RALEIGH – The Raleigh metropolitan statistical area grew the second-most of any similarly-sized region in the United States between 2016 and 2021, a new analysis found.

A report from the Inspection Support Network ranked the region, which includes Wake, Johnston, and Franklin Counties, as the second fastest-growing area of the country when it came to the percentage growth of its population.

And while many new residents in the region came from the nearby Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan statistical area (MSA), according to the report, the region saw an 11.1% percentage change in net population during the five-year period.

The region grew by 144,557 people, according to the analysis.  And Durham-Chapel Hill saw a population growth rate of 5.8% during the same time period, the analysis found, ranking 26th among similarly-sized metropolitan statistical areas, with the most new residents coming from across the Triangle in the Raleigh-Cary MSA.

Report: Triangle economy is sizzling, ranking as 4th fastest-growing metro in U.S.

That could keep housing, job markets hot

“We are expecting that Raleigh, the Triangle, will outperform the nation,” said Nadia Evangelou, a senior economist and director of real estate research at the National Association of REALTORS, in an interview with WRAL TechWire earlier this year.  “That’s because the area continues to be one of the most popular destinations for people to move there.”

According to Evangelou, the most recently available change of address data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that the share of inbound moves to the region was about 54%, which shows that there are more people moving into the area than leaving.

In other words, in Raleigh, if there are 100 people that are moving, 54 people moved into the region while 46 moved away.

Further, more growth could be coming.

“Raleigh is one of the areas among the top 25 metropolitan areas with the most population gains,” “With more people coming to the area, we expect demand to remain relatively strong.”

That’s because Johnston County is one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties, WRAL TechWire previously reported.

And the regional economy continues to grow, too, as a recent analysis from the Kenan Institute ranked the Triangle fourth in the nation.

Johnston County express: NC’s fastest growing county keeps adding jobs, people, infrastructure

Other southeastern metros are adding people, too

Some migration is due to changing work conditions, the rise of remote work, family formation, or retirements, in terms of why people may be moving.

For millennial movers, though, one finding is clear, a report found earlier this year: cities matter more than states.

When it comes to net population growth rate, Austin, Texas, ranked first overall, with a population increase of 14.1% during the time period, the report found.

Charlotte’s metropolitan statistical area ranked sixth overall for population growth, growing at a rate of 8.1%, the analysis found.

Here are the large metropolitan areas that are growing the fastest, according to the analysis, which used data from the United States Census Bureau:

  1. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX
  2. Raleigh-Cary, NC
  3. Jacksonville, FL
  4. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
  5. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
  6. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
  7. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  8. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
  9. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
  10. Salt Lake City, UT
  11. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA
  12. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
  13. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
  14. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ
  15. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

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