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?

974,289 residents
Based on July 1, 2013, U.S. Census population estimates, County staff predicts Wake will surpass 1 million residents by September 2014.
Population Density

1,167 people/square mile
Between 2000 and 2012, Morrisville's population density increased by 224%, the highest increase among all core municipalities in Wake County.
Net Migration

62 net new residents per day
781 new residents moved from Miami-Dade County, Fla., between 2007 and 2011, constituting the highest in-migration from any single county outside of North Carolina. 560 former Wake County residents moved to Maricopa County, Ariz., in that same time period, representing the highest out-flow to any county outside of North Carolina.
Median Age

35.3 years of age
Wake County’s population is predicted to reach a median age of 40 by 2030.
Foreign-Born Population

13% of the total population
The largest groups of foreign-born populations in Wake County come from Latin America (42% of foreign-born) and Asia (36%).
Total Households

357,684 households
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of households in Wake County increased by 43%.
Average Household Size

2.6 people per household
The average household size of owner-occupied households (2.71) is slightly higher than the size of renter-occupied households (2.41).
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?

5.3% unemployment rate
Since 2008, Wake County's annual unemployment rate peaked in 2010 at 8.6%.
Educational Attainment

47.5% of the County's adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher
In 2012, the percentage of Wake County adult residents with a bachelor's degree or higher ranked 8th nationally among counties with at least 500,000 adults age 25 or older.
Median Household Income

In 2012 Wake County had the highest median household income in the state.
Population Below Poverty Level
11.6% of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold
In 2012 Wake County had the lowest poverty rate among urban counties in North Carolina.

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

6,629 single-family and 3,397 multi-family units permitted in 2013
In 2012, 6,501 multi-family units were permitted in Wake County. This is the only time in the last 13 years that the number of multi-family units exceeded single-family dwellings permitted.
Acres Annexed

1,899 acres annexed in 2013
45% of land in Wake County's 857 square miles falls within the County's planning jurisdiction.
Residential Building Permits

3,025 permits issued for new residential buildings from January through June 2014
2013 was the strongest year in the number of residential permits issued since the recession.
Commercial Building Permits


175 permits issued for new commercial buildings from January through June 2014
Since 2008 the number of permits issued for demolishing buildings exceeded the number issued for constructing new commercial buildings in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
 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

10,990,715 passenger boardings
Passenger boardings increased for all Wake County bus service providers in the last year. C-Tran grew at the fastest rate, having 40% more boardings in 2012 than in 2011.
Funding for Public Transit Organizations

In 2012, fare revenues accounted for about 14% of public transit operating costs.
Mode and Average Time of Commute

23.4 minutes
Of Wake County's 475,400 workers, 388,987 (82%) worked within the county in 2012.
Registered Vehicles

769,366 vehicles registered
In 2013, 0.8 vehicles were registered per capita.
Vehicle Miles Traveled

28 miles traveled daily per capita
Although total vehicle miles has increased annually for decades, vehicle miles traveled per capita is declining.

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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.