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Bus ridership is the number of passenger boardings among the primary public transportation service providers in Wake County: Capital Area Transit (CAT), Cary Transit (C-Tran), North Carolina State University Transportation (NCCU Wolfline), and Triangle Transit Authority (TTA). Bus ridership measures the use of public transportation among citizens who use the service for financial reasons or personal preferences in Wake County, and indicates the adequacy of public transportation options in the community. Heavy use of public transportation has the ability to reduce highway wear, congestion, transportation costs, and exhaust emissions. Many factors impact bus ridership, including affordability, convenience of schedules, service reliability, route proximity to origins and destinations, vehicle conditions, and how efficiently the system links citizens to school, work, goods, and services. Note that because TTA also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, data provided by this indicator includes passenger boardings in Orange and Durham counties as well as in Wake.
C-Tran's passenger boardings increased 21% from 2012 to 2013, making it the fastest growing service provider in the County (followed by Triangle Transit at 12%).
Data updated annually by Wake County Community Services, subject to data being available from the National Transit Database, American Public Transportation Association, and each service provider.
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​In FY 2012, bus ridership increased 13.5% among service providers in Wake County. The region has shown a sustained increase in bus ridership, with an annual average growth of 8.9% since FY 2006. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s Ridership Report Archives, nationwide bus ridership increased 2.2% in FY 2012, and public transit ridership of any form increased 2.9% during the same period.
January 2015: Revised to reflect reported data for FY 2013; updated C-Tran and Wolfline links; added CAMPO link
Transportation2013
11,326,785 passenger boardings
Note that because Triangle Transit also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, reported numbers include passenger boardings in those counties as well as in Wake County.

  
Vehicle miles traveled is the annual number of miles traveled by personal and commercial vehicles on Wake County roads and highways. Both citizens and governments can benefit from fewer vehicle miles traveled. Shorter commute times and fewer vehicle miles traveled results in less wear on local roads, decreased roadway congestion, and reduced carbon emissions. Reducing miles traveled also contributes to a higher quality of life, as it means citizens are spending less time in cars and less money on roadway maintenance, fuel, and vehicle maintenance. Vehicle miles traveled is in part a factor of the organization and infrastructure of the region (are employment, shopping, and service centers conveniently located to residential areas?) and public transportation systems (can a citizen elect to use public transportation options regularly?). However, it is important to remember that declining vehicle miles may also be a sign of a weakening economy, as vehicle miles traveled is also a signal that goods and services are moving around the county, that citizens are commuting to work, and that citizens are able to afford owning and operating an automobile.
Although total vehicle miles traveled have increased for decades, vehicle miles traveled per capita are declining.
Data is made available monthly by request from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

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While total annual vehicle miles has increased steadily since 1990, the number of vehicle miles traveled per capita has shown an overall decrease, dropping from an average of 32 miles traveled per day per capita in 1990 to 28 miles per day per capita in 2013.
February 2015: Revised to reflect updated data
Transportation2013
28 miles traveled daily per capita
Note that in 2009, the North Carolina Department of Transportation changed its method for calculating vehicle miles traveled at the county and statewide level. While the growth trends in miles traveled between 1990 and 2008 remained valid, the change in methodology resulted in a large jump in the number of miles traveled between 2008 and 2009. This inconsistency has been accounted for by back calculating vehicle miles traveled by employing the formula used since 2009 to the 1990-2008 growth trends; therefore data published here may not match unrevised data published elsewhere. Please contact the North Carolina Department of Transportation with further questions.

  
This indicator provides insight into how Wake County citizens choose to get around, and how land development patterns affect road network use. The average time of commute is the amount of time a person typically spends traveling one way between home and work, regardless of transportation mode. The negative impacts of long commute times are far-reaching, affecting the financial self-sufficiency and productivity of individuals, the economic output and desirability of the community, and the environment and the industries that depend upon its health, such as tourism and recreation. A community that provides a rich multimodal infrastructure (such as public transportation, greenways, and bike lanes) takes steps to reduce the number of automobiles weighing on the roadways, decrease congestion, and increase transportation options for citizens. Of course, commute time is not dependent on infrastructure alone; it is also reliant upon an adequate balance between residential and commercial districts, as well as the habits and choices of citizens.
391,600 Wake County residents drove alone to work in 2013.
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March.
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Average commute times in Wake County tend to be slightly higher than the state average but are slightly lower than the national average.

