ARC releases forecast for Cobb growth and demographic changes

Welcome to Cobb County brick sign at Henderson Road on Veterans MemorialCobb County welcome sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) released its forecast on metro Atlanta growth for the upcoming decades (Read the full report at this link).

The report uses 2015 census figures as its base data, and includes projections running to both 2040 and 2050.

Cobb County will remain in the third position in terms of population of area counties, according to the ARC’s forecast, but Gwinnett County will surpass Fulton as the most populous county in the region.

Among the highlights for the Cobb County forecast for the period from 2015 (the base year) to 2040:

  • Cobb’s population will increase from 727,521 to 885,062
  • The white percentage of the county will drop from the current 54 percent to 41.4 percent
  • The Hispanic portion of the population will grow from 13.6 percent to 24 percent
  • The black portion of the population will slightly decline, from 25.2 percent in 2015 figures to 24.1 percent in 2040
  • As for the average ages of the population, and not surprisingly, baby boomers (those now 50 – 69 years of age by the ARC’s definition) will drop by more than half, from 24.4 percent now, to 11.7 percent in 2040. The WWII generation will decline from the current 7.2 percent to about a half percent, and all younger generations will increase as a percentage of the population.

Jobs between 2015 and 2040 are expected to increase from 399,486 to 535,185 with big jumps in construction and education employment (take a look at the charts at this link).

Overall regional forecast to 2050

According to the ARC introduction to this report:

Our October 2019 Regional Snapshot dives into ARC’s population forecasts, an activity we conduct once every four years. Highlights include:

ARC forecasts the region to add around 2.9 million new residents between 2015 and 2050, which will bring the 21-county area’s total population to 8.6 million by 2050.

The region’s growing diversity will continue. The share of people of color will grow significantly, while the share of White population will decline from around 47 percent today to 31 percent by 2050.

ARC forecasts that there will be more than a million residents age 75 and older by 2050, making this age cohort the fastest-growing in the region.

Gwinnett will surpass Fulton as the region’s most populous county by 2050.