Mar 5, 2024 - News

Metro Atlanta counties see jump in economic prosperity

Change in economic distress levels, by county
Data: Economic Innovation Group; Note: The Distressed Communities Index combines seven complementary economic indicators into a single summary statistic that conveys each community's standing relative to its peers; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

The Southeast has become distinctly more prosperous in just a few years — part of a shift in the geography of economic distress in the U.S., according to new data reported first by Axios.

Why it matters: The latest update of the Distressed Community Index, out last week from the Economic Innovation Group, shows large parts of the country becoming more vibrant, Axios' Neil Irwin writes.

  • That is especially true in the counties surrounding fast-growing cities like Atlanta, Raleigh and Nashville.

Zoom in: In the 11-county metro region, nine are considered "prosperous." The rest are "comfortable" (DeKalb) and "mid-tier" (Clayton).

  • The report found that 30% of Atlantans have prosperous or comfortable economic situations — while 21% have distressed or at-risk economic situations.

Zoom out: In Georgia, the share of residents living in prosperous ZIP codes increased by 7 percentage points, and the share living in distressed ZIP codes fell by 9 percentage points.

How it works: The index is based on seven factors, pulled from U.S. census data, and aims to capture in a single number whether a given area is rich with economic opportunity or faltering.

  • Those factors include the share of adults not working, the housing vacancy rate and growth in the number of businesses. Forsyth beat the nation in all seven categories.
  • The latest edition is based on data from 2017 to 2021.

Search cities, counties, ZIPs and congressional districts

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Atlanta stories

No stories could be found

Atlantapostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Atlanta.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more