Union

Jul 09, 2018
A new report finds Charlotte and its region are underperforming in many measurements of its local food economy. 
Sep 07, 2016
Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?
Jan 05, 2016
The efforts vary from city to city. Kannapolis, for instance, bought 50 acres of downtown property. Initiatives to revitalize downtowns across the Carolinas range from renovating aging buildings to building museums to trying to lure private hotel developers. 
Dec 14, 2015
The old planners’ joke is that Americans hate two things for their cities—urban sprawl and high density. PlanCharlotte examined where in this metro region multifamily is, and where it isn’t. Some communities, hoping to attract more Millennials, want more multifamily. Others’ long-range plans discourage multifamily development.
Oct 22, 2015
The term “Latino,” like “Hispanic,” covers many different countries and cultures. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute decided to map the home countries of the Charlotte region region’s foreign-born Latino immigrants.
Sep 30, 2015
Research by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute for United Way of Central Carolinas has found that almost 90 percent of at-risk Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students who took part in programs from 14 local United Way-funded agencies over three or more years graduated from high school.
Jul 23, 2015
When the final leg of I-485 opened in June, motorists cheered its unclogged lanes. But a look at traffic count data for the outerbelt segments that opened 20 years ago in south Mecklenburg indicates that unclogged lanes may be a temporary condition.
Jul 14, 2015
The building of I-485 was one of the forces shaping Mecklenburg County growth patterns over a quarter century. Some areas near I-485 grew more than 1,000 percent. Our interactive map shows 30 years of population growth in Mecklenburg and nearby counties.
Jul 08, 2015
Charlotte leaders have been talking about the outerbelt, Interstate 485, for decades. While most residents were concerned primarily with what it would mean for drive times, planners and others spent time contemplating the highway's effect on the area's growth. A sampling of comments over the years.
Jul 08, 2015
I-485’s last segment opened June 5, but for two decades its route lured development. A look at the road's past, with a map showing how it shaped Mecklenburg County growth patterns since the 1980s.
Jan 28, 2015
Planners and others say alcohol sales are a primary catalyst for attracting the development of restaurants and stores. Government officials like the extra tax revenue. But in some places, voters still say no.
Dec 02, 2014
In cities and counties surrounding Charlotte, tensions are swirling over rapid residential growth and – especially – how to pay for it. Can their low tax rates support urban services new residents want? (Explore interactive maps.)
Oct 22, 2014
Since the 2008 housing crash, there’s been talk of Americans downsizing and Millennials rejecting large houses. But recent U.S. Census data show that in the Charlotte area, homes only got bigger after 2000.
Sep 24, 2014
Recently the site FiveThirtyEight.com reported that of the largest U.S. metros, only Charlotte’s median income, “experienced a statistically significant decline” in 2013. What’s going on?
Sep 10, 2014
Several local governments in the N.C. Piedmont are considering moving offices out of downtown. Those plans worry downtown development officials and business owners, who fear downtown vitality will be lost.
Apr 17, 2014
Our Regional Indicators website now has a new home on the institute’s main website. You’ll find all the data that was on the previous site, but with improved functionality and a new look.
Apr 15, 2014
Find the story in the numbers. See below to explore facts about Union County from among 11 topic areas, and see how Union compares to the metro region and the state. Learn more about Union PlanCharlotte.org articles about Union Mapping growth in Union EXPLORE...
Apr 03, 2014
Since 2010, the home counties of Charlotte and Raleigh have accounted for nearly half of all population growth in North Carolina. Just 10 N.C. counties tallied nearly 80 percent of the state's increased population. (Image: John Chesser, Tableau maps)
Feb 06, 2014
Charlotte's carbon footprint is dwarfed by other metro centers like Washington and Atlanta, but within the Charlotte region some areas produce much more carbon than others. Interactive maps from UC Berkeley now let you see the differences by ZIP code. (Graphic: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network)
Oct 24, 2013
Many people believe early European settlers found an unbroken canopy of trees sheltering the N.C. Piedmont. However, says author Reed Noss, a few generations ago grasslands were abundant across the South. Today they’re rare. Article includes photo gallery of preserved grasslands. (Photo: Laura Fogo)
Sep 16, 2013
Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. A fourth Mecklenburg County workshop will be held Oct. 24 at Freedom Park as part of the  “CONNECT Our Future” planning program. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Aug 29, 2013
Between 2006 and 2013, the rate of N.C. high school students graduating on time (in four years) rose from 68.3 percent to 82.5 percent. The state's two largest districts, Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, now have the same rate, 81 percent. Explore data for all N.C. districts with our interactive dashboards. (Photo: iStock)
Aug 29, 2013
Click here to read the article that explains this data dashboard.
Jul 10, 2013
It’s no secret the Charlotte region has seen a huge influx of newcomers, with homes built by the thousands. New Census data show the high percentage of homes that are only a few years old. With interactive, county-by-county data.
May 31, 2013
Aided by a $5 million federal grant, residents and businesses throughout the 14-county Charlotte region are engaged in a process to envision the region's best future and create a roadmap for getting there. This interactive article describes the process, plans and players for CONNECT Our Future. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Apr 25, 2013
In the Carolinas, only Charlotte’s metro area tops 2 million people. Raleigh is roughly half that size, 1.2 million. No other Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the Carolinas top 1 million in population. But some of that is because the Triangle is not one MSA, nor is the Triad. (Bing Maps image shows the Carolinas without political boundaries.)
