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?


1,111,761 residents
Wake became North Carolina's most populous county in 2019--ahead of Mecklenburg County by 1,405 residents.
Population Density

1,331 persons per square mile

Wake County's density has increased nearly 24% in the last ten years.
Occupied Households

419,361 households

Approximately 64% of households are owner occupied while the remaining 36% are occupied by renters.
Average Household Size

2.60 people per household
The average household size for owner-occupied households (2.75) is higher than for renter-occupied households (2.33) in Wake County.
Median Age

36.8 years

The median age in Wake County has grown by 2.4 years since 2010. During the same period, the national median age grew 1.3 years (from 37.2 to 38.5).
Net Migration

Wake County gained an average of 56 new residents each day in 2019 with 38 per day from domestic and international migration. Migration accounted for nearly 69% of population growth in Wake County.
Foreign-Born Population

13.9% of the total population
The most common regions of birth for foreign-born residents in Wake County are Asia and Latin America.
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?

6.6% unemployment rate (average YTD)

Wake County’s average unemployment rate in 2020 is 6.6%. Due to COVID-19, the rate climbed to 11.5% in May 2020 before decreasing to 7.1% in June 2020. Wake County's rate is lower in June than the United States (11.2%) and the State of North Carolina (7.7%).
Educational Attainment

54.1% of the County's adult population has a bachelor's degree or higher
The percentage of Wake County adult residents with a bachelor's degree or higher as adults age 25 or older is among the highest counties in the state. The North Carolina percentage is 32.3%.
Median Household Income

Median household income in Wake County has climbed at an average rate of 4.82% over the past five years.
Population Below Poverty Level
8% of Wake County residents live below the federal poverty threshold
In Wake County, approximately one in four adults over 25 year old without a high school degree are below the poverty level.

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

11,424 housing units

New multifamily housing units averages approximately 33% of all new permitted units over the past five years.
Acres Annexed

2,267 acres annexed in 2019
In 2019, the top three annexing municipalities were: Fuquay-Varina (553 acres), Raleigh (354 acres), Apex (304 acres).
Residential Building Permits

14,360 permits

Growth in the number of residential building permits remains above the ten year rolling average (approximately 12,948 permits).
Commercial Building Permits

2,031 permits
Over the past ten years, commercial development was valued at approximately $9.73 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

9,625,167 passenger boardings
GoRaleigh provides service for nearly 55% of all bus passenger boardings. NCSU Wolfline is the second largest at approximately 35%.
Mode and Average Time of Commute

26.1 minutes
Working from home is the second most common means of transportation to work at 11%. Driving is most common at 78.4% while public transportation is least common (0.9%). 
Registered Vehicles

798,774 vehicles registered
In 2017, 0.74 vehicles were registered in Wake County per capita.
Vehicle Miles Traveled

11.75 billion miles traveled in Wake County during 2019
The average daily miles traveled per capita is just over 29 in Wake County.

Download the Full "By the Numbers" Dataset:

WCBTN Database 2018.xlsxWCBTN Database 2019


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.

Related links: