Keep up with our latest demographic insights

2017 Population Estimates: Declining Municipalities

From 2010 to 2017, 247 North Carolina municipalities experienced population decline – approximately 45% of all cities, towns, and villages in the state. This represents an increase of 22 municipalities since last year’s population estimates were reported. After accounting for municipalities growing at a stagnant pace – below the state growth rate of 8% - this figure rises to 427 in total. This means that over three-fourths of all places are declining or growing slower…

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Examining Decline in North Carolina’s Municipalities

Despite substantial growth in some areas of the state, a large portion of North Carolina has seen little to no population increase. Of North Carolina’s 553 municipalities, 225, or about 41%, experienced population decline from 2010-2016. An additional 192 reported growth that was lower than 6.4%, the state’s growth rate since 2010. In total, three of every four North Carolina municipalities have lost population or grown slower than the state since 2010. The northeast corridor…

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NC Municipal Population Growth, 2010-2015

Fifty-six percent of North Carolina residents (5.66 million) live in one of the state’s 553 cities, towns, and villages. Although five of the state’s municipalities are among the nation’s 100 largest cities—Charlotte (17), Raleigh (42), Greensboro (68), Durham (79), and Winston-Salem (88)—most are small. Half of North Carolina municipalities have fewer than 1,620 residents; nearly one in four have fewer than 500 residents. The majority of these places cities experienced population losses or slow growth…

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2010-2014 County Population Change and Components of Change

Two fundamental processes underpin population growth—or decline. The first, natural increase (or natural decrease) captures the balance of births and deaths in an area and reflects the underlying age structure of the population. Relatively young populations tend to have more births than deaths, or natural increase. Relatively older populations, on the other hand, tend to experience natural decrease, more deaths than births. The second, net migration, reflects the appeal of an area relative to other…

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