Raleigh Population 2017

Raleigh's population is estimated at 438,000, up from an estimated 423,000 in 2012. The Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has a population estimated at 1.21 million, however. The larger Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is estimated at 2.03 million. Raleigh has a population density of 2,963 people per square mile (1,097/sq km).

Raleigh Demographics

According to the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Raleigh was:

  • White: 57.5% (non-Hispanic: 53.3%)
  • Black or African American: 29.3%
  • Asian American: 4.3% (1.2% Indian, 0.8% Chinese, 0.7% Vietnamese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% Pakistani)
  • Two or more races: 2.6%
  • Other race: 1.4%
  • Native American: 0.5%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: less than 0.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 11.3% (5.9% Mexican, 1.1% Puerto Rican)

The proportion of white people in Raleigh declined from 63% in 2000 while the Asian population grew from 3.3%.

Raleigh History

Raleigh was chosen as the new capital of North Carolina in 1788. It is one of few planned cities in the United States, and its site was chosen in a central location to protect it from coastal attacks. From 1810 to 1820, the population grew from just 876 to more than 2,600. During the Civil War, the city was protected against Union troops and, despite a nearby battle, Raleigh experienced little serious damage but it failed to grow for decades due to an economy based on agriculture.

After the Civil War, many free blacks (freedmen) migrated from rural areas to Raleigh, which had a large free black community. The city became the site of Shaw University, the first African American college in the South with classes that began in 1865. Despite progress made during the 19th century for black people in the state, voter registration rules passed in 1900 reduced black voting to zero by 1908. It was not until federal civil rights legislation in the 1960s that most black people in North Carolina could vote again, sit on juries and serve in local offices.

Raleigh has since grown and changed dramatically. For the past ten years, it has frequently made Top 10 Lists, including those by Forbes and Money Magazine. Except for 1830, Raleigh has posted positive population growth at every census since 1800.

Raleigh Population Growth

Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States with a growth rate of about 3.4% per year. A Forbes study last year found the Raleigh metropolitan area was the fastest growing in the United States, increasing 47% from 2000 to 2012.

Between 2000 and 2009, the Raleigh-Durham-Cary metropolitan area grew 40%, leading the nation. It is predicted that Raleigh will remain the fastest-growing metropolitan area through 2025.

Year Population Change
2015 451,066 11.70%
2010 403,892 46.30%
2000 276,093 32.80%
1990 207,951 38.40%
1980 150,255 22.30%
1970 122,830 30.80%
1960 93,931 43.00%
1950 65,679 40.00%
1940 46,897 25.50%
1930 37,379 53.10%
1920 24,418 27.10%
1910 19,218 40.90%
1900 13,643 7.60%
1890 12,678 36.80%
1880 9,265 18.90%
1870 7,790 63.00%
1860 4,780 5.80%
1850 4,518 105.40%
1840 2,200 29.40%
1830 1,700 -36.40%
1820 2,674 282.00%
1800 700 0.00%

Raleigh Population in 2017 Source: Spyder Monkey

Raleigh Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 257,900 60.93%
Black or African American 122,481 28.94%
American Indian and Alaska Native 1,262 0.30%
Asian 18,221 4.30%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 390 0.09%
Some Other Race 14,056 3.32%
Two or More Races 8,977 2.12%

Population Pyramid

Raleigh Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 186,002
Owner-Occupied Units 88,738
Renter-Occupied Units 81,628
Median Home Value $208,800
Median Rent $926
Vacancy Rate 8.4%
Houses With Mortgage 71,516
Houses Without Mortgage 17,222
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 5.2

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Raleigh for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5% and the labor force participation rate is 70.8%.

Raleigh Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.42
Average Family Size 3.12
Married Couple Families 65,625
Male Householder (no wife) Families 7,254
Female Householder (no husband) Families 23,482
Non Family Households
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex) 5.9%
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex) 0.5%