Keep up with our latest demographic insights

One way to think about rural-urban interdependence

By on 5.2.16 in Migration

“The growth of urban places historically has been fueled largely by in-migration from rural areas (including from other countries)…” – Daniel Lichter & David Brown, “Rural America in an Urban Society” Nearly half of North Carolina’s counties – 47 of 100 – had net out-migration between 2010 and 2015, meaning more people moved away than moved in. There are some clear patterns to this movement. The core counties of the state’s major metropolitan areas—such as…

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The persistent “rurality” of North Carolina

As we’ve mentioned in the past, North Carolina has a large population residing in areas that the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as rural. Among the 10 most populous states, North Carolina has the largest proportion of individuals living in rural areas. In fact, North Carolina’s rural population is larger than that of any other state except for Texas. Prior to coming to Carolina Demography, I worked in a similar role producing and interpreting demographic data…

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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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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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Components of Population Growth Highlight Rural/Urban Differences in Impacts of Population Aging

The map below highlights population change and components of change for North Carolina counties between 2010 and 2014. The dark teal shows counties with population growth from both natural increase (more births than deaths) and net in migration. With few exceptions—such as Watauga in the northwestern portion of the state—these counties are located within metropolitan regions. Counties with natural decrease, more deaths than births, are relatively older, and highlight rural/urban differences in the impacts of…

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Urbanization Trends

2010 marked the first time the majority of the world’s population was living in urban areas (52%), up from 47% in 2000. The global share of population living in urban areas is projected to increase to two-thirds by 2050. In 1990, the nation’s population was heavily urban (78%). By 2010, more than four of every five U.S. residents was living in an urban area. In some states, such as California (95%) and New Jersey (94.7%), nearly…

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Wide Open Spaces

Population in North Carolina, like the nation, and countries around the world, is increasingly clustered in urban areas. Half of the state’s population resides in 13 counties—all of which are within major metropolitan areas. In contrast, just 10% of North Carolina residents live in the 42 least populated counties in the state. As population shifts toward urban areas, these counties hold a steadily declining share of North Carolina residents. In 1920, nearly one in four…

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