Chapel Hill is a city located in Durham County and Orange County North Carolina. Chapel Hill has a 2023 population of 60,841. Chapel Hill is currently declining at a rate of -0.23% annually and its population has decreased by -0.7% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 61,272 in 2020.
The average household income in Chapel Hill is $129,699 with a poverty rate of 19.65%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Chapel Hill is 25 years, 24.7 years for males, and 25.4 years for females.
Not surprisingly, Chapel Hill is North Carolina’s most educated city, with 77% of residents at least 25 years old holding at least an associate’s degree.
Chapel Hill’s population has been on the rise since 1880. The most significant growth occurred between 1940 and 1950, then again between 1960 and 1970. The city’s population at the time of the 2010 census had risen to over 50,000 residents, with this census showing an official count of 57,233 people. The city’s population has increased by 3.5% since the last census, indicating that growth has slowed, but Chapel Hill is continuing to add new residents.
One of Chapel Hill’s earliest settlers was William Barbee, a man from Virginia. Barbee owned a grant of 585 acres in the area that is now Chapel Hill. In 1793, the first cornerstone was laid for the University of North Carolina. In 1819, the town was founded around the University of North Carolina. It received its charter in 1851.
During the Civil War, the area was occupied by Union troops, and though the university remained open throughout the war, the after-effects of the war forced it to shut down. In reopened in 1875.
In the 1920s, the university was expanded, and the city grew along with it. The Great Depression during the next decade had little effect of Chapel Hill. However, New Deal programs allowed the city to construct paved streets, sewer lines and hire new employees. New residential housing was constructed as many veterans moved to the area following the war. After World War II, UNC Medical School expanded with new classrooms, dorms, libraries, and other buildings. The city also continued to grow in terms of population.
The opening of the Research Triangle Park led to further growth. The technologies that were being developed in the area attracted major corporations, leading to more residents coming to the area for the educational and employment opportunities that were available. However, despite its growth, the people of Chapel Hill have worked hard in retaining small town charm and a sense of community.
Today, the city is a mixture of businesses old and new. The city has many restaurants, shops, and other attractions that appeal to residents and visitors, as well as annual events and festivals.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Chapel Hill was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among native american people with a rate of 66.46%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 58.73%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
79.7% of Chapel Hill residents speak only English, while 20.3% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 11.18% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Chapel Hill is Islander, with 100% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Chapel Hill is Native, with 6.35% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.38%. Among those working part-time, it was 38.74%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 30.15%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Chapel Hill
102.87% of Chapel Hill residents were born in the United States, with 46.59% having been born in North Carolina. 9.86% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.