Are You Local? Probably - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Nov 14 @ 1:05PM

Are You Local? Probably


I was talking with a friend of mine at a recent holiday party last weekend about what it means to be a local in Atlanta.
By the end of the conversation, I think we both determined that despite Atlanta being such a melting pot, most of you are probably local.
I can say very comfortably that I’m a local. I was born at Northside Hospital and grew up in Roswell, where I now reside with my wife and two boys.
To most of you out there, I guess that makes me pretty darn local. But, my mother is from southern New Jersey and my father is from that Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona corner of the country (long story but his father wasn’t career military). And they moved to Martins Landing just before I was born. Martins Landing is east of Ga. 400, which back then was technically not considered Roswell.
We were from that cozy neck of the woods as unincorporated Fulton County. On the west side of Ga. 400 lived those that were generational Roswell residents. While they may have looked at us as outsiders, we felt pretty much at home. It was a great neighborhood to grow up in, set along the Chattahoochee river and filled with children.
So the question is: who is a local?
I’m always telling people I am because I was born here. But how many others were born here? Thanks to, it wasn’t hard to find out. I looked at Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Of those four counties, Gwinnett’s population has the least amount of people who were born outside of Georgia, with 37 percent. Cobb actually had the most with 44 percent.
I also looked at the cities in those counties. Here in North Fulton, Milton actually has the most non-Georgia-born residents with 47 percent of its population born elsewhere. Roswell was next at 46 percent, with Alpharetta at 44 percent and Johns Creek actually being the most ‘local’ with only 41 percent.
One thing I noticed in looking at the numbers is that the deeper you go inside the perimeter, the more you find people were born in Georgia. Only 37 percent of Brookhaven’s population are not native, and only 39 percent for Atlanta.
While being born in Georgia is a strong case for being considered a local, it certainly isn’t the end all be all.
I know many mayors and councilpersons who are not from Georgia – but certainly you wouldn’t say they are not local.
I sit on the Roswell Youth Baseball Association board and most of them are probably not from Georgia. But with all they do for Roswell youth sports, they are certainly local.
They have made Roswell their town. They have hung their hats here and plan to stay and they are going to pitch-in by God.
I chair a committee with Fulton County Schools Board Member Katie Reeves. She’s been a board member for as long as I can remember, working tirelessly for the children in Fulton County.
She may be from Pennsylvania, but she is for sure a local.
With that in mind, you might say that anyone who gets involved is a local too. But maybe not. I know a few people who throw themselves right into the middle of things, get loudly involved, and still probably are considered outsiders.
So maybe having a little class and likeability helps too.
One thing is for sure – it’s the locals who make up the personality of our towns. Everyone from your mayor to your neighbor. You know what makes this your town? You chose to live here.
So go out, get along and be local.

     Total Population       Born in different state    Born in US
   Cherokee County    225,944 96,678 42.79% 202,592 89.66%
   Cobb County 719,133 318,630 44.31% 595,516 82.81%
   Forsyth County 196,236 85,947 43.80% 165,593 84.38%
   Fulton County 983,903 399,301 40.58% 848,472 86.24%
   Gwinnett County 859,234 318,132 37.03% 631,225 73.46%
   Alpharetta 62,054 27,822 44.84% 47,060 75.84%
   Roswell 93,471 44,828 47.96% 75,311 80.57%
   Johns Creek 82,203 34,324 41.76% 56,976 69.31%
   Milton 35,799 17,793 49.70% 29,509 82.43%
   Suwanee 17,291 7,584 43.86% 13,778 79.68%
   Duluth 28,294 11,176 39.50% 20,286 71.70%
   Sandy Springs 96,584 44,298 45.86% 75,989 78.68%
   Dunwoody 47,727 20,179 42.28% 36,241 75.93%
   Marietta 58,906 24,007 40.75% 46,181 78.40%
   Woodstock 26,793 12,297 45.90% 23,311 87.00%
   Smyrna 53,928 23,458 43.50% 43,577 80.81%
   Brookhaven 50,812 18,968 37.33% 38,084 74.95%
   Atlanta 448,901 175,185 39.03% 411,272 91.62%
   Lawrenceville 29,738 10,620 35.71% 22,073 74.22%
   Total/Average 2,984,450 1,218,688 40.83%    2,443,398       91.87%   

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