Georgia is a state located in the southeast United States. Atlanta has been the capital of Georgia since 1868. Previously, Milledgeville served as Georgia’s state capital. The city of Atlanta occupies an area of 134 square miles and has an estimated population of 472,522 people. Atlanta has a metropolitan population of about 5.7 million people. Since its foundation in the 19th century, Atlanta has played a significant role as a commercial, financial, biotechnology, and education center. The city has continued its upward growth throughout the 21st century. Atlanta is home to several large businesses including headquarters of international companies such as Coca-Cola. Some of the educational facilities in the city include Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as 106 public schools.
Atlanta existed as the home to the Creek Indians before the 19th century. The town was founded in 1836 as a railway terminus. The presence of the terminus encouraged settlement and growth of commercial stores in the area. Atlanta provided a home for freed slaves from neighboring areas. Atlanta played a significant role in the American civil war as a distribution point for army supplies. After the mid-19th century, black elite schools were founded in the region. The 20th century saw a rise in the upper and middle-class black population, later developing as a major center for the advocacy of the rights of blacks. Martin Luther King Jr., a forerunner in the civil rights movement was born in Atlanta. During the 1960s and 1970s there were increases in the commercial centers of the suburban areas surrounding Atlanta. Since the 1990s, Atlanta has grown to become a modern city with investment in infrastructural development.
With an estimated GDP of $324 billion in 2014, Atlanta is a major economic center in Georgia, and features a highly diversified economy. Commercial activities in the city are highly developed, as evidenced by the high concentration of Fortune 500 companies. Other important sectors of the Atlanta economy include the transport industry, media, information technology, and film and television production. The trade, transport, and utility industries employ the largest number of workers, with mining and logging employing a small number of people. The economy of Atlanta was affected by the 2008 recession, with the unemployment rates increasing significantly.
The culture of Atlanta has grown from a predominantly southern one to become a diverse and multicultural metropolitan. This shift towards multiculturalism is due to increased immigration of diverse groups of people from other US states as well as outside countries. The diverse cultures are reflected in the diverse racial origins of various groups in the city, featuring whites, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Asians, and African groups. The city also embraces LGBT individuals. Atlanta is home to many galleries and museums featuring the artistic creations from various communities, eras, and individuals. Some of these museums include the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Design Atlanta, and the Woodruff Arts Centre. Music and theatrical performances are also part of this dynamic culture, with performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Fox Theatre, and the Alliance Theatre.