Atlanta’s diverse population is popular with people of all ages—especially young professionals growing their careers, and families and retirees relocating to A-Town. Check out these 14 pros and cons of living in Atlanta!

Pros of Living in Atlanta

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Atlanta is a sprawling metro that’s filled to the brim with amenities and exciting things to do. From great job opportunities to the fantastic food scene, here are some of the best things about living in Atlanta!

Pro: Atlanta Has a Robust Economy

If you’re on the lookout for a booming economy, you should consider moving to Atlanta! The Big Peach has an average income per capita of $54,466, which is nearly $17,000 higher than the U.S. average. Additionally, Atlanta is projected to have a future job growth of roughly 47%, which is also higher than the national average. Residents can find job opportunities at top employers in Atlanta like The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, and the United States Parcel Service (UPS)—all of which are Fortune 500 companies based in the ATL. In fact, the Atlanta metro is home to many of Georgia’s Fortune 500 companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Southern Company, Genuine Parts Company, and WestRock. And if you’re seeking out a role in the television and film industry, you’ll find a chance in the Hollywood of the South! Major productions like The Walking Dead, Ant-Man, Hidden Figures, and many more have all filmed on-location in Atlanta and benefited from the state’s tax incentives for the entertainment and film industry.

Pro: Higher Ed Opportunities Are Everywhere

If you’re seeking out a career in higher education or want to earn a degree, then Atlanta is the place for you! The Atlanta area is home to 57 colleges and universities, giving it the highest concentration in the South of higher education institutions. Dive into business administration, anthropology, and computer science at Emory University. Prepare yourself for a career in engineering or immerse yourself in biology and applied physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Explore subjects like psychology, accounting, and chemistry at Georgia State University. Expand your knowledge in communication, elementary education, and social work at Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU. If you’re looking for an all-women HBCU, consider Spelman College, offering programs like art, political science, and international studies. And if you want a two-year degree or professional certification, learn more about industrial technology, public safety, media and entertainment, and other trades at Atlanta Technical College.

Pro: Atlanta Boasts a Diverse Community

Atlanta is a diverse city that people of all ages, ethnicities, and communities can call home. In fact, the city has earned a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index for the past several years. In 2018, the Atlanta government established One Atlanta: The Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to help make the city more equitable for all residents. To that same end, the city also updated its anti-discrimination ordinance in 2022 to protect residents from employment discrimination on the basis of criminal history or gender expression. Atlanta is also known as the “LGBTQ Capital of the South” for its tailored LGBTQ+ employment benefits and unique non-profit organizations like Status: Home, PFLAG Atlanta, and more. Plus, there are multiple opportunities throughout the year for Atlanta residents to celebrate their diversity! For instance, you can take part in four days of live music, local vendors, tasty cuisine, cultural activities, and a parade with fly-over jets at the ​Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival. Celebrate the LGBTQ+ Community with events like the Drag Show Story Hour or various parades and marches during The Atlanta Pride Festival. Or simply feel at home in several Atlanta “gayborhoods”, including upscale Buckhead, the eclectic East Atlanta Village, and creative Midtown, location of the famous Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks.

Pro: There’s Always Something to Do in A-Town

One thing locals in the area will never lack is an abundance of fun things to do in Atlanta! Experience theatre magic with plays like The Shining, A Tale of Two Cities, and Fat Ham at Alliance Theatre. Visit Zoo Atlanta to get a close-up view of exotic animals like African lions, Malayan sun bears, and Sumatran tigers. See famous Broadway productions like Hamilton, Shrek the Musical, and Beetlejuice at the Fox Theatre. Shop ’til you drop at the Ponce City Market, where you can start with coffee from Dancing Goats Coffee and visit local and big-name retailers like Buck Mason, JJ’s Flower Shop, Reformation, and many more. Take the entire family to see aquatic life like African penguins, California sea lions, and tiger sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. Tap into all your senses and experience everything from the thrills of space to natural wonders through the power of laser projections, audio beams, in-floor haptics, and more at Illuminarium. Fulfill your need for speed by driving in a variety of Porsche models on a track or in a simulation at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.

