Atlanta (pronounced /ətˈlæntə/, /ætˈlæntə/) is the capital and most populous city in the State of Georgia, USA. As of 2009[update] Atlanta had an estimated population of about 540,900 people. Its metropolitan area is the ninth largest in the country, inhabited by more than 5.4 million people. The Atlanta Combined Statistical Area has a population approaching six million, making it the most populous metropolis in the Southeastern United States. Like many areas in the Sun Belt, the Atlanta region has seen explosive growth since about 1976, and it added about 1.1 million residents between 2000 and 2008.
Atlanta is considered to be a top business city and is a primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States – via highway, railroad, and air. Atlanta contains the world headquarters of such large corporations as The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia-Pacific, AT&T Mobility, the Cable News Network, Delta Air Lines, and Turner Broadcasting. Atlanta has the country’s fourth-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies (although UPS, Home Depot, and Newell Rubbermaid are not within its city limits) and more than 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have business operations in the metropolitan area, helping Atlanta realize a gross metropolitan product of US$270 billion, accounting for more than 2/3 of the Georgian economy. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport since 1998 (measured by number of passengers). Atlanta also hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County and the location of the seat of government of the State of Georgia. A small portion of the City of Atlanta corporate limits extends eastwards into DeKalb County. Residents of Atlanta and its surroundings are known as “Atlantans”.