Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

monsoon

NC Projections for the year 2030

Recommended Posts

Our state tax dollars are used for a number of things but one are projections of what NC will look like in the future. Here is some data for the year 2030 for what the state might look like.

Counties Ranked by Density

First we have density ranked by people/sq mile. Mecklenburg easily wins this one since it is a relatively small county geographically and one of the fastes growing. One of the surprises is New Hanover county (Wilmington) will surpass Forsyth and Durham to become the 3rd most dense county in the state.

  1. Mecklenburg - 2,536.81
  2. Wake - 1,640.50
  3. New Hanover - 1,321.18
  4. Durham - 1,159.76
  5. Forsyth - 1,066.37
  6. Guilford - 996.56
  7. Cabarrus - 699.39
  8. Gaston - 628.17
Counties Ranked by Population

They have been predicting for more than 30 years that Wake county would one day surpass Mecklenburg as the most populous county. If the projections are correct that will be the case in 2030. Wake & Mecklenburg will have no peers in the rest of the state for number of people as this ranking shows.

  1. Wake - 1,343,283
  2. Mecklenburg - 1,316,126
  3. Guilford - 640,366
  4. Forsyth - 432,744
  5. Cumberland - 386,533
  6. Durham - 333,637
  7. Buncombe - 297,319
  8. Union - 274,475
  9. Johnston - 266,048
  10. New Hanover - 260,143

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


One of the things that numbers such as this are used for, is where does it make sense to build a mass transit system? If the above numbers are to be believed, it certainly would make sense in Wake and Mecklenburg, and possibly Greensboro. The remaining locales on the map might be much further off due to shortfalls in funding.

Forsyth for example will not have the density that Mecklenburg has today, and with just over a 400K population I don't think a local mass transit system there would be supported.

Greensboro is also not as dense but its population is approaching Mecklenburg and Wakes population of today and a street car system might work in its downtown area. The new downtown ball stadium and train station are posed to bring a lot of people into the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting projections. The New Hanover thing is remarkable actually. Mecklenburg is already pushing 800k? Considering that not all the land in the county can be occupied, the population in the core areas will be quite dense I'm sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. Here is a April 2030 Population Density map of NC. As you can see the truely urban areas of the state will basically be Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, & Wilmington

post-5-1109207827_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those numbers are quite impressive... the only thing that suprised me is that Gaston Co. was left off the population list. Which makes me wonder, what is wrong with that place!?! They barely made the density list too.

Next to Mecklenburg, they've had all the best connections to Charlotte, the airport and the interstates for some time now and they're still falling behind Union, York and Cabarrus Counties. I just don't get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Hanover County does not suprise me for its high ranking of density due to it being a small/narrow county with development encroaching everywhere with not so much room to move out so it all circumvents back to sprawl making the county denser and denser. From the Cape Fear to the Atlantic Ocean is 15 miles long i believe. From north to south, at least 40 miles long. You have to be in the northern end of the county for it to start being more open and rural. The area continues to grow a lot but what would really jump start Wilmington, Castle Hayne, Monkey Junction, Masonboro (theres more but im making a point) if the current trailor parks would be bought out to make room for more nicer housing and commerical development. Starting out on Wrightsville Ave would be the first step in the right direction then eventually work on Oleander Dr (US 76/Truck 17).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But a decent bus system would serve the city just as well, and cost far less. 400K residents may not be able to afford to build an expensive LRT for so few people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How can you possibly indicate Greensboro as urban and not Winston-Salem, which is more dense than Greensboro. The basic difference between Winston-Salem and Greensboro is High Point. I thought this was the Triad anyway. Your comment is obviously bias, unfounded, and not supported by facts.

I agree, New Hanover will be very dense because it is a very small county in land area, and a retriement destination that is exploding. In fact, I predict, Wilmington will become the State's sixth major city; actualy, it probably already is so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

monsoon's argument is actually plausible--read it again in entirety this time:

Forsyth for example will not have the density that Mecklenburg has today, and with just over a 400K population I don't think a local mass transit system there would be supported.

