North Carolina Population 2018

10,390,149

Situated on the east coast of the United States, North Carolina is just the 28th largest state in the country in terms of area but it has a relatively high population density. The North Carolina population statistics make for very interesting reading as a whole, but how do the numbers stack up in recent years? It's estimated North Carolina's population has reached 10.39 million in 2018 up from the 2010 population of 9,535,483. North Carolina currently has a very healthy growth rate of 1.13%, which ranks 14th in the nation.

To gauge the North Carolina population in 2018, it's essential to look at the last set of confirmed figures which were declared at the time of the official US census of 2010. At the time, it was reported that there were 9,535,483 people living in the state, and that represented a significant rise of 18.5% from the numbers declared in 2000.

It's now estimated that North Carolina's population has grown even further to 10.39 million, making North Carolina the 10th most populous state in the country.

North Carolina may only rank in the lower middle half of the US in terms of size but it more than makes up for those statistics with its population density. The total surface area is 53,819 square miles (139,390 square kilometers) and there is an average of 196 people for every square mile. This makes North Carolina the 15th most densely populated state in the US.

North Carolina has three major Combined Statistical Areas with populations over 1.6 million, as of 2016. This includes: Metrolina (Charlotte - Gastonia - Salisbury, North Carolina - South Carolina), pop 2.38 million The Triangle (Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill, North Carolina), pop 1.8 million The Triad (Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina), pop 1.5 million

Charlotte is by far the largest city in North Carolina, claiming 827,097 residents out of the total population of over 10 million. While North Carolina has historically been a rural area, the past thirty years have seen a rapid increase in urbanization, like most of the United States. Today, most of the residents of North Carolina live in urban and suburban areas.

North Carolina Population History

North Carolina was one of the 13 original States and by the time of the 1790 census had essentially its current boundaries. In 1790 census coverage included most of the State, except for areas at the western end, parts of which were not enumerated until 1840. The population for 1810 includes Walton County, enumerated as part of Georgia although actually within North Carolina.

North Carolina Population Chart

North Carolina Population History

It’s a simplistic view at times to suggest that the western states within the US had healthy populations from the very birth of the United States' independence but the figures in relation to North Carolina certainly back up that view.

In 1790, recorded figures show that the North Carolina population had already reached 393,751 and just ten years later those numbers had climbed to 478,103. Similar rises were noted in the Censuses that followed, and in 1870 it was confirmed that numbers had exceeded one million for the very first time.

Average percentage rises in the years that have followed have tended to be in the region of 18%, and when the numbers are already healthy, that leads to a growing population and a densely populated state.

North Carolina Population Growth

With healthy natural growth and net migration, there is nothing apparent that would suggest that the North Carolina population growth will slow down. The population density is significant but there is space still to accommodate an ever growing territory.

It is therefore reasonable to assume that the census of 2020 will show that the population has far exceeded 10 million. According to state projections, North Carolina will reach a population of 10.5 million in 2020, and will then surpass 11 million by 2030.

Population Data via US Census

North Carolina Growth Rate

North Carolina Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
202010,623,6091.11%
201910,506,8791.12%
201810,390,1491.14%
201710,273,4191.15%
201610,156,689Infinity%
20169,940,828-1.01%
201510,041,7691.01%
20149,941,1600.93%
20139,849,8120.97%
20129,755,2990.96%
20119,662,9400.93%
20109,574,2471.75%
20008,049,3131.96%
19906,628,6371.20%
19805,881,7661.47%
19705,082,0591.10%
19604,556,1551.15%
19504,061,9291.29%
19403,571,6231.20%
19303,170,2762.16%
19202,559,1231.49%
19102,206,2871.54%
19001,893,8101.59%
18901,617,9471.46%
18801,399,7502.71%
18701,071,3610.77%
1860992,6221.34%
1850869,0391.44%
1840753,4190.21%
1830737,9871.45%
1820638,8291.39%
1810556,5261.53%
1800478,1031.96%
1790393,7513.84%
1780270,1333.20%
1770197,2005.97%
1760110,4424.23%
175072,9843.50%
174051,7605.61%
173030,0003.50%
172021,2703.47%
171015,1203.50%
170010,7203.50%
16907,6003.42%
16805,4303.50%
16703,85014.43%
16601,0000.00%

North Carolina Facts

North Carolina Population in 2018Source: By Willamor Media (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bz3rk/8073759317/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • The land that is now known as North Carolina was originally inhabited by Cherokee, Hateras, and Tuscarora Native American tribes.
  • Walter Raleign established the first European settlement at Roanoke Island.
  • Virginia Dare was the first English child to be born in the United States. She was born in Roanoke in 1587.
  • North Carolina harvests over 4 billion pounds of sweet potatoes annually, making it the largest producer of the vegetable in the entire country.
  • North Carolina is a leader in tobacco, brick, textile and furniture production. High Point is even known as the "Furniture Capital of the World."
  • Pepsi soda was invented and served in 1898 in New Bern, and Krispy Kreme Donuts was founded in Winston-Salem.
  • The first flight was completed over Kitty Hawk in 1903 by the Wright Brothers.
  • The Biltmore Estate of Asheville is the largest private residence in the world.

