Quick Launch

Data Dashboard: Foreign-Born Population


Foreign-Born Population

Trend at a Glance

At last count

13% of the total population

Current Through

December 2012



What does this measure?

The region of origin of Wake County residents is a main signifier of the county’s diversity, an important goal in Wake County as diversity enhances our communities socially and economically. The number of the foreign-born population in a community hinges on many factors: proximity to employment, education and transportation 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 brings with it both opportunities and challenges. Foreign-born residents contribute to a culturally vibrant community and can bring experiences that enhance the local economy. Changes in the percentage of foreign-born residents within a population may also signal a need for modifications to service delivery from many segments of the community, including medical providers, school systems, businesses and elected officials.

How is Wake County performing?

The largest concentrations of foreign-born residents in Wake County reside in Morrisville, Cary and Raleigh. Wake County's foreign-born population, which on average makes up about 13% of the overall population, mirrors the concentration of foreign-born population nationally (13%). North Carolina's foreign-born population is lower, at about 8% of the overall population.

Did you know?

The largest groups of foreign-born populations in Wake County come from Latin America (42% of foreign-born) and Asia (36%).

Data Source

Data Considerations

Depending on the size of the municipality, the Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates were referenced to determine the foreign-born population residing in each jurisdiction. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas, are considered more current and so are used for county, state and national data, while five-year estimates are considered more accurate and are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

Charts & Maps



Data is updated:

County, state and national data is made available annually in October by the US Census Bureau. County data is made available in December. Data is published here annually on or around December 30 by Wake County Planning, Development and Inspections.

Related Resources


Not applicable


Created at 1/3/2014 4:07 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 12/22/2014 1:41 PM by Stephen R. Walston