Census: Triangle still growing at a brisk pace; 47 NC counties losing population

rstradling@newsobserver.comMarch 14, 2013 



The population growth that puts the Triangle among the fastest-growing places in the nation is eluding large parts of North Carolina, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area – composed of Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties – was the 13th fastest-growing in the country in the 27 months between the 2010 census and last July 1, according to the Census Bureau. The number of residents in the three counties grew by an estimated 41/2 percent, to about 1.2 million.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area grew an estimated 3.4 percent, to about 523,000, making it the 34th fastest-growing metro area in the country.

Meanwhile, 47 of the state’s 100 counties have lost population since 2010. Although the state’s population growth has always been uneven, only 7 counties lost population in the decade ending with the 2010 census.

Here are other findings from the report:

Six of the 10 fastest-growing counties in the state are clustered between the Triangle and Fort Bragg. Hoke County, which includes a large part of the military base, was the 20th fastest-growing county in the country.

1. Hoke, 6.4 percent

2. Harnett, 5.5 percent

3. Wake, 5 percent

4. Mecklenburg, 4.9 percent

5. Durham, 4.2 percent

6. Brunswick, 3.9 percent

7. Chatham, 3.5 percent

8. Pender, 3.5 percent

9. Cabarrus, 3.4 percent

10. Lee, 3.2 percent

Counties in northeastern North Carolina are losing residents at a faster rate than elsewhere in the state. Washington County’s population declined an estimated 3.3 percent, while Bertie, Northampton, Gates and Martin counties all lost more than 2 percent.

• The Dunn micropolitan area, which consists wholly of Harnett County, gained more residents in the year ending last July 1 than any other micro area in the nation. The county added an estimated 2,850 residents, bringing its population to 122,135.

Stradling: 919-829-4739

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