CARY'S POPULATION


The purpose of the mind-numbing number crunching on this page is to show that Cary's current and future population growth is simply not "sustainable," in any sense of the word, and particularly not even in the anomalously-low single-year growth-rate announced for the year 2017. Disregarding ALL the other problems — social and environmental — resulting from runaway population-growth, the Town's roadways simply cannot handle the volume of traffic that the year-after-year increases will generate.

The pages on this site will suggest ways in which the Town can slow population growth – NOW – instead of kicking the can down the road and leaving the problem for future leaders and citizens.

The Cary Community Plan states throughout [in every Chapter] that one of its primary goals is to maintain the small-town flavor of the city. My goal as a council member will be to be true to that aspiration, and prevent this beautiful city from becoming one big rush-hour traffic jam, as Washington, D.C. and literally hundreds of other jurisdictions have become in their headlong races in pursuit of growth without first honestly and deliberately considering what the virtues of growth are. [If you disagree with this assertion, drive along I-40, or Chapel Hill Road, or Weston Boulevard, or any of a score of other roads in and around Cary that are NOW traffic nightmares during morning and evening rush hours, and which will only become worse, year by year, as the population inexorably increases. To see vividly the coming population growth, please watch this video.]

POPULATION OF THE TOWN OF CARY – THEN AND NOW

This table shows the population increase of the Town from its incorporation in 1871 to 2015. The population at inception is given [p. 50] by Thomas M. Byrd in his and Jerry Miller's book, Around and About Cary [Raleigh: Daniels Industries; 1970. 2nd ed., Ann Arbor: Edwards Brothers, Inc.; 1994.]. The population totals from 1880 to 2010 are the United States Census Bureau official counts for those years. The population figure for 2015 is the Census Bureau's official estimate.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate column at far right shows the rate of growth from the decade listed above it. Thus, for example, the rate of growth per year from 2000 to 2010 was 3.34%. FWIW, the compound annual growth rate of the Town of Cary from inception to 2017 has been 4.92%.

YEAR CARY'S
POPULATION
ADDITIONAL
PEOPLE
PERCENT
INCREASE
COMPOUND ANNUAL
GROWTH RATE
1871 +/- 150 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
1880 371 221 147% 10.59%
1890 423 52 14% 1.32%
1900 333 -90 –21% -2.36%
1910 383 50 15% 1.41%
1920 645 262 68% 5.35%
1930 909 264 41% 3.49%
1940 1,141 232 26% 2.30%
1950 1,446 305 27% 2.40%
1960 3,356 1,910 132% 8.78%
1970 7,686 4,330 129% 8.64%
1980 21,763 14,077 183% 10.97%
1990 45,497 23,734 109% 7.65%
2000 97,411 51,914 114% 7.91%
2010 135,234 37,823 39% 3.34%
2015 159,769 24,535 18% 3.39%

CARY'S POPULATION GROWTH SHOWN IN GRAPH FORMAT


CARY'S FUTURE POPULATION

The Cary Community Plan's guidelines for the town's development are based on an assumption that Cary's population will increase to a mere 193,000 in the year 2040. If this were correct, the Compound Annual Growth Rate from now to then would be 0.76%.

It was announced that the 2016 population-growth-rate in Cary was less than 3%, and that that rate was sustainable.

It was announced that the 2017 population-growth-rate in Cary was 1.79%.

The Cary Community Plan states that the yearly growth rate "is expected to decline" [p. 82], but does not specify who it is that expects the growth rate to decline, by how much he or she expects it to decline, or for what reason or reasons the decline is expected.

The table below shows the Town of Cary's population based on estimates of (1) the Cary Community Plan, (2) the U.S. Census Bureau, and (3) the Town of Cary administration. Note that the Cary Community Plan's projections work toward its prediction of 193,000 in 2040. The increase from 159,769 in 2015 to 193,000 in 2040 yields a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 0.76%.

If we take the lower of the last two announced rates of population growth for the Town, and project it forward [right column of chart below], we see that the Cary Community Plan's prediction of 193,000 in the year 2040 will be surpassed twelve years early – in 2028 – and by 2040 there will be 241,214 people in the Town.

If we take the announced rate of population growth for the last five years [– 2.4% – published in the "Town of Cary FY 2019 2nd Quarter Report, p. 37], we see that the Cary Community Plan's prediction of 193,000 in the year 2040 will be surpassed 15 years early – in 2025 – and by 2040 there will be 276,742 people in the Town.

And as can be seen in the first chart [above], the Town of Cary has not experienced a sustained yearly growth-rate of less than 2.4% since the decade 1940 to 1950.

