Jun 2, 2022 - News

The Triangle's suburbs see rapid growth since 2020

Percentage change in population of North Carolina with more than 50k people
Data: Census Bureau. Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

The Triangle's suburbs continue to grow at fast rates, according to new data released from the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • The census numbers show the fastest-growing communities in North Carolina since 2020 are in the Triangle as well as coastal Brunswick County, according to an analysis from Carolina Demography.

Why it matters: Americans continue moving to the South and West to build new boomtowns, tech hubs and powerhouses, Axios' Mike Allen writes.

Details: While the biggest growth is happening in states such as Texas, Arizona and Florida — North Carolina has also seen huge growth specifically around the Research Triangle region and Charlotte.

  • The cities and towns with the largest numeric increases in people were: Charlotte (5,168 residents since 2020), followed by Apex (4,114) and Fuquay-Varina (2,584) in Wake County, according to Carolina Demography.

Zoom in: The fastest-growing municipalities in North Carolina were in Wake County.

  • Wendell, a town in the eastern part of the county, grew by 18.1% in the past year to an estimated 11,570 people.
  • Zebulon, also in eastern Wake, saw its population grow 15.3% to 7,974.
  • Both of those towns have seen huge housing developments built in recent years, as developers search for the cheapest land within commuting distance of job centers like Raleigh.

Yes, but: Not every part of the state, or even the Triangle, is seeing robust growth.

  • 39% of cities in the state have lost population since 2020, according to Carolina Demography.
  • Notable cities losing population include: Chapel Hill (which lost 0.3% of its population) and Carrboro (-0.6%) as well as Asheville (-0.5%).

Zoom out: Nationally, the country’s largest cities have seen their population decline since 2020, Axios’ Ivana Saric reports, as the switch to remote work during the pandemic enabled many people to move and prompted desires for cheaper cost of living or lifestyle changes.

  • Cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Houston all lost population in the past two years.

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