Smyrna, Georgia

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Smyrna, Georgia
Smyrna City Hall
Smyrna City Hall
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 33°52′19″N 84°31′6″W / 33.87194°N 84.51833°W / 33.87194; -84.51833Coordinates: 33°52′19″N 84°31′6″W / 33.87194°N 84.51833°W / 33.87194; -84.51833
CountryUnited States
 • MayorDerek Norton
 • Total15.61 sq mi (40.42 km2)
 • Land15.56 sq mi (40.31 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
1,060 ft (323 m)
 • Total55,663[1]
 • Density3,576.62/sq mi (1,380.94/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30080, 30081, 30082, 30126[3]
Area code(s)770/678/470
FIPS code13-71492[4]
GNIS feature ID0356541[5]

Smyrna is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It is located northwest of Atlanta, and is in the inner ring of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs–Alpharetta MSA, which is included in the Atlanta–Athens-Clarke–Sandy Springs CSA.

From 2000 to 2012, Smyrna grew by 28%; historically it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, and one of the most densely populated cities in the metro area.[6]

Smyrna was ranked #44 in Money's 2018 survey of "The Best Places to Live in America" for balancing economic growth, affordability, and quality of life.[7]


Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. It is a Greek name for the Biblical city of Smyrna, modern day Izmir in Turkey, the home of the Christian martyr Polycarp. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842, the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872—Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow, and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.[8]

Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground and the Battle of Ruff's Mill, both on July 4, 1864.[9] The area's businesses, homes, and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.

The nearby Bell Bomber plant that produced B-29 bombers during World War II was reopened by Lockheed in 1951, and became a catalyst for growth. The city's population grew during the next two decades, from 2,005 in 1950 to almost 20,000 by 1970.[citation needed]


Smyrna is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, located about 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the Atlanta city limits, and with Smyrna's downtown approximately 16 miles (25.7 km) from downtown Atlanta. Smyrna is located just west of the northern intersection of I-285 and I-75, which is the site of the edge city Cumberland and the Cobb Galleria.

Smyrna is bordered by Vinings to the east, Marietta to the north and west, and Mableton to the south and southwest. The city of Sandy Springs and the affluent Atlanta neighborhoods of Paces and Buckhead are approximately within 10 miles of Smyrna's center.

The center of Smyrna is located at 33°52′19″N 84°31′06″W / 33.871854°N 84.518380°W / 33.871854; -84.518380.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (39.9 km2), of which 15.4 square miles (39.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.23%, is water.[11] The general terrain of the area is characteristic of the Piedmont region of Georgia, characterized by hills with broad ridges, sloping uplands, and relatively narrow valleys.


The city's official symbol is the jonquil (a flower). Known as the "Jonquil City", it derives this name from the thousands of jonquils that flourish in gardens and along the streets in early spring.


Climate data for Smyrna, GA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
Average high °F (°C) 52
Average low °F (°C) 34
Record low °F (°C) −8
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.20
Source: [12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

2020 census[edit]

Smyrna racial composition[14]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 24,159 43.4%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 17,032 30.6%
Native American 103 0.19%
Asian 3,698 6.64%
Pacific Islander 21 0.04%
Other/Mixed 2,985 5.36%
Hispanic or Latino 7,665 13.77%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 55,663 people, 24,736 households, and 13,669 families residing in the city.


As of the 2018 census, there were 56,271 people, with 35% growth since 2000. There were 23,002 households. The population density was 3,300 people per square mile (1,300/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 29.3% African American, 46% White, 0.4% Native American, 7.71% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, and 3.1% from two or more races. 14.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The population was distributed by age as follows: 22.6% under the age of 18, 18.8% from 18 to 29, 20% from 30 to 39, 14.9% from 40 to 49, 14.2% from 50–64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males.

As of 2018, 52.6% of Smyrna residents lived in families with an average of 2.2 people per household.

As of 2012, 52.2% of Smyrna residents had a college degree and 91.3% of residents had a high school diploma. This is one of the highest rates in the state of Georgia.[15]



The city is governed by a seven-member council, elected by wards, and a mayor elected at-large.[16] Max Bacon served as the mayor of Smyrna starting in 1985; in July 2019 he announced his retirement from city politics.[17] The current mayor is Derek Norton, who took office January 6, 2020. Norton previously served on the City Council since 2015.[18]

The city operates the Smyrna Public Library, the only library in the county which is not a part of the Cobb County Public Library System.


Personal income[edit]

The median income for a household in the city for 2018 was $73,788. The per capita income for the city was $44,823, a 24.7% increase from 2000.

In 2018, the place with the highest median household income in Smyrna was Census Tract 312.09, with a value of $143,443, followed by Census Tract 311.12 and Census Tract 311.17, with respective values of $108,229 and $89,769.


The Atlanta Bread Company has its headquarters in Smyrna.[19]

Companies with an office include Eaton Corporation and IBM. Smyrna was the site of the corporate offices of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling.

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:[20]

# Employer Employees
1 UCB 575
2 IBM 566
3 United Distributors 550
4 Emory–Adventist Hospital at Smyrna 499
5 Ridgeview Institute 440
6 S.P. Richards 423
7 City of Smyrna 384
8 Bake One 350
9 Publix 210
10 Glock 209

On October 31, 2014, Emory Healthcare closed the Emory Adventist Hospital at Smyrna. They have since announced plans to renovate and reopen the hospital.[21]

Private projects[edit]

Market Village

In 1991, the city began a community redevelopment project known as "Market Village," in order to create a well-defined downtown. Included were a community center and 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2) public library. A mixed retail and residential district was modeled after an early 1900s city village, including a square with a fountain. This, and other expansions have revitalized the downtown area. Further redevelopment has occurred throughout the city—including thousands of new homes – mostly cluster homes, townhouse and condo communities replacing older neighborhoods.[22][23] The population has risen as a result of redevelopment, a few annexations, and Smyrna's location as a residential suburb in the Northwest center of metro Atlanta.[24][25]

There are additional mixed retail/residential/office redevelopments near the city center, including Jonquil Plaza, Belmont Hills plaza, and The Crossings.

