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Atlanta is the capital of and the most populous city in the US state of Georgia, with an estimated 2013 population of 447,841. Atlanta is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States and the fifth largest metropolitan area in Southern United States, just behind Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC and Miami. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County.
Atlanta was established in 1837 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil War to become a national center of commerce.Atlanta is considered an "alpha-" or "world city",ranking 45th among world cities and 8th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion
Atlanta encompasses 132.4 square miles (342.9 km2), of which 131.7 square miles (341.1 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) is water. The city is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and at 1,050 feet (320 m) above mean sea level, Atlanta has the highest elevation of major cities east of the Mississippi River.
Under the Köppen classification, Atlanta has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with four distinct seasons and generous precipitation year-round, typical for the inland South. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures somewhat moderated by the city's elevation. Winters are cool but variable, with an average of 48 freezing days per year and temperatures dropping to 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on rare occasions.
Encompassing $304 billion, the Atlanta metropolitan area is the eighth-largest economy in the country and 17th-largest in the world. Corporate operations comprise a large portion of the Atlanta's economy, with the city serving as the regional, national, or global headquarters for many corporations. Atlanta contains the country's third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and the city is the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, UPS, and Newell-Rubbermaid. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to Atlanta on account of the city's educated workforce; as of 2010, nearly 43% of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, compared to 27% in the nation as a whole.
As of 2010, Atlanta is the seventh-most visited city in the United States, with over 35 million visitors per year. Although the most popular attraction among visitors to Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium,the world's largest indoor aquarium. Atlanta contains a notable amount of historical museums and sites, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, World of Coca-Cola, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Carter Center and Presidential Library, Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.
Atlanta also contains various outdoor attractions.The Atlanta Botanical Garden, adjacent to Piedmont Park, is home to the 600-foot-long (180 m) Kendeda Canopy Walk, a skywalk that allows visitors to tour one of the city's last remaining urban forests from 40-foot-high (12 m). The Canopy Walk is considered the only canopy-level pathway of its kind in the United States. Zoo Atlanta, located in Grant Park. Festivals showcasing arts and crafts, films, and music, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, and Music Midtown, respectively, are also popular with tourists.Atlanta has been the host city for various international, professional and collegiate sporting events. Most famously, Atlanta hosted the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics.