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Facts about Atlanta, Georgia for Kids


Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5,268,860 people and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County. Atlanta was established in 1847 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil War to become a national center of commerce.

  • In the decades following the Civil Rights Movement, during which the city earned a reputation as “too busy to hate” for the progressive views of its citizens and leaders, Atlanta attained international prominence.
  • Atlanta is the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States via highway, railroad, and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world’s busiest airport since 1998.
  • Revitalization of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city’s demographics, politics, and culture.
  • Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek and Cherokee Indians inhabited the area.
  • Standing Peachtree, a Creek village located where Peachtree Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River, was the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta.
  • Desegregation of the public sphere came in stages, with public transportation desegregated by 1959, the restaurant at Rich’s department store by 1961, movie theaters by 1963, and public schools by 1973.
  • Construction of the city’s subway system began in 1975, with rail service commencing in 1979.
  • While the games themselves were marred by numerous organizational inefficiencies, as well as the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, they were a watershed event in Atlanta’s history, initiating a fundamental transformation of the city in the decade that followed.
  • Much of the city’s demographic change during the decade was driven by young, college-educated professionals: from 2000 to 2009, the three-mile radius surrounding Downtown Atlanta gained 9,722 residents aged 25 to 34 holding at least a four-year degree, an increase of 61%.
  • Lastly, Atlanta’s cultural offerings expanded during the 2000s: the High Museum of Art doubled in size; the Alliance Theatre won a Tony Award; and numerous art galleries were established on the once-industrial Westside.
  • Atlanta encompasses 132.4 square miles, of which 131.7 square miles is land and 0.7 square miles is water.
  • The city’s embrace of modern architecture resulted in an ambivalent approach toward historic preservation, leading to the destruction of notable architectural landmarks, including the Equitable Building, Terminal Station, and the Carnegie Library.
  • Midtown Atlanta is the city’s second-largest business district, containing the offices of many of the region’s law firms.
  • In southwest Atlanta, neighborhoods closer to downtown originated as streetcar suburbs, including the historic West End, while those farther from downtown retain a postwar suburban layout, including Collier Heights and Cascade Heights, home to much of the city’s affluent African American population.
  • Cox Enterprises, the country’s third-largest cable television service and the publisher of over a dozen major American newspapers, is headquartered in the city.