NORTH CAROLINA - North Carolina's population is steadily getting closer to hitting the 10 million milestone.
RALEIGH- Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population estimates.
It shows North Carolina is a popular place to be.
“North Carolina has been one of the leading states in population growth and specifically in population growth where people are moving here from other states, which I think is a good sign for the state,” explained NC State University Economist Mike Walden. “It says we're attractive, people want to be here.”
The US Census Bureau estimates more than 9.8 million people now call North Carolina home, up about 100,000 from last year.
“About 42 percent of people currently living in North Carolina were born elsewhere,” said Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. “They come here for a lot of different reasons; coming here to go to school, to work jobs, maybe to retire. They come from all over, within the united state as well as other countries.”
While more people bring more money into the state, experts say there can also be some drawbacks to steady growth.
“Particularly in some of our more urban areas, more growth is going to mean more traffic congestion, it's going to mean more pressure on schools,” Walden said. “Even in some of our rural areas, the transition from a rural, pastoral environment to perhaps a subdivision does create issues, local issues.”
Tippett said the highest concentration of North Carolina newcomers are flocking to our biggest cities: Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.
The total U.S. population went up by about 2.2 million people over the past year to more than 316 million.
The south and west areas of the country saw increases, while the northeast and midwest remained about the same.
North Carolina's population has increased by about 300,000 people since the official census back in 2010.