Originally called Terminus when it was founded in 1837, Atlanta was rechristened with its modern-day name in 1845, inspired by a suggestion from a local railroad engineer. In 1868, it was officially named the capital of Georgia. The city has seen its share of turmoil, having been almost totally destroyed by fire during the Civil War. Later, it experienced a rebirth spurred by the growing railway system in the region. Now, Atlanta has a diverse economy with strong retail, communications, services, finance, insurance and manufacturing sectors. Some of the biggest companies in the U.S. call the city of Atlanta home, most notably Coca-Cola.
Many well-respected universities are located in Atlanta, including Georgia Tech, Morehouse College and Emory University. As with any university town, a considerable percentage of the population is young adults. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport plays a major role in the city's thriving economy, ranking among the highest in the world in terms of passengers and flight landings and take-offs.
Moving to Atlanta
Atlanta is one of the most popular cities for relocation in the United States. In fact, it's claimed the official title of most popular relocation destination on several different occasions. Despite the high demand, housing is affordable, whether you want to buy or rent.
Even though unemployment in Atlanta is slightly higher than the national average, this doesn't mean that there are no job opportunities. Thanks to the diversity of industries in the city, finding employment is absolutely possible. Some of the well-known companies headquartered in Atlanta include Home Depot, United Parcel Service (UPS), Aflac and Delta Airlines.
When you aren't working, you'll find that Atlanta offers plenty of enjoyable things to do in your off time. With a number of significant art museums, historical points of interest, an active music scene and four professional sports teams, the city has no shortage of recreational activities. Despite its big-city status, Atlanta has a very high number of trees when compared to most American cities, with a lush canopy of leaves found in even the denser parts of the city.
Here are just a few of the neighborhoods you'll want to explore while you're in Atlanta:
Located in the heart of Atlanta, Midtown is a hub of diversity, business, art and architecture. It's also home to Piedmont Park, which hosts a number of major Atlanta events, including the Dogwood Festival, Atlanta Arts Festival and Music Midtown.
This Atlanta neighborhood was the birthplace of one of the most iconic civil rights leaders of all time, Martin Luther King Jr. It was designated as a national landmark in the late 1970s, and it's also the site of the International Walk of Fame, featuring the shoe prints of influential members of the civil rights movement.
Westside (West Midtown)
Westside is filled with restored historical buildings that have been converted into trendy lofts, hip restaurants and unique shopping destinations. Its rich history can still be traced in the cobblestone alleyways that were once traveled by horse and carriage.
The town of Buckhead is often called the "Beverly Hills of the East," a nickname that is certainly well deserved. Luxury shopping, five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants headed by famous chefs can all be found in this affluent neighborhood.
The Atlanta Public Schools system operates the public schools in the city, and your options include charter and private schools as well.
Atlanta has often been called an epicenter of higher education, mainly due to the high number of colleges and universities that are based in the city. If you're interested in pursuing a college degree, you have your pick of a considerable variety of schools, including the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and Georgia State University.
Atlanta City Resources
Here are a few resources to help make your move to Atlanta easier:
Utilities: Water services are managed by the City of Atlanta, and Georgia Power is the city's main electricity company. If your home uses natural gas, you'll need to determine which of the five major gas providers serves your neighborhood.
Garbage and Recycling: Regular curbside collection of trash and recyclables is provided by the City of Atlanta.
Transportation: You're required to obtain an Atlanta driver's license within 30 days of moving to the city, which involves making an appointment at the Department of Driver Services. It's important to remember that different parts of the city may require specific parking permits, including residential areas. Public transit is available via bus, shuttle or train.
If you're planning to relocate to Atlanta, you'll find that there are a variety of housing options at generally affordable prices. There are many different types of neighborhoods, ranging from expensive gated communities to middle class offerings in good parts of town. Even though Atlanta housing prices have gone up in recent years, they're still lower than the national median.