Keep up with our latest demographic insights

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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Wake’s path to 1 million

A century ago, in 1910, Wake County had a total population of 63,229. Out of 2,964 counties nationwide, Wake was the 196th most populous. Among North Carolina counties, Wake’s population was second only to Mecklenburg's population of 67,031. During the first half of the twentieth century, Wake’s population grew steadily, but other counties within the state grew faster. Buoyed by the strength of the manufacturing industry in Greensboro, Guilford County grew to be the most…

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5 things you should know about the 2015 county population estimates

North Carolina officially passed the 10 million mark in the 2015 state population estimates, growing by more than half a million new residents since 2010. New county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau highlight how counties and metropolitan areas changed over this same time period. Here are 5 things you should you need to know about the 2015 county population estimates: 1. Brunswick is the fastest growing North Carolina county. Coastal Brunswick County’s population…

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NC in Focus: Shifting from small towns to larger cities

When I moved into my first office at UNC, I inherited a framed, infographic poster published by the News & Observer after the release of the 2000 Census data. It’s a great overview of the significant growth and change that occurred in North Carolina between 1990 and 2000, and highlights many trends that continued in the decade that followed. One of these shifts was the increasing concentration of population in mid-size towns and larger cities.…

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UPDATED: NC House District Population Estimates and Deviation from Ideal Population Size, 2014

North Carolina’s redrawn congressional districts had equal population in 2010, but North Carolina’s population growth since then has been highly uneven. Two counties, Wake and Mecklenburg, have accounted for nearly half of the state’s growth between 2010 and 2014, while 49 of 100 counties lost population over this time period. How many people are currently living in the newly defined congressional districts? And how much do their current populations deviate from the equal population size that is the goal of every decennial redistricting? The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey provides annually updated demographic information for congressional districts, but it will take some time for the newly defined boundaries to appear in the ACS data. Using our neighborhood change dataset and the July 1, 2014 county estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, we estimated the number of people living in each of North Carolina’s congressional districts on July 1, 2014. Detailed information on the data and methodology used to produce these estimates is available here.

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42 net migrants per day: Why are so many people moving to Wake County?

By on 1.20.16 in Migration

On average, Wake County added 63 new residents every day between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Both natural increase, more births than deaths, and net migration, more people moving in than moving out, are important for Wake’s population growth, but the main driver is net migration. Every year since 1970, net migration into Wake County has accounted for the majority of its population growth. Since 2010, two-thirds of…

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NC Legislative District Population Estimates and Deviation from Ideal Population Size, 2014

Following the decennial Census, political districts, such as U.S. Congressional Districts and state legislative districts, are reapportioned to states and counties on the basis of population and their boundaries are redrawn in a process called redistricting. Broadly speaking, the goal of redistricting is to make each district as close in population size in possible. While North Carolina’s population growth continues to outpace the nation, this growth is concentrated in the state’s urban areas. Nearly half of the state’s population growth since 2010 has occurred in two counties—Wake and Mecklenburg. Over this same time period, 49 of the state’s 100 counties have lost population. Today’s post explores the implications of these population shifts on the state’s legislative districts.

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Population Growth in the Carolinas: Projected vs. Observed Trends

North and South Carolina have grown significantly faster than the nation since 2000, and their growth is projected to continue. This population growth has not occurred evenly across the counties, however, and the coming decade will likely show sharpening distinctions in population growth patterns. Here’s a quick look at what is projected to occur in the Carolinas during this decade (2010-2020) and what current population estimates can tell us about population growth in these states.…

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All congressional district boundaries will require adjustment in 2021 redistricting

North Carolina will likely have 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives following the post-2020 Census reapportionment process. While we cannot guarantee a 14th seat (no matter how likely), we can guarantee significant changes to the state’s congressional district boundaries during the 2021 redistricting process. North Carolina’s population has grown substantially in the past few decades, and it continues to grow. At the same time, population is increasingly concentrated in urban cores within the…

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Redistricting North Carolina in 2011

Based on the 2010 census, North Carolina’s total number of congressional districts remained the same during the reapportionment process—13 House seats. But not every district drawn 10 years earlier that was based on the 2000 Census data grew at the same rate over the decade. There was significant variation in population growth across the state: major metropolitan areas grew rapidly, while other areas experienced slow growth or population declines. North Carolina’s post-2010 redistricting process required…

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