Durham-Chapel Hill metro area population 35th fastest growing

Mar. 14, 2013 @ 07:02 PM

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area’s population was the 35th fastest growing among metro areas in the nation between April of 2010 and July of last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

The population of the metro area, which includes Chatham, Durham, Orange and Person counties, grew 3.7 percent to an estimated 522,826 from April 1, 2010, when the last Census was done, to July of last year, according to the data.

The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area, which includes Wake as well as Johnston and Franklin counties, ranked ninth on the list. The area’s estimated population grew 5.1 percent to about 1.19 million in that same period.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metro area’s total estimated population was ranked the 102nd largest among metropolitan statistical areas in the country, while the Raleigh-Cary metro area’s estimated population was ranked 47th. Combined the populations of the two metro areas was about 1.7 million.

Based on growth rate, the top metro area on the list was The Villages, in Florida, while No. 2 was Midland, Texas, and No. 3 was Austin-Round Rock, Texas.

The energy boom may have been a factor in the rapid population growth of some metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, as well as some counties in, or near, the Great Plains or West Texas, the Census Bureau reported in a news release about the findings.

Among North Carolina’s 100 counties, Durham County had the fifth fastest growing population. It saw growth of 4.5 percent between April 2010, and July of last year to a total estimated population of 279,641.

Orange County ranked 15th on the list, with a growth rate of 3.1 percent, and a total estimated population of 137,941. Chatham County was ranked No. 7 with a growth rate of 3.9 percent, and Person was ranked No. 67.

Hoke County took the top spot with a growth rate of 7.6 percent, and was tailed by Harnett at No. 2 with a growth rate of 6.5 percent. Fort Bragg is located in both Hoke and Harnett counties.

Wake County ranked third, while Mecklenburg County was fourth.