Information technology companies are drawn to Atlanta's lower costs and educated workforce. Compared to other American cities, Atlanta's economy in the past had been disproportionately affected by the financial crisis and the subsequent recession , with the city's economy earning a ranking of 68 among American cities in a September report due to an elevated unemployment rate, declining real income levels, and a depressed housing market.
Compared with a year earlier, the average home price in Atlanta plummeted to Atlanta has a dynamic, distinctly Southern , culture. This is due to a large population of migrants from other parts of the U. This unique cultural combination reveals itself in the arts district of Midtown, the quirky neighborhoods on the city's eastside , and the multi-ethnic enclaves found along Buford Highway.
Atlanta is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, and resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: Atlanta attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions catering to a variety of interests. The city frequently hosts touring Broadway acts, especially at The Fox Theatre , a historic landmark among the highest-grossing theatres of its size.
As a national center for the arts,  Atlanta is home to significant art museums and institutions. The renowned High Museum of Art is arguably the South's leading art museum and among the most-visited art museums in the world. Institutions of higher education contribute to Atlanta's art scene, with the Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta campus providing the city's arts community with a steady stream of curators, and Emory University's Michael C.
Carlos Museum containing the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast. Atlanta has become one of the USA's best cities for street art in recent years. Atlanta has played a major or contributing role in the development of various genres of American music at different points in the city's history. Beginning as early as the s, Atlanta emerged as a center for country music , which was brought to the city by migrants from Appalachia.
The city was also a center for Southern rock during its s heyday: The city also gave birth to Atlanta hip hop , a subgenre that gained relevance and success with the introduction of the home-grown ATLiens known as Outkast , along with other Dungeon Family artists such as Organized Noize and Goodie Mob ; however, it was not until the s that Atlanta moved "from the margins to becoming hip-hop's center of gravity with another sub-genre called Crunk , part of a larger shift in hip-hop innovation to the South and East".
As a national center for cinema and television production, Atlanta plays a significant role in the entertainment industry. It doubles for other parts of the world and fictional settlements in blockbuster productions, among them the newer titles from The Fast and the Furious franchise and Marvel features such as Ant-Man , Captain America: Civil War , Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War both As of [update] , Atlanta is the seventh-most visited city in the United States, with over 35 million visitors per year. Atlanta contains a notable amount of historical museums and sites, including the Martin Luther King, Jr.
National Historic Site , which includes the preserved childhood home of Dr. President Jimmy Carter 's papers and other material relating to the Carter administration and the Carter family's life; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum , where Mitchell wrote the best-selling novel Gone with the Wind. Atlanta contains several outdoor attractions.
The Canopy Walk is considered the only canopy-level pathway of its kind in the United States. Zoo Atlanta , in Grant Park , accommodates over 1, animals representing more than species. Home to the nation's largest collections of gorillas and orangutans, the Zoo is one of only four zoos in the U.
Tourists are drawn to the city's culinary scene, which comprises a mix of urban establishments garnering national attention, ethnic restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of the world, and traditional eateries specializing in Southern dining. Since the turn of the 21st century, Atlanta has emerged as a sophisticated restaurant town. There, the nearly-million immigrants that make Atlanta home have established various authentic ethnic restaurants representing virtually every nationality on the globe. Atlanta is home to professional franchises for four major team sports: The Braves, who moved to Atlanta in , were established as the Boston Red Stockings in and are the oldest continually operating professional sports franchise in the United States.
The Atlanta Falcons have played in Atlanta since their inception in The Falcons have won the division title six times , , , , , and the NFC championship twice in and The team moved to Atlanta in , and they currently play their games in State Farm Arena.
Professional soccer has been played in some form in Atlanta since In another professional soccer team was formed, the Atlanta Silverbacks of the new North American Soccer League , which now plays as an amateur club in the National Premier Soccer League. Open Cup , the all-time record for highest season average attendance of any first division club in the United States, and the highest attendance record for an MLS Cup game. The club is estimated by Forbes to be the most valuable club in Major League Soccer.
Atlanta has had its own professional ice hockey franchises, both of which relocated after playing in Atlanta less than 15 years. Atlanta also has an Alliance of American Football team, the Atlanta Legends , which will play in , but the league's football operations were reportedly suspended and the team folded. Atlanta has been the host city for various international, professional and collegiate sporting events, most famously the Centennial Summer Olympics. In , Atlanta hosted professional wrestling 's annual WrestleMania.
