Growth and Population Trends

The demographic information presented here is intended to provide a basic snapshot of Wake County. Data is used extensively by the county to guide decision making when crafting policy and allocating resources to meet the goals set by the Board of Commissioners.

To learn more about Wake County, visit the quick facts page from U.S. Census Bureau.

Wake County Population is Growing

Wake County Population Trend 2024
Wake County is one of the fastest growing counties in the country.

More than 1 million people call Wake County home, and the county is growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the state. The county grows by approximately 51 people per day and added 225,000 people over the last decade.

The demographic makeup of this growth includes older people moving to this region. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates (April 2020–July 2022), 48% of Wake County's population growth came from people aged 55 and older.

Development Trends and Future Needs

Permit Density 2023
A heat map shows the density of 2023 building permits in Wake County.

There were a total of 8,679 permits issued in 2023 in Wake County. The City of Raleigh issued the most residential building permits (1,756). In 2022, 8,678 permits were issued in Wake County.

The need for housing continues to outpace supply, and this is causing prices to rise. With changing demographics and the trend of shrinking household size, it is projected Wake County will need an additional 125,000 to 175,000 new housing units over the next 10 to 15 years (PLANWake Comprehensive Plan, 2021).