Atlanta and Charlotte Compared
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Atlanta and Charlotte Compared

Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia
or Queen City and The ATL Two of the biggest cities in the Southern
United States, just four hours apart on Interstate 85. In fact, the rivalry between the NFL teams
of both cities, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, is even called the “I-85
Rivalry.” But it’s not just a football rivalry. Plenty of folks from both cities talk trash
about each other. Atlanta has more than twice as many residents. But both have a similar population density. Both have about the same median age. (A-33.5, C-33.9) Both have a lot of African
American residents, although Atlanta has more (A-54%, C-35%). Both have similar climates. A humid subtropical climate, to be specific. Both get a lot of rain each year, but Atlanta
gets more (A- 52 in, C- 43 in). Both don’t get much snow, but since it gets
slightly colder in the winter in Charlotte due to it being further north, it does get
more. Mostly, though, both are known for somewhat
mild winters, which is a big reason why so many folks have been moving to both in recent
decades. Speaking of which, Atlanta was the 8th-fastest
growing city last year and Charlotte was the 9th. Both are far enough inland that they rarely
get hit by hurricanes. Both have a bike sharing system. Both are known for great barbecue. Both call any soft drink not soda or pop but
Coke. Ah, but it’s Atlanta that is home to the
world headquarters of Coca-Cola, the largest Coke company in the world. Er, I mean, the largest soft drink company
in the world. Atlanta has lots of huge companies headquartered
there, actually, like UPS, Delta, Newell Rubbermaid, and Home Depot. Oh yeah? Well Charlotte has Bank of America, Honeywell,
Duke Energy, Brighthouse Financial, and Lowe’s. Wait, Atlanta has Home Depot and Charlotte
has Lowe’s? This is getting good. Major industries in Atlanta include financial
services, telecommunications, and technology, although the city is also known for its TV
and film industry. Due to Georgia’s generous tax credits, producers
have filmed A LOT of movies and TV shows in the city in recent years. Hollywood South represent. Major industries in Charlotte also include
financial services, but also energy, and automotive …particularly motorsports. Wait…what? Motorsports? Heck yeah. And Charlotte has a growing TV and film industry
presence, too. But yeah, let’s just focus on differences
for the rest of the video. First of all, Atlanta is Georgia’s state
capital. Charlotte is closer to the ocean (A- 267 miles/430km,
C-165 miles/266km). But Atlanta is closer to the Appalachian Mountains,
and therefore is much hillier and at a higher elevation. More Atlantans than Charlotteans have at least
a bachelor’s degree or higher. (A-37.9%, C-35.5%) Slightly more Charlotteans
were born outside of the United States. More people in Charlotte identify as religious. (A- 48.4%, C- 54.1%) Charlotte has less crime. Atlanta has a lot more single folks living
it up. While both have decent public transit, Atlanta
predictably has a much larger and better system. The Charlotte Area Transit System, with the
awesome abbreviation CATS, carries more than 83,000 passengers each day. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority,
aka MARTA, carries more than 433,000 passengers each day. Traffic is worse in Atlanta, and the commute
time is a little longer there, too. Charlotte has been around longer. Before European arrival, the Creek people
lived in the area that is now Atlanta, and the Catawba people lived in the area that
is now Charlotte. Most of the Catawba people eventually died
from smallpox, however, and Europeans took their place beginning in 1755 and officially
incorporating Charlotte in 1768. Remember how I said Charlotte was nicknamed
Queen City way back at the beginning of the video? Well that’s because King George III, who
ruled over it, named it after his wife, the Queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Aw how sweet. The first settlers of Charlotte were mostly Scots-Irish
Presbyterians, Ulster-Scots, and Germans. Most of Charlotte’s residents, however,
ended up turning against the British during the American War of Independence. After suffering heavy losses in the Battle
of Charlotte of 1780, the British General Charles Cornwallis wrote in his diary that
Charlotte was a “hornet’s nest of rebellion.” Ever since, Charlotteans have embraced the
hornet as a symbol of their city. In 1799, Charlotte was home to the new country’s
first gold rush. And it wasn’t until 38 years after this,
that the Georgia Assembly established a railroad that went south from Chattanooga. At the end of the railroad, a small settlement
sprung up unoriginally named Terminus. Later residents renamed it Thrasherville,
and even later they renamed it Marthasville, and renamed it one more time…Atlanta, on
