Mar 15, 2024 - News

The Triangle suburbs continued to see rapid growth in 2023

Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Triangle has been the 10th fastest-growing region in the nation since 2020, as the area continues to be reshaped by a surge in people moving to Sunbelt communities.

Why it matters: Much of that growth is coming to the Triangle's booming suburbs and outlying counties, where rapid housing construction and job growth is transforming once-small towns like Apex and Holly Springs into some of the fastest-growing places in the country.

By the numbers: Since 2020, the Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area has grown 5.6% to 2.4 million people, the 10th fastest rate in the U.S.

  • Wake County has grown 5.3% since 2020. With 1.2 million residents, it's the state's largest county.

But the Triangle's fastest-growing counties were its outer-lying ones.

  • Franklin County, located north of Wake, grew at the fastest clip, up 11.3% since 2020 to 77,000 residents.
  • Johnston saw its population grow 11.1% to 242,000.
  • And Chatham expanded 6.5% to 81,600.

Zoom out: North Carolina's population is growing most significantly along the coast, the mountains and in the Piedmont, home to most of its largest cities.

  • The fastest-growing county in the state continues to be Brunswick, home to towns like Ocean Island Beach and Oak Island. The county grew 15.8% to 160,000 people since 2020.

Yes, but: The rural northeastern part of the state has shed population, with Hertford County's population falling 9% to 19,450.

Change in population, 2020 to 2023
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

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