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Fulton Population Breaks 1M, But Traffic Will Screw Us All

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New Census figures bestow Fulton a milestone, while another study finds Georgia traffic is killer

Last year, Atlanta had the most rapidly expanding population of any metro area in the country outside of Texas. The AJC reported on recently released census data that reflects an increase of around 95,000 people a year since the 2010 census. So the ATL is getting its pre-recession mojo back.

Thanks to the numbers, the Atlanta area retained its position as the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country, boasting an estimated population of 5.7 million residents at the end of last year. Meanwhile, the population of Fulton County broke the 1 million mark, with an estimated 1,010,562 residents in 2015.

The recent growth is impressive, but it pales in comparison to the 8 million residents expected in the area by 2040.

Meanwhile, in a separate, yet very much related study compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, a link between the state's horrendous traffic and death rates highlighted just how bad things are getting with transportation infrastructure lagging behind the growth of the population.

As WABE reports, the study indicated 5,600 Georgians succumbed to "excessive deaths" thanks to a range of unhealthy factors, traffic among them. Long, solitary commutes by car can result in diminished mental and physical health. More than half of Atlantans spend at least an hour commuting alone in their vehicles each day; it comes as no real surprise that the issue is causing some concern.

With the population only increasing, expanding public transit could go a long way in making commutes a little more bearable... and maybe even save a few Georgians' lives along the way.