According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the 2008 population estimate for the Atlanta MSA is 5,376,285, which was released in March 2009 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Atlanta is now the 8th largest metro area in the nation. Since 2000, metro Atlanta has grown by over 1.1 million people - a 27 percent increase.
The Chamber, which monitors growth and economic activity in Atlanta, attributes the population increase to causes including: our diverse economy, higher education opportunities, below average cost of living, active lifestyle, moderate climate and available air service.
The Atlanta area (or MSA) encompasses an area much larger than the City of Atlanta proper. It is known as the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area and is the ninth largest MSA in the country. The population of the City of Atlanta has been reported as 540,922 people.