2021 County Population Estimates are out: What you need to know | Eastern North Carolina Now

News Release:

    The 2021 county population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau are the first set of population estimates based on the 2020 Census. Here's what the new data tells us about how North Carolina counties have changed in the year following the Census.

    73 NC counties have grown since 2020

    North Carolina grew by 112,000 people or 1.1% between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, faster than the national rate of 0.1%. According to the estimates, 73 North Carolina counties grew in the 15 months following the Census.

    The counties with the fastest-growth were coastal counties or Triangle suburbs: both Brunswick and Currituck had an estimated population increase of 5.5%, followed by Johnston (4.9%), Camden and Franklin (4.6%), and Pender (4.3%).

    Other counties with growth above the state rate included:

  • Dare, Carteret, and New Hanover on the coast
  • suburbs around Mecklenburg (Lincoln, Iredell, Cabarrus, Union, and Gaston)
  • Wake County and other Triangle suburbs and exurbs (Chatham, Harnett, Granville)
  • Moore, Hoke, and Lee counties
  • The western counties of Clay, Macon, and Cherokee, as well as Yancey, Madison, and Polk

    See how each county changed

    Foreign-born population trends: Impact of COVID-19

    Between 2010 and 2020, about 70% of North Carolina's population growth was from net migration, meaning more people moving here than moving away. About one-quarter of these net gains from migration--18% of all North Carolina's population growth--was from international migration. Between 2020 and 2021, North Carolina experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births) for the first time; net migration was the only source of growth over the year. At the same time, net international migration fell significantly.

Read more

    New ACS data helps us understand social and economic changes in NC

    Last week, the Census Bureau released the 2016-2020 5-Year American Community Survey data. Here's what you need to know.

Read more

    What we're reading

    Questions about this data or future data releases?


   Email: demography@unc.edu
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