Charlotte Area's Population to Approach 3 Million by 2030

Charlotte Uptown

Just 15 years from now, in 2030, the population of the Charlotte, NC, metro area will rival that of the Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, area.

A LawnStarter analysis of projections for North Carolina and South Carolina shows that the 2030 population of the 10-county Charlotte metro area will nudge toward 3 million, up nearly 24 percent from the 2014 headcount.

If the projected 2030 population of 2,943,334 were applied to the present day, Charlotte would be the 18th largest metro area in the U.S., pushing Tampa-St. Petersburg to the No. 19 spot. Based on 2014 population estimates, the Charlotte region now sits at No. 22 among the country’s biggest metro areas.

Our analysis indicates that Mecklenburg County, NC, is projected to lead the 10-county pack with a 2014-30 growth rate of 33.9 percent, followed by York County, SC, at 30.7 percent and Cabarrus County, NC, at 23.4 percent.

From 2014 to 2030, the Charlotte area is expected to add more than 563,000 residents, according to our analysis. That would be like plopping the current population of Albuquerque, NM, into the Charlotte area.

Chuck McShane, director of research at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, says the region’s economic engine is propelling the population growth.

“Charlotte has been a magnet for job growth in recent years, attracting many major headquarters relocations. This has brought many people to the area, which in turn spurs more businesses to support these newcomers,” McShane says.

On top of that, the Charlotte area boasts a lower-than-average cost of living, along with attractive housing options such as urban apartments and suburban homes, he says.

“People like it here,” McShane says, “and the word has gotten out.”

County 2014 Population 2030 Population Increase/Decrease
Cabarrus 192,103 236,992 23.37%
Chester 32,337 32,400 0.19%
Gaston 211,127 228,637 8.29%
Lancaster 83,160 95,300 14.60%
Iredell 166,675 196,282 17.76%
Lincoln 79,829 85,818 7.50%
Mecklenburg 1,012,539 1,355,271 33.85%
Rowan 138,630 138,404 -0.16%
Union 218,568 253,530 16.00%
York 245,346 320,700 30.71%
Total 2,380,314 2,943,334 23.65%


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