North Carolina Population Density by County

Mecklenburg County

  • Population1,076,837
  • Density2057.35 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201016.64%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State10.48%

North Carolina Population Growth Rate by County

When examining data from the 2010 Census and US Census Bureau estimates from 2015, the counties of North Carolina have both significant increases and decreases in population across the state. The largest percentages of growth were recorded in the southern and central regions of the state. Brunswick County, the southernmost North Carolina County, reflected a growth of 13.48%, the largest rate of growth during the 5-year period. This was followed by Wake County at 12.93% and Mecklenberg at 12%. Eight additional counties in the state had growth rates that exceeded 10%, while other counties saw smaller rates of growth.

The largest decreases in population were recorded in the northeastern corner of the state, with Tyrrell County showing the largest decline at 7.77%. Other counties with higher losses include Northampton at 7.14%, Gates at 6%, and Washington at 5.91%. North Carolina had other counties with losses that were less than 5%, and these counties include Graham, Anson, Richmond, and Beaufort.

Population by Race

Race Population
White6,882,915
Black or African American2,137,131
Some Other Race298,795
Asian254,550
Two or More Races243,370
American Indian and Alaska Native117,479
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander6,588

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

North Carolina Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

North Carolina Median Age

38.3


Total

36.8


Male

39.7


Female

North Carolina Adults

There are 7,654,438 adults, (1,461,302 of which are seniors) in North Carolina.

North Carolina Age Dependency

60.5

Age Dependency Ratio

23.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36.9

Child Dependency Ratio

North Carolina Sex Ratio

Female

5,106,236

51.37%

Male

4,834,592

48.63%

North Carolina Households and Families

North Carolina Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

North Carolina Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married80.7%19.3%
All64.8%35.2%
Male53.6%46.4%
Non Family51.6%48.4%
Female44.9%55.1%

64.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

North Carolina Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All3,815,3922.5464.8
Married1,833,7723.1380.7
Non Family1,300,0541.2651.6
Female512,0193.3844.9
Male169,5473.4253.6

3.12

Average Family Size

2.54

Average Household Size

5.1%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

North Carolina Households

North Carolina Education

North Carolina Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade345,3025.17%
9th to 12th Grade569,5258.52%
High School Graduate1,765,77226.42%
Some College1,455,85821.78%
Associates Degree607,7809.09%
Bachelors Degree1,255,55718.78%
Graduate Degree684,87810.25%

North Carolina Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White4,583,8904,130,6611,496,000
Black1,356,9761,136,263263,017
Hispanic436,472245,43058,788
Asian165,831141,26089,464
Other Race147,76472,28613,247
Multiple Races88,05576,33226,051
Native American74,36855,3389,796
Islander3,9423,412385

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 90.11%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 53.95%.

North Carolina Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,074$38,599$29,144
Less Than High School$19,187$21,896$14,797
High School Grad$26,460$30,725$21,547
Some College$31,242$38,048$26,431
Bachelors Degree$45,922$57,765$38,851
Graduate Degree$59,736$79,162$50,440

$33,074

Average Earnings

$38,599

Average Male

$29,144

Average Female

North Carolina Language

North Carolina Language by Age

North Carolina Language

88.75% of North Carolina residents speak only English, while 11.25% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 7.40% of the population.

North Carolina Poverty

North Carolina Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White6,220,770718,25411.55%
Black2,056,688537,53826.14%
Hispanic867,229273,08131.49%
Other293,51298,89933.70%
Multiple233,95157,52524.59%
Native114,27732,10128.09%
Asian248,66532,04412.89%
Islander6,2271,22919.74%

16.85%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.37%

Male Poverty Rate

18.23%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in North Carolina

The race most likely to be in poverty in North Carolina is Other, with 33.70% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in North Carolina is White, with 11.55% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.44%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.05%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 24.18%.

North Carolina Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School30.19%
High School15.81%
Some College11.56%
Bachelors or Greater4.27%

North Carolina Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed41.35%
Male Unemployed34.29%
Female Employed9.71%
Male Employed7.04%

North Carolina Income

North Carolina Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$48,256$67,367
Families$59,667$79,446
Married Families$73,349$93,966
Non Families$29,633$41,625

North Carolina Marital Status

North Carolina Marital Status

Marriage Rates

48.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

51.3%

Male Marriage Rate

46.6%

Female Marriage Rate

North Carolina Married by Age and Sex

North Carolina Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

North Carolina Marital Status by Race

North Carolina Veterans

North Carolina Veterans by War

683,221

Number of Veterans

618,330

Male Veterans

64,891

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam243,775
First Gulf War151,536
Second Gulf War118,420
Korea58,575
World War II28,563

North Carolina Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 54183,975
65 to 74165,800
55 to 64138,071
75+132,245
18 to 3463,130

North Carolina Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White518,1659.60%
Black141,3398.88%
Hispanic20,5093.90%
2 or More9,0117.75%
Indian6,2707.23%
Other4,4972.47%
Asian3,3571.76%
Hawaiian58213.36%

North Carolina Veterans by Education

7.25%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.01%

Veteran Disability Rate

North Carolina Employment Status

North Carolina Employment by Age

62.6%

Labor Force Participation

56.4%

Employment Rate

8.3%

Unemployment Rate

North Carolina Employment by Race

North Carolina Employment by Education

North Carolina Nativity

North Carolina Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. North Carolina State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)