Atlanta Metro Population Boom

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Census report out today says the metropolitan Atlanta area added more people than any other metro area from 2000 to 2006.

The Census Bureau says metro Atlanta -- which is defined as a 28-county area of north Georgia -- added $890,000 people.

That puts the population at about 5.1 million. Gaining the most after Atlanta were Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and Riverside, California.

Metro Atlanta has vaulted to number nine nationally in total population, passing Boston and Detroit. Even New York, the nation's most populous metro area at 18.8 million, has just half the increase that Atlanta has this decade.

The report says immigrants long have flocked to major metropolitan areas and helped them grow. But increasingly, native-born Americans are moving from some of those areas and leaving immigrants to provide the only source of growth.

The New York metro area, which includes the suburbs, added one million immigrants from 2000 to 2006. Without those immigrants, the region would have lost nearly 600,000 people.

Without immigration, the Los Angeles metro area would have lost more than 200,000, the San Francisco area would have lost 188,000 and the Boston area would have lost 101-thousand.