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Raintree21

Mecklenburg losing ground to Wake County

75 posts in this topic

Wake gaining on top county

Some demographers say Mecklenburg County will soon lose some political clout, new jobs and bragging rights.

New census data released this week shows North Carolina's most populous county is losing ground to No. 2, Wake County.

The figures could tilt political power, influence where employers locate new jobs and rob Mecklenburg of some luster, observers say.

"Everybody wants to be the biggest," said Debra Campbell, Mecklenburg County planning director.

Mecklenburg added 18,568 newcomers between 2003 and 2004, increasing its population 2.5 percent to 771,617, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

But Wake County -- home to the state capital Raleigh and N.C. State University -- is growing faster.

Wake welcomed 21,197 new residents, lifting its population 3 percent to 719,520.........

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Certainly Wake is naturally going to 'grow faster' - Mecklenburg is nearing a maturing phase as the county is being full developed. Wake is a massive county with a great amount of room for growth. Typically more popolous county growth rates diminish as they gain population. Basically - nothing to be concerned with, Mecklenburg may be hitting a wall in development, but as the city densifies this will assist Mecklenburg and keep the county above Wake (for a while at least...)

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Wake county is more than 50% larger than Mecklenburg in geographic size so I'm not sure if it is a valid comparison.

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Wake County may exceed Mecklenburg in population, but the Charlotte metro region will always have more people than Raleigh Durham.

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i don't think it is true that businesses just look at size of county when going into a city. income plays a large role, and i am fairly certain that charlotte has higher income levels than wake, on average. Wake is much larger, so wake will always have the eventual likelihood of being more populous.

Also, the difference in growth was not that large in the 2003-2004 time period that this article analyzes. I think it makes sense that charlotte will again grow faster than during that two year period, as busines picks up again. the difference in growth numbers was ~2600 people...it seems that uptown growth expected in the next year will be much more than that (although i know that may not be a net increase for meck).

North Mecklenburg has also put a lot of energy into slowing growth in order to force more sustaining growth patterns. When the new transit infrastructure is created, that area will have the backbone to grow quickly again.

If i'm not mistaken, the rapid growth in pharmaceuticals in 03/04 has slowed a bit with all the side-effect concerns that showed up last year. In charlotte, duke has worked out much its problems and is growing again, and the banks have started to merge and grow clt employment again. we'll see how those numbers look for -5/06.

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Anyone have any metro stats to compare as far as growth is concerned?

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Wake county is more than 50% larger than Mecklenburg in geographic size so I'm not sure if it is a valid comparison.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

that's true.. Wake County's a lot bigger.

833.92 Square Miles - Wake

533.42 Square Miles - Mecklenburg

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Wake county is more than 50% larger than Mecklenburg in geographic size so I'm not sure if it is a valid comparison.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

iT'S VERY VALID, CHARLOTTE IS BIGGER THAN RALEIGH BUT YOU STILL MAKE THE COMPARISON !!

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Counties don't have flexible boundaries, that's why it's not a valid comparison. Meck and Raleigh never could be the same size. Raleigh compared to Charlotte would be valid because Raleigh could annex enough area to be the size of Charlotte or it's MSA defined area could be same size.......but then I haven't really seen anyone trying to compare the two.

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that's true.. Wake County's a lot bigger.

833.92 Square Miles - Wake

533.42 Square Miles - Mecklenburg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

THAT'S NOT THE POINT!, THE POINT IS WAKE COUNTY IS GROWING FASTER THAN MECKLENBURG,DON'T MAKE EXCUSES UP FOLKS,,WE WILL ONE DAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE ALSO BE BIGGER IN POPULATION. PLEASE DON'T THINK I HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST CHARLOTTE - MECKLENBURG, BUT I HAVE READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS AND SOME OF YOU FOLKS TALK ABOUT RALEIGH - WAKE LIKE WERE FLINT MICH OR SOMETHING UNDERSTAND WE DO LACK ONE THING AND THAT'S THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP CHARLOTTE - MECKLENBURG HAS I DO ADMIRE YOUR AREA'S FOR THAT WE HAVE TO MANY GOOD OLD BOYS .

