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Demographics of North Carolina

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Demographics of North Carolina

Demographics of North Carolina covers the varieties of ethnic groups who reside in North Carolina and relevant trends.

Center of population

Center of Population in between Seagrove and Cheeks, North Carolina

North Carolina Population Density in 2008.
With two-thirds of North Carolina's population living in the middle one-third of its landmass, the middle third of the state is about four times more densely populated than the remaining two-thirds.
Change in population from 2000 to 2008, using census estimates. Note the large-scale area of net population loss in the inland northeastern part of the state; they contained the highest percentage of African Americans, according to the Census 2000 data; but many have left for jobs in urban areas.[2]

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2009, estimated North Carolina's population at 9,380,884[3] which represents an increase of 1,340,334, or 16.7%, since the last census in 2000.[4] This exceeds the rate of growth for the United States as a whole. The growth comprises a natural increase since the last census of 412,906 people (that is 1,015,065 births minus 602,159 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 783,382 people into the state.[4] Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 192,099 people, and migration within the country produced a net gain of 591,283 people.[4] Between 2005 and 2006, North Carolina passed New Jersey to become the 10th most populous state.[5] The state's population reported as under 5 years old was 6.7%, 24.4% were under 18, and 12.0% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.

Metropolitan areas

North Carolina has three major Metropolitan Combined Statistical Areas with populations of more than 1 million (U.S. Census Bureau 2010 estimates):[6]

  • The Metrolina: Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, North Carolina-South Carolina - population 2,402,623
  • The Triangle: Raleigh-Durham-Cary-Chapel Hill, North Carolina - population 1,749,525
  • The Piedmont Triad: Greensboro—Winston-Salem—High Point, North Carolina - population 1,589.200

North Carolina has nine municipalities with populations of more than 100,000, with 16 municipalities with populations over 50,000 (U.S. Census Bureau 2010 figures):[7]

  • Charlotte: Mecklenburg County - population 731,424
  • Raleigh: Wake County - population 403,892
  • Greensboro: Guilford County - population 269,666
  • Winston-Salem: Forsyth County - population 229,617
  • Durham: Durham County - population 228,330
  • Fayetteville: Cumberland County - population 200,564
  • Cary: Wake County - population 135,234
  • High Point: Guilford County - population 104,371
  • Wilmington: New Hanover County - population 106,456

Officially, as drawn from verified US Census Department Statistics, the 15 largest cities in North Carolina are:
1 Charlotte: Mecklenburg County - population 731,424
2 Raleigh: Wake County - population 403,892
3 Greensboro: Guilford County - population 269,666
4 Winston-Salem: Forsyth County - population 229,617
5 Durham: Durham County - population 228,330
6 Fayetteville: Cumberland County - population 200,564
7 Cary: Wake County - population 135,234
8 Wilmington: New Hanover County - population 106,476
9 High Point: Guilford County - population 104,371
10 Greenville: Pitt County - population 86,017
11 Asheville: Buncombe County - population 83,393
12 Concord: Cabarrus County - population 79,066
13 Gastonia: Gaston County - population 71,059
14 Jacksonville: Onslow County - population 70,145
15 Rocky Mount: Edgecombe and Nash Counties - population 57,477

These figures may have been invalidated by local estimates, chamber of commerce estimates, or other unofficial sources.

Racial Makeup and Population Trends

In 2007, the U.S. Census estimated that the racial makeup of North Carolina was as follows: 70% White American, 21.3% African American, 1.2% American Indian, and 6.5% are Hispanic or Latino (of any race). North Carolina has historically been a rural state, with most of the population living on farms or in small towns. However, over the last 30 years the state has undergone rapid urbanization, and today most of North Carolina's residents live in urban and suburban areas, as is the case in most of the United States. In particular, the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh have become major urban centers, with large, diverse, mainly affluent and rapidly growing populations. Most of this growth in diversity has been fueled by immigrants from Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia.[8]

In addition, large numbers of people from the Northeastern United States, Florida and California have moved to the state in recent years. North Carolina was one of the country's fastest growing states in the 1980s and 1990s. The growth rate subsided in the first decade of the 21st century due to changed economic conditions, but it continued to attract new residents. Some locals have characterized the suburbs of Cary as a miniature "New Jersey" or a haven of Yankee/ West Coast prosperity in a historically rural Southern state. Cary has been said to stand for Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees.

The center of population of North Carolina is located in Randolph County, in the town of Seagrove.[9]

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