Featured projects


Using datasets and primary research, we provide accessible and customizable insights in whatever format makes the most sense for your team. Learn more about our work and explore stories of how our clients use our tools and expertise to inform their decisions.

Helping funders better understand their community

Our material helped the NC Local News Lab Fund better understand and then prioritize their funding to better serve existing and future grant recipients in North Carolina. The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund was established in 2017 to strengthen organizations and people working to build a local news and information ecosystem in North Carolina. In addition to grantmaking, the Fund has established the North Carolina Local News Workshop housed within Elon’s School of Communications. Both operations support the state’s civic infrastructure. Recently, the Fund asked Carolina Demography to create an interactive map synthesizing demographic…

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Understanding COVID-19’s impact on school projections

The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), which serves over 160,000 students, is the largest public school district in North Carolina. To better prepare for school siting needs, WCPSS asked Carolina Demography to project long-range forecasts (10-year) of school enrollment by grade. They also asked us to help them better understand the impact of COVID-19 on these projections. Statewide, there were 63,000 fewer students enrolled in public schools in fall 2020 compared to the prior year. Enrollment patterns substantially changed for most grades --- in particular, there were significantly fewer kindergarteners enrolled compared to prior…

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Helping a community college plan for the future

Alamance Community College (ACC) is a public community college with campuses in Graham, North Carolina and Burlington, North Carolina. They asked Carolina Demography to help them understand what they would need to know in order to plan for recruitment, enrollment and future programs over the next decade. Approach We worked with ACC to formulate key questions concerning Alamance County’s demographic, workforce, income and education trends, then identified the most useful datasets pulled from a wide variety of public sources. We prepared a databook with projections of demographic and economic trends in Alamance County and created…

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Providing real-time response rates for the 2020 Census

In 2020, the NC Counts Coalition provided funding to more than 60 NC-based organizations working to reach the communities most at-risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census. The Coalition had previously worked with Carolina Demography to create a map identifying the communities across the state that could be hard to count in the 2020 Census.  They used this map to identify their priority areas and make funding decisions. As Census collection efforts began, they wanted us to provide their grant recipients with real-time information about Census counts in their targeted communities so that they…

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Improving NC’s FAFSA completion rate

Completing the FAFSA is strongly and positively associated with postsecondary enrollment. An analysis of data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that 88% of high school seniors who completed a FAFSA in 2012-13 had attended college by February 2016, compared to 49% of students who did not file a FAFSA. Increasing FAFSA completion is also a fundamental step in North Carolina’s efforts to meet the statewide education attainment goal. But how could school districts best track their students’ progress and increase FAFSA participation? That was the question at the heart of our recent…

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Measuring the data that matters to a community

Our clients were, in their words “swimming in data soup.” They often had to collaborate together on county and town-level projects, and wanted to ensure that they were using numbers from the same data sources and had the same understanding about the status of their community. Their goal: to align around their work and their messaging around that work. They enlisted Carolina Demography to streamline their existing processes for acquiring, updating, and maintaining the data they used for their community reports and presentations and to inform decision-making by local governments, businesses, and non-profits. We set…

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Telling the story of COVID-19 in NC

Launched on December 18, 2020, the UNC Gillings COVID-19 Dashboard provides a centralized resource center for information about COVID-19 in North Carolina. Using modern epidemiologic tools, the dashboard has become a resource for policy makers, researchers and anyone interested in learning more about COVID-19 in the state. The dashboard also provides county-level profiles and interactive COVID-19 data visualizations for North Carolina, allowing users to see what’s happening in their area of the state by mapping demographics, health outcomes, economic characteristics and more. Carolina Demography worked closely with the core project team to provide data and…

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Understanding a community after redistricting

North Carolina’s 4th congressional district is currently represented by Congressman David Price. Mandatory redistricting in 2019 changed the boundaries of the district, which now encompasses all of Durham County, Orange County, Granville County, and Franklin County, as well as parts of Chatham County, Wake County, and Vance County. In 2020, David Price’s office approached us because they wanted to better understand the context of their new district and learn more about who their new constituents were. They asked us to create a comprehensive demographic and economic profile of the redrawn 4th district, and to detail…

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Telling the story of a region through data

Background The Research Triangle Regional Partnership is an economic development organization that works with 12 core counties located in Central North Carolina. The organization serves as a connector between businesses looking to expand or relocate in the Triangle and the economic development offices, government agencies, and business organizations that can help fuel their growth. They approached Carolina Demography in 2020 with an ask: Could we build a databook for them to use in two ways: To source the material for their 2020 State of the Region event and publications To use for business planning by…

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Soup-to-nuts data analysis

Appalachian GEAR UP wanted to provide each of the counties they serve with clear and usable information showing how their students were meeting college and career readiness benchmarks at key milestones between middle school and college. They also wanted each county to learn how their students were performing as compared to other students within their Prosperity Zone and the state of North Carolina. They asked Carolina Demography to determine which data sources were needed, perform an analysis on that data, and then create a series of one pagers for each county. We started by having…

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