YEAR Population per
CARY COMMUNITY PLAN
( CAGR of 0.76%)
U.S.
CENSUS BUREAU
OFFICIAL ESTIMATE
(July 1)
TOWN of CARY
ESTIMATE
(July 1)
Population projection
based on
CAGR of 1.79%
Population projection
based on
CAGR of 2.4%
2010 Not applicable 135,264
(official count)
Not available Not applicable Not applicable
2011 Not applicable Not available Not available Not applicable Not applicable
2012 Not applicable Not available 142,257 Not applicable Not applicable
2013 Not applicable Not available 144,981 Not applicable Not applicable
2014 Not applicable Not available 149,854 Not applicable Not applicable
2015 159,769 159,769 153,865 Not applicable Not applicable
2016 160,983 162,320 157,259 Not applicable Not applicable
2017 162,207 165,904 160,390 160,390 160,390
2018 163,439 163,763 163,264 164,239
2019 164,682 166,186 168,181
2020 165,933 (official count) 169,161 172,217
2021 167,194 172,189 176,350
2022 168,465 175,271 180,583
2023 169,745 178,408 184,917
2024 171,035 181,602 189,355
2025 172,335 184,852 193,899
2026 173,645 188,161 198,553
2027 174,965 191,529 203,318
2028 176,294 194,958 208,198
2029 177,634 198,488 213,194
2030 178,984 (official count) 202,000 218,311
2031 180,345 205,616 223,551
2032 181,715 209,296 228,916
2033 183,096 213,042 234,410
2034 184,488 216,856 240,036
2035 185,890 220,738 245,796
2036 187,303 224,689 251,696
2037 188,726 228,711 257,736
2038 190,160 232,805 263,922
2039 191,606 236,972 270,256
2040 193,000 (official count) 241,214 276,742

ACTUAL POPULATION GROWTH OF CARY AND NEARBY CITIES AND TOWNS


JURISDICTION 2010
POPULATION
2017
POPULATION
ADDITIONAL
PEOPLE
PERCENT
INCREASE
COMPOUND ANNUAL
GROWTH RATE
(2010 to 2017)
Raleigh 404,056 464,758 60,702 15.0% 2.02%
Durham 228,354 267,743 39,398 17.2% 2.30%
Cary 135,234 165,904 30,670 22.7% 2.96%
Clayton 16,116 21,405 5,289 32.8% 4.14%
Apex 37,476 50,451 12,975 34.6% 4.34%
Knightdale 11,401 15,849 4,448 39.0% 4.82%
Morrisville 18,576 26,461 7,885 42.4% 5.18%
Holly Springs 24,661 35,223 10,542 42.8% 5.22%
Fuquay-Varina 17,937 27,906 9,969 55.6% 6.52%

The Rule of 70 may be used to determine how long it takes a population to double, given an increase expressed as a percentage. To use the Rule, divide 70 by the percentage. Example: Cary's growth rate from 2010 to 2017 [according to the U.S. Census Bureau] was 2.96%. Divide 70 by 2.96 = 23.6 years. Thus Cary's population will double in 23.6 years, and its 2010 population of 135,234 will double to 270,468 in mid-2033.

Using the growth rate announced in 2018 of 1.79%, Cary's population will double in 39 years, and thus the Town's population in 2057 will be 320,780 [if using the Town's population estimate], or 331,108 [using the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate].

Again, FWIW, the announced population increase of 2.4% for the last five years, stated another way, means that the Town's population increases by nine people per day, every day, seven days per week, 52 weeks of the year.

WAKE COUNTY IN TOTAL


JURISDICTION 2010
POPULATION
2017
POPULATION
ADDITIONAL
PEOPLE
PERCENT
INCREASE
COMPOUND ANNUAL
GROWTH RATE
Wake County 900,993 1,072,203 171,210 19.0% 2.52%




POP QUIZ

Question 1. Of the 15 incorporated municipalities listed below, name the one with the highest population:

Alexandria, VACharleston, SCDayton, OH
Gainesville, FLGreen Bay, WIHartford, CT
Lansing, MINew Haven, CTPaterson, NJ
Savannah, GASyracuse, NYTopeka, KS
Tuscaloosa, ALWaco, TXCary, NC

Question 2. Of the 15 municipalities listed above, which are gaining population at a faster rate than Cary?

Question 3. Name some notable United States municipalities that within five years will be passed by Cary in population.


Scroll down for the answers.
















Answer #1: Cary, NC has the highest population.

Answer #2: None. Cary is growing faster than all of them.

Answer #3: Please see below:

Jackson, MSSpringfield, MOEugene, OR
Chattanooga, TNNewport News, VAProvidence, RI







George McDowell
Cary, North Carolina

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Contact:

919-376-7822
{For any reason, call
between noon and 10:00 pm.}


George@BeautifyCary.org