Although part of a metropolitan area of more than five million inhabitants, the city of Atlanta is much smaller, with a population of just over 430,000. While the overall region gained 80,000 people a year in the 1990s, the city of Atlanta added only 22,000 residents. However, the pace of growth within the city has since increased greatly. In part, this is simply a product of overall metropolitan growth, as the Atlanta area has been the nation's fastest growing region since 2000. But it may also be a sign that efforts to develop transit corridors and bring people into the city are bearing some fruit. Between 2000 and 2005, the Census Bureau estimates the city of Atlanta grew by an additional 54,000 people. Still, Atlanta remains a poor city: its poverty rate in 2009 was 27.7%. Roughly 54% of Atlanta residents are African American, while just over one-third are white. Of the remainder, Asian Americans 3.1%, and American Indian 0.2%. About 5% of the city's population identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Community wealth building initiatives in Atlanta were limited during the 1970s and 1980s, but picked up momentum in the 1990s, spurred by development associated with the 1996 Olympics. These efforts have deepened since then. With the support of Living Cities and Enterprise, CDCs have developed 2,800 units of affordable housing in the past 15 years. Atlanta also has a number of anchor institutions, particularly universities, which promote community engagement. And the city also is home to the Southeast's largest food cooperative. Below are some leading examples of community wealth-building activities in Atlanta today.
An overview of community wealth building efforts follows: