Millennials leaving metro county at alarming rate

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — There is a growing concern over a changing population in a south metro area community.

Fayette County is losing more millennials than any other area in the country.

The county saw a 31 percent decrease in its millennial population between 2007 and 2014, according to the Census Bureau.

Fayette County leaders had a summit of sorts Monday to figure out how to retain them.




For the most part, leaders told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that they turn out the lights too early for an age group that craves the 'night life.'

"I think a lot of people don't know Fayette County exists in that age group," Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown told Petersen.

Those between the ages of 16 and 35 are known as millennials.

New statistics show that since 2007, Fayette County had the highest percentage of young adults leaving than anywhere else in the country with a 31 percent loss.

"One of the things we're hearing is they like one-bedroom apartments.  We don't have any of those," said Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.

Fleisch says there may not be much her city, with its family sized homes, can do to attract the younger crowd.

"Right now, we're close to being built out. If we don't annex more land, we are built out,"Fleisch said.

Officials agree that Fayette's booming film industry is the ticket to bringing millennials back.

Right across the street from Pinewood Studios, developers are planning a live and work community called Pinewood Forest.

The city of Fayetteville is looking at plans to remake its downtown into one that stays open after dark.

"We don't do well for millennial singles. It's not a singles’ place. When they start having children, that's when we become their market of choice,"Brown told Petersen.

During the same time period that Fayette County lost all those millennials, Fulton County and the city of Atlanta gained 21 percent.