If you’ve lived in Raleigh, NC, for even a few years, you’ve witnessed the population explosion.
Today, the city’s headcount hovers around 440,000, up nearly 60 percent since 2000. Translation: More and more people are squeezing into Raleigh.
But Raleigh is hardly a sardine can, as the city limits have expanded along with the population. For instance, the land area of Raleigh went from 118.71 square miles in 2000 to 145.79 square miles in 2014, according to city planners. That’s an increase of nearly 23 percent.
Want to be truly wowed? Check out the growth of the city’s land area from 1900 to 2014. Back in 1900, Raleigh was tiny, taking up just 1.76 square miles. For the math-challenged, that means Raleigh gobbled up 8,184 percent more land in a 114-year span.
By comparison, the current size of Raleigh beats that of cities such as Detroit, MI, and Las Vegas, NV, but slightly trails that of places like Denver, CO, and Montgomery, AL. FYI: At close to 300 square miles, the land area of Charlotte, NC, is more than double that of Raleigh.
Going forward, the physical size of Raleigh probably won’t grow as dramatically as it has in recent decades.
“The city’s ability to annex has been constrained by relatively recent state legislation, so most likely the city’s size won’t change too much,” says Daniel Band, a planner for the City of Raleigh.
In this infographic, we outline the history of Raleigh’s changing landscape.