These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Carolina For 2018


We used data and science to determine the places in North Carolina everyone wants to move to today.

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Is being in an area that’s growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, while others want peace and quiet like in Long View and Angier, thank you very much.

But today we’re going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts — over the past five years, which cities in North Carolina have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census’s American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Tar Heel State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in North Carolina for 2018 according to the most recent census data:

  1. Rolesville (Photos)
  2. Leland
  3. Waxhaw
  4. Fuquay-Varina (Photos)
  5. Harrisburg
  6. Morrisville (Photos)
  7. Holly Springs
  8. Wake Forest (Photos)
  9. Knightdale (Photos)
  10. Mebane

If you happen to be a resident of Rolesville, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you’re surprised–and you’re wondering why these places are kind of a big deal–keep reading. We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in North Carolina are growing like weeds–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Or check out the Fastest Growing States In America.

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How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Tar Heel State

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the begining of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Population in 2016
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to 2016 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2017)

We ranked all 134 North Carolina cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Tar Heel State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Population 2016 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here’s a graph of the cities in North Carolina with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in north carolina

Click to enlarge
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1. Rolesville

Rolesville, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,583
Population 2010: 3,289
Growth Rate: 69.75%
Absolute Growth: 2,294

2. Leland


Population: 17,023
Population 2010: 11,925
Growth Rate: 42.75%
Absolute Growth: 5,098

3. Waxhaw


Population: 12,398
Population 2010: 8,754
Growth Rate: 41.63%
Absolute Growth: 3,644

4. Fuquay-Varina

Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,722
Population 2010: 16,152
Growth Rate: 40.68%
Absolute Growth: 6,570

5. Harrisburg


Population: 14,500
Population 2010: 10,328
Growth Rate: 40.4%
Absolute Growth: 4,172

6. Morrisville

Morrisville, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,600
Population 2010: 16,147
Growth Rate: 39.96%
Absolute Growth: 6,453

7. Holly Springs

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,126
Population 2010: 21,968
Growth Rate: 37.14%
Absolute Growth: 8,158

8. Wake Forest

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 36,472
Population 2010: 26,790
Growth Rate: 36.14%
Absolute Growth: 9,682

9. Knightdale

Knightdale, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,787
Population 2010: 10,477
Growth Rate: 31.59%
Absolute Growth: 3,310

10. Mebane


Population: 13,592
Population 2010: 10,401
Growth Rate: 30.68%
Absolute Growth: 3,191

These Places Grew Up So Fast, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in North Carolina are led by Rolesville which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We’ll be here to let you know!

For more North Carolina reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In North Carolina

