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Business & Economy

Rural County Residents Continue Flocking To Metro Areas

A picture of young people in downtown Raleigh.
Leo Suarez

North Carolina's dozen metropolitan areas are growing faster than the country as a whole. That's according to US Census Bureau's county and metro area population estimates from 2012 to 2013.

During that time, the US population grew by .7 percent. Wake County had the second-highest growth – after Mecklenberg – with 2.3 percent.

Rural counties, including Pasquotank and Halifax were among those losing the most residents.

Bob Coats works in the state budget office and the State Data Center. He says people are migrating to urban centers with more robust economies.

“Younger population, maybe that's just graduated from high school in one of these rural counties that's caught between those metro areas,” Coats said.

“The appeal of going to school in one of the more metro areas, also the potential of jobs and the potential of services and other types of entertainment that may not be available in their home county are also pulling them to these metro areas.”

Coats said growth rates for metro areas have fluctuated over the years, but are growing steadily.

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