Census: Raleigh, Durham move up list of nation’s largest cities

Raleigh is now bigger than Omaha, Durham has more residents than St. Petersburg, Fla., and eight of the 25 fastest-growing municipalities in North Carolina last year were in the Triangle, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau’s annual report on municipal population shows most of the big gainers are in the South and West, matching the shift in the nation’s population. Seattle and Denver now each have more residents than Detroit, while Arlington, Texas, displaced Cleveland on the list of the nation’s 50 largest cities.

The report shows the uneven growth of North Carolina, which topped 10 million residents last year. Of the 552 North Carolina communities counted by the Census Bureau, about 41 percent lost population last year, including sizable cities such as Fayetteville, Rocky Mount and Jacksonville.

Interesting among the report’s findings:

▪ Raleigh’s population reached an estimated 451,066 last July 1, making the city the 42nd largest in the country just behind Virginia Beach.

▪ Durham’s population was an estimated 257,636 last July, making it the 79th largest city in the country just behind Buffalo. Durham solidified its position as the state’s fourth largest city, ahead of Winston-Salem but behind Greensboro.

▪ Rolesville continues to be the Triangle’s fastest-growing community. Nearly 6,300 people lived in the town last July 1, about 65 percent more than in 2010.

▪ In addition to Rolesville, Fuquay-Varinia, Clayton, Morrisville, Zebulon, Wake Forest, Holly Springs and Apex were among the top 25 fastest-growing towns in the state last year.

▪ Chapel Hill added fewer than 200 residents in the year ending July 1. Its population has grown less than 4 percent since 2010, to an estimated 59,568.

▪ Charlotte’s population grew by 17,695 in the year ending July 1, the 10th largest numerical increase in the country. Charlotte remained by far the state’s largest city and the 17th largest in the country, with 827,097 residents.

by: Richard Stradling

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