“Everyone is from somewhere else.”
That phrase, along with “Everything is so spread out,” has a way of cropping up in descriptions of Atlanta, whether from new arrivals or decades-long residents.
While it’s true that “somewhere else” is often another state, another part of the country or another hemisphere, most of the time it’s somewhere else in Georgia, probably just a county or two away. That’s the pattern that emerged in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s latest “Regional Snapshot” report on local migration, published in March.
ARC analyzed IRS data that tracks moves in and out of the commission’s 20-county planning area from 2000 through 2007 for the report.
Michael Carnathan, the ARC researcher who produced the report, said it took about ten days of “pretty intense crunching” of the IRS data, plus about three weeks of writing to wring a user-friendly presentation of the numbers out of the 500,000-row spreadsheet he started with.
Of the approximately 3,128,896 people who moved into one of the 20 Atlanta metro counties between 2000 and 2007, nearly 60 percent came from within Georgia, and more than 52 percent moved from one metro county to another.