Lithonia: A Pedestrian-Friendly Suburb with Plenty of History and Natural Beauty

Lithonia gets its name from the Greek words “Litho,” which means “rock,” and “Onia,” which means “place.” It’s accurately named, too, as the area is very rich in Gneiss granite, the very rock that nearby Stone Mountain is largely composed of; it is also the heart of Georgia’s granite-quarrying industry. Known for being a city with a rich history, Lithonia’s downtown was recently nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and it’s home to acres and acres of scenic beauty.

Home Ownership vs Renting in Lithonia

Lithonia is a small suburb where renters far outnumber homeowners, 72 percent to 28 percent. Housing in this city is very affordable, with a median home value of $76,300, which is far less than the national average of $184,700. Rent is also more affordable here with a median rent of just $793, compared to $949 nationally. The most popular home style in Lithonia is the ranch.

Transportation and Commuting in Lithonia

With State Route 278 traveling north to south along the west side of the city, Interstate 20 moving east to west just south of it, and Turner Hill Road running north to south on the east side, the automobile is the most common form of commute for residents in Lithonia. The average one-way commute for Lithonia residents is 38 minutes, compared to the national average of 26 minutes.

A GRTA Xpress bus offers service to downtown Atlanta, and MARTA buses also provide connecting service to and from the city. The downtown district is pedestrian-friendly and suitable for bicyclists.

Demographics in Lithonia

Lithonia has historically been a predominately African-American community and it remains so today with African-Americans accounting for 92 percent of its population. The city is overwhelmingly female with women outnumbering men 64 percent-to-36 percent. Lithonia’s education level is largely high-school graduate or equivalent, but 38 percent have attended at least some college or earned their associate degree, while 11 percent have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Children make up the largest portion of the population in Lithonia, with kids under 10 years of age accounting for 21 percent and kids aged 10-to-17 making up another 18 percent. The largest adult population are aged 25-to-34, with this group making up 15 percent of Lithonia’s residents.

The median household income in Lithonia is $30,673, which is lower than the national average of $55,322. The city’s median individual income, $19,677, is also lower than the national average, which is currently $27,419. Unemployment in Lithonia is 5.7 percent compared to the 3.8 percent nationally.

Restaurants/Social Scene in Lithonia

Lithonia might be a small city, but it’s big on flavors. The city has plenty of moderately priced restaurants and cheap eating establishments capable of satisfying just about every type of craving. Rice Thai is where the locals go to for Asian and Thai-influenced food and Smokey Bones BBQ & Grill is the hot spot for down home barbeque in Lithonia.

If you’re in the mood for Mexican, then Don Tello’s Tex Mex Grill is where you’ll want to go to, or you can go to Sunset Jamaican Eatery Restaurant if you desire authentic Jamaican and Caribbean food. For more affordable but still quite delicious food, there’s Waffle House, Dabomb Sports Grill, and Mamie’s Kitchen.

Exterior and Logo of Iconic Southern Restaurant Chain Waffle House.

Lithonia also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to nightlife, as the city has a variety of experiences waiting for you. There’s the Luxor Lounge for cocktails and karaoke, The House Comedy Club for a night of laughs, Hot Ashes cigar lounge, and Dudley’s Food & Spirits for good food, music, and drinks.

Arts & Culture in Lithonia

Lithonia is almost entirely residential and commercial, so most of your arts and culture experiences are going to be found a short way outside of the city. For instance, Stone Mountain Park is just a short drive away, and in nearby Atlanta you have access to some of the world’s most famous attractions, including World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, Piedmont Park, the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta History Center, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, just to name a few.

Inside Lithonia, you’ll find an abundance of parks, including the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, which offers historic sites, hiking trails, and mountain bike trails; and the Davidson-Arabia Mountain/Preserve, where you can mountain bike, fish, hike, or watch birds and wildlife. Lithonia is also conveniently close to the Mall at Stonecrest, one of region’s biggest shopping malls.

Senior Living in Lithonia

Seniors living in Lithonia have access to a few senior centers, including the Lou Walker Senior Center and the Bruce Street Senior Center. Both centers offer seniors a wide range of services and activities, including sewing classes, arts and crafts, dancing lessons, day trips, meditation, lunch and learn events, and so much more.

Lithonia also provides seniors with access to outstanding medical services. The city is served by three healthcare facilities, including Hillandale Dekalb Medical Center, two community clinics operated by Emory Healthcare, the Panola Road Clinic and the Stonecrest Clinic, and the East Dekalb Health Center.

Lithonia is a popular choice for newcomers to the Atlanta Metro Area because of its affordable housing, proximity to Atlanta, and its excellent collection of shops, restaurants, and small businesses that call the city home. It has good schools if you’re planning on raising a family, plenty of amenities if you’re a young professional moving to the area, and good senior services if retirement is in your immediate future.


Data is compiled by based on weekly listing data from an aggregated feed of industry partners. The information contained herein is for general information purposes only and is subject to change and to reporting inaccuracies. Calculations are based on historical listing data [which is accurate] but may not be an accurate indicator of future trends; and circumstances after the time of publication may affect the accuracy of the calculated data.