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Is there much at stake other than bragging rights if wake ends up being larger than Meck (it will eventually happen without question, because wake is so much bigger in area)?

In many ways, charlotte would not really lose politically if raleigh gets more representation in the GA, as both would continue to grow relative to other counties... and most of the time, the cultural battles in the GA tend to be urban vs. rural. For example, raleigh reps are on the same side as charlotte on transportation issues.

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that's true.. Wake County's a lot bigger.

833.92 Square Miles - Wake

533.42 Square Miles - Mecklenburg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

THAT'S NOT THE POINT!, THE POINT IS WAKE COUNTY IS GROWING FASTER THAN MECKLENBURG,DON'T MAKE EXCUSES UP FOLKS,,WE WILL ONE DAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE ALSO BE BIGGER IN POPULATION. PLEASE DON'T THINK I HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST CHARLOTTE - MECKLENBURG, BUT I HAVE READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS AND SOME OF YOU FOLKS TALK ABOUT RALEIGH - WAKE LIKE WERE FLINT MICH OR SOMETHING UNSTAND WE DO LACK ONE THING AND THAT'S THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP CHARLOTTE - MECKLENBURG HAS I DO  ADMIRE YOUR AREA'S FOR THAT WE HAVE TO MANY GOOD OLD BOYS!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Goddammit, you have been warned several times how to learn to use the quote function and not to type in caps. CYA.

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Personally, i want all three major metropolitan areas in NC to grow in stature and population, including Raleigh. It would not bother me if wake county is more populous than meck today or next year or whenever. Both have their own issues with economic development, containing sprawl, funding transportation, etc. etc. I think Raleigh and charlotte act in many ways as sister cities and cooperate.

Of course, there is competition and rivalry in some areas, but that is life, and it makes both better. Charlotte wants to improve its higher ed and technology reputation, and Raleigh wants to improve its business and urban growth. (and whatever else there may be).

Population will always be framed as a competition, but that is just a "pinhead angel" discussion. People move where their jobs meet their skills and the neighborhoods meet their lifestyles. Charlotte-Raleigh competition is anything BUT a zero-sum game.

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Interesting debate... I have lived in Raleigh for my whole life, and it's always had a different feel compared to Charlotte and it is even more pronounced now. I work in Charlotte often, so I have a pretty good feel for it as well.

Raleigh metro (Cary, Apex, etc.) is so spread out now its rediculous--way too much sprawl and much too suburban. Although Charlotte has plenty of that too, I think they have done a much better job growing down--er, I mean--"uptown" and planning for long range transit options to improve density even while the suburbs grow--at least there is a very viable alternative in Charlotte. There's no doubt with it's tremendous corporate support, thriving CBD, and strong economy, Charlotte will continue to be "Metrolina."

Raleigh, with the major employment center being miles away in RTP, is at a supreme disadvantage, as compared to Charlotte, with it's corporate centers mostly located uptown. If RTP was downtown Raleigh, then we'd really have something! Now with some help from a mayor who believes in the importance of DT (Meeker), urban Raleigh is beginning to show some life, and some real hope for the near future. I think with the demographics, quality of life, medical care, and education we have a bright future as an attractive location for urban development.

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This is like the old questions in math class... If John and Sue were riding bikes and John was 20 miles ahead and traveling at 9 mph and Sue was riding at 10 mph when would Sue overtake John? It is the same with Charlotte vs. Raleigh in terms of population, Charlotte is still growing also, not that far behind Raleigh. The counties around Meck are also growing at great rates. If say Union and Cabbarus were part of Meck, Meck would be growing SO much faster then Wake. When all is said and done, Charlotte is growing ever more diserable and I forsee another surge in population. I see steady big growth for Raleigh but I see Charlotte overtaking it again. Only time will tell though.

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Wake may pass Meck in population, but most of it will be suburban county sprawl, where as in Meck, there will be mor urban densified growth along with suburban growth. The argument should not be growth, but what type of growth. Charlotte may eventually have a higher poplation than Raleigh due to denser developments. Look at Manhatten, has one million plus some on a small island 2 miles wide and 22 miles long, and how many of those people you think live in a single family house with a yard?

