Fact: New people aren’t coming to Atlanta at the same dizzying speed they did before the Great Recession. Another fact? Thousands are still moving to Atlanta. Every year, net migration brings about 5,000 more people a year to Atlanta. So where are they coming from? All over the U.S.

New York City


The Number one exporter of people to Atlanta is New York City.  Between 2011 and 2015, nearly 5% of new Atlanta neighbors escaped from NYC. These days, it’s up to 35.7%, according to Redfin. It’s not surprising when you consider how much higher the cost of living is in the Big Apple compared to the Big Peach.

Washington, D.C.

There is a trend of people moving from high-cost metro areas to lower-cost cities like Atlanta. Washington, D.C. is no exception. Eight percent of new Atlantans come from the nation’s capital.

Los Angeles


L.A. is third on this list, where 7.5% of new Atlantans originated in 2018. The reason seems obvious: The median cost of a home in Los Angeles is $840,000. In Atlanta, even with home prices on the rise, the median cost is just $259,100 across the metro area.

San Francisco

San Francisco is notorious for its high housing prices and insane cost of living. In fact, the low-income threshold in S.F. is $117,000 for a family of four. In Atlanta, a family can get by on the median income of $57,529 a year. It’s not hard to see how Atlanta, with its mild winters and friendly natives,  is very attractive to people on the move. More than 5% of people moving to Atlanta came from San Francisco.



Rounding out the top five, according to Redfin, is another high priced metro area — Chicago. Just under 5% of new Atlantans moved from the windy city. Blame the climate and housing prices. Highs in Chicago top out in the 30s all winter long, so the population is shrinking, and housing prices are flat. Compare that to Atlanta, where wintertime highs linger in the 50s. The city continues to grow and thrive, and housing prices are rising slightly. It’s no mystery why some Chicagoans are setting out for the ATL.


There are several good reasons to move to Atlanta — besides the low cost of living and the mild winters. The city is friendly and welcoming, and there are lots of things to do no matter your preferences. The restaurant and nightclub scene is booming, and the city is home to major league sports teams. Atlanta is also home to a vibrant African-American community and is the nation’s fourth-largest black-majority city. It also has the third biggest LGBTQ population, following San Francisco and Seattle. Singles, families, seniors — the diversity of the city means there’s something here for everyone. And the people moving from N.Y.C., D.C., L.A. S.F. and Chi-town are finding this out for themselves and enjoying our Southern hospitality and charm.

Written for us by Paul Colbert

Paul Colbert is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. He loves exploring new places and new ways to enjoy the outdoors.