Keep up with our latest demographic insights

Donuts, Old and New: A Look at Charlotte

By on 9.29.14 in Economic Data

In the mid- to late-twentieth century, suburbanization shifted population growth from urban areas to suburbs. In response, revitalization of the downtown core became the primary focus of many cities’ economic development plans. This is what Aaron Renn of the Urbanophile terms the “Old Donut” model: cities across the nation spent the past few decades trying to fill their downtown economic “holes” through billions of dollars in revitalization efforts, “ranging from stadiums to convention centers to…

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Stability and Change in North Carolina’s Top 10 Most Populous Counties

In 1910, North Carolina had a population of 2.2 million. Only two cities, Charlotte (34,014) and Wilmington (25,748), had populations surpassing 25,000 persons. Winston-Salem (22,700) was the third largest city in the state followed by Raleigh (19,218), Asheville (18,762), Durham (18,241), and Greensboro (15,895). None of North Carolina’s cities numbered among the 100 largest cities in the United States. Reflecting this highly rural, low density population, less than 3% of the state’s population lived in…

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What language does your county speak?

In a previous post, I looked at changes in the number and type of non-English languages spoken at home in North Carolina over time. Today, I’m looking at variation in languages spoken across space; that is, how do languages spoken vary across North Carolina counties? At an initial glance, there is little county-to-county variation. The majority of individuals age 5 and over in each county speak only English at home. Of those that speak another…

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Visualizing Neighborhood Change, 2000 to 2010

Dynamics of population change at sub-county levels are key to understanding the local impacts of broader demographic shifts. Unfortunately, sub-county geographies, such as census tracts, change substantially from decade to decade, posing a barrier to direct comparison over time. To overcome this barrier, Carolina Demography developed a methodology to bridge (or normalize) the 2000 Census data into 2010 census tract boundaries. We then used 2010 Census data to directly compare change over time. The maps…

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5 things you need to know about the 2013 county population estimates

In the three years following the 2010 Census, North Carolina’s population grew by nearly 313,000 residents. With today’s release of the 2013 county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, we can now examine where in the state this growth occurred. Here’s what you need to know: 1. Charlotte and the Triangle accounted for 67% of NC population growth. Two-thirds of state population growth occurred in the 12 counties that make up the Charlotte and…

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Does Population Growth Mean Forest Loss?

Forests are vital to the environmental and economic health of North Carolina. Sixty percent of North Carolina’s land area is forested, representing a total of 18.6 million forest acres. Our state’s four national forests—Croatan, Uwaharrie, Nantahala, and Pisgah—offer visitors and residents alike the opportunity to see an array of wildlife and pursue a variety of outdoor activities. In addition to recreational activities, forests improve overall quality of life through clean air and water and are…

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Peak construction: When did NC housing stock grow the most?

By on 2.24.14 in Housing

Due to decade-to-decade changes in municipal boundaries and Census tabulation boundaries, examining housing change over time at the sub-county level can be very difficult. To overcome these challenges, Carolina Demography used 2010 Census and 2006-2011 American Community Survey data to calculate historic estimates of housing units in North Carolina for each decade back to 1940 for all 6,155 Census block groups  and 2,195 Census tracts in the state. These data allow us to examine, in…

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