Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2009 it had an estimated population of about 540,922 people. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with more than 5.4 million people, is the third largest in the Southeastern United States and the ninth largest in the country. The Atlanta Combined Statistical Area, a larger trade area, has a population approaching six million and is the largest in the Southeast. Like many urban areas in the Sun Belt, the Atlanta region has seen increasing growth since the 1970s, and it added about 1.1 million residents between 2000 and 2008.
Atlanta is considered an "alpha-" or "world city", ranking 36th among world cities and 8th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion. It's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors including logistics, professional and business services, media operations, and information technology. Topographically, it is marked by rolling hills and dense tree coverage. Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.