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:
- Rolesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Leland (Homes For Sale)
- Waxhaw (Homes For Sale)
- Fuquay-Varina (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Harrisburg (Homes For Sale)
- Morrisville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Holly Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Wake Forest (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Knightdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mebane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
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.
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]
Population: 5,583 Population 2010: 3,289
Growth Rate: 69.75%
Absolute Growth: 2,294
More on Rolesville: Homes For Sale | Data
Rolesville is a town and suburb in northeastern Wake County, North Carolina, United States, just outside the capital city of Raleigh. It is the second oldest town in Wake County and has been one of the fastest growing towns in the state of North Carolina for the past several years. The population was 6,074 in 2015.
Population: 17,023 Population 2010: 11,925
Growth Rate: 42.75%
Absolute Growth: 5,098
More on Leland: Homes For Sale | Data
Leland is a town in Brunswick County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 13,527 at the 2010 census, up from 1,938 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area. A number of movies, such as Maximum Overdrive (1986), Domestic Disturbance (2001), and We’re the Millers (2013) have been shot in or around Leland.
Population: 12,398 Population 2010: 8,754
Growth Rate: 41.63%
Absolute Growth: 3,644
More on Waxhaw: Homes For Sale | Data
Waxhaw is a town located in Union County, North Carolina. The population was 9,859 according to the 2010 Census.
Population: 22,722 Population 2010: 16,152
Growth Rate: 40.68%
Absolute Growth: 6,570
More on Fuquay-Varina: Homes For Sale | Data
Fuquay-Varina /fjukwe vrin/ is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 18,644 in 2012 (state-certified as of July 1, 2012). The population was 17,937 at the 2010 census, up from 7,898 at the 2000 census. The town is a 25-minute drive south of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. The hyphenated name attests to the town’s history as two separate towns. Fuquay Springs and Varina merged in 1963 to create the modern town. Economically, the town initially grew due to tobacco trade and agriculture, but has seen recent population growth and real estate development due to its proximity to Research Triangle Park.
Population: 22,600 Population 2010: 16,147
Growth Rate: 39.96%
Absolute Growth: 6,453
More on Morrisville: Homes For Sale | Data
Morrisville is a town located in both Wake and Durham counties of the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 18,576 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town’s population to be 21,932 as of July 1, 2013. Morrisville is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional name originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located midway between the cities of Raleigh and Durham. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Raleigh-Durham-Cary. The estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary CSA was 1,565,223 as of July 1, 2006, with the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) portion estimated at 994,551 residents. The U.S. headquarters of Chinese multinational Lenovo are located in the municipal limits.
7. Holly Springs
Population: 30,126 Population 2010: 21,968
Growth Rate: 37.14%
Absolute Growth: 8,158
More on Holly Springs: Homes For Sale | Data
Holly Springs is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 24,661, over 2½ times its population in 2000.
8. Wake Forest
Population: 36,472 Population 2010: 26,790
Growth Rate: 36.14%
Absolute Growth: 9,682
More on Wake Forest: Homes For Sale | Data
Wake Forest is a town in Franklin and Wake counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina; located almost entirely in Wake County, it lies just north of the state capital, Raleigh. The population was 30,117 at the 2010 census, up from 12,588 at the 2000 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city’s population to be 34,752 as of July 1, 2013. In 2007, the town was listed by Forbes magazine as the 20th fastest growing suburb in America, with a 73.2 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2006. Wake Forest was the original home of Wake Forest University for 122 years before it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.
Population: 13,787 Population 2010: 10,477
Growth Rate: 31.59%
Absolute Growth: 3,310
More on Knightdale: Homes For Sale | Data
Knightdale is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,401. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town’s population to be 13,291 as of July 1, 2013. Knightdale’s population grew 10.4% from 2010-2012, making it the second fastest-growing community in the Research Triangle region for that time period.
Population: 13,592 Population 2010: 10,401
Growth Rate: 30.68%
Absolute Growth: 3,191
More on Mebane: Homes For Sale | Data
Mebane /mbn/ is a city located mostly in Alamance County, North Carolina, United States, and partly in Orange County, North Carolina. The town was named for Alexander Mebane, an American Revolutionary War general and member of the U.S. Congress. It was incorporated as ‘Mebanesville’ in 1881, and in 1883 the name was changed to ‘Mebane’. It was incorporated as a city in 1987. The population as of the 2010 census was 11,393. Mebane is one of the fastest growing municipalities in North Carolina.
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:
- 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina
- 10 Most Diverse Cities In North Carolina