Fewer people are moving to metro Atlanta and babies born in recent months drove the region's population growth.
The 10-county region added 37,200 residents from April 2011 to April 2012, a reflection of the births, according to researchers.
Before the recession struck, the region routinely added more than 100,000 people each year as newcomers flooded into the metro area. Counties such as Gwinnett and Cherokee made lists of fastest-growing counties in the U.S.
The numbers are being studied by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which helps local governments in their planning efforts.
The metro area's growth has slowed as a result of the economic downturn, said Mike Alexander, the research division chief at the commission. He said people don't move as much in tough economic times.