For Immediate Release
May 09, 2024
Contact Information

Betsy Helgager Hughes

Tiffani Long, Annie E. Casey Foundation


The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2024 Changing the Odds report shows Black residents lack access to the opportunities necessary to fully contribute to and benefit from Atlanta’s growing economy.

(Black PR Wire) ATLANTA – Atlanta’s Black residents – including its young people – still face persistent barriers in their communities, schools and access to economic opportunities. That is according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new report, Changing the Odds: Comprehensive Solutions for Atlanta’s Future. Since 2015, the Changing the Odds report series has tracked neighborhood, education and economic data by race to assess disparities and highlight solutions for policymakers, business and community leaders. Despite improvements in some areas since the last report in 2019, Atlantans still face persistent racial disparities. The authors assert that leaders must prioritize equitable redevelopment and address persistent inequalities in housing and wealth to prevent residents of color from being displaced and to take full advantage of Atlanta’s continued growth.

“Instead of simply calling out disparities, Changing the Odds highlights promising policies, programs and practices that are addressing barriers to opportunity,” said Tomi Hiers, vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Civic Sites and Community Change. “Working together, we are seeing these solutions produce the best outcomes for Atlanta residents.”

The Casey Foundation has been tracking Atlanta's economic growth and racial disparities over the past decade. This year’s report follows the seismic shifts brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice. It tracks previous and new data indicators to examine racial disparities over the past decade and their implications for Atlantans.

While progress has been made, disparities continue to impede too many Atlantans’ ability to live a quality life. Crushing housing costs, longstanding disparities in savings and income, and lack of access to financing and banking services present steep hurdles for Black families, who are more likely to lack access to three months of savings to make ends meet than white residents.

Key takeaways from this year’s report include:

  • Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has seen remarkable progress in high school graduation rates, with an all-time high of 87% in 2023 and gaps shrinking for Black and Latino students.
  • Black students have significantly less access to Advanced Placement and other advanced coursework that would prepare them for college courses. 
  • The city’s affordable housing remains in short supply. In 2021 alone, Atlanta fell more than 105,000 homes short of meeting existing demand. 
  • Atlanta’s income, savings and delinquent debt disparities have produced the second-lowest economic mobility numbers in the country. 
  • Children who live in low-poverty areas have better economic, health and social outcomes than children who live in high-poverty areas. Over half of Atlanta’s children live in low-poverty areas, and the percentage of Black children living in low-poverty areas has increased significantly since 2012.  

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the first Changing the Odds report in 2015 to identify the racial disparities in Atlanta and allow leaders to better understand the landscape, identify enduring and growing disparities, and learn about and support efforts leading to progress and results.   

This year’s Changing the Odds calls on leaders to invest in policies and practices that:

  • provide equitable development and more affordable housing opportunities for residents;
  • incorporate community-led solutions to community challenges;  
  • provide more children with access to the quality early education and rigorous coursework they need for their development and future; 
  • fund community-based providers to deliver resources for entrepreneurs of color as they launch and expand their businesses; and 
  • promote financial stability for low-income families with state tax credits and income supplements like the child tax credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. 

“Atlanta has a vibrant economy and continues to be an attractive city, but the data show us that too many Atlantans are being left behind,” said Kweku Forstall, director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site. “Too often we ask people to beat the odds, when really the odds are stacked against them. We must come together to change the odds so that all Atlantans have access to the resources they need to lead full lives and reach their full potential.”

Nearly 300 community leaders and business, government, and education sector members recently gathered at Atlanta's Loudermilk Conference Center to discuss the report.

The 2024 Changing the Odds: Comprehensive Solutions for Atlanta’s Future report is available at


The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s young people by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit Changing the Odds® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.