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Census News: North Carolina Metro Areas See Growth

Raleigh is one of fastest growing metro areas in the country, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. (JamesWillamor/Flickr)
Raleigh is one of fastest growing metro areas in the country, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. (JamesWillamor/Flickr)
March 24, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – People are moving to the Tar Heel State – particularly to its metro areas.

Census data released today names Raleigh as the 16th fastest growing metropolitan area in the country, and found Charlotte also has seen significant gains in the last year.

Statewide, between 2014 and 2015, 38,000 people moved to North Carolina from elsewhere in the country.

And Ben Bolender, chief of the Populations Estimates Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau, says the state is also seeing an influx of people from around the world.

"North Carolina in general is gaining people from other parts of the country,” he states. “They do have positive increase, from both births and deaths, and they are still gaining about 25,000 people a year in international migration."

Bolender and other economic experts maintain much of the population growth can be attributed to quality of life – with the state's mild climate, abundant recreation and employment opportunities.

But while the additional population contributes to the economy, it also puts additional demand on infrastructure and school systems.

The Census Bureau compiled the new data from death, birth and other public records.

Bolender says the information can be invaluable to city planners and state government as they determine where to allocate resources.

"Our estimates are very important, and they're used a lot of times for planning purposes, both by government leaders and by business leaders," he points out.

The State Budget Office predicts significant population growth in western North Carolina, areas in the central part of the state, and parts of the coast.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC