These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Carolina


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 Ahoskie 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:

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

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

If you’re not–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.

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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 over the last five years, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Population in 2014
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to 2014 (The latest available data)

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 2014 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

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1. Harrisburg


Population 2014: 13,549
Population 2010: 10,328
Growth Rate: 31.19%
Absolute Growth: 3,221

2. Leland


Population 2014: 15,316
Population 2010: 11,925
Growth Rate: 28.44%
Absolute Growth: 3,391

3. Morrisville

Morrisville, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,728
Population 2010: 16,147
Growth Rate: 28.37%
Absolute Growth: 4,581

4. Fuquay-Varina

Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,246
Population 2010: 16,152
Growth Rate: 25.35%
Absolute Growth: 4,094

5. Holly Springs

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 27,339
Population 2010: 21,968
Growth Rate: 24.45%
Absolute Growth: 5,371

6. Wake Forest

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 33,319
Population 2010: 26,790
Growth Rate: 24.37%
Absolute Growth: 6,529

7. Waxhaw

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,878
Population 2010: 8,754
Growth Rate: 24.26%
Absolute Growth: 2,124

8. Knightdale

Knightdale, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,692
Population 2010: 10,477
Growth Rate: 21.14%
Absolute Growth: 2,215

9. Mebane

Mebane, North Carolina

Source: Flickr

Population: 12,509
Population 2010: 10,401
Growth Rate: 20.27%
Absolute Growth: 2,108

10. Pinehurst

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,052
Population 2010: 12,521
Growth Rate: 20.21%
Absolute Growth: 2,531

Adding It Up

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in North Carolina are led by Harrisburg which has been growing a blistering pace these past five years relative to other places around the state.

