Raleigh, North Carolina Population 2019
Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina. Also known as the City of Oaks, Raleigh has 143 square miles of land with an estimated population of 438,000, which is the 42nd most populous state in the country.
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).
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 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.
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