About 80% of Wake County residents drove alone to work in 2013, which is similar to state and national averages.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates; updated C-Tran and Wolfline links
Transportation2013
24.7 minutes
There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
Funding for public transportation is the actual amount spent on public transportation service providers in Wake County. Expenditures include both operating and capital dollars by local, state, and federal governments. Service providers in Wake County are Capital Area Transit (CAT), Cary Transit (C-Tran), North Carolina State University Wolfline, and Triangle Transit.  Public transit users subsidize bus operations in the form of bus fares, but transit providers depend upon a mix of local funds and federal and state aid to provide transit services. To maintain and improve operations, public transportation agencies must maintain a sustainable an equitable balance between these funding sources. Changes to local funding for public transportation may be due to a combination of factors, such as the cost of public transportation services, changes in fare or fare revenue, changes to federal and/or state assistance, and expansion of bus services. Note that Triangle Transit also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, so numbers reported below also include funds provided by those governments.
In 2013, fare revenues accounted for 19% of public transit operating costs.
Data updated annually by Wake County Community Services, subject to data being available from the National Transit Database, American Public Transportation Association, and each service provider.
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Local funding for public transportation has increased in recent years due to new and expanded bus routes and increasing cost of service. Historically, local public transportation service providers have funded approximately 16% of capital projects (route expansion, fleet expansion, etc.) while the remaining 84% are funded through federal and state grants/assistance. For operating costs, local agencies tend to fund a higher share, nearly 70%, with the balance provided through performance-based federal programs and state grants.
January 2015: Revised reflect FY 2013 data;  updated C-Tran and Wolfline links; added CAMPO link

February 2015: All data standardized to exclude reconciling cash expenditures.
Transportation2013
$58,538,225
Note that because Triangle Transit also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, reported numbers also include funds provided by those governments.

  
Population density, or population per square mile, is a by-product of population growth, and indicates where growth occurs within the county. Monitoring changes in population densities provides an opportunity to assess land use in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Urban areas have population densities measuring at least 3,000 people per square mile, and are expected to have a concentrated mix of housing, retail, education, medical, recreation, and transportation options. Communities measuring below 1,000 people per square mile are rural areas, where residences and amenities are spread farther apart from each other, as the land is used primarily for agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. Population density impacts costs of service provision, as government and business investments are made based on the efficiency and expense of marketing, distributing, or serving populations over the expanse of a geographic service area.
From 2000 to 2010, Morrisville had the greatest increase in population density of all Wake County municipalities, soaring from 770 to 2,249 persons per square mile.

​Not applicable

The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March. Municipal data for population density are updated on census years only; the most recent census year was 2010.

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Wake County is an urbanizing county. The population density grew by 43.5% between 2000 and 2010. In 2013 four Wake County municipalities ranked in the top 15 most densely populated in North Carolina: Raleigh (#3), Cary (#6), Apex (#8), and Morrisville (#11).
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 census estimates
People2013
1,166.5 persons per square mile

Note that a decline in population density may not be solely attributable to a decline in population, as this statistic is also affected by land annexations.  If a municipality annexes a significant number of acres that is not heavily population, its overall population density may decline.

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
Migration, along with births and deaths, are the components that determine population change. Total net migration itself is a factor of two determinants: internal migration and international migration. Internal migration is the number of people moving from one area in the county, state, or nation to another, while international migration tracks the movement of the foreign-born and the emigration of the native-born. Because people move to areas that offer the jobs they need and the quality of life they desire, net migration is a useful tool in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a region, both economically and socially. Understanding the composition of a community, especially stemming from international migration, helps businesses and local governments predict the community’s changing needs, and plan for changes in service demands. Residual net migration accounts for natural net increases by employing the following formula: Residual net migration = (population in the latter year – population in earlier year) – (births – deaths).
Wake County receives a steady flow of people into--and out of--the county. On average, 188 people move into Wake County every day and 148 people move out, meaning Wake gains an average of 40 new residents each day due to net migration. Since 2010, net migration has accounted for 65% of Wake County's growth.
The United States Census Bureau publishes official county net migration estimates annually in March.

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Wake County leads the state in net migration. In 2013, migration accounted for about 63% of population growth within the County.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 census estimates; corrected link to WCPS ESL program
People2013
13,995 people

Since 2011, Wake County by the Numbers has relied on US Census Bureau net migration numbers rather than those of the North Carolina State Demographer. Prior to 2011, residual net migration was calculated by following formula: Residual net migration = (population in the latter year – population in earlier year) – (births – deaths). 

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
Median age measures the relative age of a population by dividing the area's population age distribution into two equal parts: The halves of the population younger and older than the median value. For instance, a median age of 55 means that half of the represented population is over 55, reflecting the prevalence of more middle age and senior adults in an area. Shifts in a population’s age can be attributed to the net impact of changes in life expectancy, declining or increasing birth rates, and migration to and from an area. Many services, from schools to libraries to health and human services, are impacted by the age of the population it serves. Trends in a population’s aging can help service providers plan for meeting the evolving needs of the community.
Among Wake County municipalities, Wendell has the highest median age (39.6) and Raleigh has the lowest (32.2).
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.
 
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Wake County's median age remains consistently lower than the national and state medians. The State Demographer projects Wake County’s population will continue to age, reaching a median age approaching 40 by 2030. 
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
People2013
35.2 years

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
The origin of Wake County residents is a main signifier of the county’s diversity, an important goal as Wake County enhances its communities socially and economically. The size of the County's foreign-born population, an indicator of the community's popularity among immigrants, hinges on factors such as location, education and employment opportunities, infrastructure, the efforts exerted by the community to attract foreign-born residents, and the nature of public and private service provisions. Growing diversity in the racial and ethnic makeup of a community creates both challenges and opportunities. Changes in the percent of foreign-born residents within a population may signal a need for modifications to service delivery from many segments of the community, including medical providers, school systems, and businesses. Simultaneously, foreign-born residents contribute to a culturally vibrant community, offering a diversity of experiences that enhance the local economy.
The most common regions of birth for foreign-born residents in Wake County are Latin America (41.9% of foreign-born) and Asia (35.7% of foreign-born).
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.

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Raleigh, Cary, and Morrisville have the largest concentration of foreign-born residents in Wake County. Wake County's foreign-born population, which on average makes up about 13% of the overall population, mirrors the national average but is higher than the state average of 7.6%.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
People2013
12.6% of the total population

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
A household includes all the persons who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms, or single room that is occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters, regardless of the nature of the relationship of the occupants sharing the living arrangements. The count of total households provides information about population growth, land development patterns, the health of the housing market, and land density patterns in Wake County.
Nearly 100,000 housing units in Wake County are occupied by a single person.
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.

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The total number of households in Wake County has increased by over 60,000 between 2006 and 2013.

From 2000 to 2010, Rolesville, Morrisville, and Holly Springs had the highest household growth rate; Raleigh and Cary had the highest numeric growth.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates; updated City of Raleigh of link to reflect the creation of the Housing and Neighborhoods Department
People2013
364,717 households

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
Household size measures the average number of people residing in a single housing unit, reflecting citizens’ chosen living arrangements. While family size is certainly a main determinant of household size, this number also provides insight into the financial self-sufficiency of Wake County’s citizens. An uptick in household size may indicate that residents are seeking roommates or moving back in with family during financially hard times, while decreasing household size may indicate that citizens choosing to live independently or with fewer roommates as their finances stabilize. The health and sufficiency of the housing market also affects household size. If there are not enough housing units to accommodate a growing population, we may observe a rise in household size. This statistic impacts population density, which in turn affects how planners shape land usage. School systems, residential and commercial developers, and transportation planners rely on this information when designing their services, programs, and products.
The average household size for owner-occupied households (2.73) is slightly higher than for renter-occupied households (2.39).

Not applicable

The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March.

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The Wake County average household size, which hovers around 2.6 people per household, mirrors the national average household size.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
People2013
2.61 people per household
There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
The number of single-family and multi-family units permitted annually provides insight into construction activity, land development patterns, and population growth and movement within the county. This indicator bridges the number of residential building permits issued in the county and the number of households in the county.  As increases in residential units reflect population growth or movement, this indicator may be used to estimate changes to the tax base on a year-to-year basis.
Multi-family units comprise a greater proportion of total permitted housing units than in the years before the recession.
Data is made available monthly by the US Census Bureau.
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The effects of the 2008 economic downturn were apparent in Wake County’s construction sector. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of permitted units fell by 71%. This number has since begun to rebound.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2014 survey estimates
DevelopmentNovember 2014
9,133 units (5,622 single-family and 3,511 multi-family units)
Because data for December 2014 have not yet been published, total yearly estimates for 2014 appear low compared to previous years. The inclusion of December 2014 estimates will allow for more accurate comparison.

  
Annexation, the incorporation of new territory into an existing municipality, provides insight into construction activity and development patterns in Wake county, both key measures of local economic health. Land annexation demonstrates the ability of local governments to expand services, it illustrates where developers are seeking to build, and it indicates in what communities citizens desire to reside. Annexations may occur through three methods: 1) city-initiated (“involuntary”), 2) by petition from property-owners or residents (“voluntary”), and 3) by act of the General Assembly (“legislative”). 
 In 2014, the most acres annexed were by Apex (792), Fuquay-Varina (279), Holly Springs (271), and Raleigh (260).
Data is published annually by Wake County Planning, Development, and Inspections.

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Numbers of acres annexed by municipalities plummeted from 7,002 acres in 2007 to 669 acres in 2011. The 2,309 acres annexed by municipalities in 2014 indicates that this indicator is rebounding.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2014 year totals.
Development2014
2.309 acres annexed in 2013
Not applicable

  
This indicator provides the count and cumulative value of permits issued annually that change the tax value of residential real property. Such changes include new construction, additions, renovations, and demolitions. Issued permits that do not modify the taxable value of real property, such as permits issued for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other minor alterations, are not reported here. Because construction is a key measure of economic activity, this indicator provides insight into the health of the local economy, land development patterns, and building industry status. As increases in residential permits reflect population growth or movement, this indicator may be used to estimate changes to the tax base on a year-to-year basis. Note that numbers reported for prior years are not adjusted to reflect changes to municipal planning jurisdictions, including voluntary annexations or modifications to extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) areas.
The number of residential building permits issued in 2014 was 28.8% higher than in 2009, when the recession had its strongest impact.
Data is made available monthly by the Wake County Revenue Department.

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The effects of the national economic downturn have been apparent in Wake County’s construction sector. In 2008, the number of residential permits issued fell 33%, and the dollar value of those permits fell 49%. Recovery in both number and value of residential permits has been gradual.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2014 year totals
Development2014
12,034 permits issued in 2014
Note that numbers reported for prior years are not adjusted to reflect changes to municipal planning jurisdictions, including voluntary annexations or modifications to extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) areas. 

  
The number of registered vehicles includes all vehicle registrations issued by the State of North Carolina within Wake County. In addition to providing an estimate for the number of vehicles that travel local roads and highways, vehicle registrations also provide indirect insight into the buying decisions of citizenry. Personal buying choices are influenced by many factors. Economic conditions and individual economic self-sufficiency enable citizens to purchase and afford a car. The necessity of owning a car may be affected by land use and the convenience of multimodal transportation options. Furthermore, changes to the rate of vehicle registrations may indicate vehicle market saturation.
In 2013, 0.73 vehicles were registered per capita.

​Not applicable

NC LINC publishes updated data annually in mid-December.
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The vehicle registration growth rate has slowed despite a consistent increase in population, dropping the number of vehicle registrations per capita from 0.80 vehicles per person in 2007 to 0.73 vehicles per person in 2013.
February 2015: Revised source; data now reflect NC LINC estimates instead of Wake County Revenue Department estimates.
Transportation2013
716,408 vehicles registered
Annual data represent the number of valid automobile and truck registrations in the system at that time (including those within the grace period for renewal). Excluded are registrations for trailers, buses, motorcycles, dealers, transporters, drive away and public-owned passenger vehicles, mobile homes, tractor trucks, and wreckers.

  
A primary signal of an area’s desirability and sustainability is its employment numbers. If an area is able to maintain a supply of jobs that satisfy and support the workforce, the area is likely to attract and retain businesses and citizens. Strong employment numbers reflect a strong economy that is meeting the needs of its people, and reflect a strong infrastructure that is able to support the needs of its companies. The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the available labor force without work. This number does not include military, students, homemakers, and those not otherwise seeking work.
The unemployment rate in Wake County is at six-year low.
The Labor & Economic Analysis Division of the NC Department of Commerce publishes employment data monthly.
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Wake County’s unemployment rate, even during recessions, consistently remains lower than the state and national rates. Wake County’s unemployment rate has been declining since 2010.
January 2015: Revised to reflect November 2014 data
EconomicsNovember 2014
4.2% unemployment rate
The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the available labor force without work. This number does not include military, students, homemakers, and those not otherwise seeking work.

  
The education level of a jurisdiction’s citizens first signals the adequacy of the community’s education system: Do citizens have access to affordable, quality education options? Are citizens prepared for higher education, and are citizens seeking those options? A population’s education level also has implications for citizens’ financial stability, as higher educational attainment better equips citizens to find higher-paying work. Education level is also a measure of a region's attractiveness, as a region with a strong job market and a healthy economy attracts residents who have attained higher levels of education.
In 2013, the percentage of Wake County adult residents with a bachelor's degree or higher ranked 6th nationally among counties with at least 500,000 adults age 25 or older.
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March.

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The percent of Wake County's population age 25 and older who have attained high school and bachelor's degrees is consistently higher than state and national averages.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
Economics2013
49.1% of the County's adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher
There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
Median household income reflects the relative wealth of a community, the financial resources of its citizens, and the ability of citizens to afford the cost of living within a region. A community with lower median household incomes may require more social services from the public and nonprofit sectors. Low household incomes are also a sign that  jobs either are not available, perhaps because of shifts in the economy and industry of the region, or that available jobs do not match up with the skills of the workforce.
In 2013, Wake County had the highest median household income in the state.

Not applicable

The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.

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Though the median household income in Wake County declined after the 2008 economic downturn, it has remained consistently higher than the state average and is now trending upward.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
Economics2013
$65,160

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
The percent of the population below the federal poverty line indicates the financial resources of its citizens, and the ability of citizens to meet basic needs, like food, housing, education, transportation, and medical expenses. A community with a higher percentage of residents living under the poverty level may require more social services from the public and nonprofit sectors. A high poverty rate is also a sign that jobs either are not available, perhaps because of shifts in the economy and industry of the region, or that available jobs do not match up with the skills of the workforce.
In 2013, Wake County had the second lowest poverty rate among the ten most populous counties in North Carolina.
The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.

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Mirroring national and state trends, the Wake County population under the national poverty line increased after the 2008 economic downturn. However, the Wake County poverty rate has remained consistently lower than the state and national poverty rates and is now trending downward.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
Economics2013
10.7% of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

  
This indicator provides the count and cumulative dollar value of all permits issued annually that change the tax value of commercial real property. Such changes include new construction, additions, renovations, and demolitions. Issued permits that do not modify the taxable value of real property, such as permits for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other minor alterations, are not reported in this indicator. Because construction is a key measure of economic activity, this indicator provides insight into the health of the local economy, land development patterns, and building industry status. Because the permits included here are only those that change tax value, this indicator may be used to estimate changes to the property tax base on a year-to-year basis. Note that numbers reported for prior years are not adjusted to reflect changes to municipal planning jurisdictions, including voluntary annexations or modifications to extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) areas.
2014 was the strongest year for both the number and value of commercial building permits since 2009.
Data is made available monthly by the Wake County Revenue Department.

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The effects of the national economic downturn were apparent in Wake County’s construction sector. In 2009, the number of permits issued fell 43%, and the dollar value of those permits fell 78%. Recovery in both number and value of commercial permits has been gradual.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2014 year totals
Development2014
643 permits issued in 2014
Note that numbers reported for prior years are not adjusted to reflect changes to municipal planning jurisdictions, including voluntary annexations or modifications to extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) areas. 


  
Population change is a main signifier of a region’s desirability and viability. People move into areas that offer attractive services, jobs, education, and overall quality of life, and they stay in areas where their needs continue to be met as they age. Changes in population  suggest swings in community economic and development patterns; some examples of changes that may attract a population are business openings, transit station openings, housing program implementation, farmland conversion, and improvements within the local public school system. If unplanned for, rising populations can be a drain on local resources. However, a popular community is generally a sustainable one, as a growing population brings with it a growing tax base and a maintainable work force.
Based on July 1, 2013 Census Bureau estimates, Wake County staff predicted that Wake's population surpassed 1 million residents in August 2014.

​Not applicable

The United States Census Bureau publishes official population estimates and population estimate revisions for prior years annually. County, state, and national data are released in March; municipal data are released in June.

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According to 2013 census estimates, Wake County is the 2nd most populous county in North Carolina and the 46th most populous county in the United States. Wake is also the 22nd fastest growing county nationwide in terms of the number of residents added among counties with populations over 10,000.
January 2015: Revised to reflect 2013 ACS estimates
People2013
974,289 residents
The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state, and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/
 
Because population estimates for prior years are revised annually, estimates for prior years may not reflect previously published data.
 
There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2014 will not be released until March and June of 2015.

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