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Matthew A. Winkler

Atlanta Has More Going for It Than Any US Metropolis

While municipal finances deteriorated across the country during the pandemic, the city was able to achieve the strongest measure of credit quality based on 10 economic criteria.

Mayor Andre Dickens has Atlanta riding high.

Mayor Andre Dickens has Atlanta riding high.

Photographer: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Atlanta is emerging from Covid-19 with impeccable credit, the world's busiest airport and an economy delivering two-thirds of Georgia's gross domestic product. It's home to 13 companies in the S&P 500 Index, including Delta Airlines Inc. and Home Depot Inc., whose sales and market valuations make them No. 1 in the world in their respective industries. At 2.4%, Atlanta's unemployment rate is at a record low and below the 3.6% national average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Wakanda” and “Silicon Peach” are the city's newest nicknames because so much of the blockbuster movie hit Black Panther was made where so many “techstars” are rising. Diversity underlines every business in the second-largest majority black metro area with one of the highest LGBTQ populations per capita anywhere in the US. Unlike its economic peers, Atlanta has been managed by a black Democrat since 1974 and is the main reason why the state in 2020 backed the first Democrat in almost 30 years for president.