If you’re ready for a change of scenery, you’re not alone. Almost 17 million Americans moved in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many were in search of better jobs, nicer weather and more affordable lifestyles. So where is everybody going? Each year, Penske Truck Rental releases a list of the top 10 cities that people move to in the United States. The 2014 list is out, and once again, Georgia is on the mind of movers. Atlanta was the most popular American destination for relocation, a title that the ATL has claimed for four years in a row.
Top 10 American moving destinations, 2014
1. Atlanta, Georgia 2. Tampa, Florida 3. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 4. Orlando, Florida 5. Phoenix, Arizona 6. Houston, Texas 7. Seattle, Washington 8. Chicago, Illinois 9. Denver, Colorado 10. Las Vegas, Nevada
Why is Atlanta such a popular moving destination?Is it the elegant Livingston Bar at the Georgian Terrace Hotel? The Chili Cook-Off at the Winter Chomp and Stomp? The celebrity sofas at the Antique Factory? Maybe — but these eight reasons are probably more likely.
1. It’s huge.
Atlanta has grown so big that, if you’re moving to the Peach State, it’s hard to avoid. The 132.4 square-mile metropolitan area is home to 5.45 million residents, making it the ninth largest metro in the United States. Last year, the 10-county Atlanta region added 52,700 people — over half of the 100,000 who moved to the entire state of Georgia — making the population of the metro Atlanta region larger than 24 states of the 50 states!
2. Housing is both affordable and in demand.
Atlanta boasts a very reasonable cost of living, particularly in comparison to some of the other cities on the Penske list. Accoding to RentJungle.com, the average rent for an apartment in metro Atlanta is $1,003 per month, which is tied for lowest (with Phoenix) among the top 10 moving spots. People have definitely noticed — the wave of humanity is expected to continue flocking towards Atlanta. “Over the next five years, the Atlanta market is expected to see seven percent growth in total households,” Jonathon Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com, says. “Plus, it’s affordable, especially in comparison to other markets. Home sales are forecasted to be up by 11 percent in 2015 as household growth, job growth and affordability work together.”
3. Young professionals can find good jobs.
Hey, college kids — looking for a job after graduation? Atlanta takes the number one spot for top 10 U.S. cities for recent college graduates and young professionals, according to MarketWatch.com. Cash Bonus: The median salary for recent college grads is over $50,000 per year in Atlanta, CNBC reports.
4. Fortune 500 companies abound in The A.
If you’re in the market for career opportunities, consider looking south. Atlanta is home to the third most Fortune 500 companies in America, and 16 of the 18 Fortune 500 company headquarters based in Georgia can be found in metro Atlanta, including Mercedes-Benz, Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Aflac.
5. Getting bored is not an option.
Atlanta may be the zombie capital of the world — popular AMC series The Walking Dead is filmed here — and home of the World of Coca-Cola, but the city has tons of other attractions. World’s largest aquarium. The 10 million-gallon Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the world – and is listed in Patricia’s Schultz’s bestselling book 1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die. Hot spots for foodies. The ATL is the fast food capital of America, and its culinary scene has something for everyone. Enjoy the uniqie Atlanta Food Truck Park and Market, farm-to-table eateries like Bacchanalia and critically acclaimed restaurants like One-Eared Stag. So many sports. Atlanta has no shortage of diehard sports fans. The area has six iconic professional sports teams, most notably the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons. By 2017, the Braves and Falcons will be in new stadiums. Easy escape. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the second-busiest airport in the world and totes the most passengers (96 million per year!).
6. It’s NOT the traffic.
Atlanta drivers face some of the worst traffic in the country – seventh in the nation, to be exact – and commuters waste an extra 51 hours per year behind the wheel. If possible, steer clear of rush hours between 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Otherwise, learn to love audiobooks. Bicycling: Between 2000 and 2009, bike commuting increased by 400 percent. The city recently approved $2.5 million in funding for Atlanta’s Bicycle Coalition, which will add 100 miles of bike-friendly roadways and double lanes by 2016. MARTA: Georgia’s bus and rapid transit system has served metro Atlanta for over 30 years. For those who live close to its stations, the MARTA is a safe and reliable commuting option.
7. The weather is downright pleasant (although humid).
The city enjoys four distinct seasons while avoiding the winter extremes that taunt the Northeast and Midwest, offering the perfect amount of variety for those who are trying to escape the snow: Rainfall: 53.7 inches per year Snowfall: 0.3 inches per year Sunny days: 217 per year Average summer high: 89 degrees Average winter low: 34 degrees During the mid-summer months, expect humidity in the high 80s. Guys, you may want to bring a clean undershirt to work.
8. Atlanta is diverse.
“Atlanta is fast becoming one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the southeast, challenging the inveterate black-white dichotomy that typically frames how people see the south,” Charles Gallagher and Karyn Lacy wrote in their essay, The Changing Face of Atlanta. “About 500,000 African Americans moved to the metropolitan area in the last decade, making it the city with the sixth largest black population in the country.”
Moving to Atlanta?
If a move to The A is in your future, we wish you the best! Life Storage has several self storage facilities in the Atlanta area to help you during your transition. If you’re hauling large items, remember that you can use a free truck rental when you rent with Life Storage. Do you have tips about your move to Atlanta? Are you an Atlanta resident with advice to share? Please add your thoughts to the Comments section below or tweet us @LifeStorage
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