Apr 12, 2024 - News

Atlanta is the No. 1 destination in the South for recent college grads

Students on Spelman College campus.

Students walk on Spelman College's campus. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Metro Atlanta is the top destination in the South for recent U.S. college graduates, according to a study of 2023 graduates from the real estate firm JLL.

Why it matters: Cities are desperate to attract recent graduates, as building a higher density of educated workers attracts new businesses and keeps existing ones from moving.

By the numbers: The number of recent grads moving to Atlanta has grown over the past decade — more than 69,000 bachelor's degree recipients from the class of 2023 resided in the Atlanta area last year, according to JLL.

Zoom in: Metro Atlanta ranked 8th among U.S. metro areas with the most recent graduates, but was tops in the region, just ahead of Dallas-Fort Worth.

The big picture: Our population grew by 66,730 new residents from April 1, 2022 to April 1 of this year, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission's 11-county population estimates.

Zoom out: The metros that attracted the most graduates were: New York (272,000), Los Angeles (132,000), San Francisco Bay Area (122,000), Boston (108,000) and Chicago (106,000).

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