What we deliver

We help people understand the population changes facing their communities

Featured projects


Using datasets and primary research, we provide accessible and customizable insights in whatever format makes the most sense for your team. Learn more about our work and explore stories of how our clients use our tools and expertise to inform their decisions.

Visualizing NC’s hard-to-count communities

In 2010, just over three of every four North Carolina households mailed back their census forms (76%), a seven percentage point increase in mail participation compared to 2000 (69%). Higher participation rates reduce the overall costs of conducting the census. And, when individuals self-respond, the data is more accurate. An inaccurate count paints a distorted picture of the make-up of our communities and will result in a misallocation of resources for North Carolina.  To help North Carolina achieve a complete and accurate census count, Carolina Demography worked with the NC Counts Coalition to create a map that identifies communities across the state…

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Understanding the true buying power of a region

A local business owner needed to convince a popular franchise’s parent organization that local residents in a rural NC county would frequent his shop. But he faced a challenge: On paper, the rural county is sparsely populated, with many household incomes falling well below the state’s median. Starting in November 2017, he began working with Carolina Demography to paint a more robust picture of the area. We began by looking at data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, which indicated that the high-level snapshot of the county didn’t paint a complete picture.

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Examining the community college landscape

The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) is a major provider of education and training to North Carolina workers and plays a critical role in helping North Carolina ensure sufficient levels of education and training to remain competitive in the changing economy. Despite the increasing demand for education, NCCCS has seen steadily declining enrollments since recovery from the Great Recession began in 2010. While population projections suggest that NCCCS may recover some of the recent enrollment declines, many individual community colleges face increased recruitment challenges due to demographic changes.

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Soup-to-nuts data analysis

Appalachian GEAR UP wanted to provide each of the counties they serve with clear and usable information showing how their students were meeting college and career readiness benchmarks at key milestones between middle school and college. They also wanted each county to learn how their students were performing as compared to other students within their Prosperity Zone and the state of North Carolina. They asked Carolina Demography to determine which data sources were needed, perform an analysis on that data, and then create a series of one pagers for each county.

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Creating easy-to-use educational data

In 2018, the John M. Belk Endowment asked Carolina Demography to examine North Carolina students’ education outcomes at public, in-state schools and indicate gaps where interventions could be implemented to meet the state’s increasing need for a highly trained workforce. “We knew that less than half of working-age North Carolinians had earned a credential beyond a high school diploma,” says MC Belk Pilon, the president and board chair of the John M. Belk Endowment. “Still, much of the story remained unclear.”

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