Pro: Green Space Abounds in Dogwood City

Nature enthusiasts can rejoice with the number of things to do outside in Atlanta! Explore 30 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens, including a carnivorous plant collection, the Fuqua Orchid Center, and seasonal exhibits at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Visit Chastain Park in the Buckhead neighborhood to compete on the tennis courts, get a hole-in-one on the golf course, take your horse for a stroll at Chastain Horse Park, or attend live performances at the Cadence Bank Amphitheatre. Bring your kids to the playgrounds, cool off at the pool or splash pad, get fresh produce at the Green Market, and let your furry companion run free at the dog park at 200-acre Piedmont Park. Peruse several local farmers markets in Atlanta, including the East Village Atlanta Farmers Market, the Freedom Farmers Market, and Grant Park Farmers Market—which also features celebrity chef demonstrations! Travel about 30 minutes north of Atlanta to canoe on the Chattahoochee River, get a unique view of the forest on the zipline, and walk two and a half miles of trails at Chattahoochee Nature Center. Or drive 30 minutes southeast of the city to bike, hike, and fish the day away at Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area.

Pro: Atlanta Is Full of Museums

If you’re yearning to learn more about the world, you should check out the museums in Atlanta. Dive in to the world of puppetry with hands-on workshops, puppet shows, and an interactive museum at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Deepen your knowledge of Coca-Cola with the Scent Discovery experience, a 3D movie in the theater, and Cokes from around the world at World of Coca-Cola. See more than 18,000 works of art in a variety of mediums and traditions, plus limited-time exhibits like Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the High Museum of Art. Tour the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visit the World Peace Rose Garden, and go to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church at MLK Jr National Historical Park. Learn about the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., experience a lunch counter sit-in simulation, and see interactive portraits in the Human Rights Champions gallery at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Travel back in time at the Fernbank Museum to learn about dinosaurs, catch a movie on the Giant Screen Theater, and explore 75 acres of immersive outdoor trails.

Pro: There’s a Festival for Everyone

The city of Atlanta is filled to the brim with festivals, so residents have something to enjoy year-round. Stop by Piedmont Park in April to walk through the large Artist Market, listen to live local, national, and international music acts, or run in the Mimosa 5K at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Embrace your inner nerd by dressing up as your favorite anime character for the costume contest, chatting it up with Chewbacca, and spectating a parade with everything from stormtroopers to Naruto Uzumaki at Dragon Con. Deep-dive into Greek culture with all-you-can-eat food, dance lessons, and live music at the Atlanta Greek Festival. Rock on to live music performances, check out local food vendors, and treat yourself to a new piece of artwork at the SweetWater 420 Festival. Travel to Midtown to see national touring artists like P!nk, Pitbull, and Billie Eilish at Music Midtown. Step back in time to see the great sport of jousting, peruse the artisan market, and ride a camel at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Head 30 minutes outside of town to enjoy Stone Mountain Park‘s attractions and see the World’s Largest Pumpkin Light Show at the Pumpkin Festival.

Pro: Atlanta Doesn’t Slouch on Sports

If you’re a fan of competition, then you’ll have plenty of Atlanta sports teams to cheer for! Root for the Atlanta Braves (MLB) as they run the bases at Truist Park. Watch the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) slam dunk their way to victory at State Farm Arena. Cheer on the Atlanta Dream (WNBA) as they beat the competition at Gateway Center Arena at College Park. Don the red-and-black jerseys to support the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) or see the Atlanta United FC (MLS) defend the pitch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Immerse yourself in a college game day environment and support the Panthers’ football and softball teams (D-I) at Georgia State University‘s Center Parc Stadium. Or watch in awe as professional golfers go for a hole-in-one at the Tour Championship (PGA) at East Lake Golf Club.

Pro: Cuisine for Every Craving

Foodies rejoice! Atlanta’s food scene has a large variety of flavors for everyone to experience. Start your day off right with a Cinnamon Roll, Breakfast BLT, or French Toast at Highland Bakery, one of the best places to eat breakfast in Atlanta. Devour creative doughnuts like the Orange Dream Star, Nestle Crunch, and Yin Yang Twist at Sublime Doughnuts. Fill up on raw vegan food in Atlanta like the Spicy Kale Salad, Mandingo Wrap, and Pad Thai Noodles at Tassili’s Raw Reality Café. Enjoy classic Southern dishes like Chicken & Waffles, Fried Catfish, and Pork Chops at The Busy Bee Cafe. Head over to Aria to enjoy covered and heated patio seating, a cozy indoor dining room with versatile decor, and a daily changing menu. Make a stop at the world’s largest drive-in restaurant to try out the Chili Dog, Glorified Burger, and Fried Apple Pie at The Varsity Atlanta.

