The regional growth of the senior population greatly exceeded the rate of overall population growth, which was 24 percent. The Atlanta region also is graying considerably faster than the nation as a whole; nationally, the 65-and-older population grew by 13 percent from 2000 to 2009 (the latest census figure available, which is based on a population sample).
The Rust Belt is outsourcing its aging to the Sun Belt. The culprit is migration of the snowbird kind. Inexpensive and warmer Georgia is the attraction. The problem for Atlanta is how to serve this growing demographic cohort when so much of the city is geared towards younger generations. More pressing, how do you pay for it?
Legacy costs are beginning to mount in many metros throughout the Southeast. That's not to say that life is better in the colder and more expensive (tax-wise) Northeast. The playing field is more level and the greenfield advantage is eroding, quickly. The bloom is off the Cherokee rose.