North Carolina County Population, 1920 to 2030

Between 1920 and 2010, North Carolina’s population increased from 2.6 million residents to more than 9.5 million residents. With nearly 80,700 residents in 1920, Mecklenburg was the state’s most populous county then as it is today. But in 1920, Mecklenburg only held 3.2% of the state’s population compared to its current share of 10 percent. This share is projected to increase to nearly 12% by 2030.

The video below highlights shifts in North Carolina population across counties since 1920 and projected shifts through 2030. The maps displayed are cartograms in which each county is sized in proportion to its share of the state’s total population. You can watch the increasing concentration of population in the state’s urban, and shifts in population concentration from the Triad to the Triangle, as Mecklenburg (Charlotte), Forsyth (Winston-Salem), Guilford (Greensboro), and Wake (Raleigh) grow and shift over time.

Want more details? Check out this post about shifts in the state’s ten most populous counties.

About Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is Director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill's Carolina Population Center.
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