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Census data shows Atlanta one of America's fastest growing cities

LAWRENCEVILLE - New census data released today shows that from 2007 to 2008, Atlanta continued to get bigger.

Atlanta is only one of nine U.S. cities in that timespan that was both one of America's 25 fastest growing cities and one of its 25 largest numerical gainers in terms of population.

"As the 2010 census approaches, these population estimates provide a sense of the population trends throughout the decade," Census Bureau acting Director Tom Mesenbourg said in a news release.

The U.S. Constitution requires a census be taken every 10 years.

Other data released today indicates that the population of New Orleans is getting closer to pre-Katrina levels.

"The population of New Orleans grew 8.2 percent in 2008, faster than any other large city in the U.S.," the release states. "As of July 1, 2008, the population of New Orleans was 311,853, up from 210,768 in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina but still below the pre-hurricane level of 484,674 based on the 2000 census."

As for the other eight cities that made the same list as Atlanta, more than half of those were either in North Carolina or Colorado.

In North Carolina, Raleigh, Charlotte and Cary made the list, while in Colorado cities included Denver and Aurora. Rounding out the list of nine and joining Atlanta were Fort Worth, Texas, New Orleans and Gilbert, Ariz.

As for the nation's most populous cities, nothing changed at the top. The top five, from largest to smallest, are still New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix.