2020 Census Summary

This page summarizes results of the 2020 Census released on August 13 as the Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data.

Population Growth among Metro Counties

Fulton County retained its position as Georgia's most populous county in 2020 with over 100,000 more residents than second ranked Gwinnett.  Gwinnett did gain some ground on Fulton over the past decade, growing by 152,000 (a 19% growth rate) since 2010 compared to 146,000 (a 16% growth rate) for Fulton.  Cobb County became the third most populous county in the state, just surpassing DeKalb County by less than 2,000 residents.
The counties to the immediate north of Fulton experienced the greatest growth rates among the metro counties, with Forsyth increasing in population by 43% since 2010 and Cherokee growing by 24%.

Population Growth among the Cities of Fulton County

All cities in the county gained population with the exception of College Park, for which the population remained essentially unchanged between 2010 and 2020.  The greatest rates of growth were in the county's extremities, both north and south.  Union City in the south experienced the greatest rate of growth with a remarkable 38% increase in the decade.  Nearby Fairburn was second with a growth of 27%, followed by Milton in the north at 26%.  Chattahoochee Hills, though still tiny compared to most other Fulton cities, grew by 24%.
The young city of South Fulton, included in the decennial census for the first time, is virtually tied with Sandy Springs as the county's second largest city with over 107,000 residents.  Atlanta, though growing at a considerable rate of nearly 19%, still fell just short of the half million mark, a milestone some had expected it reach 10 years earlier in the 2010 census.
[Note: The population counts for the cities include parts of cities outside of Fulton County.  Four cities have areas in neighboring counties: Atlanta (DeKalb), College Park (Clayton), Palmetto (Coweta), Mountain Park (Cherokee).]

Population Growth among the Commission Districts

The population growth among the commission districts was uneven during the past decade, with districts 3 and 6 seeing the greatest growth rates at 26.5% and 20.4%, respectively.  District 1, comprising Johns Creek and parts of Roswell and Alpharetta, saw the slowest growth at less than 7%.  The rates of growth in districts 2 and 4 closely matched that of Fulton County.
Barring a major reconfiguration of commission district boundaries, redistricting will likely result in a physically enlarged district 1 and 5 and a smaller district 3 and 6 to adjust for the relative shifts in population.
Trends in the Racial Composition of the Commission Districts
The two charts below illustrate trends in racial identification among residents of the six commission districts with the top chart showing relative number of residents by racial group (as defined by the Census Bureau) in 2010 and the bottom chart showing the same for 2020.
Two significant trends are apparent.  One is the growth of the Asian population in the three northern districts.  In District 1, the Asian population grew from 16% of the population in 2010 to 22% in 2020.  The relative Asian population also grew considerably in Districts 2 and 3.  The southern districts saw little change in the proportion of Asian residents.
The other trend is the growth of residents in all six districts who identify as multi-racial (two or more races).  The trend was most pronounced in the three northern districts, in which over 8% of residents identified as multi-racial in 2020, closely mirroring the U.S. population, among which just over 10% identified as multi-racial in 2020, up from 3% in 2010.  This dramatic increase in persons identifying as multi-racial is likely due  in part to real demographic change, but according to the Census Bureau, it is "largely due to the improvements to the design of the two separate questions for race and ethnicity, data processing, and coding, which enabled a more thorough and accurate depiction of how people prefer to self-identify."
One other trend at the district level worth noting is the fall in the relative share of the population identifying as White alone in the northern districts.  This can in part be explained by the growth of the Asian and, to a lesser extent, African American populations in those districts; however, Districts 1 and 2 also experienced reductions in the absolute number of residents identifying as White alone.  Of the three northern districts, only District 3 saw an absolute increase in residents identifying as White alone even while experiencing a relative reduction from 76% to 66%.  Somewhat in contrast, toward the south, Districts 4 and 5 saw relative drops in residents identifying as African American alone.  The African American population in District 4 in particular fell from 68% to 59% while the white population rose from 24% to 29%.  Overall, five of the six of the commission districts became more racially diverse between 2010 and 2020.  Only District 6 ran counter to this trend, gaining in an already sizable majority African American population.

* The source for all information on this page is the U.S. Census Bureau's Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data.  By law, the Census Bureau is required to furnish tabulations of population to each state, including for those small areas the states have identified as necessary to conduct legislative redistricting.  The data include total population counts, population 18 years and over, and population by race and ethnicity.