Cary, North Carolina Population 2020

175,102

Cary is a city located in North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 175,102, it is the 7th largest city in North Carolina and the 153rd largest city in the United States. Cary is currently growing at a rate of 2.02% annually and its population has increased by 29.48% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 135,234 in 2010. Spanning over 60 miles, Cary has a population density of 2,982 people per square mile.

The average household income in Cary is $124,441 with a poverty rate of 5.56%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,199 per month, and the median house value is $337,700. The median age in Cary is 39.6 years, 38.6 years for males, and 40.6 years for females. For every 100 females there are 95.6 males.

Cary is an incorporated town located mostly in Wake County with a small portion of the town in Chatham County, North Carolina. It's the third largest town in the Triangle of North Carolina, a region in the Piedmont of North Carolina, behind Raleigh and Durham. Interestingly, Cary is the country's second largest incorporated town after Gilbert, Arizona with a population 162,000 in 2019.

Diversity

The foreign-born population of Cary is about 21%. Since 2010, the fastest growing demographic in North Carolina, including Greater Raleigh, has been Asian-Americans. North Carolina has one of the country's fastest growing Asian-American populations and the largest communities are in Charlotte and Raleigh, including suburbs like Cary. About 60% of the Asian-American population in North Carolina was born abroad and about half have become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Population Growth

Between 2006 and 2007, Cary was the country's 5th fastest growing municipality although its growth rate has declined since then. Between 2010 and 2017, the population of North Carolina as a whole increased by 738,000, 43% of which was in nine cities and towns like Cary, Raleigh, and Durham. The population of Wake County has experienced significant growth, growing by 171,000 people since 2010. Almost half of this growth has come from people aged 55 and older, many of whom moved to the region to retire, get a new job, or get closer to family.

Cary was originally settled in 1750 by Francis Page, a lumberman and farmer. The town was named for Samuel Fenton Cary, an Ohio prohibitionist and congressman. Due to the inspiration for the town's name, Cary was a dry town without alcohol. For much of its early history, Cary was a farming community growing crops like cotton and tobacco. The region was better known in its early days as Bradford's Ordinary, the name of a popular inn in the town.

The community wasn't linked to a major transportation route for another century when the North Carolina Railroad was constructed through the town. The railroad helped to finally spur growth in the area. By the early 20th century, Cary had one of North Carolina's first public high schools.

Cary modernized with electricity in 1921 and the construction of the Western Wake Highway that made it faster to travel to Raleigh. This gave rise to Cary's popularity as a commuter town. Many suburbs developed around the downtown area in the 1950s and the creation of the Research Triangle Park, a region anchored by North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University, caused the population to double.

Cary Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Cary was:

  • White: 68.69%
  • Asian: 17.77%
  • Black or African American: 8.24%
  • Two or more races: 2.77%
  • Other race: 2.08%
  • Native American: 0.40%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%
The current population of Cary, North Carolina is 175,102, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 168,160.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 135,234.

Cary, North Carolina Population 2020

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White112,14468.69%
Asian29,01117.77%
Black or African American13,4578.24%
Two or More Races4,5282.77%
Some Other Race3,3982.08%
American Indian and Alaska Native6540.40%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander740.05%

Cary Population Pyramid 2020

Cary Median Age

39.6


Total

38.6


Male

40.6


Female

Cary Adults

There are 121,726 adults, (19,389 of whom are seniors) in Cary.

Cary Age Dependency

59.5

Age Dependency Ratio

18.9

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40.6

Child Dependency Ratio

Cary Sex Ratio

Female

83,473

51.13%

Male

79,793

48.87%

Cary Households and Families

Cary Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Cary Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married81.8%18.2%
All68.9%31.1%
Male52.3%47.7%
Non Family49%51%
Female46.4%53.6%

68.9%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All61,5482.6568.9
Married37,4773.1481.8
Non Family16,5461.2649
Female5,5003.2746.4
Male2,0253.1452.3

3.11

Average Family Size

2.65

Average Household Size

4.2%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Cary Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,3262.06%
9th to 12th Grade2,3332.07%
High School Graduate11,60710.29%
Some College13,60012.05%
Associates Degree7,8426.95%
Bachelors Degree42,50837.67%
Graduate Degree32,62628.91%

Cary Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White75,82274,46851,188
Asian19,59318,48716,049
Black8,6568,2904,332
Hispanic7,0995,3562,498
Other Race2,0761,541472
Multiple Races1,2981,269929
Native American42832594
Islander747445

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 81.91%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$60,027$82,303$44,788
Less Than High School$22,838$25,896$19,286
High School Grad$30,840$33,950$26,293
Some College$38,522$46,449$32,836
Bachelors Degree$65,044$89,451$47,228
Graduate Degree$95,039$114,017$65,354

$60,027

Average Earnings

$82,303

Average Male

$44,788

Average Female

Cary Language

Cary Language by Age

Cary Language

76.45% of Cary residents speak only English, while 23.55% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 9.30% of the population.

Cary Poverty

Cary Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White103,2203,8073.69%
Hispanic12,5161,98415.85%
Asian28,9591,4645.06%
Black13,3531,44410.81%
Other3,32150015.06%
Multiple4,5243487.69%
Native65411016.82%
Islander742939.19%

5.56%

Overall Poverty Rate

5.30%

Male Poverty Rate

5.82%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Cary

The race most likely to be in poverty in Cary is Islander, with 39.19% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Cary is White, with 3.69% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.45%. Among those working part-time, it was 8.61%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 9.17%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School14.71%
High School10.44%
Some College5.21%
Bachelors or Greater3.02%
Name Poverty
Male Unemployed16.38%
Female Unemployed14.09%
Female Employed3.78%
Male Employed3.06%

Cary Income

Cary Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$101,079$124,441
Families$121,942$143,828
Married Families$134,788$157,854
Non Families$54,462$67,738

Cary Marital Status

Cary Marital Status

Marriage Rates

61.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

64.1%

Male Marriage Rate

58.8%

Female Marriage Rate

Cary Married by Age and Sex

Cary Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 45-54, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Cary Marital Status by Race

Cary Veterans

6,806

Number of Veterans

6,161

Male Veterans

645

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam2,040
First Gulf War1,600
Second Gulf War1,087
Korea662
World War II283
Age Group Veterans
35 to 541,965
75+1,755
65 to 741,461
55 to 641,239
18 to 34386
Name Veterans % of Total
White5,8756.83%
Black6576.69%
Hispanic2743.34%
Asian1650.78%
2 or More844.58%
Hawaiian1722.97%
Indian81.68%

$Cary Veterans by Education

3.10%

Veteran Poverty Rate

20.29%

Veteran Disability Rate

Cary Employment Status

71.2%

Labor Force Participation

68.6%

Employment Rate

3.5%

Unemployment Rate

Cary Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

29.48%

Born in North Carolina

79.05%

Native Born

20.95%

Foreign Born

10.33%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

79.05% of Cary residents were born in the United States, with 29.48% having been born in North Carolina. 10.33% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020175,1023,4712.02%
2019171,6313,4712.06%
2018168,1602,2631.36%
2017165,8973,4712.14%
2016162,4262,7651.73%
2015159,6614,2822.76%
2014155,3794,1222.73%
2013151,2575,1843.55%
2012146,0733,9572.78%
2011142,1165,0953.72%
2010137,02142,4853.78%
200094,53650,6787.98%
199043,85822,0957.26%
198021,76314,33311.35%
19707,4304,0748.27%
19603,3562,2565.74%
19401,1000.00%