Raleigh is a city located in Wake County, North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 481,958, it is the 2nd largest city in North Carolina (after Charlotte) and the 41st largest city in the United States. Raleigh is currently growing at a rate of 1.33% annually and its population has increased by 19.33% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 403,892 in 2010. Spanning over 147 miles, Raleigh has a population density of 3,304 people per square mile.
The average household income in Raleigh is $90,550 with a poverty rate of 13.73%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,074 per month, and the median house value is $236,700. The median age in Raleigh is 33.2 years, 32 years for males, and 34.4 years for females. For every 100 females there are 93.8 males.
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 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 metro area through 2025.
Raleigh was chosen as the new capital of North Carolina in 1788. It is one of the 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.