December 29, 1847. It grew quickly as a transportation hub over
the next couple decades. By the American Civil War, Atlanta was already
much larger than Charlotte. Speaking of the Civil War, yeah…Atlanta
went through some tough times during it, you could say. Several major battles took place in or near
the city, and the Union Army led a four-month long siege of it in 1864. And then famously, the Burning of Atlanta….both
the Confederate Army and the Union Army…but mostly just General William Tecumseh Sherman
and the Union Army, destroyed more than 3,000 buildings in Atlanta. But Atlanta residents rebuilt, and by 1880
it was Georgia’s biggest city. Folks like Henry Grady, the editor of the
Atlanta Constitution newspaper, were promoting Atlanta as a city of the “New South,”
that would be less dependent on farming and more about a modern economy. Charlotte, meanwhile, had a boom as a major
cotton processing center and railroad hub, becoming North Carolina’s biggest city by
1910. During the first half of the 1900s, both cities
grew quickly, but…being in the South….still lagged behind the rest of the country….and
had racial segregation. Both cities later became hot spots for the
Civil Rights Movement and set great examples for the rest of the South with how they enforced
integration. Oh, and Atlanta was the home of THE Martin
Luther King, Jr. In the 1970s and 1980s, Charlotte’s banking
industry became one of the biggest and most revolutionary in the country. Atlanta’s economy was a bit more diverse. But it really wasn’t until the last three
decades that both cities became dominant cities in the country. Check this out. In 1990, the population of the Atlanta metro
was 2.9 million and the population of the Charlotte metro was 1.1 million. Today the Atlanta metro is home to almost
6 million people, and the Charlotte metro is home to 2.6 million people. While Forbes Magazine says both cities have
promising futures, it argues Charlotte is a better city for business and careers. However, Atlanta does have a lower unemployment
rate (A-2.9%, C-3.5%) and a higher median household income (A-65.345, C-60,764) But
yeah, the cost of living is higher in Atlanta, mostly due to housing. Also, the poverty rate is much higher in Atlanta. (A-22.40%, C-14.90%) But, Atlanta simply has more fun stuff to
do. Major attractions there include The Center
for Civil and Human Rights, The Georgia Aquarium, Piedmont Park, the World of Coca-Cola, and
Centennial Olympic Park. Major attractions in Charlotte include
Freedom Park, the U.S. National Whitewater Center Mint Museum Uptown, and the NASCAR
Hall of Fame. Around 75% of all NASCAR teams in the world
are headquartered in or near Charlotte. Charlotte doesn’t have CNN. Atlanta does. Atlanta has hosted the Olympics, which I actually
attended back in 1996. Charlotte has not. Earlier I mentioned the Falcons-Panthers rivalry,
but there’s also the NBA rivalry of the Hornets and Hawks. “hornet’s nest of rebellion” And NOW you understand why they’re called
the Hornets. And after Charlotte gets their new MLS team,
there will probably be yet another rivalry. That said, for Major League Baseball, Atlanta
has the Braves but Charlotte surprisingly doesn’t have a team. Both the air quality and water quality is
much better in Charlotte. Ah, but Atlanta has more trees. In fact, it’s the most heavily forested
city in the country. But there are no peach trees, even though
lots of things are named after peach trees there Atlanta has the world’s largest drive-in
restaurant. It also has the world’s busiest airport. Charlotte is the only major city in the country
served by two nuclear plants. Atlanta has a better music scene, in my opinion. And, a more impressive skyline. It has 357 buildings that are at least 12
floors or higher, compared with just 100 in Charlotte. What’s that Charlotte, you got the Bank
of America Corporate Center? Aw, that’s cute. Atlanta has the Bank of America Plaza. Oh snap. Charlotte is just a better planned city. Sure, it’s a bit sprawling, like most American
cities, but Atlanta’s suburban sprawl is crazier. But here’s a crazy prediction for ya. Some researchers say that by 2060, the two
cities will merge. Yep, the sprawl will creep all the way along
Interstate 85 connecting the two cities. Some even call this new megapolis Char-lanta. So when will the rivalry end? WHEN THE TWO CITIES MERGE. MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So which is better? Charlotte or Atlanta? And if you’re actually from one of the two
cities, I especially want to hear from you in the comments. Speaking of which, this video was requested
by a Patreon supporter from Atlanta, Eric B. Wolman. Thanks for the suggestion, Eric, and for your
continued support on Patreon. Remember- if you want your Comparison suggestion
made into a video, donate on Patreon. Thanks for watching folks!


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