These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Carolina For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the fastest growing cities in North Carolina.

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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 Ayden, 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 2019 according to the most recent census data:

  1. Rolesville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Waxhaw (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Leland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Morrisville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Holly Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Harrisburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Wake Forest (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Mebane (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Knightdale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Apex (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.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in North Carolina or the Fastest Growing States In America.

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 2017
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to 2017 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 132 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 2017 – 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

1. Rolesville

Rolesville, North Carolina

Population: 6,308
Population 2010: 3,289
Growth Rate: 91.79%
Absolute Growth: 3,019
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.

2. Waxhaw

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Population: 13,343
Population 2010: 8,754
Growth Rate: 52.42%
Absolute Growth: 4,589
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.

3. Leland

Leland, North Carolina

Population: 18,023
Population 2010: 11,925
Growth Rate: 51.14%
Absolute Growth: 6,098
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.

4. Morrisville

Morrisville, North Carolina

Source: Town of Morrisville

Population: 23,873
Population 2010: 16,147
Growth Rate: 47.85%
Absolute Growth: 7,726
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.

5. Holly Springs

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Population: 31,827
Population 2010: 21,968
Growth Rate: 44.88%
Absolute Growth: 9,859
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.

6. Harrisburg

Harrisburg, North Carolina

Population: 14,856
Population 2010: 10,328
Growth Rate: 43.84%
Absolute Growth: 4,528
More on Harrisburg: Homes For Sale | Data

7. Wake Forest

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Population: 38,473
Population 2010: 26,790
Growth Rate: 43.61%
Absolute Growth: 11,683
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.

8. Mebane

Mebane, North Carolina

Population: 14,426
Population 2010: 10,401
Growth Rate: 38.7%
Absolute Growth: 4,025
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.

9. Knightdale

Knightdale, North Carolina

Population: 14,363
Population 2010: 10,477
Growth Rate: 37.09%
Absolute Growth: 3,886
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.

10. Apex

Apex, North Carolina

Source: Public domain

Population: 45,899
Population 2010: 34,427
Growth Rate: 33.32%
Absolute Growth: 11,472
More on Apex: Homes For Sale | Data
Apex is a town in Wake County, North Carolina and a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town’s population to be 43,907 as of July 1, 2014.

