Fayette continues slow growth, population now tops 108K

Fayette County continues to be one of the slow-growth leaders in metro Atlanta — if there were such a category.

According to population estimates released by the Atlanta Regional Commission, Fayette County added 700 residents between 2012 and 2013, with an average three-year growth estimated at 544 residents each year.

ARC now measures Fayette’s population as being 108,200 residents.

While there was a small uptick in the most recent figures, Fayette was on par with its counterparts in Rockdale and Douglas counties, which experienced average annual growth of 495 and 766 residents respectively.

That’s a far cry from the more metropolitan counties in Atlanta, as DeKalb added an average of 4,902 people over the past three years, followed by Cobb with 6,474, Fulton with 8,273 and Gwinnett at 8,960. On the southside of Atlanta, Clayton County added 1,425 people on average over the past three years while Henry County was at 2,459.

All told, the metro area added 40,100 residents over the past year, putting the 10-county region’s population at a staggering 4.2 million, which is larger than the populations of 24 states.

“While our latest population estimates reflect slower growth than we became accustomed to in the 90s and 2000s, metro Atlanta is still a place that attracts many people,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director.  “Our local jurisdictions have had a few years to catch their collective breaths and are preparing for faster growth that will come as the housing market and the economy continue to bounce back.”

This slower growth is a national phenomenon, due to the country’s slow recovery from the Great Recession. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, metro Atlanta was the 6th fastest growing metro region in the United States during 2012 - 2013. That ranking is based on the Census Bureau’s definition of “urbanized areas.” The Atlanta urbanized area includes 28 counties.

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