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How Big is Atlanta

Atlanta, the capital of Georgia since 1868 and the seat of Fulton County (established in 1853, partially extending into DeKalb County), is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern region of the state. It’s positioned just southeast of the Chattahoochee River and serves as the largest city in Georgia, serving as a vital hub for trade and transportation in the southeastern United States.

The city is at the core of a vast metropolitan area encompassing 20 counties, including cities like Decatur, East Point, and Marietta. In the 2010 census, Atlanta had a population of 420,003, while the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta Metro Area had 5,268,860 residents. By 2020, Atlanta’s population grew to 498,715, and the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Alpharetta Metro Area reached 6,089,815 inhabitants.

Atlanta 1
Land AreaApproximately 134.0 square milesCovers the city’s total land area.
CountyFulton CountyThe city is located within Fulton County.
Latitude33.7490° NThe city’s approximate northern latitude.
Longitude84.3880° WThe city’s approximate western longitude.
ElevationApproximately 1,010 feet (308 meters) above sea levelAverage elevation within the city.
Total PopulationOver 500,000 (as of 2020)The number of residents living in the city.
DensityApproximately 3,731 people per square milePopulation density of Atlanta.
BordersVaries – City limits border other municipalities and unincorporated areasGeographical boundaries of the city.
Key Geographic and Demographic Data for Atlanta, Georgia

1. History

Atlanta’s emergence as a city can be attributed to the railroad industry, which was heavily influenced by geographical factors. Situated at the southern extremity of the Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta became the primary gateway for overland traffic between the southern Atlantic Seaboard and the western regions. In 1837, a location near what is now Five Points, at the center of the present-day city, was chosen as the southern terminus for a railroad that extended northward to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Initially known as Terminus, then Marthasville, the city was finally renamed Atlanta in 1845 in honor of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. By 1860, multiple railroad lines converged in the city.

During the American Civil War, Atlanta played a crucial role as a supply depot and the epicenter of Confederate rail transportation east of the Mississippi River. General William Tecumseh Sherman’s invasion of Georgia from Chattanooga made Atlanta his primary military objective, leading to its capture by Union forces on September 1, 1864. The city was converted into a military camp, and a significant portion was left in ruins when Sherman embarked on his “March to the Sea” on November 15.

During the Reconstruction era, Atlanta became a center of federal government activities in the South. It was where the Georgia constitution of 1868 was drafted and, under the Republican state administration, was established as the state capital in 1877 following a popular referendum. Atlanta epitomized the spirit of the “New South,” having risen from the devastation of the Civil War and advocating reconciliation with the North to rebuild the economy. This sentiment was highlighted by three Atlanta expositions: the International Cotton (1881), the Piedmont (1887), and the Cotton States and International (1895). At the latter, educator Booker T. Washington delivered the historic “Atlanta Compromise,” urging African Americans to prioritize economic security over political or social equality with whites.

Atlanta’s spirit has remained relatively liberal within the context of Southern conservatism, although its traditions have been influenced by the Protestant church customs of the Bible Belt. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was born and raised in Atlanta, and significant landmarks associated with him are preserved at the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. In 1973, Atlanta made history by electing its first African American mayor, Maynard Jackson.

Atlanta 2

2. The Contemporary City

How big is Atlanta? Today, Atlanta continues to be a major nexus for a comprehensive network of rail lines and interstate highways. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, located 10 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta, ranks among the world’s busiest airports. The city introduced its first rapid-transit commuter rail system in 1979, which has since expanded to include several more lines. Atlanta maintains its status as the financial and commercial capital of the Southeast and serves as a critical distribution hub.

The city’s economy encompasses a wide array of industries, including printing, publishing, high-technology, telecommunications, airline services, military and government services, and banking and insurance. Additionally, the production of aircraft, beverages, automobiles, electronics, chemicals, processed foods, and paper products contributes to the city’s economic diversity. Atlanta serves as the focal point for federal government activities in the Southeast and is home to the 6th Federal Reserve District. While the city itself is relatively compact, it is surrounded by sprawling, low-density suburbs.

See also: Craigslist Atlanta

With more than 40 degree-granting institutions in the metropolitan area, Atlanta remains a significant educational center. Historically black colleges like Morehouse College (1867), Spelman College (1881), and Clark Atlanta University (formed in 1988 through the merger of Atlanta University and Clark College) are prestigious members of the city’s academic landscape. Other notable institutions include Emory University (1836), Georgia Institute of Technology (1885), Georgia State University (1913), and Oglethorpe University (1835). Atlanta is also a hub for medical services and is home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Notable buildings in Atlanta include the State Capitol (1889) and the Cyclorama (1885; located in Grant Park), which features a colossal painting and diorama depicting the Battle of Atlanta. Peachtree Center, situated in the heart of downtown, is a complex housing hotels, offices, and shops. The Woodruff Arts Center (1968) comprises the High Museum of Art, a concert hall, an art school, and a theater. Centennial Olympic Park was constructed for use during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

See more: The 7 Best Target Stores in Atlanta

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Professional sports franchises have a strong presence in Atlanta, with Major League Baseball’s Braves relocating to the city from Milwaukee in 1965 and the National Basketball Association’s Hawks moving from St. Louis in 1968. Other major professional sports teams include the Falcons of the National Football League, the Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer.

The city boasts several cultural institutions, including the Atlanta History Center, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, and the Carter Center. The house where Margaret Mitchell penned “Gone with the Wind” is preserved, and Underground Atlanta showcases a restored section of 19th-century buildings near the State Capitol. Atlanta’s cultural scene includes museums of science and natural history, ballet, opera, theater companies, and a symphony orchestra. The city hosts a variety of annual events, including a dogwood festival in April, a jazz festival in May, and an arts festival in June.

Prominent Businesses in Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is home to a wide range of notable businesses across various industries, including the car wash industry. Here are some notable businesses in Atlanta, including car wash companies:

  1. Delta Air Lines – One of the world’s largest airlines, headquartered in Atlanta.
  2. The Coca-Cola Company – A global beverage giant with its headquarters in Atlanta.
  3. Home Depot – A leading home improvement and construction retailer, founded in Atlanta.
  4. United Parcel Service (UPS) – A major package delivery and supply chain management company with a significant presence in Atlanta.
  5. Chick-fil-A – A popular fast-food restaurant chain that started in Atlanta.
  6. Porsche Cars North America – The North American headquarters for Porsche is located in Atlanta.
  7. Atlanta Motor Speedway – A well-known motor racing circuit.
  8. Mercedes-Benz USA – The U.S. headquarters of Mercedes-Benz is located in Atlanta.
  9. The Weather Company – A subsidiary of IBM that provides weather forecasting and related services.
  10. Car Wash Companies – Atlanta has several well-known car wash chains, including Autobell Car Wash, Touchless Car Wash, Mister Car Wash, and Splash Car Wash, among others.

These are just a few examples of the many businesses that thrive in Atlanta, making it a diverse and dynamic economic hub.

Posted by
Kazan Aldrich

I used to be a pilot, but ended up being just a mediocre writer.

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