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

Rank City Pop 2017 Pop 2010 Growth % Growth
1 Rolesville 6,308 3,289 3,019 91.8%
2 Waxhaw 13,343 8,754 4,589 52.4%
3 Leland 18,023 11,925 6,098 51.1%
4 Morrisville 23,873 16,147 7,726 47.8%
5 Holly Springs 31,827 21,968 9,859 44.9%
6 Harrisburg 14,856 10,328 4,528 43.8%
7 Wake Forest 38,473 26,790 11,683 43.6%
8 Mebane 14,426 10,401 4,025 38.7%
9 Knightdale 14,363 10,477 3,886 37.1%
10 Apex 45,899 34,427 11,472 33.3%
11 Clayton 19,306 14,714 4,592 31.2%
12 Marvin 6,174 4,889 1,285 26.3%
13 Wesley Chapel 8,447 6,702 1,745 26.0%
14 Cary 159,715 127,587 32,128 25.2%
15 Pinehurst 15,580 12,521 3,059 24.4%
16 Angier 5,151 4,140 1,011 24.4%
17 Huntersville 53,302 43,106 10,196 23.7%
18 Aberdeen 7,265 5,884 1,381 23.5%
19 Indian Trail 37,191 30,362 6,829 22.5%
20 Cornelius 28,052 22,970 5,082 22.1%
21 Mooresville 36,577 30,582 5,995 19.6%
22 Davidson 12,325 10,320 2,005 19.4%
23 Stallings 14,970 12,682 2,288 18.0%
24 Hillsborough 7,033 5,972 1,061 17.8%
25 Raleigh 449,477 382,729 66,748 17.4%
26 Wendell 6,516 5,563 953 17.1%
27 Charlotte 826,060 705,896 120,164 17.0%
28 Durham 257,232 220,324 36,908 16.8%
29 Mint Hill 25,600 21,940 3,660 16.7%
30 Concord 87,607 75,172 12,435 16.5%
31 Pineville 8,418 7,251 1,167 16.1%
32 Boiling Spring Lakes 5,777 4,982 795 16.0%
33 Oak Ridge 6,728 5,805 923 15.9%
34 Matthews 30,760 26,556 4,204 15.8%
35 Mount Holly 14,948 12,914 2,034 15.8%
36 Belmont 11,373 9,829 1,544 15.7%
37 Fletcher 7,737 6,688 1,049 15.7%
38 Garner 28,048 24,417 3,631 14.9%
39 Summerfield 10,957 9,615 1,342 14.0%
40 Gibsonville 6,845 6,063 782 12.9%
41 Weddington 10,388 9,207 1,181 12.8%
42 Stokesdale 5,331 4,732 599 12.7%
43 Greenville 90,347 80,439 9,908 12.3%
44 Winterville 9,488 8,462 1,026 12.1%
45 Hope Mills 16,106 14,416 1,690 11.7%
46 Boone 18,493 16,566 1,927 11.6%
47 Kannapolis 46,498 41,663 4,835 11.6%
48 Elon 9,939 8,933 1,006 11.3%
49 Unionville 6,497 5,853 644 11.0%
50 Southern Pines 13,426 12,116 1,310 10.8%
51 Carrboro 21,099 19,074 2,025 10.6%
52 Wilmington 115,261 104,730 10,531 10.1%
53 Clemmons 19,844 18,145 1,699 9.4%
54 Asheville 89,318 81,970 7,348 9.0%
55 High Point 109,849 100,903 8,946 8.9%
56 Oak Island 7,400 6,818 582 8.5%
57 Burlington 52,813 48,736 4,077 8.4%
58 Greensboro 284,816 263,358 21,458 8.1%
59 Woodfin 6,394 5,913 481 8.1%
60 Sanford 29,051 26,897 2,154 8.0%
61 Lewisville 13,516 12,518 998 8.0%
62 Carolina Beach 6,116 5,665 451 8.0%
63 Morehead City 9,200 8,523 677 7.9%
64 Smithfield 11,824 10,972 852 7.8%
65 Spring Lake 12,746 11,829 917 7.8%
66 Kernersville 23,988 22,337 1,651 7.4%
67 Chapel Hill 59,234 55,180 4,054 7.3%
68 Jacksonville 73,661 68,989 4,672 6.8%
69 Mills River 7,079 6,633 446 6.7%
70 Monroe 34,368 32,297 2,071 6.4%
71 Dunn 9,657 9,123 534 5.9%
72 Fayetteville 210,324 198,875 11,449 5.8%
73 New Bern 29,664 28,073 1,591 5.7%
74 Asheboro 25,863 24,478 1,385 5.7%
75 Hendersonville 13,620 12,900 720 5.6%
76 Ayden 5,120 4,862 258 5.3%
77 Kill Devil Hills 6,978 6,630 348 5.2%
78 Gastonia 74,381 70,709 3,672 5.2%
79 Statesville 25,872 24,619 1,253 5.1%
80 Long View 5,013 4,772 241 5.1%
81 Nashville 5,473 5,210 263 5.0%
82 Selma 6,375 6,072 303 5.0%
83 Archdale 11,509 10,964 545 5.0%
84 Conover 8,288 7,928 360 4.5%
85 Graham 14,540 13,921 619 4.4%
86 Whiteville 5,487 5,255 232 4.4%
87 Siler City 8,116 7,801 315 4.0%
88 Butner 7,709 7,414 295 4.0%
89 Black Mountain 8,110 7,809 301 3.9%
90 Brevard 7,759 7,489 270 3.6%
91 Mocksville 5,130 4,952 178 3.6%
92 Kings Mountain 10,929 10,631 298 2.8%
93 Cherryville 5,854 5,697 157 2.8%
94 Thomasville 26,901 26,319 582 2.2%
95 Wilson 49,237 48,219 1,018 2.1%
96 Salisbury 33,561 33,018 543 1.6%
97 King 6,763 6,660 103 1.5%
98 Bessemer City 5,411 5,333 78 1.5%
99 Oxford 8,614 8,490 124 1.5%
100 Lincolnton 10,574 10,440 134 1.3%

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