How many people commute to Cobb to work? How many live in Cobb but work outside the county?

A graphic of a couple with a baby and various things representing income calculation

This article will not only answer the questions in the article title, but will show you how to get that information and more yourself using the easy-to-use OnTheMap tool from the census.

This is another reworking and expansion of an earlier article in our Cobb County by the Numbers series, using data and tools from the U.S. Census Bureau. The tool we used from the census is updated with the 2021 ACS. Our previous version was for 2019.

The Courier is expanding its coverage of transportation, public transit, and commuting, and the way people currently commute is an important part of understanding what the options are for public policy around transportation.

After the Census Bureau began publishing results from the decennial census, and introduced a new set of easy-to-use tools for getting at the numbers, the Courier published a series of articles making use of the new tools.

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Unfortunately, those articles were introduced when the COVID pandemic dominated the news, so the census articles languished with low traffic, even though the information was important to an informed citizenry.

This article uses the OnTheMap tool from the U.S. Census Bureau to sort out people who live in Cobb County but work in other counties, people who live in other counties but work in Cobb, and people who both live and work in the county.

The U.S. Census Bureau gathers those figures in their American Community Survey and provides tools that allow people to map, visualize and create tables and charts from that data. And it might surprise you to know how easy to use those tools are.

And they are surprisingly easy to use. Just follow this link to the OnTheMap tool, or scroll to the videos at the bottom of the article that instruct you on how to learn things about employment in any area of the U.S.

Have you ever wondered how many people work in Cobb County who live here? How about how many people live outside Cobb County and commute into the county to work? Or how many live in the county but travel to other counties for employment.

For videos from the Census Bureau explaining how to access and use those tools scroll to the bottom of this article.

A couple of caveats are necessary before we get to the point on what the commute flows look like in Cobb County. One is that gathering the data is time-consuming for the Census Bureau, so there is a time lag before sets of data become available. This article was written based on the 2021 ACS. We’ve swapped off the map from the previous version of this article, which used the 2019 figures.

The second is that the COVID pandemic affected both the gathering of the data, and the job market itself, although some economists don’t believe the market has been affected as severely as earlier news reports would indicate.

With those out of the way, let’s get right to the point.

Here’s a map of the inflow and outflow of commuting workers.

You can click on the map to make it larger and more readable, but the arrow on the left of the map represents workers who don’t live in the county commuting to Cobb County to work. That number as of the 2021 ACS stood at 255,595.

The arrow on the right represents the residents of Cobb County who commute outside of the county for their employment. That number stood at 215,851 when the last ACS data was made available.

At the bottom of the circular arrow is Cobb County residents who work in the county.

That number stood at 124,860 in the 2021 ACS.

More information on job flows in Cobb County

It might qualify as TMI (“too much information”) but you can get a more complete idea of the job flows by looking over the table below.

Note that the figure of 380,455 for “Employed in the Selection Area” is the non-Cobb residents who commute into the county plus the residents who work here.

And the 340,455 figure for “Living in the Selection Area” is not the total population, but an estimate of the workforce.

