Data Dashboard: Foreign-Born Population


Foreign-Born Population

Trend at a Glance

At last count

12.7% of the total population compared to 7.7% in North Carolina and 13.3% in the U.S.

Current Through




What does this measure?

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.

How is Wake County performing?

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 7.7%.

Did you know?

The most common regions of birth for foreign-born residents in Wake County are Latin America (37.1% of foreign-born) and Asia (40.8% of foreign-born).

Data Source

Data Considerations

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:

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

Charts & Maps

 Foreign Born Population Percentages, 2005-2014.PNG

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; municipal data are released in June.

Related Resources


September 2015; Revised to reflect 2014 ACS estimates




Created at 1/3/2014 4:07 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 8/29/2016 11:26 AM by Regina N. Halyard





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