Here are the fastest-growing counties in North Carolina; 2 are in Eastern NC

North Carolina

Welcome to Greenville sign (Glassdoor photo)

From 2018 to 2019, the U.S. population grew by .48%, its slowest rate in 100 years. Declining births, increasing deaths largely due to the graying Baby Boomer population, and a crackdown on immigration has contributed to many states seeing net population losses in recent years.

But in other pockets of the country, populations are growing. These shifts can be due to job opportunities, high quality of life, easy commutability to job centers, low rents, or any combination of these or other factors. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in North Carolina using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2019, based on 5-year estimates.

A county typically sees population growth as a “bedroom community” (a municipality with an atypically large commuting population) to a large city. These communities are typically quieter than their feeder cities, offer lower rents and a higher quality of living, and are remote enough to be immune to the feeder city’s crime, traffic, and crowds. Keep reading to see if your home county made the list.

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#30. Catawba County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +4,464
— #569 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +2.9%
— #43 among counties in North Carolina, #1,070 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 157,613
— #18 largest county in North Carolina, #417 largest county nationwide

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#29. Davidson County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +4,743
— #555 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +3.0%
— #41 among counties in North Carolina, #1,059 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 165,381
— #16 largest county in North Carolina, #394 largest county nationwide

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#28. Lee County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +4,905
— #547 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +8.8%
— #28 among counties in North Carolina, #477 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 60,481
— #45 largest county in North Carolina, #861 largest county nationwide

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#27. Watauga County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +5,220
— #533 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +10.5%
— #23 among counties in North Carolina, #374 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 54,925
— #51 largest county in North Carolina, #924 largest county nationwide

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#26. Lincoln County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +7,222
— #463 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +9.5%
— #26 among counties in North Carolina, #432 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 82,919
— #33 largest county in North Carolina, #684 largest county nationwide

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#25. Franklin County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +7,889
— #442 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +13.5%
— #15 among counties in North Carolina, #237 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 66,362
— #41 largest county in North Carolina, #804 largest county nationwide

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#24. Hoke County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +9,829
— #398 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +22.3%
— #4 among counties in North Carolina, #76 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 53,957
— #52 largest county in North Carolina, #934 largest county nationwide

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#23. Chatham County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +9,912
— #396 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +16.1%
— #11 among counties in North Carolina, #172 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 71,338
— #37 largest county in North Carolina, #758 largest county nationwide

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#22. Pender County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +10,143
— #389 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +20.2%
— #10 among counties in North Carolina, #101 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 60,399
— #46 largest county in North Carolina, #864 largest county nationwide

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#21. Henderson County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +11,032
— #369 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +10.6%
— #21 among counties in North Carolina, #363 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 114,913
— #26 largest county in North Carolina, #537 largest county nationwide

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#20. Moore County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +11,380
— #362 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +13.2%
— #16 among counties in North Carolina, #242 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 97,294
— #28 largest county in North Carolina, #610 largest county nationwide

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#19. Orange County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +15,274
— #313 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +11.8%
— #18 among counties in North Carolina, #307 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 144,836
— #19 largest county in North Carolina, #448 largest county nationwide

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#18. Alamance County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +16,252
— #298 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +11.1%
— #19 among counties in North Carolina, #339 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 163,324
— #17 largest county in North Carolina, #398 largest county nationwide

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#17. Gaston County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +16,629
— #295 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +8.2%
— #30 among counties in North Carolina, #520 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 219,271
— #10 largest county in North Carolina, #304 largest county nationwide

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#16. Pitt County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +17,048
— #292 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +10.6%
— #22 among counties in North Carolina, #367 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 178,433
— #14 largest county in North Carolina, #367 largest county nationwide

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#15. Cumberland County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +19,867
— #266 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +6.3%
— #32 among counties in North Carolina, #661 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 332,861
— #5 largest county in North Carolina, #208 largest county nationwide

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#14. Iredell County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +20,906
— #258 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +13.5%
— #14 among counties in North Carolina, #236 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 175,538
— #15 largest county in North Carolina, #373 largest county nationwide

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#13. Harnett County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +23,252
— #235 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +21.3%
— #8 among counties in North Carolina, #87 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 132,283
— #23 largest county in North Carolina, #481 largest county nationwide

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#12. Buncombe County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +23,637
— #232 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +10.1%
— #24 among counties in North Carolina, #395 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 256,886
— #7 largest county in North Carolina, #264 largest county nationwide

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#11. Onslow County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +25,862
— #213 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +15.3%
— #13 among counties in North Carolina, #188 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 195,069
— #13 largest county in North Carolina, #342 largest county nationwide

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#10. Brunswick County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +29,821
— #181 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +29.2%
— #1 among counties in North Carolina, #36 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 131,815
— #24 largest county in North Carolina, #483 largest county nationwide

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#9. New Hanover County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +30,666
— #176 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +15.5%
— #12 among counties in North Carolina, #184 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 227,938
— #9 largest county in North Carolina, #292 largest county nationwide

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#8. Forsyth County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +32,206
— #168 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +9.4%
— #27 among counties in North Carolina, #438 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 375,195
— #4 largest county in North Carolina, #184 largest county nationwide

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#7. Johnston County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +36,195
— #145 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +22.5%
— #3 among counties in North Carolina, #72 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 196,870
— #12 largest county in North Carolina, #338 largest county nationwide

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#6. Cabarrus County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +36,625
— #142 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +21.5%
— #6 among counties in North Carolina, #84 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 206,615
— #11 largest county in North Carolina, #322 largest county nationwide

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#5. Union County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +40,707
— #126 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +21.4%
— #7 among counties in North Carolina, #85 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 231,053
— #8 largest county in North Carolina, #284 largest county nationwide

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#4. Guilford County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +52,082
— #101 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +10.9%
— #20 among counties in North Carolina, #344 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 527,868
— #3 largest county in North Carolina, #131 largest county nationwide

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#3. Durham County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +53,270
— #100 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +20.6%
— #9 among counties in North Carolina, #95 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 311,848
— #6 largest county in North Carolina, #222 largest county nationwide

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#2. Mecklenburg County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +191,714
— #21 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +21.7%
— #5 among counties in North Carolina, #80 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 1,074,475
— #1 largest county in North Carolina, #40 largest county nationwide

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#1. Wake County

– 2010 to 2019 population change: +218,533
— #17 among all counties nationwide
– 2010 to 2019 percent population change: +25.7%
— #2 among counties in North Carolina, #57 among all counties nationwide
– 2019 population: 1,069,079
— #2 largest county in North Carolina, #41 largest county nationwide

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