Continued Cobb growth brings new challenges
June 08, 2013 11:36 PM | 2441 views | 2 2 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sluggish economy? Not a problem. Local real estate in a deep slump and car sales stagnant? No big deal. Jobs relatively scarce? So what?

People still kept moving to Cobb in the early part of the decade, despite the fallout from the deepest recession of the past 70 years.

It’s a remarkable story, and one that reflects well on our community.

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau released last week show that Cobb and its six cities kept growing from 2010 to 2012, even with the economy still struggling to recover from the pit it fell into in 2008-09.

Cobb’s population grew by about 2.8 percent to 707,442 from 688,076 in that period. In so doing it outpaced the rest of the state, which grew overall by 2.4 percent. Subtract Cobb’s numbers from the state’s and the state’s actual growth percentage would be considerably lower.

As for Cobb’s cities, Acworth led the way at 3.8 percent, growing to 21,200 from 20,400 people.

In second place was Marietta, which grew by 3.2 percent to 58,300 from 56,500. The other figures were:

• Kennesaw, 3.1 percent, to 30,990

• Smyrna, 2.7 percent, to 52,600 people.

• Powder Springs, 2.3 percent, to 14,253

• And perhaps most notable of all, Austell, struggling to overcome both the recession and the effects of disastrous flooding in September 2009, nevertheless managed to grow by 1.9 percent, to 6,782.

How to explain all this growth?

Some still come here for the same reasons that people began coming here 175 years ago: good transportation access (back then via the W&A Railroad), a healthy climate (cooler and healthier than Georgia’s coast and lowlands were back in the yellow fever era) and abundant opportunity. Cobb still boasts superior transportation access, sitting astride three major interstate highways and being less than an hour from the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta. Most of the local public schools are among the best in Georgia, there are plenty of entertainment and recreational options (the much-vaunted “quality of life” issues), and perhaps most important, Cobb still boasts one of the Southeast’s most diverse and dynamic economies.

In short, as has often been said, Cobb has “built a better mousetrap.”

As retired Kennesaw State University History professor Dr. Tom Scott explains, “The fundamental reasons why this area has grown is because it is very affordable compared to practically any other metropolitan area, low taxes, good schools, dynamic universities, relatively low crime, good parks, good recreational areas and high quality of life.”

If Cobb managed to keep growing despite the economic rigors of recent years, it’s hard to imagine a time when that growth will ever stop.

Our challenge is not to rest on our laurels, but to keep improving and refining what makes Cobb what it is, and to keep expanding our infrastructure and economic opportunities so that we do not eventually find ourselves overwhelmed by the never-ending waves of newcomers.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 10, 2013
There's a wise old saying ... trees don't grow to the sky.

I would take some of the census bureau's estimates with a bit of skepticism. They are after all just estimates, and may be overestimating the illegal immigrant population, many of whom have moved out of state due to the poor economy and a harsh immigration bill passed two years ago.

Let's see what the actual head count says in 2020. I bet we end up close to where we were in 2010, i.e. very little or no growth.

At any rate the days of unmitigated growth are probably numbered. If we had any kind of decent leadership there would be a plan in place for a sustainable lifestyle here without the kind of reliance on the "FIRE" (finance, real estate) sector that leads to poorly planned developments and a get rich quick mentality.
Superior to what?
June 10, 2013

The only "superior" about Cobb's transporation is "I am superior to you, Look at my car that costs me more than yours costs you for basically the same thing, except they are not fancier, mine does SO much more, well no it does the same thing just better, wait no, it WOULD do it better on a closed course with a professional driver, wait a minute which one is superior? Oh yeah mine is superior because I pay more for it and you paid less than me for yours, oh wait, um, no mine is DEFINITELY superior because it costs more, dang it I gots to go I got a phone call on my phone that is SO much more expensive than your phone"

Access to Interstate highways that are clogged with cars. YAWN. Access to the maximumest-in-some-way airport. YAWN most cities have more than one. Railroads. Yawn, those don't do us one bit of good unless you count when elderly lose their driving license by driving into one

We seriously have many people here with a mindset "I should park my car for FREE wherever I want, and if I cannot, by gum it's the CIVIL WAR ALL OVER AGAIN!"

We have been bought and sold many times over by anyone selling us something that will make us "better" than others. We are a bunch of nouveaux morons, except there's nothing new about how moronic we are.
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