- The Hispanic population grew rapidly in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
- The data provided by a 2020 Census shows its growth since 2010.
- Hispanics increased by 31 percent in the 11 metropolitan counties.
By Aixa Pascual / Atlanta Regional Commission
Recently released 2020 Census data confirms that the Hispanic population continues to be a major growth engine in the 11 counties of the Atlanta region. As we celebrate the National Hispanic Heritage Month, we share some key data points that show how the nation’s second-largest racial or ethnic group is shaping demographic trends in our metropolitan area.
Although growth has slowed down from previous decades, the Hispanic population in the 11-county metro area still increased by a robust 31% between 2010 and 2020. The growth occurred throughout the region. The Hispanic population increased by double digits in all 11 ARC counties. Jobs are the key reason the Latino population continues to grow at a breakneck rate.
“The growth of the Latin-x community has been driven by an excellent business environment in the state of Georgia over the last decade,” says Santiago Márquez, executive director of the Latin American Association in Atlanta. “Georgia has been listed as the best place to do business consecutively for several years. The Latin-x community is hard-working and hard-working and is always looking for the opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their families ”.
In fact, the Hispanic population grew at a faster rate than all other ethnic or racial groups, except Asians, who grew at a rate of 55% in the last decade. The area’s black population grew 19%, while white residents showed a 2% decline, the first decline seen in a 10-year period.
Let’s take a look at the schools
With an average age of 27 years, the Hispanic population of the region is very young (the average age of the population of the region as a whole is 37 years). Therefore, it is not surprising that when we look at public school enrollment, the proportion of Hispanics appears much higher than that of the entire Hispanic population in school districts in the 11-county metropolitan region.
The Marietta school district has the highest proportion of Hispanic students, at 38%, followed by Gwinnett at 33%. The other school districts where Hispanics represent more than one in five students are Cobb (24%), Clayton (23%), and Cherokee (21%).
Gwinnett County Rises
Gwinnett has 220,460 Hispanic residents, considerably more than any other county in the metropolitan area. Its participation is also the highest, with 23%. Cobb is number two in the total Hispanic population, with about half that number, with 111,240 and a 15% share.
Gwinnett’s Hispanic population grew 36% over the past decade. That’s 58,425 more residents, followed again by Cobb, which added 26,910 Hispanic residents between 2010 and 2020.
Buford is still a magnet
The Buford Freeway corridor, known for decades for the diversity of its immigrant populations, continues to be the primary residential attraction for Hispanics in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The cities along Buford Highway and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard feature dense clusters of Hispanic communities.
At 56%, Doraville has a higher proportion of the Hispanic population than any other city in the 11-county metropolitan area. In the city of Chamblee, also in DeKalb County, the Hispanic population grew by 127%. And Norcross, a town in Gwinnett that is bisected by Buford Highway, saw a 121% increase. Almost half (46%) of Norcross residents are Hispanic.
The suburbs are calling
As with immigration patterns in other metropolitan areas, second- and third-generation Hispanic families are spreading from the initial magnet areas to the suburbs and generally to the city centers in those areas. Three counties on the outer periphery, Cherokee, Henry and Forsyth, saw their Hispanic populations grow by more than 50%.
The city of Atlanta showed strong general population increases, reaching nearly half a million residents in the 2020 census. However, the proportion of the Hispanic population is only 6%, a smaller proportion than that of any of the 11 counties in ARC’s jurisdiction. Still, the City of Atlanta’s Hispanic population grew 37% in the 2010s, compared to an 18% increase for the general population.
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