A lot can be learned about our community from the data collected about it. The most recently released statistics pertaining to population, the economy, land development, and transportation provide a window into the quality of life of our residents, the diversity of our citizens, the stability of our businesses, and the health of our infrastructure. The measures tracked on this page paint a picture of our community's strengths and allow us to monitor areas where we can improve. We have endeavored to present this data as objectively and consistently as possible, and we invite you to explore it.

"Wake County by the Numbers" has previously only been published in pamphlet form. Due to data revisions to prior years, numbers published here may not match those numbers in previous Wake County publications. Data is updated and revised annually.

The trend arrow reflects the direction of change from the prior year of the last reported data.

  

The demographics of a community reveal a lot about its diversity and desirability. These numbers show who makes up our community, where our residents come from, and where growth is occurring within the county.
 
  
Trend at a Glance
At last count
Did you know?
Population

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1,072,203 residents
Wake was the 20th fastest growing county nationally between 2010 and 2017 (based on count) at 165,319.  As a percentage, Wake County was 57th nationwide growing 18.2% in the same period.
Population Density

1,284 persons per square mile

Wake County's density has increased nearly 31% in the last ten years.
Net Migration

23,060 (average of 63 per day)

Wake County gains an average of 63 new residents each day with 42 per day due from domestic and international migration. In 2017, migration accounted for about 68% of population growth in Wake County.
Median Age

36 years

Wake County median age is 36, compared to North Carolina which is 38.7 and the U.S. average is 37.9.
Foreign-Born Population



13.7% of the total population
The most common regions of birth for foreign-born residents in Wake County are Latin America and Asia.
Occupied Households

387,771 households

Nearly 63% of households are owner occupied. More than 37% are occupied by renters.
Average Household Size

2.64 people per household
The average household size for owner-occupied households (2.78) is higher than for renter-occupied households (2.42) in Wake County.
 
 
The extent to which citizens are able to achieve a desirable quality of life within Wake County is determined in part by their economic independence. These numbers measure the strength and sustainability of the economy, the affordability of education, and the relative wealth of the population.
 
  
Trend at a Glance
At last count
Did you know?
Unemployment

3.6% unemployment rate
The unemployment rate in Wake County is 0.5% lower than the state and national averages.
Educational Attainment

53.2% of the County's adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher
In 2016, the percentage of Wake County adult residents with a bachelor's degree or higher as adults age 25 or older is among the highest in the state.
Median Household Income



$76,097
Median household income in Wake County jumped significantly in 2016 climbing nearly 8% in one year.
Population Below Poverty Level
9.1% of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold
In 2016, Wake County's population below poverty level declined significantly, declining 2.1% in one year.
 
 
 

Development patterns provide insight into the strength of the construction sector and the pace of residential and commercial development, and illustrate where growth is occurring.
 
  
Trend at a Glance
At last count
Did you know?
Total Housing Units Permitted


11,335 housing units

Two out of every three housing units built in Wake County are single family homes.
Acres Annexed

3,261 acres annexed in 2017
In 2017, the top three annexing municipalities were: Apex (801 acres), Fuquay-Varina (794 acres), and Wake Forest (549 acres).
Residential Building Permits



13,926 permits

While the number of residential building permits dipped in 2017, Wake County remains well above the ten year average (approximately 11,950 permits).
Commercial Building Permits


490 permits
Over the past ten years, commercial development was valued at more than $7.55 billion.
 
  
The way our residents can and do choose to get around has economic and environmental impacts. The efficiency and availability of public transportation; the cost of owning an automobile; the ease and safety of bicycling and walking; the location of our  of residential, employment, and commercial districts; and the quality of our roadways all play a role in residents' transportation choices.
 
  
Trend at a Glance
At last count
Did you know?
Bus Ridership





9,360,356 passenger boardings
In 2018, the NCSU Wolfline made up more than a third (37.5%) of all bus passenger boardings in Wake County.
Mode and Average Time of Commute

25 minutes
About 437,000 of Wake County workers drove alone to work in 2016.
Registered Vehicles

770,989 vehicles registered
In 2016, 0.74 vehicles were registered in Wake County per capita.
Vehicle Miles Traveled

11.4 billion miles traveled in Wake County during 2017
In Wake County, the daily average miles traveled per capita per day is approaching 30.
 

Download the Full "By the Numbers" Dataset:

WCBTN Database 2018.xlsxWCBTN Database 2018

 

Learn More:

 
For more information about these and other topics, see the Trends and Outlook presentations, prepared annually by Wake County Planning, Development, and Inspections. Estimated population projections, racial and ethnic percentage distributions, and additional economic and development indicators are some of the components included.

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