Fastest growing cities in North Carolina

Written by:
February 6, 2022
Canva

Fastest growing cities in North Carolina

Population growth in the United States is slowing. From 2010 to 2020, the population grew by just 7.4%—the lowest rate since the 1930s. Declining birth rates, an aging population, and fewer immigrants are all contributing to historically slow growth rates. But depending on where you are in the country, it might not always feel that way.

In every state, there were cities that experienced cumulative population gains over the course of the decade. But when you look at the growth rates from year to year, cities across the country are following a similar trajectory. Small, medium, and large cities all saw declining growth since 2016. Some of the largest cities—those with populations over 1 million—have actually seen a decrease in overall population, not just slower population growth.

Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cities are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020.

Many cities experienced their most significant growth within the first few years of the decade. Experts postulate that the housing bubble burst in tandem with economic hardships of the Great Recession pushed many people of home-buying age to the cities. A decade later, in the wake of the pandemic, the U.S. is in a similar position.

#20. Leland
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +10,983
--- #470 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 92.1%
--- #28 among cities in North Carolina, #959 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 22,908
--- #43 largest city in North Carolina, #2,008 largest city nationwide

#19. Kannapolis
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +11,451
--- #449 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 27.5%
--- #140 among cities in North Carolina, #4,191 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 53,114
--- #20 largest city in North Carolina, #803 largest city nationwide

#18. Clayton
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +11,593
--- #444 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 78.8%
--- #40 among cities in North Carolina, #1,211 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 26,307
--- #42 largest city in North Carolina, #1,711 largest city nationwide

#17. Waxhaw
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +11,780
--- #432 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 134.6%
--- #17 among cities in North Carolina, #584 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 20,534
--- #47 largest city in North Carolina, #2,201 largest city nationwide

#16. Asheville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +12,619
--- #391 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 15.4%
--- #226 among cities in North Carolina, #6,850 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 94,589
--- #11 largest city in North Carolina, #363 largest city nationwide

#15. High Point
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,156
--- #375 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 13.0%
--- #246 among cities in North Carolina, #7,626 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 114,059
--- #9 largest city in North Carolina, #274 largest city nationwide

#14. Morrisville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,483
--- #362 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 83.5%
--- #36 among cities in North Carolina, #1,120 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 29,630
--- #35 largest city in North Carolina, #1,511 largest city nationwide

#13. Fuquay-Varina
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +18,000
--- #246 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 111.4%
--- #24 among cities in North Carolina, #749 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 34,152
--- #29 largest city in North Carolina, #1,305 largest city nationwide

#12. Huntersville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +18,270
--- #243 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 42.4%
--- #93 among cities in North Carolina, #2,680 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 61,376
--- #16 largest city in North Carolina, #666 largest city nationwide

#11. Holly Springs
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +19,271
--- #218 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 87.7%
--- #31 among cities in North Carolina, #1,030 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 41,239
--- #25 largest city in North Carolina, #1,055 largest city nationwide

#10. Mooresville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +19,611
--- #211 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 64.1%
--- #57 among cities in North Carolina, #1,623 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 50,193
--- #21 largest city in North Carolina, #858 largest city nationwide

#9. Wake Forest
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +20,811
--- #194 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 77.7%
--- #42 among cities in North Carolina, #1,233 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 47,601
--- #23 largest city in North Carolina, #910 largest city nationwide

#8. Apex
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,353
--- #145 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 70.7%
--- #48 among cities in North Carolina, #1,406 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 58,780
--- #17 largest city in North Carolina, #712 largest city nationwide

#7. Winston-Salem
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +24,776
--- #143 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 11.0%
--- #264 among cities in North Carolina, #8,423 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 249,545
--- #5 largest city in North Carolina, #89 largest city nationwide

#6. Concord
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +30,068
--- #110 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 40.0%
--- #98 among cities in North Carolina, #2,848 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 105,240
--- #10 largest city in North Carolina, #311 largest city nationwide

#5. Greensboro
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +35,677
--- #88 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 13.5%
--- #241 among cities in North Carolina, #7,422 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 299,035
--- #3 largest city in North Carolina, #70 largest city nationwide

#4. Cary
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +47,134
--- #58 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 36.9%
--- #106 among cities in North Carolina, #3,084 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 174,721
--- #7 largest city in North Carolina, #155 largest city nationwide

#3. Durham
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +63,182
--- #40 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 28.7%
--- #132 among cities in North Carolina, #4,021 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 283,506
--- #4 largest city in North Carolina, #75 largest city nationwide

#2. Raleigh
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +84,936
--- #26 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 22.2%
--- #176 among cities in North Carolina, #5,144 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 467,665
--- #2 largest city in North Carolina, #40 largest city nationwide

#1. Charlotte
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +168,683
--- #5 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 23.9%
--- #162 among cities in North Carolina, #4,785 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 874,579
--- #1 largest city in North Carolina, #16 largest city nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the lowest hospital bed capacity in North Carolina

Trending Now