Population growth in Raleigh, NC

Photo by Caleb Oquendo | via Pexels

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With Raleigh recently named among the top relocation destinations in the US, we’ve been feeling a little curious about our city’s future. How fast is Raleigh actually growing, and how many people are moving to our city each day? Answer: 64.

According to the US Census Bureau, the Raleigh metro’s population increased from ~1.2 million in 2015 to ~1.5 million today — with an average annual increase of roughly 2% or 29,000 people. To put that into perspective, imagine filling PNC Arena one-and-a-half times.

Now, the Raleigh metropolitan area is a pretty wide swath of land to consider, so let’s break it down a little more.

Raleigh’s growth over time | via US Census

While the Triangle grew by hundreds of thousands over the last five years, the City of Raleigh itself ranks No. 2 among the fastest growing cities in the nation — with 23% growth over the past decade, and a population increase of 77,655 (from 423,520 to approximately 510,175) since 2015. Did you know? None of our local municipalities have seen a population decrease in 10+ years.

📈 Cary saw a population increase of 2,240 people (1.32%) over the past year
📈 Chapel Hill grew by 684 people (1.07%) last year
📈 Durham’s population grew by 4,436 people (1.59%) since 2019
📈 Garner saw a population increase of 942 people (3%) over the past year
📈 Morrisville grew by 1,412 people (4.89%) last year
📈 Wake Forest’s population increased by 1,606 people (3.52%) since 2019

What accounts for the boom? For one thing, the availability of developable land. Opportunity zones and a sprawling suburban and exurban landscape provide varied options for builders. Other contributing factors include the availability of jobs, economic stability, (relatively) affordable housing options + cultural and recreational amenities.

So, what do these growth rates mean for Raleigh’s future? Population forecasts predict that Raleigh’s residents will grow to ~600,000 by 2030.

The recent 2020 census will provide a more definitive look at how our city has grown over the last 10 years + how on-track we are with growth projections for years to come.


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