Olympic marathon trials for the Summer Olympics. Atlanta's parks, nature preserves, and gardens cover 3, acres The park, which underwent a major renovation and expansion in recent years, attracts visitors from across the region and hosts cultural events throughout the year. Other notable city parks include Centennial Olympic Park , a legacy of the Summer Olympics that forms the centerpiece of the city's tourist district; Woodruff Park , which anchors the campus of Georgia State University ; Grant Park , home to Zoo Atlanta ; Chastain Park , which houses an amphitheater used for live music concerts; and the currently-under construction Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry , the acre green space and reservoir project slated to become the city's largest park when fully complete in the s.
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The Atlanta Botanical Garden , adjacent to Piedmont Park, contains formal gardens, including a Japanese garden and a rose garden, woodland areas, and a conservatory that includes indoor exhibits of plants from tropical rainforests and deserts. Atlanta offers resources and opportunities for amateur and participatory sports and recreation. Golf and tennis are popular in Atlanta, and the city contains six public golf courses and tennis courts. Facilities along the Chattahoochee River cater to watersports enthusiasts, providing the opportunity for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating, or tubing.
Atlanta is governed by a mayor and the Atlanta City Council. The city council consists of 15 representatives—one from each of the city's 12 districts and three at-large positions. The mayor may veto a bill passed by the council, but the council can override the veto with a two-thirds majority. As the state capital , Atlanta is the site of most of Georgia's state government. The Georgia State Capitol building, located downtown, houses the offices of the governor , lieutenant governor and secretary of state, as well as the General Assembly.
The Governor's Mansion is in a residential section of Buckhead. Atlanta serves as the regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Historically, Atlanta has been a stronghold for the Democratic Party.
Although municipal elections are officially nonpartisan, nearly all of the city's elected officials are registered Democrats. The city is split among 14 state house districts and four state senate districts, all held by Democrats. At the federal level, Atlanta is split between two congressional districts.
Most of the northern portion of the city is in the 5th district, represented by Democrat John Lewis. The southern fourth is in the 13th district, represented by Democrat David Scott. A sliver in the north is in the 11th district, represented by Republican Barry Loudermilk.
Crime is down across the country, but Atlanta's improvement has occurred at more than twice the national rate.
The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department provides fire protection and first responder emergency medical services to the city from its 35 fire stations. In , AFRD responded to over , calls for service over a coverage area of The department also protects Hartsfield—Jackson with 5 fire stations on the property; serving over 1 million passengers from over different countries. The department protects over highrise buildings, 23 miles 37 kilometres of the rapid rail system, and 60 miles 97 kilometres of interstate highway.
Due to the more than 20 colleges and universities in the city, Atlanta is considered one of the nation's largest hubs for higher education.
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The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most prominent public universities in the nation; it is a major research university in Midtown that consistently ranks among the nation's top ten public universities. It offers highly ranked degree programs in engineering, design, business administration, the sciences, and architecture. Georgia State University is a major public research university in Downtown Atlanta ; it is the largest of the 29 public colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia and is a significant contributor to the revitalization of the city's central business district.
Atlanta is home to nationally renowned private colleges and universities, most notably Emory University , a leading liberal arts and research institution that consistently ranks among the top 20 universities in the United States and operates Emory Healthcare , the largest health care system in Georgia. The Atlanta University Center is also in the city; it is the largest contiguous consortium of historically black colleges in the nation, comprising Spelman College , Clark Atlanta University , Morehouse College , and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Atlanta contains a campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design , a private art and design university that has proven to be a major factor in the recent growth of Atlanta's visual art community. Atlanta and nearby Athens also boast American Bar Association accredited law schools: Fifty-five thousand students are enrolled in schools in Atlanta Public Schools , some of which are operated as charter schools.
The Atlanta metropolitan area is served by two public television stations both PBS member stations , and one public radio station. Atlanta is served by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution.
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the result of a merger between The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution , with staff consolidation occurring in and separate publication of the morning Constitution and afternoon Journal ceasing in Atlanta magazine is an award-winning, monthly general-interest magazine based in and covering Atlanta. Atlanta's transportation infrastructure comprises a complex network that includes a heavy rail rapid transit system, a light rail streetcar loop, a multi-county bus system, Amtrak service via the Crescent , multiple freight train lines, an Interstate Highway System , several airports, including the world's busiest, and over 45 miles 72 kilometres of bike paths.
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The city has also become known for its prevalence of electric scooters. Atlanta has a network of freeways that radiate out from the city, and automobiles are the dominant means of transportation in the region. I east-west , I northwest-southeast , and I northeast-southwest. The heavy reliance on automobiles for transportation in Atlanta has resulted in traffic, commute, and air pollution rates that rank among the worst in the country.
In , The national average is 8.