends to Château Élan for wine tasting. And on Friday or Saturday nights, you can probably find me at Johnny’s Hideaway dancing the night away to ’70s hits.
Fun day trips
I love going to Stone Mountain for a hike with friends, or driving down to Athens for Georgia Bulldogs game days and tailgating.
Self-employed IT administrator, and Founder and Executive Director of Soul Food Cypher
Time spent in Atlanta
Six years on my most recent stay. Atlanta is my birthplace. How natives pronounce Atlanta is different from out-of-towners — for us, the second “t” is silent. Depending on what part of Atlanta you’re from, you have a distinct way of talking. I can usually tell whether someone is from the East, West, or South side of town.
I went to college in Florida, and my plan was to head to film school in New York; but after having several conversations with friends, I realized Atlanta offered a lot of the same opportunities and resources at a fraction of the cost in larger cities. Atlanta is the center of mainstream hip-hop, and as an artist, my hometown has provided everything I needed. I started a community arts organization that showcases the positive aspects of rap and freestyling to at-risk youth, called Soul Food Cypher.
Surprises about Atlanta
After I moved back, I discovered one of my favorite parts of Atlanta: Buford Highway. You can literally travel the world along this five-mile strip — there’s authentic Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Argentinian, and many other ethnic cuisines, and it’s home to some of the city’s best farm stands.
Nonnatives might be surprised about the politics. Atlanta is known as the city that’s too busy to hate. I like to consider it an oasis. With a large LGBT community and a large African-American community, the city itself is fairly liberal, and it is sometimes easy to forget that we are in Georgia (which is largely a conservative state).
The job scene
With tax credits and other incentives, Hollywood is quickly moving to Atlanta. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pass a film crew. The tech industry is also on the rise. And, speaking as a social entrepreneur, Atlanta is a great place to launch any dream or idea — it has the history and legacy of the civil rights movement.
The dating scene
Atlanta is home to at least 30 colleges and universities, so that’s probably the largest incubator of singles in the city. That makes Atlanta a great place for dating in your early 20s. I am no longer on the dating scene, and most of my friends in their mid- to late-twenties are now settling down, but that’s typical here. People in the South tend to marry earlier than in other places.
Yes, the traffic is bad
Atlanta’s streets were supposedly set atop pre-exisiting Native American trails, so its twists and turns are something you have to get used to. Not to mention we have a lot of streets named Peachtree. For your first year, GPS will be your best friend, but after that, you’ll get the hang of it. Atlanta is also like Los Angeles in that having a car is almost a necessity. But the Atlanta streetcar started running earlier this year, making it another public transit option to MARTA’s buses and trains. I think that as Atlanta becomes more walkable, public transit options will improve.