It’s hard to understand and process new information if we don’t have sufficient context and grounding in basic facts. A lot of what we do at Carolina Demography is help people understand the demographic facts at hand. The facts of interest are often very straightforward: how many people live in NC, where they live, how quickly populations are changing, etc. We make sure that individuals, organizations, and policy makers understand these basics so they can contextualize and make sense of more complex arguments and proposals they may encounter.
Dr. Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who writes regularly at Family Inequality, recently published an updated list of 25 demographic facts (U.S. focused) he wants his students to know cold. He notes:
Here’s the list of current demographic facts you need just to get through the day without being grossly misled or misinformed—or, in the case of journalists or teachers or social scientists, not to allow your audience to be grossly misled or misinformed.
In this vein, we present 25 demographic facts you need to know. North Carolina statistics are presented alongside national statistics for context and comparison. The links below will take you to the source of the most recent data.
1. 2016 Population Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau
2. NC Office of State Budget and Management
3. U.S. Census Bureau
4. 2015 American Community Survey
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics via NC Commerce
6. NC State Center for Health Statistics
7. National Center for Health Statistics
One-page PDF: Demographic Facts NC vs US