Atlanta had the most rapidly expanding population among all metro areas in the country outside of Texas last year. Recently released census data indicates an increase of around 95,000 people a year since the 2010 census. The Atlanta area is the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, with an estimated 5.7 million residents at the end of 2015. Fulton County topped the 1 million mark, with an estimated 1,010,562 residents in 2015. At this rate, the prediction is an estimated 8 million residents in the metropolitan area by 2040.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute compiled a related study that shows a link between Georgia’s horrendous traffic and death rates. It points out that transportation infrastructure is lagging significantly behind population growth. The study reported that 5,600 Georgians died due to a range of unhealthy factors, traffic among them. More than half of Atlantans commute alone for at least an hour each day, which may result in diminished physical and mental health. With an ever-increasing population, expanding public transit may make commuting somewhat more bearable and maybe help to save lives.