Metro Atlanta is generally defined as including nine (9) counties. Our analysis is however focused on the six (6) largest, which are not only the most centrally located to the City of Atlanta, but also the areas we feel will be home to the majority of potential Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta participants. This specific area includes the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Cherokee and Forsyth, each of which is highlighted in the image below. Attempting to define the need on a local level allows us to not only extrapolate US Census data, but also to analyze recent (2015) GA Department of Education statistics, which we of course did. In summary our research indicates that Gwinnett County alone probably has somewhere between 1,271 and 3,286 potential participants.
What's really interesting is that we feel confident stating that this range is almost certainly conservative given that GA DOE figures obviously only include those individuals who were enrolled during the 2015 school year. The data would not include individuals who have previously graduated out of the school system nor would it capture individuals enrolled in private schools, home schooled or not in school at all. Finally, we think it's important to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Exceptional Foundation participants are not limited to individuals with only Down syndrome or Autism.
The two charts below provide potential participant estimates for the previously defined six (6) county region relative to only Gwinnett County. The chart on the left is based on 2014 US Government census data, while the chart on the right is based on data published in 2015 from the Georgia Department of Education.
In summary, our analysis concludes that there may be in excess of 5,000 individuals living with Down syndrome within the target six-county region. Gwinnett County alone may be home to over 1,200 individuals or approximately 25.0% of that total. The potential range for those living with autism is much greater, ranging from as few as 2,300 in Gwinnett County up to 55,000 once you incorporate all of the target six-county region. Regardless of which source of information is used, (Census or GA DOE), the estimates are impressive and only further validate the need for these types of programs.