It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same pace over the next five 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 2014 Pop 2010 Growth % Growth
Harrisburg 1 13,549 10,328 3,221 31.2%
Leland 2 15,316 11,925 3,391 28.4%
Morrisville 3 20,728 16,147 4,581 28.4%
Fuquay-Varina 4 20,246 16,152 4,094 25.3%
Holly Springs 5 27,339 21,968 5,371 24.4%
Wake Forest 6 33,319 26,790 6,529 24.4%
Waxhaw 7 10,878 8,754 2,124 24.3%
Knightdale 8 12,692 10,477 2,215 21.1%
Mebane 9 12,509 10,401 2,108 20.3%
Pinehurst 10 15,052 12,521 2,531 20.2%
Marvin 11 5,806 4,889 917 18.8%
Apex 12 40,631 34,427 6,204 18.0%
Wesley Chapel 13 7,882 6,702 1,180 17.6%
Clayton 14 17,274 14,714 2,560 17.4%
Indian Trail 15 34,950 30,362 4,588 15.1%
Cary 16 146,041 127,587 18,454 14.5%
Huntersville 17 49,279 43,106 6,173 14.3%
Cornelius 18 26,246 22,970 3,276 14.3%
Aberdeen 19 6,702 5,884 818 13.9%
Mooresville 20 34,466 30,582 3,884 12.7%
Stallings 21 14,185 12,682 1,503 11.9%
Winterville 22 9,424 8,462 962 11.4%
Davidson 23 11,492 10,320 1,172 11.4%
Hope Mills 24 16,024 14,416 1,608 11.2%
Boiling Spring Lakes 25 5,529 4,982 547 11.0%
Oak Ridge 26 6,435 5,805 630 10.9%
Spring Lake 27 13,101 11,829 1,272 10.8%
Raleigh 28 423,287 382,729 40,558 10.6%
Charlotte 29 774,807 705,896 68,911 9.8%
Fletcher 30 7,320 6,688 632 9.4%
Garner 31 26,723 24,417 2,306 9.4%
Concord 32 82,266 75,172 7,094 9.4%
Stokesdale 33 5,177 4,732 445 9.4%
Wendell 34 6,085 5,563 522 9.4%
Mint Hill 35 23,934 21,940 1,994 9.1%
Durham 36 240,107 220,324 19,783 9.0%
Summerfield 37 10,477 9,615 862 9.0%
Greenville 38 87,546 80,439 7,107 8.8%
Pineville 39 7,855 7,251 604 8.3%
Gibsonville 40 6,565 6,063 502 8.3%
Matthews 41 28,677 26,556 2,121 8.0%
Weddington 42 9,906 9,207 699 7.6%
New Bern 43 30,171 28,073 2,098 7.5%
Boone 44 17,802 16,566 1,236 7.5%
Sanford 45 28,798 26,897 1,901 7.1%
Mount Holly 46 13,815 12,914 901 7.0%
Carrboro 47 20,337 19,074 1,263 6.6%
Elon 48 9,516 8,933 583 6.5%
Burlington 49 51,740 48,736 3,004 6.2%
Morehead City 50 9,030 8,523 507 5.9%
High Point 51 106,797 100,903 5,894 5.8%
Chapel Hill 52 58,379 55,180 3,199 5.8%
Unionville 53 6,180 5,853 327 5.6%
Southern Pines 54 12,782 12,116 666 5.5%
Kernersville 55 23,522 22,337 1,185 5.3%
Kannapolis 56 43,865 41,663 2,202 5.3%
Clemmons 57 19,101 18,145 956 5.3%
Belmont 58 10,346 9,829 517 5.3%
Wilmington 59 110,100 104,730 5,370 5.1%
Nashville 60 5,469 5,210 259 5.0%
Dunn 61 9,570 9,123 447 4.9%
Greensboro 62 276,225 263,358 12,867 4.9%
Hillsborough 63 6,256 5,972 284 4.8%
Asheville 64 85,783 81,970 3,813 4.7%
Asheboro 65 25,573 24,478 1,095 4.5%
Winston-Salem 66 234,469 224,769 9,700 4.3%
Woodfin 67 6,167 5,913 254 4.3%
Mills River 68 6,917 6,633 284 4.3%
Lewisville 69 13,037 12,518 519 4.1%
Monroe 70 33,588 32,297 1,291 4.0%
Whiteville 71 5,465 5,255 210 4.0%
Siler City 72 8,109 7,801 308 3.9%
Carolina Beach 73 5,888 5,665 223 3.9%
Smithfield 74 11,357 10,972 385 3.5%
Hendersonville 75 13,350 12,900 450 3.5%
Conover 76 8,200 7,928 272 3.4%
Oak Island 77 7,051 6,818 233 3.4%
Butner 78 7,661 7,414 247 3.3%
Graham 79 14,384 13,921 463 3.3%
Archdale 80 11,322 10,964 358 3.3%
Ayden 81 5,018 4,862 156 3.2%
Gastonia 82 72,664 70,709 1,955 2.8%
Thomasville 83 27,042 26,319 723 2.7%
Kill Devil Hills 84 6,810 6,630 180 2.7%
Mocksville 85 5,086 4,952 134 2.7%
Wilson 86 49,389 48,219 1,170 2.4%
Hamlet 87 6,566 6,420 146 2.3%
Cherryville 88 5,826 5,697 129 2.3%
Brevard 89 7,651 7,489 162 2.2%
Black Mountain 90 7,977 7,809 168 2.2%
Statesville 91 25,132 24,619 513 2.1%
Fayetteville 92 202,421 198,875 3,546 1.8%
Clinton 93 8,729 8,584 145 1.7%
Selma 94 6,172 6,072 100 1.6%
Lincolnton 95 10,601 10,440 161 1.5%
Salisbury 96 33,524 33,018 506 1.5%
Bessemer City 97 5,410 5,333 77 1.4%
Lumberton 98 21,707 21,448 259 1.2%
Oxford 99 8,585 8,490 95 1.1%
Havelock 100 20,850 20,624 226 1.1%
King 101 6,732 6,660 72 1.1%
Kings Mountain 102 10,743 10,631 112 1.1%
Washington 103 9,768 9,708 60 0.6%
Jacksonville 104 69,300 68,989 311 0.5%
Hickory 105 40,108 39,932 176 0.4%
Trinity 106 6,648 6,628 20 0.3%
Newton 107 12,998 12,967 31 0.2%
Albemarle 108 15,924 15,912 12 0.1%
Eden 109 15,543 15,602 -59 -0.4%
Sawmills 110 5,164 5,193 -29 -0.6%
Shelby 111 20,283 20,417 -134 -0.7%
Lexington 112 19,029 19,155 -126 -0.7%
Rockingham 113 9,444 9,524 -80 -0.8%
Tarboro 114 11,323 11,424 -101 -0.9%
Lenoir 115 18,061 18,225 -164 -0.9%
Morganton 116 16,816 16,972 -156 -0.9%
Mount Airy 117 10,411 10,520 -109 -1.0%
Rocky Mount 118 57,071 57,776 -705 -1.2%
Forest City 119 7,387 7,487 -100 -1.3%
Roanoke Rapids 120 15,653 15,865 -212 -1.3%
Henderson 121 15,325 15,540 -215 -1.4%
Marion 122 7,948 8,062 -114 -1.4%
Elizabeth City 123 18,343 18,647 -304 -1.6%
Waynesville 124 9,770 9,934 -164 -1.7%
Laurinburg 125 15,799 16,067 -268 -1.7%
Ahoskie 126 5,017 5,109 -92 -1.8%
Reidsville 127 14,249 14,511 -262 -1.8%
Kinston 128 21,589 21,998 -409 -1.9%
Roxboro 129 8,330 8,490 -160 -1.9%
Williamston 130 5,410 5,514 -104 -1.9%
Goldsboro 131 35,908 36,816 -908 -2.5%
Wadesboro 132 5,711 5,882 -171 -2.9%

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