Pro: Vibrant Atlanta Nightlife

Looking to let loose in the Hollywood of the South? The Atlanta nightlife scene has something for everyone to enjoy. Dance the night away at several local Atlanta dance spots like Johnny’s Hideaway or four-in-one bar MoonDogs Atlanta! Head over to Eastside Atlanta to sip unique cocktails like the Orange Crush or Jack Rose and get the high score on arcade classics like Galaga at Joystick Gamebar. Fill your glass with award-winning wines like the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while listening to live music performances in an intimate setting at City Winery. Check out Atlanta gay bar favorites like Woofs Sports Bar—the only LGBTQ+ sports bar in town—where you can throw darts while munching on Grilled Chicken Skewers. Play a game of pool or get active on the dance floor for Mixed Tape Sundays at Friends on Ponce. Seek out a sophisticated Atlanta rooftop bar experience to try drinks like the Rum Punch and Mexican Mule while enjoying breathtaking city views at SkyLounge. Throw yourself into the heart of Downtown Atlanta for great food like New York Steak and a Metro Melt while dancing your heart out to high-energy DJs at Metro Diner & Bar.

Cons of Living in Atlanta

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While there are many positives about life in The Big A, there are also some downsides to consider before moving there. Learn more about the cons of moving to Atlanta below.

Con: Limited Public Transit & Heavy Traffic

While it’s easy to book a national or international flight out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, it’s not as easy to travel within the city itself. In fact, one of the major drawbacks to this metro is the high amount of traffic you’ll encounter—most residents rely on their cars to get around, since Atlanta public transportation options are limited. Atlanta has the 8th largest metropolitan population in the U.S., and drivers lose around 53 hours each year to congestion. The main Atlanta city transportation people use is MARTA—which offers several bus and train routes, but only gives access to certain parts of the city. MARTA also provides Downtown Atlanta transportation with the Atlanta Streetcar, connecting Centennial Olympic Park with other neighborhoods east of downtown. To avoid the congestion, residents can choose to keep the car at home and ride their bikes across the 22 miles of walkways and trails that make up the Atlanta BeltLine, an innovative city development that reclaimed unused railroads to connect the town’s inner neighborhoods together. Don’t own a bike? No problem! Rent one for the day through Atlanta’s bike share program, HOPR.

Con: Hot & Muggy Weather

Atlanta has a reputation for having hot and muggy weather, particularly during the summer months. The hot season in the city typically lasts from May until September, with the warmest month being July, with an average high of 88 degrees and 75% humidity level. Add in the mixed-land use in the metro, and some areas can actually attain higher temperatures than others because of the Heat Island Effect from the concrete, asphalt, and skyscrapers. This combination of high humidity and temps can lead to an increased risk of heat-related illnesses like dehydration, heat exhaustion, and more. The ATL does offer fairly moderate temps during other parts of the year, however—January is the coldest month, with daily temperatures ranging from 35 to 53 degrees and rarely dipping below 22 degrees. Atlanta also gets an average of 52 inches of annual rainfall and the rare dusting of snow to help cool things down. Atlantans wanting to explore outside during the summer months can beat the heat with a dip in the Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park after playing on the playgrounds or strolling through historic landmarks. You can also experience a unique view of Downtown Atlanta in comfortable climate-controlled gondolas when you hop on the 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel at SkyView Atlanta.

Con: Lots of Bugs

The constant warm climate in Atlanta unfortunately creates the perfect breeding ground for bugs, and the city is recognized as the buggiest city in America, as well as the fourth worst city for mosquitoes. This is because Atlanta’s average temperature range overlaps with the 64 – 93 degree range that mosquitos and a variety of other bug species thrive. Though there might be a ton of insects to deal with, you can purchase anti-bug items like pest-resistant plants, bug spray, citronella candles, and more to combat the problem. Another solution is to look for homes with screened-in patios or set up bug screens yourself. To help prevent the bugs in Atlanta from finding their way into your home, try sealing any cracks in places like cabinets, walls, and floors. You should also rake up any excess leaves and trim exterior vegetation to at least two feet away from your home, and avoid standing water. If you’ve exhausted all your DIY pest control options, there are several professional pest control companies in Atlanta available to help take care of bug problems.

Con: High Property Taxes

If you’re relocating to Atlanta, you’ll want to budget for the area’s increasing property taxes. Atlanta spreads across two counties, with most of the city being located in Fulton County and some areas of town extending into DeKalb County. What this means for residents in ATL is that depending on what part of the city you live in, you’ll be paying different millage rates. Despite the expensive property taxes in Atlanta, you’ll still save money when compared to certain similarly-sized metro areas like Chicago that have higher property tax rates than Atlanta. Plus, certain costs of living—like groceries and healthcare—are actually below the national average, helping balance out residents’ expenses. You can also see if you’re eligible for lower property taxes by filing an appeal form or applying for a property tax exemption.


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