Greensboro is also not as dense but its population is approaching Mecklenburg and Wakes population of today and a street car system might work in its downtown area.

Since Charlotte of today has a streetcar system in the works, and since Guilford of the future will approach Mecklenburg of today (100,000+ shy), it is reasonable to assume that Greensboro might just barely support a street car system by this time. Using that same population model, Forsyth would probably not.

It would probably be more economically sensible to just keep bus service in Forsyth. A novelty trolley might also be considered, perhaps stretching through the center of the city for a short distance, but Winston-Salem is not Washington DC and it will not be able to approach Charlotte or even Raleigh in 2030--a multi-legged light rail network would fall apart. It is fun however to imagine what could be.

I do believe that by this time, PART will be actively building or running their proposed commuter rail system, linking the Triad together.

This sets nothing in stone, it is simply a long range projection based on observations today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, all I know is that Mecklenburg county is gonna be crazy dense. It will have close to what Wake county has in population by that time, yet with only a third of the space, being that Wake county is the largest in the state. People are gonna be living all over each other. Who knew?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of a Winston-Salem trolley (rail trolley), here is a clipping from "Rail Transit Online"

The $175,000 second phase of a feasibility study on a proposed $130-million streetcar line to connect downtown with residential areas, tourist locales, universities, medical facilities and job centers is about to get underway following approval by the city council. The initial analysis showed the rail system, modeled on the Portland Streetcar, would be feasible and that the project should be built incrementally (see RTOL, Sept. 2003). The initial 3.7-mi. (6 km) route would cost approximately $45 million and would link the future Piedmont Triad Research Park with Wake Forest University Medical Center along Fourth and Fifth streets. The second part of the study will determine whether the streetcars will be worth the investment, estimate potential ridership and establish specific funding sources. Previously suggested financing components were the private sector, bonds, higher parking fees, federal grants and tax revenue. The trolleys are seen as a tool to stimulate economic development downtown. Public forums will be held to get community input on routes and construction impacts.

Something like this is what I had envisioned--hits all the hot spots. Hopefully funding can be secured. If they do eventually build it, I hope it is successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from Journalnow.com:

The first phase of the study recommends that the city bring back the cars in phases over several years, saying that the work could be paid for with various foundation funds, bonds, parking fees, federal grants and possibly a tax increase.

City officials and downtown leaders have researched how light rail has succeeded in other cities, such as Portland, which paid for its own system with federal grants, private money and money from property owners who benefit from being on the routes. Light-rail lines are seen as a long-term and permanent investment that drives economic development.

Im a realist when it comes to Winston-Salem, but i still have to disagree about in not being able to support local mass transit. The studies have already been done so why question it. Plus this projection map is very dated since the latest population estimates have Both Winston-Salem and Greensboro with 400,000 within the city limits by 2030. ( I forget where i read it).

A lot of factors are considered when determining the need for mass transit, Ridership, proximity of attractions, population, growth trends, density etc. You cant predict mass transit success by just poplulation numbers. Guilford Co. is huge and it will take forever to be well developed. Look at the map you posted. According to it, Forsyth will be more dense, on the same level of Wake and Durham. Density is more important IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You cant predict mass transit success by just poplulation numbers... Density is more important IMO.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I totally agree that there are certainly many variables involved in predicting the success of a transit system, especially when we're talking about what will happen 25 years from now. In fact, these projections could be totally off due to an unforseeable change in growth rate or something--we really just don't know.

Density is one consideration, but what you want is ridership--and quantity is more important than quality. A city of 20,000 people can be very dense but it would not automatically validate the existence of a rail based transit system. Heh, if it was small enough people could just walk from place to place :D

At any rate, if Winston does end up with a trolley line connecting these two employment centers while cutting through "the heart" of downtown, I would be thrilled. I would be even more happy if it proves to be successful. I really love rails and mass transit. If successful, it would undoubtedly spark talk of more lines or an extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Forsyth - 432,744"?

