Atlanta is the most populous municipality, capital city and town of the state of Georgia in the United States. With an estimated 2016 population of 472,522, it is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County and a small portion of the city extends eastward.
Atlanta was founded as a transportation hub at the intersection of two railroad lines in 1837. After being mostly burned to the ground during the American Civil War, the city rose from its ashes to become a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South". During the 1960s, Atlanta became a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and many other locals playing major roles in the movement's leadership. In the decades following, the city earned a reputation as "too busy to hate" for the relatively progressive views of its citizens and leaders compared to other cities in the "Deep South". During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being by far the world's busiest airport since 1998.
Atlanta is rated a "beta(+)" world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. It ranks 18th among world cities and 7th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $320 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include logistics, professional and business services, media operations, and information technology. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of "the city in a forest. " Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Atlanta had a population of 420,003. The population density was 3,154 per square mile (1232/km²). The racial makeup and population of Atlanta was 54.0% Black or African American, 38.4% White, 3.1% Asian and 0.2% Native American. Those from some other race made up 2.2% of the city's population, while those from two or more races made up 2.0%. Hispanics of any race made up 5.2% of the city's population. The median income for a household in the city was $45,171. The per capita income for the city was $35,453. 22.6% percent of the population was living below the poverty line. Atlanta has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking third among major American cities, behind San Francisco and slightly behind Seattle, with 12.8% of the city's total population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. 7.3% of Atlantans were born abroad (86th in the US).
In the 2010 Census, Atlanta was recorded as the nation's fourth-largest majority-black city. It has long been known as a center of African-American political power, education, and culture, often called a black mecca. African-American residents of Atlanta have followed whites to newer housing in the suburbs in the early 21st century. From 2000 to 2010, the city's black population decreased by 31,678 people, shrinking from 61.4% of the city's population in 2000 to 54.0% in 2010.
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