Wake County is the second-most populous County in North Carolina. The County consists of 12 municipalities and includes Raleigh, the county seat and state capital. A unique mix of urban and rural small towns distinguishes Wake County from other counties and provides something for every lifestyle. The County has a population of more than 900,000 residents. The County’s 2010–11 General Fund budget is $951.2 million, and the County has approximately 3,700 employees. The County has a seven-year capital plan totaling $595.3 million and grants in excess of $100 million per year.
Wake County is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners meetings are held bi-monthly on Mondays and last approximately 2–3 hours.
The weather in Wake County is defined as moderate. The area's average annual rainfall is 44.7 inches per year, with an inconsistent annual snowfall of less than 2 inches per year. The average low temperature is 47 degrees, and the average high temperature is 73 degrees. The area enjoys long spring, summer and fall seasons, with relatively short winters. Highs can reach into the 90s during the peak of the summer and around freezing during the winter months.
The size of the County is 549,000 acres, or 860 sq. miles, or 2,212 sq. kilometers. From east to west, it measures 46 miles. From north to south, it measures 39 miles.
The highest point in the County, about 540 feet above sea level, is a quarter of a mile north of Leesville.
The lowest point in the County, about 160 feet above sea level, is a half of a mile southeast of Shotwell, where Marks Creek flows into Johnston County.
The geographic center of Wake County is in Raleigh, near Broughton High School.
The County is considered to be in a transitional zone between the Piedmont uplands and the coastal plain and, therefore, within the fall zone.
The Neuse River and its tributaries drain about 80% of the County, and the southwestern part is drained by tributaries of the Cape Fear River. The stream network generally flows in a southeasterly direction.
Twelve municipalities are part of Wake County:
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