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Nobody mentioned that 3 out of the 5 fastest growing counties are in the Charlotte Metro area. And Union County is the fastest growing in the state and one of the fastest in the country. Charlotte will be the same size as San Diego in 20 years and Raleigh will be what Charlotte is now in 20 years. :rofl:

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Wake may pass Meck in population, but most of it will be suburban county sprawl, where as in Meck, there will be mor urban densified growth along with suburban growth. The argument should not be growth, but what type of growth. Charlotte may eventually have a higher poplation than Raleigh due to denser developments.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is my theory, too, but i'm hoping we can get facts to back it up. In the census density maps monsoon posted on the other thread, it almost looked like raleigh had higher density within city limits. Now, Charlotte has most of its industrial and business employment areas inside its city limits and that may hurt density numbers, because they are large but no one lives there... so it may be that the residential areas in clt are much more dense than raleighs.

Hopefully we can see numbers to show this, so that it isn't conjecture.

I'm hoping that the transit corridors will really make this true. I know that the planning commission's desire for the city is to have dense villages along the transit spines, with the wedges being lower density suburban-style housing. that notion protects some of the bitter zoning fights by giving density a positive place to collect, but leaving density nitby of nimby people.

by the way, people often say that charlotte has the chance to learn from atlanta's mistakes.... well, raleigh has the chance to learn from charlotte's mistakes, and really have faster growth of its core as a result.

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COMBINED STASTICAL AREA POPULATION.

2000 2004 numeric change

------- -------- ---------------------

Charlotte CSA 1,863,607 2,033,122 +169,515

Raleigh CSA 1,311,854 1,467,434 +155,580

Im sure most of you are famaliar of the new metropolitian areas introduced a few years back. Some of you have said that the Combined Statistical Area is more indicative of a metro area. I agree, and these numbers reflect that.

Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, NC-SC Combined Statistical Area

Albemarle, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area

Chester, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Lancaster, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Lincolnton, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Salisbury, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Shelby, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Statesville-Mooresville, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC Combined Statistical Area

Dunn, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area

Durham, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area

Raleigh-Cary, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area

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I don't put a lot of stock in CSA numbers. Downtown Lancaster is a remote and desolate place compared to Trade & Tryon. Best to compare the MSA.

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I disagree. I think the CSA is most comparable to the previous MSA of Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill.

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I don't put a lot of stock in CSA numbers.  Downtown Lancaster is a remote and desolate place compared to Trade & Tryon.  Best to compare the MSA.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

MSA's aren't that much better - they indicate commuting patterns primarily, there isn't that much of a step beyond for Lancaster Co being in the MSA. 14% of Lancaster Co residents commute in Charlotte, just 1% shy of joining the MSA.

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I honestly don't see how you could possibly compare Lancaster & Chester county to say Durham county. But I am game if you want to include them in this discussion. So consider this. Parts of Lancaster county is more than 60 miles from downtown Charlotte. The fact they are part of Charlotte's CSA would indicate we are sprawling much more than the Triangle.

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I say who cares about CSA, MSA, ABC, XYZ. All that should matter is what the population of the city in question is and the county they are in if you're talking numbers. There are people I work with that drive 1-2 hours to get here, but are they counted in these numbers?

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I honestly don't see how you could possibly compare Lancaster & Chester county to say Durham county.  But I am game if you want to include them in this discussion.  So consider this.  Parts of Lancaster county is more than 60 miles from downtown Charlotte.  The fact they are part of Charlotte's CSA would indicate we are sprawling much more than the Triangle.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In what sense am I comparing these counties - just making sure what I am exactly responding to. Besides, Durham County is home to more of a secondary city than just a suburb which is Lancaster County. I'm not sure how the two metro areas compare though, I was merely suggesting that concepts of metro area are difficult to compare because there are so many criterias to choose from. Additionally, the 'face' of the modern metro has evolved (for the worse) in the past decades, rural economies have greatly declined meaning that the immediate rural counties near urban areas turn into exurban counties. Hope that clears my point (or did I have a point? I forgot ;)).

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