By on 6.1.23 in NC in Focus

The 2022 Population Estimates show that the population of North Carolina grew by 1.3% between July 1st 2021 and July 1st 2022. Among North Carolina’s 100 counties, 74 experienced population growth. The majority of counties grew from people moving in (migration) rather than from having more births than deaths, which is what demographers call natural increase.

74 counties grew between July 2021 and July 2022

North Carolina overall grew by an estimated 1.3% between July 1st 2021 and July 1st 2022. Twenty-five of North Carolina’s counties grew on par with or faster than North Carolina overall. The counties with the highest levels of growth were concentrated in the Triangle area and on the coast. The fastest estimated population growth was seen in Brunswick County (5.7%) followed by Currituck (4.4%), Pender (4.2%), Franklin (3.8%), and Lincoln (3.6%).

Seven counties, mainly concentrated in the Northeast, experienced population loss between 2021 and 2022 by more than 1%: Northampton (-1.8%), Hertford (-1.4%), Swain (-1.3%), Halifax, Martin, Bertie, and Hyde (all by -1.1%).

Most population increase across state is due to people migrating to North Carolina

Some parts of North Carolina experienced natural increase, meaning more births than deaths were recorded between July 2021 and July 2022. For most counties, however, population growth was due to more people moving in than moving out: only 19 counties had more births than deaths between July 2021 and July 2022. Durham, Cumberland, Onslow, Wake, and Mecklenburg counties all added more than 1,000 more births than deaths.

In the majority of counties, more people moved in rather than out of the counties. In some of the faster growing counties, all estimated population growth was due to migration. Net in-migration contributed to all growth in Brunswick, Pender, and Lincoln.

Net out-migration was mostly experienced in counties that experienced estimated population losses overall, for example in the Northeast. Cumberland experienced the largest net-out migration with over 2,600 residents moving out. This out-migration explained the estimated population loss in the county.

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