I find it almost impossible to believe that in almost 30 years, Forsyth would only grow by 100k+/-. Winston has shown a lot of signs of growth in recent years, and I think the FedEx hub combined with Dell, PTRP, I-74/73, and the planned mass transit for the Triad area would drastically change these "projections".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im no expert, but I feel like these numbers are conservative. It wouldn't suprise me to see Mecklenburg approaching 1.6 or 1.7 million. I also think Cabarrus as well as Iredell counties in metro Charlotte will be on the list as well with 300,000+. I think Union will be pushing 400,000. Only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder what the population of North Carolina itself will be by then.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Between 12 and 13 million. Personally I think NC will be closer to 15M by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CATS projections are even more conservative, since CATS has to project ridership too, so county population is directly related, using city data, it projected Mecklenburg to be only 1.1 million by 2025.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember, however, that the majority of Mecklenburg County is already developed in some way. That means that pretty much any development in the county will have to be high-density urban infill. Any suburban style growth will take place outside of Mecklenburg. Although the urban movement in Charlotte is rapidly picking up steam, the idea that 800,000 people will move in over the next 25 years is, to put it mildly, a stretch. That's almost like what happened to New York during the Irish potato famine. (that analogy is a stretch, too, but you get my point. :))

Mecklenburg is 526.28 square miles, while Wake is 831.92. That means that there's a lot of undeveloped land in Wake County - and a lot of room for more sprawl. Wake County's popluation 25 years from now will be greater than Mecklenburg's because both the urban AND a good chunk of the suburban growth that will happen there will fit inside Wake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed.  Here is a April 2030 Population Density map of NC.  As you can see the truely urban areas of the state will basically be Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, & Wilmington

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thats intresting, they have Wilson Co more dense than Nash co. by 2030. It only surprises me becase I thought Nash(Rocky Mount) was one of the fast growing cities nationally right now, top 100) On the other hand, if u have ever been to Rocky Mount, the chart makes sense. Rocky Mount is a dump......very ugly town. Wilson on the other hand, is a nice town. Wilson just has a bunch of morons running things. To much small town thinking in Wilson. Here is an example of one mistake Wilson just made.......BB&t a few years back bought the old Brendles building and the old Lowes building, turning them into BB&T's. Last year BB&T built a new large building onto the old Lowes building. (Making one huge building, while still using the Brendles building) Of course this was not a DOWNTOWN location. Just imagine what all those jobs would have done for DT Wilson, it makes me so damn sick to think about. What idiots let this happen??? Wilson already had an 8 story office tower downtown. By building a new tower downtown it would have completly turned around DT and made it a place people wanted to go. Another strange thing, the land they built the new building on is a MAJOR flood zone. The old Lowes was buried underwater during Floyd and Fran. lol, someone needs to be slapped silly for letting this happen. Why, why why?

I was born is Wilson and have lived in Raleigh now for years. Wilsons DT has a ton of potential. Wilson has the nicest downtown of any eastern NC towns with the exception of Wilmington and New Bern. I just can't understand why the city is letting DT Wilson go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt these projections are based on past growth rates. Rocky Mount was sundered by the loss of Hardee's and Centura (or was it CCB) headquarters. I don't think there is anything left there. I once had a protege who was from Rocky Mount, but he did not return there after college. No future in that place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Those numbers are quite impressive... the only thing that suprised me is that Gaston Co. was left off the population list. Which makes me wonder, what is wrong with that place!?! They barely made the density list too.

Next to Mecklenburg, they've had all the best connections to Charlotte, the airport and the interstates for some time now and they're still falling behind Union, York and Cabarrus Counties. I just don't get it."

Gaston County is growing kind of slow, but like I said in a previous post "Atleast Gaston Co. is growing slowly than not growing at all." There is only a matter of time before it growth seeks itself through the roof and becomes very populous. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the same projections include city populations???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the numbers on Forsyth County are particularly conservative. Forsyth has been growing at a greater rate than Guilford lately, and as a smaller county in area, will likely will be considerably denser than Guilford in the next thirty years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.