NC growth over last decade entirely from adult population

While 51 North Carolina counties had fewer residents in 2020 than in the 2010 census, nearly three in every four counties had fewer children in 2020 than in 2010.

Map of N.C. counties showing percentages of changes in child population.
Carolina Demography used U.S. Census Bureau data to show changes in child populations between 2010 and 2020 in the state's counties.

Between 2010 and 2020, North Carolina’s population grew by 903,905 individuals, an increase of 9.5%, faster than the national growth rate of 7.3%. Over that same period, North Carolina’s:

  • child population grew by 2,654, an increase of 0.1%
  • adult population grew by 901,251, an increase of 12.4%

Nationally, the child population shrank by 1.1 million (-1.4%) and the adult population grew by 23.8 million (+10.1%). In Georgia, a state with similar overall population size and growth rate to North Carolina, the child population grew by just 82 individuals between the 2010 and 2020 censuses.

The child population increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia. The states with the largest numeric increases in the child population between 2010 and 2020 were Texas (413,000), Florida (197,000), Washington (99,000), Utah (77,000) and Colorado (39,000). The child population grew the fastest in North Dakota (22%), followed by the District of Columbia (13%), Utah (9%), Idaho (8%) and South Dakota (7%).

Note: A declining child population does not mean that children are not being born. Rather, it means that the number of children born in any year may be lower than the number of 17-year-olds turning 18. Net totals also take into consideration the migration of families with children 17 and younger.

Visit Carolina Demography to read more and see charts showing changes in child populations for each of the 50 states and all North Carolina counties and see an interactive map of North Carolina showing child population decline by county.