Noted for its pro-business environment and affordable high-quality standard of living, the Raleigh-Durham area has been recognized in National publications and received global recognition in recent years, spurring record levels of growth in Wake County and the city of Raleigh. But exactly how much is the city growing and is this growth good?
Raleigh’s Growth Trends
Wake County, home to the city of the Raleigh, is now the 44th largest county in the United States. It is growing at a pace of an astounding 62 people per day (40 new residents due to net migration and 22 new residents due to natural increase) and this trend is expected to continue.
As of August of 2014, Wake County’s population surpassed 1 million residents and it is predicted that the population will be over 2 million by 2054.
This abundant growth began when the population grew 43.5% from 2000 (627,846 residents) to 2010 (900,993 residents). This was the largest increase of any metropolitan area in the nation for the period according to newgeography.com. Wake County has been the fastest-growing county in the state since 2010, adding 10.1% residents to its population since then.
Since Wake County is an urbanizing county, the Raleigh metro area is experiencing similar growth. The 2000 population of 276,093 people spiked 46.3% to 403,892 residents in 2010, which was among the fastest growing metro regions in the entire country.
Other Notable Wake County Recognitions Include:
- # 1 Largest Population Growth in NC since 2010*
- #2 Largest Municipal Population in NC*
- #7 Fastest Growing County in the US with a Population of more than 500,000**
Source: *NC Demographics 2012; **US Census Bureau 2012
Is this growth good? Yes!
Educational Attainment – Each day, an average of 28 individuals who are 25 and older move into Wake County. Six of them have some college or an associate’s degree, 14 have a bachelor’s degree, and seven have a graduate or professional degree! These migration statistics are on track to further increase Wake County’s already impressive educational attainment levels. Ranking 6th nationally among counties with at least 500,000 adults age 25+, 49.1% of residents age 25+ hold a bachelor’s degree or more.
Home Sales Prices – With so much demand for homes, the Wake County residential sold price for 2014 reached its highest point. The 16,717 units sold on average for $277,650, an increase of 4.2% from 2013. (Source: Wake County Revenue)
Unemployment – The Wake County unemployment rate has traditionally remained below both the state and national averages. In 2014, the unemployment rate continued this trend and ended at 4.8%, well below the state rate of 6.1% and national rate of 6.2%. (Source: NC ESC March 2015)
Household Income – Wake County had the highest median income in the state in 2013. The median household income was 24.7% above the country’s median household income and 41.94% above North Carolina’s.
Population Below Poverty: Similar to state and national trends, Wake County’s population under the national poverty level increased after the Great Recession of 2008. However, Wake County’s poverty rate has regularly remained below both state and national levels and it is now trending downwards.