by Amy Gretenstein
In a fiesty round-off between two of North Carolina's most populous counties, it looks as if Wake County (home to the infamous Raleigh-Cary area) will pass Mecklenburg (Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord area) county within the next few years.
Early census gatherings are showing the tremendous growth of the Triangle area, which is centered around Wake County. The other five counties that encompass the Triangle do not even add up to Wake County's population!
It's a pretty impressive feat considering Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord combined had around 1.3 million residents as of 2000 while Raleigh-Cary only had around 750,000. In the past decade, Raleigh-Cary has grown to an estimated 1.1 million while Mecklenburg barely holds on at around 1.7 million.
Raleigh-Cary was ranked number 59 back in 2000 but is now holding fast at number 49. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord is up to number 33 from 37.
Even Durham-Chapel Hill has shown progress. In 2000, the area housed around 426,000 and in 2009 it had an estimated 501,000. Their ranking moved up three spots from 105 to 102.
Experts (or those who do the counting) say that within the next few years Wake will surpass Mecklenburg due to job growth and continued economic strides. That's a pretty awesome title, since we are home to the capitol here in Wake!