The 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 51 places around Atlanta to identify the most in demand places to live.

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Atlanta suburbs.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Atlanta are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Atlanta for 2021:

  1. Avondale Estates
  2. Dunwoody
  3. Decatur
  4. Johns Creek
  5. Alpharetta
  6. Milton
  7. Sandy Springs
  8. Grayson
  9. Suwanee
  10. Tyrone

What's the best suburb of Atlanta? Avondale Estates ranks as the best suburb of Atlanta for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Avondale Estates, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Atlanta 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Georgia:

The 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs To Live For 2021

Avondale Estates, GA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 3,144
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $110,000
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.4%
More on Avondale Estates: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Avondale Estates is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Atlanta area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome Avondale Estates."

Everyone here is rich; families average $110,000 a year, which is the 5th highest in the Atlanta region. And only 2.31% are out of work. Homes average more than $371,400 each.

Dunwoody, GA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 49,371
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $96,057
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
More on Dunwoody: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dunwoody is the second best 'burb we looked at near Atlanta for 2021.

It ranks 9th for incomes in the area and only 6.54% of residents lack insurance, good for 7th best.

Decatur, GA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,002
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $106,088
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 8.4%
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Decatur, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Atlanta metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Decatur.

Johns Creek, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 83,999
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $122,514
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Johns Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Johns Creek ranks as the 4th best suburb of Atlanta for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Johns Creek and the schools are some of the best around.

Alpharetta, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 65,590
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $113,802
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on Alpharetta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Alpharetta.

Alpharetta gets kudos for having the 6th most expensive homes in the Atlanta area, where houses sell for an average of $422,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Milton, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 38,759
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $128,559
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.5%
More on Milton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Milton is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 3.4% which is 12th best in the area.

According to online reports, Milton is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Atlanta area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Sandy Springs, GA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 107,072
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $78,613
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 7.6%
More on Sandy Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Sandy Springs.

Sandy Springs schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 12.0 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Grayson, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,989
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $111,528
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Grayson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grayson is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 4.89% of people lack insurance, good for 2nd in the area.

Suwanee, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,743
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $90,436
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
More on Suwanee: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Suwanee?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Tyrone, GA

Source: Town of Tyrone, GA
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,295
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $103,929
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Tyrone: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Tyrone.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Atlanta for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Atlanta was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Atlanta.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 52 suburbs to evaluate around Atlanta.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 52 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Atlanta." We're lookin' at you, Avondale Estates. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Atlanta 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Atlanta, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Georgia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Atlanta Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Avondale Estates, GA 3,144 $110,000
2 Dunwoody, GA 49,371 $96,057
3 Decatur, GA 24,002 $106,088
4 Johns Creek, GA 83,999 $122,514
5 Alpharetta, GA 65,590 $113,802
6 Milton, GA 38,759 $128,559
7 Sandy Springs, GA 107,072 $78,613
8 Grayson, GA 3,989 $111,528
9 Suwanee, GA 19,743 $90,436
10 Tyrone, GA 7,295 $103,929
11 Woodstock, GA 31,437 $76,191
12 Roswell, GA 94,498 $99,726
13 Peachtree Corners, GA 43,057 $71,149
14 Brookhaven, GA 53,819 $92,604
15 Snellville, GA 19,778 $74,535
16 Smyrna, GA 56,268 $76,444
17 Kennesaw, GA 33,960 $70,930
18 Fayetteville, GA 17,586 $73,526
19 Duluth, GA 29,370 $71,220
20 Acworth, GA 22,534 $68,860
21 Powder Springs, GA 15,163 $69,807
22 Holly Springs, GA 12,509 $95,941
23 Hiram, GA 4,001 $73,819
24 Mcdonough, GA 24,852 $63,108
25 Chamblee, GA 29,232 $61,797
26 Marietta, GA 60,544 $57,452
27 Stockbridge, GA 29,089 $61,291
28 Hampton, GA 7,735 $63,726
29 Villa Rica, GA 15,392 $63,241
30 Stone Mountain, GA 6,285 $44,245
31 Austell, GA 7,205 $53,551
32 Douglasville, GA 33,052 $58,560
33 Dallas, GA 13,321 $43,209
34 Lilburn, GA 12,644 $58,151
35 Chattahoochee Hills, GA 2,872 $60,867
36 Lovejoy, GA 6,179 $45,488
37 Riverdale, GA 15,291 $50,145
38 Union City, GA 21,396 $45,324
39 Doraville, GA 10,228 $51,647
40 Norcross, GA 16,458 $58,236
41 East Point, GA 34,957 $43,453
42 Lawrenceville, GA 29,719 $52,585
43 Fairburn, GA 15,295 $46,785
44 College Park, GA 14,501 $35,470
45 Hapeville, GA 6,577 $44,881
46 Morrow, GA 6,965 $52,372
47 Palmetto, GA 5,095 $47,019
48 Conyers, GA 15,986 $44,367
49 Clarkston, GA 12,750 $41,070
50 Lithonia, GA 2,778 $32,670
51 Jonesboro, GA 4,771 $34,418
52 Forest Park, GA 19,723 $36,792

How Is Your Town In ?

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends. .

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.