Cary, North Carolina Population 2021

174,762
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Cary is a city located in North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 174,762, 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 1.30% annually and its population has increased by 29.23% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 135,234 in 2010. Cary reached it's highest population of 174,762 in 2021. Spanning over 60 miles, Cary has a population density of 2,976 people per square mile.

The average household income in Cary is $131,841 with a poverty rate of 4.79%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,246 per month, and the median house value is $356,400. The median age in Cary is 39.9 years, 38.9 years for males, and 40.8 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.4 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: 67.44%
  • Asian: 18.70%
  • Black or African American: 8.52%
  • Two or more races: 2.68%
  • Other race: 2.16%
  • Native American: 0.42%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Cary, North Carolina is 174,762, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 168,042.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 135,234.

Cary, North Carolina Population 2021

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White112,12767.44%
Asian31,09718.70%
Black or African American14,1698.52%
Two or More Races4,4522.68%
Some Other Race3,5872.16%
American Indian and Alaska Native6950.42%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1410.08%
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Cary Population by Race

Cary Population Pyramid 2021

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Cary Median Age

39.9


Total

38.9


Male

40.8


Female

Cary Adults

There are 124,258 adults, (20,279 of whom are seniors) in Cary.

Cary Age Dependency

59.9

Age Dependency Ratio

19.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Cary Sex Ratio

Female

84,642

50.91%

Male

81,626

49.09%

Cary Population by Age

Cary Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Cary Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married80.8%19.2%
All68.4%31.6%
Male49.1%50.9%
Non Family48.4%51.6%
Female48.2%51.8%

68.4%

Rate of Home Ownership

Cary Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All62,7892.6468.4
Married38,7223.1480.8
Non Family16,6571.2448.4
Female5,2823.2248.2
Male2,1283.0749.1

3.11

Average Family Size

2.64

Average Household Size

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Cary Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade2,1391.86%
9th to 12th Grade2,0491.78%
High School Graduate11,52410.00%
Some College13,72811.91%
Associates Degree7,6676.65%
Bachelors Degree43,22937.50%
Graduate Degree34,94230.31%
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Cary Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Cary Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White76,41475,20252,396
Asian21,16220,17917,546
Black9,0058,6334,471
Hispanic6,8375,3122,476
Other Race2,1471,484462
Multiple Races1,6011,5641,065
Native American480384125
Islander14114190

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 82.91%.

Cary Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$62,862$85,005$47,292
Less Than High School$23,967$26,983$17,389
High School Grad$32,470$36,261$29,762
Some College$39,345$46,269$33,311
Bachelors Degree$67,934$91,621$48,954
Graduate Degree$97,488$115,258$71,555

$62,862

Average Earnings

$85,005

Average Male

$47,292

Average Female

Cary Earnings by Educational Attainment

Cary Language by Age

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Cary Language

75.88% of Cary residents speak only English, while 24.12% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 9.50% of the population.

Cary Language

Cary Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White104,1133,6463.50%
Hispanic11,8701,40311.82%
Black14,1021,3279.41%
Asian31,0611,3074.21%
Other3,5033279.33%
Multiple4,4441773.98%
Native69512117.41%
Islander1413121.99%

4.79%

Overall Poverty Rate

4.26%

Male Poverty Rate

5.30%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Cary

The race most likely to be in poverty in Cary is Islander, with 21.99% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Cary is White, with 3.50% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.07%. Among those working part-time, it was 7.28%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 8.68%.

Cary Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School12.08%
High School7.74%
Some College5.90%
Bachelors or Greater2.72%

Cary Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Male Unemployed16.59%
Female Unemployed11.53%
Female Employed2.95%
Male Employed2.20%

Cary Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Cary Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$104,669$131,841
Families$127,841$152,573
Married Families$140,049$166,209
Non Families$56,637$70,522
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Income by Household Type

Cary Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

61.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

64.3%

Male Marriage Rate

59.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Cary Married by Age and Sex

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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 35-44.

Cary Marital Status by Race

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Cary Marital Status

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6,934

Number of Veterans

6,242

Male Veterans

692

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam1,979
First Gulf War1,889
Second Gulf War1,268
Korea595
World War II195

Cary Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,019
75+1,734
65 to 741,448
55 to 641,341
18 to 34392

Cary Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White5,9156.86%
Black7207.07%
Hispanic2513.16%
Asian2100.93%
2 or More482.38%
Hawaiian3121.99%
Indian101.86%

Cary Veterans by Race

Cary Veterans by Education

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3.33%

Veteran Poverty Rate

19.10%

Veteran Disability Rate

Cary Veterans by Education

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70.9%

Labor Force Participation

68.5%

Employment Rate

3.2%

Unemployment Rate

Cary Employment by Age

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Cary Employment by Race

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Cary Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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28.97%

Born in North Carolina

77.87%

Native Born

22.13%

Foreign Born

10.47%

Non Citizen

11.67%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

77.87% of Cary residents were born in the United States, with 28.97% having been born in North Carolina. 10.47% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Cary Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021174,7622,2401.30%
2020172,5222,2401.32%
2019170,2822,2401.33%
2018168,0422,1151.27%
2017165,9273,4502.12%
2016162,4772,7651.73%
2015159,7124,2732.75%
2014155,4394,1112.72%
2013151,3285,1743.54%
2012146,1543,9452.77%
2011142,2095,1233.74%
2010137,08642,5503.79%
200094,53650,6787.98%
199043,85822,0957.26%
198021,76314,33311.35%
19707,4304,0748.27%
19603,3562,2565.74%
19401,1000.00%

Cary Population by Year