Crowds of people are walking around outside a stadium in Atlanta before a Braves game.

19 Things To Know About Living in Atlanta in 2024

Atlanta Georgia

by Bridget Houlihan Posted on June 24, 2024

There are lots of reasons people choose to live in Atlanta. Some of the major pros include mild winters, thriving art and music scenes, friendly southern hospitality, and the abundance of good jobs. In the capital of Georgia, you’ll find world-class museums, professional sports teams, fantastic schools, and a slower pace of life you just won’t experience in other large cities across the U.S. But do you know if living in Atlanta is the right choice for you? Here are some details about life in A-Town we think you should know before you go.

Planning your move to ATL? Start with getting a quote from PODS.

Atlanta at a Glance

  • Atlanta has a population of around 510,800.
  • It's located in northeastern Georgia and is just over 2 hours from Birmingham, AL.
  • The median age is 33.6.
  • Coca-Cola was invented here.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta in 1929.
  • CNN, the first 24 hour news channel, started in Atlanta in 1980.

Living in Atlanta — FAQs

Q: Is Atlanta, Georgia, a good place to live?
Yes! Atlanta is a diverse city that offers a high quality of life. Living in Atlanta means you’ll have access to an abundance of amenities, entertainment options, cultural attractions, and more! 

Q: How much income do you need to live in Atlanta?
That depends on your lifestyle, of course, but a single adult without children will need around $53,736, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.

Q: Why do people move to Atlanta?
Among the many reasons why people choose to move to Atlanta are the abundant career opportunities in a variety of industries, the mild weather, and the reasonable housing options. 

Q: Is rent expensive in Atlanta?
The average monthly rent is $1,800 for a one-bedroom apartment, which is less expensive than other major cities such as NYC or Chicago.

19 Things To Know About Living in Atlanta

In a nutshell, Atlanta has something to offer all types of lifestyles. If you’re looking for a new job, want to find a quiet place to retire, or want to raise a family in a safe neighborhood, you can do all of that and more. From the cost of living in Atlanta to the local attractions, we’ve covered all the big stuff in this list.

A bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. overlooks Liberty Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia.

There are a variety of museums and exhibits dedicated to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr.; Coretta Scott King; and John Lewis.
(Source: Discover Atlanta via Facebook)

1. Atlanta’s History

Atlanta played a crucial role during the American Civil War, and it was, therefore, the primary objective of General Sherman’s Georgia invasion. You can find lots of Civil War artifacts and exhibits at the Atlanta History Center, and you can tour the Oakland Historic Cemetery.

The Civil Rights Movement also played a large role in Atlanta history, and there are a variety of museums and exhibits dedicated to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr.; Coretta Scott King; and John Lewis. You can explore MLK Jr. National Historical Park and visit Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood where Dr. King once preached.

2. Cost of Living in Atlanta

The cost of living in Atlanta is not as high as you might think, compared to other large cities. The standard of living is considered reasonably affordable, as its cost of living score is only 13.3 percent higher than the national average. Residents find that necessities like utilities, healthcare, and groceries are affordable. However, it is more expensive to live in Atlanta than other places throughout Georgia, which has a state cost of living index of 94.5

3. Salaries Needed To Live in Atlanta 

Once you decide to make the move to Atlanta, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough money to live comfortably. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, if you’re a single adult living alone, you should have a salary close to $53,736 before taxes. A working couple without children will need closer to $69,901, and a family of four with at least one parent working will need to have $92,148.

Several lanes of traffic moving in and out of the city of Atlanta, Georgia, on a sunny day.

Due to the large amount of urban sprawl in Atlanta, it’s difficult to get around the city without a car.

4. Pros and Cons of Living in Atlanta

Pro: Good Job Market

The economy is thriving in Atlanta, and if you’re looking for a new job, you’re in luck. There are a variety of Fortune 500 companies that call ATL home and provide good paying, stable jobs — Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines, to name a few. Not to mention the tech, entertainment, and education sectors also offer great opportunities.

Pro: Ease of Getting In and Out of Atlanta

The Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is considered one of the busiest in the world, and it provides thousands of jobs for locals. Whether you travel often or only once in a while, you’ll appreciate not having to deal with as many connecting flights when you’re living in Atlanta. 

Pro: Mild Winters

Because of its southern location, Atlanta does not experience extreme winters. You’ll find the weather does get a little cooler, and you’ll still want to hold onto your sweaters, but you won’t need a parka or a shovel.

Con: Need for a Car

Due to the large amount of urban sprawl in Atlanta, it’s difficult to get around the city without a car. Although there are some public transit options (more on that later), you’ll likely need to have a car to get around efficiently in Atlanta.

Con: The Summer Humidity

Sure, it gets hot in Atlanta, but what really gets folks? The high humidity. This can make being outdoors pretty unbearable. Along with the high humidity comes lots of allergies and pests that can make the summer months less than fun.