Inflow/Outflow Report

Selection Area Labor Market Size (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
Employed in the Selection Area380,455100.0%
Living in the Selection Area340,71589.6%
Net Job Inflow (+) or Outflow (-)39,740
In-Area Labor Force Efficiency (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
Living in the Selection Area340,715100.0%
Living and Employed in the Selection Area124,86036.6%
Living in the Selection Area but Employed Outside215,85563.4%
In-Area Employment Efficiency (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
Employed in the Selection Area380,455100.0%
Employed and Living in the Selection Area124,86032.8%
Employed in the Selection Area but Living Outside255,59567.2%
Outflow Job Characteristics (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
External Jobs Filled by Residents215,855100.0%
Workers Aged 29 or younger47,05221.8%
Workers Aged 30 to 54122,97057.0%
Workers Aged 55 or older45,83321.2%
Workers Earning $1,250 per month or less36,35116.8%
Workers Earning $1,251 to $3,333 per month49,31822.8%
Workers Earning More than $3,333 per month130,18660.3%
Workers in the “Goods Producing” Industry Class17,8208.3%
Workers in the “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” Industry Class47,53722.0%
Workers in the “All Other Services” Industry Class150,49869.7%
Inflow Job Characteristics (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
Internal Jobs Filled by Outside Workers255,595100.0%
Workers Aged 29 or younger60,19123.5%
Workers Aged 30 to 54141,89355.5%
Workers Aged 55 or older53,51120.9%
Workers Earning $1,250 per month or less46,67018.3%
Workers Earning $1,251 to $3,333 per month71,89228.1%
Workers Earning More than $3,333 per month137,03353.6%
Workers in the “Goods Producing” Industry Class34,77913.6%
Workers in the “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” Industry Class60,77023.8%
Workers in the “All Other Services” Industry Class160,04662.6%
Interior Flow Job Characteristics (All Jobs)
 2021
 CountShare
Internal Jobs Filled by Residents124,860100.0%
Workers Aged 29 or younger27,59222.1%
Workers Aged 30 to 5466,79053.5%
Workers Aged 55 or older30,47824.4%
Workers Earning $1,250 per month or less23,07418.5%
Workers Earning $1,251 to $3,333 per month34,53627.7%
Workers Earning More than $3,333 per month67,25053.9%
Workers in the “Goods Producing” Industry Class15,08112.1%
Workers in the “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” Industry Class22,54118.1%
Workers in the “All Other Services” Industry Class87,23869.9%
Report Settings
Analysis TypeInflow/Outflow
Selection area asN/A
Year(s)2021
Job TypeAll Jobs
Selection AreaCobb County, GA from Counties
Selected Census Blocks7,680
Analysis Generation Date12/31/2023 12:58 – OnTheMap 6.23.4
Code Revisionb83319a02a70b14bc14ccfe9d9a4e81022acdb73
LODES Data Vintage20231016_1512
Selection Area Labor Market Size (All Jobs)
 2019
 CountShare
Employed in the Selection Area394,991100.0%
Living in the Selection Area350,85588.8%
Net Job Inflow (+) or Outflow (-)44,136
In-Area Labor Force Efficiency (All Jobs)
 2019
 CountShare
Living in the Selection Area350,855100.0%
Living and Employed in the Selection Area135,92438.7%
Living in the Selection Area but Employed Outside214,93161.3%
In-Area Employment Efficiency (All Jobs)
 2019
 CountShare
Employed in the Selection Area394,991100.0%
Employed and Living in the Selection Area135,92434.4%
Employed in the Selection Area but Living Outside259,06765.6%
Outflow Job Characteristics (All Jobs)
 2019
 CountShare
External Jobs Filled by Residents214,931100.0%
Workers Aged 29 or younger47,75822.2%
Workers Aged 30 to 54122,43857.0%
Workers Aged 55 or older44,73520.8%
Workers Earning $1,250 per month or less40,83019.0%
Workers Earning $1,251 to $3,333 per month53,04624.7%
Workers Earning More than $3,333 per month121,05556.3%
Workers in the “Goods Producing” Industry Class18,2658.5%
Workers in the “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” Industry Class47,20822.0%
Workers in the “All Other Services” Industry Class149,45869.5%
Inflow Job Characteristics (All Jobs)
 2019
 CountShare
Internal Jobs Filled by Outside Workers259,067100.0%
Workers Aged 29 or younger61,54523.8%
Workers Aged 30 to 54145,43356.1%
Workers Aged 55 or older52,08920.1%
Workers Earning $1,250 per month or less54,09820.9%
Workers Earning $1,251 to $3,333 per month76,11929.4%
Workers Earning More than $3,333 per month128,85049.7%
Workers in the “Goods Producing” Industry Class34,38413.3%
Workers in the “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities” Industry Class59,75123.1%
Workers in the “All Other Services” Industry Class164,93263.7%

How to get the info above, and a lot more, yourself

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