Jul 11, 2023 - News

How Raleigh's racial demographics have changed

Raleigh metro area population
Data: U.S. Census; Note: Estimates include people reporting one race alone; Hispanic individuals are also included in other categories, as they may be of any race; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The Raleigh metro area has grown a staggering 84.6% since the year 2000 — the second-fastest growth of any U.S. metro area with more than one million residents.

What's happening: In addition to the significant economic impact, the growth has made the city much more diverse.

  • Raleigh's Hispanic population more than tripled between 2000 and 2022 and its Asian population more than quadrupled, per a new analysis from Axios' Kavya Beheraj and Alex Fitzpatrick.

Why it matters: Such demographic data is a vital snapshot of how Raleigh's racial and ethnic makeup is changing over time, helping to inform policies and programs across the city.

By the numbers: The Raleigh area's Hispanic population grew 258%, to 167,834 during that time.

  • The Asian population grew about 375%, to 107,836.
  • The American Indian population grew by 266% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population grew by 308%.
  • The area's two largest demographic groups, white and Black grew 66% and 92%, respectively.

Driving the news: Demographic trends are driven by a combination of factors, including varied birth, mortality and immigration rates (both internal and external) among different socioeconomic groups.

The big picture: Nationwide, the country's Pacific Islander, Asian and Hispanic populations saw the biggest percentage increases between 2000 and 2022.

  • The number of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders grew about 120%, to nearly 879,000, while the Asian population grew about 105%, to 21 million.
  • The Hispanic population grew about 80%, to nearly 64 million. The Black population grew 31%, to 45.4 million.

Zoom in: All of Raleigh's demographic groups are growing faster than their national rates, as the city has become a magnet not only for people relocating within the state but nationwide.

Of the roughly 1.5 million people in the Raleigh-Cary metro area today:

  • 68.3% are white
  • 20.7% are Black
  • 11.3% are Hispanic or Latino
  • 7.3% are Asian
  • 2.7% are mixed-race
  • 0.8% are American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 0.1% are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander

Of note: The U.S. is still predominantly white, with growth of 19% between 2000 and 2022, to nearly 252 million.

Meanwhile: The country is also rapidly aging, Axios' Emily Peck recently reported, with the median age reaching a record 38.9 last year.


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