Con: Tough Traffic

Yes, you need a car in ATL. However, because most people drive in Atlanta, the traffic can be tough. It never seems to let up because of the sprawling nature of the city’s design, so try to find a home that’s close to your job to lessen your commute. 

A gorgeous Craftsman style home in Atlanta’s Brookwood Hills neighborhood. The home features stone steps leading up to a gabled entryway in the center of a large front porch.

Atlanta boasts a variety of different architectural styles throughout the city, but some of the most popular include Bungalows, Craftsman, and Victorian.
(Source: Amy Spicher Etheridge via Facebook)

5. The Atlanta Housing Market

Although the housing costs of Atlanta (both real estate and rentals) are considered affordable compared to other metropolises, they have been steadily increasing. The average home value in Atlanta is $399,900, which is up 2 percent over the past year. There are still plenty of neighborhoods where you’ll find an affordable home, though. Atlanta boasts a variety of different architectural styles throughout the city, but some of the most popular include Bungalows, Craftsman, and Victorian.

6. Apartments/Renting in Atlanta

For a one-bedroom apartment, the average monthly rent in Atlanta is $1,800, which is just slightly higher than the average U.S. rent of $1,700. The city also has a higher percentage of renters than homeowners — 55 percent versus 45 percent, respectively. And although the housing prices have steadily increased, the average rent in Atlanta has stayed around the same amount for the past year. Whether you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment or need a whole house, you’ll have plenty of options in Atlanta.

7. Best Places To Live in Atlanta 

Buckhead Forest

If you want a friendly neighborhood that’s perfect for kids, Buckhead Forest should be high on your list. Ranked as one of the top 3 neighborhoods in Atlanta by Niche, you’ll find that you’ll have easy access to all kinds of amenities when your family lives here. This suburban-like enclave has shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s nearby and is also home to the Don and Mary Ellen Harp Student Center.


If you’re a single professional or a young adult looking for a lively neighborhood, consider finding a place in Midtown. This neighborhood is always bustling, and it’s within walking distance of Georgia Tech and outdoor fun at the expansive Piedmont Park. There are plenty of MARTA stops, as well. And Peachtree St. offers all kinds of entertainment and dining options such as The Woodruff Arts Center and the Sugar Factory American Brasserie.

Candler Park

For retirees looking for a safe, quiet place to call home, you can’t go wrong with Candler Park. You’ll love how easy it is to stay active at the nearby Candler Park Golf Course, tennis courts, and swimming pool. Or you could always stroll the Freedom Park Trail and enjoy the bird and butterfly garden! Residents love to grab a bite at the Flying Biscuit Cafe or sip on their morning brew at the San Francisco Coffee Roasting Co.

An underground platform is buzzing with dozens of locals waiting to board MARTA trains in Atlanta, Georgia.

MARTA operates bus and rail routes that generally stay within Atlanta’s major business districts.
(Source: MARTA via Facebook)

8. The Atlanta Transportation Scene

As we mentioned earlier, you’ll definitely need to have a car when you’re living in Atlanta. The city does offer public transit with the MARTA, which operates bus and rail routes that generally stay within the major business districts. However, residents find that it can feel unsafe at certain times of day, and it does not offer options for many parts of the city. The traffic in ATL is considered to be some of the worst in the country, though, because of the large urban sprawl.

9. Atlanta’s Top K-12 Schools and Higher Education Options

If you’re interested in bringing your family to live in Atlanta, you’ll be pleased to know there are lots of great K-12 schools in the area. Whether you prefer public (the Atlanta Public School District is well ranked) or private institutions, you’ll have plenty of top-notch options for your kids.

Private Schools:

Public Schools:

And when it comes to higher education, you won’t need to go far to find first-class colleges and universities that offer all levels of degrees in many in-demand fields. Some of the major schools in the Atlanta area include:

A pitcher for the Atlanta Braves winds up for a pitch during a game.

If you’re a sports fan, you’re going to love living in Atlanta
(Source: Atlanta Braves via Facebook)

10. Atlanta Sports

If you’re a sports fan, you’re going to love living in Atlanta. Residents don’t miss a chance to get out and support the sports scene, and you’ll find a variety of spots to watch the game with fellow fans if you can’t snag a ticket. Atlanta has four professional sports teams:

You can’t mention sports in Atlanta without talking about the huge college scene, as well, with major universities like Georgia Tech and Georgia State giving residents their fill of college football and basketball, in addition to all kinds of other sports. And we can’t forget to add: The college football powerhouse University of Georgia is just a short 1.5 hours away in Athens.

