US census tracts in the Charlotte area show strong population growth

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Gavin Off

When the US Census Bureau released the population figures last month, it showed what most people expected – robust growth in and around Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg’s population, which exceeds 1.1 million, increased by 21% between 2010 and 2020. York and Lancaster counties in South Carolina increased by 25% and Cabarrus County by 27%, the rate of d highest increase in the region.

More than 85% of the region’s 660 census tracts have seen their populations increase, according to an Observer analysis.

But this growth was not constant.

The more remote rural areas of Charlotte have often seen modest growth or decline in population.

Other findings include:

â–ª Mecklenburg and the eight surrounding counties are now home to 2.6 million people, up from 2.2 million in 2010.

â–ª The neighborhoods around the city center have experienced one of the most significant growths. A slice of the upper town that dips into the South End saw a population increase of 723% after 2,400 people moved to the area.

â–ª Census tracts just across the border from South Carolina and Cabarrus County have also seen tremendous growth. A neighborhood near US 521 and the Waxhaw Freeway in Lancaster County has seen its population increase by more than 1,000%, the largest number of census tracts in the region.

â–ª About a quarter of the neighborhoods that lost population were in Mecklenburg. Most of the rest were in the far reaches of surrounding counties – in western Gaston, Lincoln or Catawba County, for example, or in southern Lancaster County.

Gavin Off has been the Charlotte Observer data reporter since 2011. Previously, he worked as a data reporter at Tulsa World and the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, DC

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