More people from out-of-state are learning what many of us already know — that North Carolina is a pleasant place to live.
Since the start of the pandemic, North Carolina has attracted more new residents from elsewhere than all but three other states, according to new census estimates released late last month. And the numbers show that the pace of people moving here is picking up.
It’s no secret that the state is growing, especially in urban areas like Charlotte and Raleigh. The signs are all around us, from worse traffic to new housing.
New census numbers give some specifics: Between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, the state attracted a net of 95,429 people from elsewhere, or about 261 a day. About 7% were from outside the United States.
That’s a quicker pace than in the previous decade, when a net average of about 71,000 people a year, or 195 a day, moved to North Carolina.
County estimates aren’t yet available. In the last decade, Mecklenburg has had about 1/5 of the state’s population growth.
“We would expect most of this growth to be concentrated in metropolitan areas, though we may see growth occurring more in suburban and exurban areas than the urban cores,” says Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC Chapel Hill.
The state’s net migration figure accounted for about all of North Carolina’s change in population, as the number of births was about the same as the number of deaths. North Carolina’s total population in 2021 was nearly 10.6 million, making us the 9th-largest state.
The only other states that attracted more people since 2020 were Florida (259,480), Texas (197,492) and Arizona (97,504). South Carolina was #5. The South was the only region of the country to add people from migration; the Northeast, Midwest and West all had a net exodus.
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