11. Atlanta’s Music Scene

Atlanta has a thriving music scene — it’s regarded as the capital of hip-hop — and has many artists that contribute music to the rap, blues, R&B, crunk, and neo-soul genres. Some well-known musicians that have come out of ATL include:

  • Ray Charles
  • Outkast
  • Jermaine Dupri
  • Usher
  • Ludacris
  • TLC
  • Ciara

Although the hip-hop scene takes center stage in A-Town, you’ll also find plenty of live music venues that play all kinds of genres, such as the Lakewood Amphitheater, Blind Willie’s, The Tabernacle, and the Variety Playhouse. 

12. Atlanta Weather/Climate in Atlanta 

While the winters may be mild in ATL, if you decide to move here, you’ll need to be prepared for the summers. The hot season lasts from May to September, and you can typically find temperatures reaching the high 80s and 90s with a lot of humidity. The cooler season, lasting from November to February, offers some respite, with temperatures ranging from 35 to 50. The rest of the year is quite pleasant, although you can expect partly cloudy skies year-round. And other than high heat and humidity, Atlanta doesn’t typically get extreme weather apart from thunderstorms. You might experience the remnants of hurricanes, but the distance from the coast means that impacts don’t hit the city nearly as hard as you might anticipate.

13. Crime in Atlanta 

Atlanta has a total crime index of 3, which means that it is considered safer than 3 percent of U.S. cities. Your chance of becoming a victim of either violent crime or property crime is 1 in 21, and 94 percent of other areas of Georgia are considered safer. That being said, there are plenty of safe areas to live within the city, as well as in the surrounding suburbs, such as Club Forest, Hills Park, and Vinings.

14. The Atlanta Job Market

The Atlanta economy is doing well, and you should be able to find a good-paying job no matter what your industry is or where your expertise lies. The top employers in the city include Delta Airlines, Emory University, Piedmont Healthcare, AT&T, and Cox Enterprises. So whether you’re in healthcare, tech, communications, hospitality, customer service, or another sector, chances are, you’ll be able to find a job.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta sits at 3.4 percent, which is just slightly higher than the state of Georgia’s rate.

A delicious-looking spread of southern soul food from a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia.

There’s more than just southern soul food in Atlanta, but the soul food is so good!
(Source: Discover Atlanta via Facebook)

15. Atlanta’s Food Scene

Although you may first think of Charleston, Nashville, or New Orleans when you think of a fabulous southern foodie destination, Atlanta should be ranked right up there with them. The city has been pleasing residents and critics alike for decades with its huge variety of cuisine and desire to create new fusions and restaurant concepts. There’s more than just southern soul food here, and you’ll find everything from African and Thai to Indian and Filipino. Some of the best-rated restaurants in Atlanta are:

16. Culture in Atlanta

With a population close to a half million people, you can bet there are all kinds of cultural offerings in Atlanta. Whether you want to catch some live music, see a play, or admire local art, Atlanta always has something for you to enjoy.

17. Things To Do in Atlanta for Families and Kids

There are a variety of fun things to do in Atlanta with the kids — learning something new, staying active, or just having a great day out and about.

  • Take the kids to the Georgia Aquarium so they can come face to face with their favorite underwater creatures (and even have hands-on experiences).
  • The Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers kids the chance to interact with exhibits and play throughout the various rooms
  • You can’t go wrong with Zoo Atlanta, where the whole family will enjoy viewing all the kids’ favorite animals.

The annual Garden Party at Atlanta Botanical Garden is a favorite among locals.
(Source: Atlanta Botanical Garden via Facebook)

18. Things To Do for Couples or Single Adults in Atlanta

Looking for inspiration for your next date night? Or perhaps you just want to get out of the house on your own to explore. There are plenty of things adults can do in Atlanta.

19. Top Free Things To Do in Atlanta for Everyone

Who says you need to spend a lot to have a lot of fun in Atlanta? If you’re looking for free things to do, consider checking out these resident favorites.

  • The Ponce City Market is a great place to people-watch and window shop.
  • Centennial Olympic Park is Atlanta’s premier park that features trails, monuments, a fountain, an amphitheater, and plenty of space to play or relax.
  • The Atlanta BeltLine is 22 miles of converted railways that now offers residents access to multi-use trails right in the heart of the city.

If Living in Atlanta Is Right for You, Get There With PODS

When you’re ready to make the move to Atlanta, get there with less stress when you use a PODS portable storage container. PODS will deliver the container to your home, so you can load it up on your schedule. If you happen to need additional help with the heavy lifting, PODS can also provide you with local packing and loading recommendations. And when you’re ready to leave, a PODS pro will pick up your container and drive it to your new ATL home. There, you can either take your time unloading from your driveway, or you can store the container as long as you need to in a secure PODS Storage Center. The best part? One month of storage is included with every move!

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

(Source for image featured at top: Erin Doering via Unsplash)

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