City of transplants still draws them in

People at The Square in the heart of uptown Charlotte.

Charlotte is a city of transplants and has been for years. But in these trying economic times are people continuing to move here?  You’d better believe it.

Want to learn more about Mecklenburg trends?

This article stems from a demographic and economic analysis and slide-show presentation of Mecklenburg County trends, by UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researcher Laura Simmons and Senior Associate Director Linda Shipley.  To download the slideshow presentation, click here. To view it in this article, scroll to the bottom of the page. 

In 2010, more than 65,000 people moved to Mecklenburg County from somewhere else.  Although this number is significantly less than the nearly 87,000 who arrived in 2007, it is nonetheless substantial, the equivalent of the whole city of Rock Hill moving to Mecklenburg County.  It is important to note here that these numbers just reflect in-migration (people moving into the county), not net migration (people moving in minus people moving out) or overall population growth.

Where are these new folks coming from?

Of those 65,000-plus newcomers, the majority (around 65 percent) came from outside North Carolina.   About a third of those out-of-staters moved from elsewhere in the South, about a fourth came from the northeast, and one-fifth moved from another country entirely.

Who are these newcomers? 

Demographically, the newcomers resemble the population that was already here, with a couple of distinctions.  In terms of race/ethnicity, half were white (non-Hispanic), one-quarter were black, and about one-tenth were Hispanic, much like the existing population.  However, about 11 percent were Asian, compared with 5 percent of the existing population.

As for education level, the 2010 newcomers were slightly more educated than the existing population.  More than 43 percent were college educated (compared to 39 percent of those already here), and 30 percent had a high school diploma or less (compared to 32.5 percent of residents at the time).

 

Where within Mecklenburg County are they moving?

 

The most popular destination for newcomers between 2005 and 2009 was the University City area.  Although a rather anticlimactic finding, given the large student population that moves in every year, the area extends beyond just the university and direct vicinity (see map).  The Huntersville, Davidson and, especially, Cornelius areas also stand out, as do areas in southwestern part of the county.

 

Laura Simmons

Linda Shipley

View the full presentation below: