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Data Dashboard: Population Density


Population Density

Trend at a Glance

At last count

1,253 persons per square mile

Current Through

July 1, 2016



What does this measure?

Population density, or population per square mile (land area), 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.

How is Wake County performing?

Wake County's population density ranked 8th among the nation's top 10 counties with at least 1 million residents with a growth rate of at least 10% between 2010 and 2015.

Did you know?

Wake County's population density increased by 175 additional people per square mile of land area between 2000 and 2016.

Data Source

For most recent year, US Census Bureau Annual Estimates of Resident Population as of July 1.  For prior years, US Census Bureau American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.  Sources may be found at http://factfinder.census.gov

Data Considerations

Population estimates for prior years are revised annually.  Current estimates may not reflect previously published data.  There is a lag between the collection and reporting of Census Bureau data.  July 1, 2017 county population estimates will be released in March 2018.

Charts & Maps

WCBTN - Population Density.jpg

Data is updated:

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.

Related Resources


April 2017




Created at 1/3/2014 3:56 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 10/2/2017 2:49 PM by Jason B. horton





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