Keep up with our latest demographic insights

Past, present, or future, net migration is the main driver of NC growth

Population can grow—or decline—from one of two components of change: net migration (both domestic and international) or natural growth (births and deaths). Both components have contributed to North Carolina’s population growth. Every year since 1980, North Carolina has had more births than deaths, meaning the population has grown from natural increase. The level of natural increase peaked in the late 2000s and has since declined significantly, reflecting the combined impact of fertility declines and population…

Continue Reading »

NC in Focus: Fast-growing older population also growing more diverse

North Carolina’s population, much like the nation at large, is growing older and more diverse. The new 2016 detailed population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau provide data on the age, sex, and racial/ethnic composition of state and county populations. In North Carolina, the 65 and older population grew from 1.2 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2016, an increase of 335,000 or 27%. As of 2016, 15.5% of North Carolina’s population was 65…

Continue Reading »

Declining Growth from Natural Increase: The Impact of Population Aging

Net migration has been a major driver of North Carolina’s growth since 1990 and its importance will only increase in coming years. The only other potential source of growth is natural increase—births minus deaths—and this has been declining since the recession. In my recent post, I noted that even if fertility rates increase significantly, we should not expect natural increase to rebound to prior levels, largely due to the growing impacts of population aging. Although…

Continue Reading »

North Carolina population growth at highest levels since 2010

North Carolina’s population grew by 112,000 between 2015 and 2016, the largest single year increase since 2010, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. With a growth rate of 1.1%, North Carolina’s 2015-16 growth was faster than the national growth rate (0.7%) and similar to the South’s regional rate (1.1%). Overall, North Carolina’s population has grown by 611,000 since 2010, an increase of 6.4%. The uptick in population growth was fueled by an…

Continue Reading »

One reason for an increasingly diverse young population? Population aging.

In his recent article about diversity in young Americans, William Frey points to “a noteworthy demographic dynamic [that] is making the young post-millennial generation more racially diverse – the absolute decline in the number of white children (persons under age 18).” This, too, is happening in North Carolina. In 2015, North Carolina had 57,000 fewer white children than in 2010, with the declines most pronounced at ages 10 and under. These declines may be partly…

Continue Reading »

NC in Focus: Households Receiving Retirement Income

In 2000, nearly 515,000 of the state’s 3.1 million households—16%—received retirement income. This proportion increased to 19% or 693,000 households by 2010-14, according to the American Community Survey. While the number of households receiving retirement income has increased by 178,000, a growth rate of 35%, the aggregate value of retirement income received has grown even more. Retirement income received by North Carolina households rose from $8.7 billion in 2000 to $15.1 billion by 2010-14. This…

Continue Reading »

State by State: Population Growth by Age, 2010-2015

The U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2015, population estimates revealed significant differences in population growth by age group, highlighting major impacts of population aging since 2010. There were also differences in state-by-state population growth. For example, more than half of states reported fewer working-age adults and fewer children in 2015 than in 2010. At the same time, every state saw large increases in the size of their 65+ populations. This post highlights some of the major age…

Continue Reading »

Growing 65+ population accounts for majority of population growth in North Carolina, nation

The oldest Baby Boomers began turning 65 on January 1, 2011. Every day since then, about 10,000 Baby Boomers have turned 65. This will continue through the end of 2029. Less than five years into this process, U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for July 1, 2015 already reveal significant impacts of the Boomer’s population aging. In 2010, just under 13% of North Carolina’s population was 65 or older. Five years later, in 2015, this proportion…

Continue Reading »

North Carolina growth steady, but slower

Between 1990 and 1995, North Carolina’s population increased by more than 550,000 new residents, a growth rate of 8.3%. The numeric growth in the next decade was even greater: the state grew by 7.9% to gain an estimated 637,000 new residents between 2000 and 2005. Though North Carolina continues to grow faster than the national average, the 2015 estimates indicate that the size and rate of growth has slowed. Between 2010 and 2015, North Carolina…

Continue Reading »

Population Loss & Shifting Age Composition, 2015-2035

Between 2015 and 2035, North Carolina’s Office of State Budget and Management projects that the state will gain nearly 2.1 million new residents. Nearly 41% of this population growth is predicted to occur in either Mecklenburg or Wake counties. Meanwhile, 24 of the state’s counties are projected to lose population over the next 20 years and another nine—Avery, Beaufort, Columbus, Gates, Greene, Rockingham, Rowan, Surry, and Tyrrell counties—are projected to have zero population growth. Bertie…

Continue Reading »

1 2