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?




1,024,198 residents
Wake was the 2nd fastest growing county nationally among the 6 counties that had at least 1 million residents on July 1, 2015 and experienced a growth rate of at least 10% between 2010 and 2015.
Population Density

1,227 persons per square mile

Wake County's population density increased by almost 500 additional people per square mile of land area between 2000 and 2015.
Net Migration

64 net new residents per day (43 per day from net migration)

Wake County receives a steady flow of people into--and out of--the county. On average, 188 people move into Wake County every day and 148 people move out, meaning Wake gains an average of 40 new residents each day due to net migration. Since 2010, net migration has accounted for 65% of Wake County's growth.
Median Age

35.7 years

Wake County median age is 35.7, compared to North Carolina is 38.4 and the U.S. average is 37.8
Foreign-Born Population

13.6% of the total population
The most common regions of birth for foreign-born residents in Wake County are Latin America and Asia.
Total Households

382,638 households

Nearly 100,000 housing units in Wake County are occupied by a single person.
Average Household Size

2.64 people per household
The average household size for owner-occupied households (2.74) is slightly higher than for 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?

4.1% unemployment rate
The unemployment rate in Wake County is at six-year low.
Educational Attainment

50.1% of the County's adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher
In 2015, the percentage of Wake County adult residents with a bachelor's degree or higher as adults age 25 or older ranked second in the state.
Median Household Income

In 2015, Wake County had the highest median household income in the state.
Population Below Poverty Level

11.2% of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold
In 2015, Wake County had the second lowest poverty rate among the ten most populous 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

10,081 units (6,788 single-family and 3,293 multi-family units)

Multi-family units comprise a greater proportion of total permitted housing units than in the years before the recession.
Acres Annexed

3,377 acres annexed in 2015
 In 2015, the most acres annexed were by Apex (1,273), Cary (589), Holly Springs (402), and Raleigh (339).
Residential Building Permits

14,681 permits issued in 2015

The number of residential building permits issued in 2014 was 28.8% higher than in 2009, when the recession had its strongest impact.
Commercial Building Permits

651 permits issued in 2015
2014 was the strongest year for both the number and value of commercial building permits since 2009.
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

11,228,813 passenger boardings
C-Tran's passenger boardings increased 8% from 2013 to 2014, making it the fastest growing service provider in the County.
Funding for Public Transit Organizations


In 2014, fare revenues accounted for nearly 19% of public transit operating costs.
Mode and Average Time of Commute

25.1 minutes
410,000 Wake County residents drove alone to work in 2015.
Registered Vehicles

716,408 vehicles registered
In 2013, 0.73 vehicles were registered per capita.
Vehicle Miles Traveled


10,633,330,000 miles traveled in Wake County during 2015
Although total vehicle miles traveled have increased for decades, vehicle miles traveled per capita are declining.

Download the Full By the Numbers Dataset:

Copy of WCBTN Database 2015.xlsxWCBTN Database 2015

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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