In December, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that North Carolina’s population had topped 10 million last summer, growing by more than 102,000 in the year ending July 1.
Now the Census Bureau has released new numbers that show that more than two-thirds of that growth took place in the state’s two largest metropolitan areas – the Triangle and Charlotte – while large swaths of the state have lost population.
The populations of 48 of North Carolina’s 100 counties shrank in the year ending last July 1, continuing a trend that began with the 2009 recession and has not abated as the state and national economies have recovered.
[Look up NC population estimates]
The counties that have lost population are mostly rural, with the most severe losses in the northeastern part of the state. Northampton and Tyrrell counties have lost more than 7 percent of their populations since the 2010 census.
By contrast, nine counties have seen double-digit population growth since 2010, led by Brunswick County on the coast, at 13.6 percent. Three of those fast-growing counties – Wake, Durham and Chatham – are in the Triangle.
The Raleigh metro area – defined at Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties – was the 16th fastest growing metro area ...