Understanding the Effects of Growth in Cabarrus County

Research done at UNC Charlotte through a collaboration called RENCI shed new light on the effects of growth on counties in the Charlotte region.

For the last few decades, much of the Carolina Piedmont has experienced dramatic population growth. Attracted by the region’s mild climate and strong economy, people from other parts of the country have been pouring in, changing the region in significant ways. The most visible consequence of this growth has been the increase in development. Narrow country roads winding through pastoral scenes of small farms and rolling hills have been replaced by multi-lane thoroughfares connecting countless subdivisions and strip centers. And every indication suggests this trend will continue.  The interactive map on this page shows actual changes in Cabarrus County from 1976 through 2006 based on analysis of satellite data. The projections past 2006 reflect a possible future based on these trends.  The Center for Applied GIS (CAGIS) at UNC Charlotte developed the model, which has first been applied in the Charlotte regions, but has since been expanded to other regions of the state. Read more here.

Cabarrus saw a change in "footprint" or developed acres per person, from .06 in 1976 to .42 in 2006.   Population for Cabarrus changed from 80,000 in 1975 to over 162,000 (2006-2008 Census Estimate).

Read the report. Read more about RENCI@UNCC. Learn more about the Urban Growth Model.