Apr 17, 2013
An implied threat Monday from Charlotte City Council to withdraw support for the proposed Monroe Bypass is more fallout from an increasingly fractious battle over Charlotte’s airport.  And now, that battle might be putting at risk some long-nurtured regional cooperation. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 28, 2013
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 153,015 individuals who worked in Mecklenburg County commuted from another county in the Charlotte MSA – among the highest number of county-to-county commuters in the U.S. (Photo: Nancy Pierce) 
Mar 28, 2013
In January, the Charlotte metro area population was 1.8 million people. In February, the metro area population was 2.3 million. Where did the half-million people come from? New boundaries were drawn for metropolitan statistical areas. (Photo: Downtown Chester, S.C., in Chester County, which was added to the Charlotte MSA. / Nancy Pierce)
Mar 20, 2013
Of metro areas with more than 1 million people, Charlotte ranked ninth nationally in population growth from 2011 to 2012. That growth was strongest at the center of the metro area, in Mecklenburg County, which outpaced the suburban counties in the region for the second year. (Image: Bing maps)
Mar 17, 2013
Updated census data shows a continued pattern of growth focused on the center of urban areas, reversing the trend of stronger suburban growth seen in the last decade.
Mar 06, 2013
Recently approved unemployment benefit changes in N.C. are structured in a way that will cause additional federal cuts to kick in – reducing by 74 percent the maximum number of weeks that jobless North Carolinians can receive unemployment checks. (Photo:Jmturner via Wikimedia Commons)
Feb 28, 2013
Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment. As the downturn continued, counties that depended less on textile and furniture manufacturing lost fewer jobs. The result: Several counties traditionally considered centers of manufacturing employment, such as Gaston, now have a smaller percentage of jobs in manufacturing than fast-growing Union.
Feb 28, 2013
Huntersville Town Hall was the setting for Wednesday afternoon’s public information meeting about HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77. HOT lanes are a red-hot topic, and citizens were vocal about their concerns. Is the region ready to accept pay-as-you-go highways? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Feb 28, 2013
North Carolina's young people are increasingly steered away from manufacturing jobs. But many people now believe manufacturing has more promise than the low-wage service jobs that dominate the limited options for young people outside the state’s urban areas. (Photo: GMI)
Feb 14, 2013
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo:  U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
Nov 15, 2012
By 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004 – with Echo Boomers leading the trend. Here in Mecklenburg County, however, younger drivers are on the road more, not less.
Oct 25, 2012
Charlotte has lagged much of the country in this period of economic recovery, but the region has finally begun to see a few small signs of better days on the horizon. Over the past several months, there has been gradual improvement in the unemployment rate and home price index in the region. These bright spots are welcome news in a region that continues to suffer the effects of the Great Recession.
Oct 02, 2012
The Charlotte metro was definitely a hotbed of growth for the state during the past decade. But the pattern within the metro region is uneven, with much of the strongest population increases concentrated in areas north and south of Charlotte.
Sep 12, 2012
In spite of the higher levels of unemployment Charlotte has experienced in this downturn, its relatively educated workforce appears to be a long-term strength – but is it? How does Charlotte compare to other metros? These maps allow you to explore education and employment among the largest U.S. metro regions.
Aug 17, 2012
Photos by Nancy Pierce Click here to read related story.
Aug 17, 2012
In the wake of the financial crash, many real estate developments across the Charlotte region appear frozen in various stages of construction. But a few of these so-called “zombie subdivisions” may be reviving, as developers regain their financial footing and, in some cases, propose new plans. (Click here for a photo gallery of abandoned subdivisions in and around Charlotte.)
Aug 08, 2012
How much are homes in your neighborhood worth? The era of upside-down mortgages and foreclosures has left homeowners across the country anxious about home values – theirs and their neighbors'. In the midst of this housing market upheaval, explosive growth in the Charlotte region has reshaped residential patterns.
Jun 11, 2012
The nation as a whole is getting older, but variations in population growth and immigration can create big differences in the median age from place to place. The Charlotte region is no exception. While Mecklenburg's median age has risen only marginally, some neighboring counties are getting noticeably older.
Jun 04, 2012
The rise in the number of Hispanic, Asian and multiracial residents has been the biggest change in population diversity in the Charlotte region for more than a decade. A series of new maps and charts from the institute's researchers highlights the differences among the urban, suburban and rural communities from 2000 to 2011. 
Apr 24, 2012
Only about a dozen of these rare landscapes remain in the Charlotte region, but those that have been protected are doing well, experts say. 
Apr 03, 2012
Recent headlines have trumpeted the U.S. Census finding that between 2000 and 2010, the Charlotte “urbanized area” was the nation’s fastest growing among areas with 1 million or more people. But it also highlighted the inconsistent, even chaotic, differences in how the so-called Charlotte region is defined.
Mar 20, 2012
Whether you need to know what county in the Charlotte region grew the fastest last year, or where in the region support for the arts is strongest, a new interactive tool can answer your questions. Table Explorer, available through the Charlotte Regional Indicators Project contains a wide range of data for the Charlotte region as well as comparative data between the Charlotte metro area and selected metro areas across the U.S.
Dec 07, 2011
What are the greatest needs facing our community?  United Way of Central Carolinas posed this question to Mecklenburg County residents via the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Annual Survey last spring. The survey found the greatest perceived community health need is preventive care, the greatest perceived need for children and youth is dropout prevention, and the greatest perceived need in housing and financial stability is job skills training.
Nov 22, 2011
Our new family Thanksgiving tradition is to run the neighborhood 5k and donate nonperishable food items as an entry fee.  This run is my favorite of the year.  It has social cause, allows one to eat guiltlessly and gives a good early winter jolt to the metabolism.