City Rank Pop 2016 Pop 2010 Growth % Growth
Rolesville 1 5,583 3,289 2,294 69.7%
Leland 2 17,023 11,925 5,098 42.8%
Waxhaw 3 12,398 8,754 3,644 41.6%
Fuquay-Varina 4 22,722 16,152 6,570 40.7%
Harrisburg 5 14,500 10,328 4,172 40.4%
Morrisville 6 22,600 16,147 6,453 40.0%
Holly Springs 7 30,126 21,968 8,158 37.1%
Wake Forest 8 36,472 26,790 9,682 36.1%
Knightdale 9 13,787 10,477 3,310 31.6%
Mebane 10 13,592 10,401 3,191 30.7%
Apex 11 43,893 34,427 9,466 27.5%
Clayton 12 18,553 14,714 3,839 26.1%
Pinehurst 13 15,522 12,521 3,001 24.0%
Marvin 14 6,056 4,889 1,167 23.9%
Angier 15 5,079 4,140 939 22.7%
Wesley Chapel 16 8,217 6,702 1,515 22.6%
Cary 17 155,822 127,587 28,235 22.1%
Aberdeen 18 7,107 5,884 1,223 20.8%
Huntersville 19 51,701 43,106 8,595 19.9%
Indian Trail 20 36,357 30,362 5,995 19.7%
Cornelius 21 27,426 22,970 4,456 19.4%
Davidson 22 12,076 10,320 1,756 17.0%
Stallings 23 14,759 12,682 2,077 16.4%
Mooresville 24 35,387 30,582 4,805 15.7%
Raleigh 25 441,326 382,729 58,597 15.3%
Charlotte 26 808,834 705,896 102,938 14.6%
Boiling Spring Lakes 27 5,703 4,982 721 14.5%
Durham 28 251,761 220,324 31,437 14.3%
Concord 29 85,753 75,172 10,581 14.1%
Mint Hill 30 25,024 21,940 3,084 14.1%
Oak Ridge 31 6,617 5,805 812 14.0%
Pineville 32 8,244 7,251 993 13.7%
Wendell 33 6,298 5,563 735 13.2%
Matthews 34 30,054 26,556 3,498 13.2%
Garner 35 27,625 24,417 3,208 13.1%
Fletcher 36 7,547 6,688 859 12.8%
Hope Mills 37 16,189 14,416 1,773 12.3%
Spring Lake 38 13,258 11,829 1,429 12.1%
Winterville 39 9,484 8,462 1,022 12.1%
Summerfield 40 10,758 9,615 1,143 11.9%
Greenville 41 89,745 80,439 9,306 11.6%
Stokesdale 42 5,278 4,732 546 11.5%
Gibsonville 43 6,759 6,063 696 11.5%
Weddington 44 10,254 9,207 1,047 11.4%
Boone 45 18,241 16,566 1,675 10.1%
Kannapolis 46 45,685 41,663 4,022 9.7%
Elon 47 9,781 8,933 848 9.5%
Southern Pines 48 13,258 12,116 1,142 9.4%
Carrboro 49 20,867 19,074 1,793 9.4%
Unionville 50 6,397 5,853 544 9.3%
Mount Holly 51 14,058 12,914 1,144 8.9%
Morehead City 52 9,273 8,523 750 8.8%
Wilmington 53 113,724 104,730 8,994 8.6%
High Point 54 108,982 100,903 8,079 8.0%
Sanford 55 29,048 26,897 2,151 8.0%
Oak Island 56 7,359 6,818 541 7.9%
Burlington 57 52,570 48,736 3,834 7.9%
Clemmons 58 19,536 18,145 1,391 7.7%
Hillsborough 59 6,428 5,972 456 7.6%
Greensboro 60 282,177 263,358 18,819 7.1%
New Bern 61 30,075 28,073 2,002 7.1%
Smithfield 62 11,746 10,972 774 7.1%
Dunn 63 9,762 9,123 639 7.0%
Chapel Hill 64 59,005 55,180 3,825 6.9%
Asheville 65 87,531 81,970 5,561 6.8%
Belmont 66 10,494 9,829 665 6.8%
Carolina Beach 67 6,048 5,665 383 6.8%
Lewisville 68 13,356 12,518 838 6.7%
Ayden 69 5,167 4,862 305 6.3%
Long View 70 5,071 4,772 299 6.3%
Kernersville 71 23,736 22,337 1,399 6.3%
Asheboro 72 25,978 24,478 1,500 6.1%
Winston-Salem 73 238,474 224,769 13,705 6.1%
Siler City 74 8,269 7,801 468 6.0%
Nashville 75 5,521 5,210 311 6.0%
Monroe 76 34,212 32,297 1,915 5.9%
Woodfin 77 6,241 5,913 328 5.5%
Mills River 78 6,990 6,633 357 5.4%
Whiteville 79 5,535 5,255 280 5.3%
Hendersonville 80 13,548 12,900 648 5.0%
Kill Devil Hills 81 6,948 6,630 318 4.8%
Archdale 82 11,483 10,964 519 4.7%
Black Mountain 83 8,168 7,809 359 4.6%
Statesville 84 25,731 24,619 1,112 4.5%
Gastonia 85 73,877 70,709 3,168 4.5%
Conover 86 8,263 7,928 335 4.2%
Graham 87 14,506 13,921 585 4.2%
Selma 88 6,325 6,072 253 4.2%
Kings Mountain 89 11,053 10,631 422 4.0%
Mocksville 90 5,140 4,952 188 3.8%
Butner 91 7,692 7,414 278 3.7%
Cherryville 92 5,901 5,697 204 3.6%
Thomasville 93 27,178 26,319 859 3.3%
Brevard 94 7,710 7,489 221 3.0%
Wilson 95 49,558 48,219 1,339 2.8%
Oxford 96 8,707 8,490 217 2.6%
Clinton 97 8,799 8,584 215 2.5%
Bessemer City 98 5,462 5,333 129 2.4%
Fayetteville 99 203,670 198,875 4,795 2.4%
Salisbury 100 33,674 33,018 656 2.0%
King 101 6,777 6,660 117 1.8%
Washington 102 9,862 9,708 154 1.6%
Lincolnton 103 10,593 10,440 153 1.5%
Hamlet 104 6,500 6,420 80 1.2%
Lumberton 105 21,646 21,448 198 0.9%
Hickory 106 40,274 39,932 342 0.9%
Williamston 107 5,534 5,514 20 0.4%
Albemarle 108 15,968 15,912 56 0.4%
Trinity 109 6,651 6,628 23 0.3%
Newton 110 12,999 12,967 32 0.2%
Havelock 111 20,630 20,624 6 0.0%
Lexington 112 19,089 19,155 -66 -0.3%
Shelby 113 20,259 20,417 -158 -0.8%
Jacksonville 114 68,404 68,989 -585 -0.8%
Eden 115 15,434 15,602 -168 -1.1%
Sawmills 116 5,119 5,193 -74 -1.4%
Waynesville 117 9,788 9,934 -146 -1.5%
Lenoir 118 17,956 18,225 -269 -1.5%
Mount Airy 119 10,364 10,520 -156 -1.5%
Morganton 120 16,717 16,972 -255 -1.5%
Forest City 121 7,356 7,487 -131 -1.7%
Henderson 122 15,258 15,540 -282 -1.8%
Roxboro 123 8,329 8,490 -161 -1.9%
Tarboro 124 11,206 11,424 -218 -1.9%
Marion 125 7,873 8,062 -189 -2.3%
Goldsboro 126 35,924 36,816 -892 -2.4%
Rockingham 127 9,289 9,524 -235 -2.5%
Roanoke Rapids 128 15,454 15,865 -411 -2.6%
Kinston 129 21,393 21,998 -605 -2.8%
Rocky Mount 130 56,175 57,776 -1,601 -2.8%
Reidsville 131 14,107 14,511 -404 -2.8%
Laurinburg 132 15,601 16,067 -466 -2.9%
Elizabeth City 133 18,025 18,647 -622 -3.3%
Wadesboro 134 5,577 5,882 -305 -5.2%

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