Public projects[edit]

In September 2019, the James M. Cox Foundation gave $6 million to the PATH Foundation, which will connect the Silver Comet Trail terminus in Smyrna to the Atlanta Beltline. It is expected to be completed by 2022. The combined length of the Silver Comet and the Beltline will make it the longest paved trail surface in the U.S., totaling approximately 300 miles (480 kilometers); one could travel from Atlanta to Anniston, Alabama via the trail alone.[26]

Media outlets[edit]

Smyrna is home to The Bright Side, Smyrna and Vinings' community newspaper. The paper is dedicated to publishing positive events that occur in Cobb County.[27]


Public schools[edit]

Public schooling in Smyrna falls under the jurisdiction of the Cobb County School District. The city's students are served by 12 of the district's schools. The largest schools by enrollment are:[28]

Private schools[edit]

Several private schools are inside Smyrna's city limits, including Covenant Christian School, Whitefield Academy,[29] and a satellite campus of Buckhead Preparatory Academy.

Arts and culture[edit]

Jonquil Park

Market Village in the city center often has open-air concerts and festivals. There are also various small parks such as Cobb Park, public pools such as Aline Wolfe Center for the elderly and Tolleson park pool for all ages, tennis courts and playgrounds and a linear park with walking trail along Spring Road.


Several major roadways, such as I-285, Cobb Parkway (U.S. Route 41), Atlanta Road (Old State Route 3), and South Cobb Drive (State Route 280), pass through the municipality.[citation needed]

Smyrna is served by CobbLinc and MARTA public buses.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

Notables from the area include singer-songwriter, musician, Chan Marshall, who is better known as Cat Power; U.S. Representative Bob Barr;[30] actress Julia Roberts;[31] baseball stars who both played infield for the Atlanta Braves Gerald Perry & Ron Gant;[32] current baseball player Daniel Palka with the New York Mets, and John Brebbia who plays for the San Francisco Giants, Passion City Church Senior Pastor/Passion Conferences and sixstepsrecords founder Louie Giglio; and football player Tay Glover-Wright. Voice-over actor and animator C. Martin Croker was born in Smyrna. He is best known for his work on the cult classic show Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Recording artist and actress Kelly Nelon Clark was a long time resident and calls Smyrna her hometown. Recording artist and composer Benn Jordan owns a home and recording studio in Smyrna.[33] Recording artist and composer Pat Terry is a lifelong resident of Smyrna.[34] Eschel Rhoodie, the South African Secretary of the Department of Information from 1972 to 1977, resided in Smyrna after emigrating to the United States.[35]

In popular culture[edit]

The restaurant scene in the film Joyful Noise was shot at Howard's Restaurant in Smyrna in 2011.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Smyrna city, Georgia". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  3. ^ "Smyrna Zipcodes". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "City of Smyrna : Community Development". City of Smyrna. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Darnell, Tim. "Smyrna Makes Money's Best Places To Live 2018 List". Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  8. ^ Cauley, H.M. "Insider's guide to Smyrna". AJC. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "Georgia Historical Society: Battle of Smyrna". Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Smyrna city, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Smyrna, GA (30080)". Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 13, 2021.
  15. ^ "City of Smyrna : Community Profile". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  16. ^ Bruce, Matt. "Key city elections to watch in Cobb County". AJC. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Willis, Haisten. "Bacon bows out of reelection bid". Cobb County Courier. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  18. ^ Dixon, Kristal. "Smyrna's new mayor to advocate for a 'refresh' of downtown". AJC. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  19. ^ "Atlanta Bread". Archived from the original on September 18, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  20. ^ "City of Smyrna CAFR". Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  21. ^ "Emory Healthcare Will Renovate and Reopen Shuttered Emory-Adventist Hospital".
  22. ^ "Smyrna Market Village". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "Smyrna Real Estate & Smyrna Homes For Sale". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Neighborhoods in Metro Atlanta". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  25. ^ "Population in the U.S. – Google Public Data Explorer". Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  26. ^ Lutz, Meris; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "Cox gives $6 million to connect Silver Comet to Atlanta". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  27. ^ "The Bright Side Community Newspaper – Smyrna, GA". Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  28. ^ "School List". Great! Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  29. ^ Nouryeh-Clay, Elizabeth. "'Others ahead of self' Whitefield Academy students volunteer with more than 30 nonprofits for Great Day of Service". Northside Neighbor. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  30. ^ "Bob Barr Biography". Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  31. ^ "Julia Robert". Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  32. ^ "The Comebacks Kid: Ron Gant Has Already Won the Award Once, but a Year After Motorcycle Accident, Reds' All-Star Is Almost a Lock". Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  33. ^ "Benn Jordan (@bennjordan) – Twitter". Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  34. ^ "Interview". Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  35. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (July 21, 1993). "Eschel Rhoodie, a South African At Center of Scandal, Dies at 60". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  36. ^ "Hollywood Food Fight Makes A "Joyful Noise At Howard's". Smyrna-vinings, Georgia Patch. March 7, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2015.

External links[edit]