Watch Atlanta’s insane growth from 1940 to the 2000s

Atlanta residents don’t need a map to understand the rapid growth of our city – one drive to the outer suburbs will tell you everything.

But a recent study by BuildZoom gives us a more detailed look into Atlanta’s enormous expansion from 1940 through the 2000s. In the study, BuildZoom said the city had grown by 86 percent from the 1970s to the 2000s alone.

(More: SunTrust Park construction, June update)

At the beginning of the 1940s, the city measured 42 square miles in size. In 2010, Atlanta was 2,529 square miles, and that expansion has continued into this decade. The animated image below shows the mind-boggling growth in even better detail.

Atlanta growth 1940-2000

Of the 40 cities studied, only Charlotte (128 percent), Raleigh (171 percent) and Austin (124 percent) expanded faster from the 1970s through the 2000s.

“The reason for choosing Atlanta as the poster child for expansive cities should now be clear – it was by far the greatest expander of the 2000s, the ‘90s and even the ‘80s,” wrote BuildZoom.

Check out how fast Atlanta’s growth dwarfed that of San Francisco, which is hardly growing at all in recent decades, at least when compared to the A-T-L:


All this growth inspired a meme that recently went viral on social media and is so, so true.

Atlanta traffic meme

GIF and chart via BuildZoom

Back to home page