ARC: Cobb's Population to Top 1 Million by 2050
FOR RELEASE OCTOBER 10, 2019
Cobb County to Add 295,000 Residents by 2050, Pushing Population Above 1 Million, According to ARC Forecasts
Atlanta Region’s Population to Grow by 2.9 Million and Reach 8.6 Million by 2050
(ATLANTA, October 10, 2016) – Cobb County will add 295,000 people and top the 1 million mark by 2050, according to population and employment forecasts released today by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Cobb’s population will remain the third-most populous county in the Atlanta region after Gwinnett and Fulton, and will also grow more diverse.
Highlights of Cobb’s 2050 population forecast include:
- The county’s population will grow by 40% and reach 1.04 million.
- The share of Hispanic residents will reach 21% in 2050, up from 13% in 2015, the forecast’s base year.
- The share of the county’s population that is 75 and over will reach 13% in 2050, compared to 4% in 2015.
ARC’s forecasts were developed using several growth scenarios for each county. For Cobb’s population, these include a ‘higher regional growth” scenario of 1,192,977, a “slower regional growth” scenario of 1,108,929, and the “preferred” scenario of 1,035,800, that serves as the official ARC number.
According to ARC’s regional forecast, the 21-county Atlanta region will add 2.9 million people by 2050, pushing the total population to 8.6 million.
The forecasts also show that by 2050, the region will become more racially and ethnically diverse, the number of older adults will increase significantly, and 1.2 million jobs will be added, bringing the region’s employment total to 4.7 million.
To put the numbers in context, the forecast population growth of 2.9 million is equivalent to today’s population of metro Denver, and slightly more than metro Charlotte.
ARC issues long-range population and employment forecasts about every four years to help inform major updates to the Atlanta Region’s Plan, the long-range blueprint for metro Atlanta’s future to improve the region’s quality of life.
“Metro Atlanta has been one of the nation’s growth engines for the past few decades, fueled by our high quality of life and dynamic, diverse economy,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “But of course there’s no crystal ball, and our continued prosperity is not a certainty. We must continue to carefully plan for the future and invest in the programs and infrastructure needed for our region to remain a great place to live.”
Here are some highlights of the 2050 population and employment forecasts:
- The largest population increases are expected to occur in several areas: parts of Intown Atlanta; in the northern suburbs along the I-75, I-85, and Ga. 400 corridors; and on the Southside near the airport.
- The share of Hispanic residents will reach 21% in 2050, up from 12% in 2015; the share of white residents is expected to decline from 47.5% in 2015 to 31% in 2050, and the share of black residents will remain steady at about 33%.
- The percentage of residents aged 75 or older is forecast to be 12% in 2050, compared to 4% in 2015.
- Gwinnett County will become the most populous county in the region with 1.48 million residents, narrowly edging Fulton County.
- Forsyth County will have the fastest rate of growth by 2050, more than doubling in population to 440,353, followed by Henry County with a growth rate of 70%.
- The largest job gains will occur in the following sectors: health care and social assistance; professional, scientific and technical; and construction. The largest job losses are forecast to occur in the manufacturing and utility sectors.
ARC’s population and employment forecasts were created using a combination of public and private sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, computer models and consultation with economists. The data will be used to help ARC and its partners develop The Atlanta Region’s Plan, a comprehensive, long-range blueprint to secure the region’s future. The plan is expected to be approved early next year.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.