Population of Counties in North Carolina (2020)

Location of the Wright brothers' first powered air flight and a stunning landscape that offers the tranquility of the mountains and beautiful beaches, North Carolina’s population has been increasing steadily over the last 8 years. Since 2010, more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties has experienced a growth in population – 53 to be exact.

North Carolina Counties with Positive Population Growth

In 2018, Mecklenburg County has the largest population with 1,076,837, closely followed by Wake County which has a population of 1,072,203 experiencing an increase of 17.1% and 19% since 2010, respectively.

North Carolina Counties with Rapid Growth

These are by no means the highest surge in numbers. Brunswick County has a fairly small population in comparison at 130,897 but grew by 21.8% Smaller counties that are similar to Brunswick have experienced significant population growth as well. Durham County’s population has grown by 15.4%, Union County by 14.47%, Carrabus County by 16.27% and Johnston County by 15.93%

North Carolina Counties with Negative Population Growth

47 counties decreased in population but by less than 10%. The largest drop in numbers was experienced in Northampton and Bertie with 9.86% and 9.53%

More information on North Carolina’s population numbers is available in the table below.

Name 2020 Population Growth Since 2010
Mecklenburg County1,093,90018.48%
Wake County1,092,30020.45%
Guilford County533,6709.00%
Forsyth County379,0997.88%
Cumberland County332,3301.57%
Durham County316,73916.73%
Buncombe County259,1038.53%
Union County235,90816.72%
New Hanover County232,27414.26%
Gaston County222,8468.12%
Cabarrus County211,34218.38%
Johnston County202,67519.44%
Onslow County197,6835.78%
Pitt County179,9146.55%
Iredell County178,43511.68%
Davidson County166,6142.30%
Alamance County166,4369.90%
Catawba County158,6522.51%
Orange County146,0278.99%
Randolph County143,3510.96%
Rowan County141,2622.09%
Brunswick County136,74426.54%
Harnett County134,21415.96%
Robeson County131,831-1.98%
Wayne County123,2480.28%
Henderson County116,7489.23%
Craven County102,912-1.21%
Moore County98,68211.40%
Cleveland County97,645-0.28%
Nash County94,016-1.85%
Rockingham County90,690-3.17%
Burke County90,382-0.21%
Lincoln County83,7707.25%
Caldwell County82,029-1.19%
Wilson County81,4550.21%
Chatham County73,13914.57%
Surry County71,948-2.47%
Carteret County69,5244.24%
Wilkes County68,557-1.03%
Franklin County67,56011.09%
Rutherford County66,826-1.34%
Sampson County63,6260.14%
Pender County62,16218.59%
Stanly County62,0752.47%
Haywood County61,9715.15%
Lee County61,4526.16%
Granville County60,1154.25%
Duplin County58,8560.35%
Lenoir County55,976-5.91%
Watauga County55,9459.77%
Columbus County55,655-4.00%
Hoke County54,76415.30%
Edgecombe County52,005-8.16%
Halifax County50,574-7.16%
Beaufort County47,079-1.52%
McDowell County45,5070.91%
Stokes County45,467-3.97%
Richmond County44,887-3.74%
Vance County44,582-1.59%
Jackson County43,3277.36%
Davie County42,7333.58%
Pasquotank County39,639-2.44%
Person County39,5070.24%
Yadkin County37,543-2.32%
Alexander County37,3530.32%
Dare County36,5017.41%
Macon County35,2853.91%
Scotland County34,810-3.47%
Transylvania County34,2153.41%
Bladen County33,190-5.69%
Cherokee County28,3833.47%
Montgomery County27,271-1.66%
Ashe County27,109-0.44%
Currituck County27,07214.35%
Anson County24,877-7.36%
Hertford County23,659-4.46%
Caswell County22,698-4.44%
Martin County22,671-7.47%
Madison County21,7634.74%
Greene County21,012-1.16%
Polk County20,6110.63%
Warren County19,807-5.60%
Northampton County19,676-10.72%
Bertie County19,026-10.44%
Yancey County17,9030.54%
Avery County17,505-1.46%
Mitchell County15,000-3.27%
Swain County14,2451.67%
Chowan County14,029-4.80%
Perquimans County13,422-0.44%
Pamlico County12,670-3.36%
Washington County11,859-9.71%
Gates County11,573-4.87%
Alleghany County11,1610.20%
Clay County11,1395.02%
Camden County10,7107.00%
Jones County9,637-4.99%
Graham County8,484-4.35%
Hyde County5,230-10.00%
Tyrrell County4,131-6.43%