Atlanta is the the most populous city in the the state of Georgia. The Atlanta'sandy Spring'sMarietta metropolitan area is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Similar to other large metropolitan areas, the Atlanta metropolitan area has a large concentration of business and commerce. According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta ranks third in the nation behind New York and Houston among cities with the most FORTUNE 500 headquarters. Over twenty companies located in metro-Atlanta are on the FORTUNE 1000 list. Greater than seventy percent of all FORTUNE 1,000 companies have a presence in metro Atlanta.
In 2004, Inc. magazine ranked Atlanta as the top city in the United States for "Doing Business in America" in the "large cities" category. Atlanta has ranked in the top 50 ever since. The criteria used "emphasizes the robustness of a region's growth". Large and significant cities who have a "tangible effect on global affairs through socioeconomic, cultural, and/or political means" (Wikipedia) get ranked as "Global Cities" (also known as world cities or world-class cities) by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC). GaWC has three tiers of ranking, alpha (first-tier), beta (second-tier) and gamma (third tier). Atlanta is one of only eleven U.S. global cities ranked as a "World City". Atlanta is ranked as a "Gamma World City" by GaWC, on a par with Miami and Minneapolis. Other notable Atlanta business awards include:
- Third on Expansion Management Magazine's list of "America's 50 Hottest Citiesfor Business Expansion & Relocation" (November 2005)
- First on KPMG'S 2006 "Competitive Alternatives Study" "Least Expensive Cities" list (2006)
- Fifth on Site Selection Magazine's list of "Top Ten Metros" (March, 2006)
- Tenth on the CNN MONEY.com/BUSINESS 2.0 list of "Ten Hot Cities for Job Growth" (May 2006)
- Second on EWEEK Magazine's "Beyond the Valley: 10 Blooming U.S. Cities for Tech" list
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Atlanta ranks twentieth on the list of US cities who receive the most annual funding from the NIH. Metro Atlanta is also home to the world-renowned U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, as well as many distinguished medical research universities such as Emory University, the University of Georgia and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Atlanta has a highly educated workforce. It ranks seventh in the United States for the percent of its population that has completed college.
Atlanta is a major center of regional commerce that also boasts an especially strong convention/trade show business. Atlanta is also a major cable television programming center including the Cartoon Network, CNN, The Weather Channel, and many others. Major industries in and around Atlanta include:
- Educational and health services
- Financial Services
- Health services
- High-technology (Atlanta is among the top five fastest growing high-technology metro areas in the United States, according to a NewsWeek study)
- Leisure and hospitality
- Professional and business services
- Trade, transportation, and utilities
The Atlanta metropolitan area is served by the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is one of the busiest passenger airports in the world, and a major hub for Delta Airlines. The airport ranks seventh in the United States for for nonstop international air travel according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Some major companies of note in and around Atlanta include:
- Cingular Wireless
- The Cable News Network (CNN)
- The Coca-Cola Company, which was started in Atlanta
- Cox Communications
- Delta Air Lines
- Home Depot, which was started in Atlanta
- Hooters of America, Inc.
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
- Newell Rubbermaid
- Southern Company
- SunTrust Bank
- Turner Broadcasting
- United Parcel Service
- The Weather Channel
- World Airways
- Delta Airlines
Some of the major business organizations in and around Atlanta include:
- The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
- The Atlanta Logistics Innovation Council
- The Central Atlanta Progress
- The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce