Sunday, August 14, 2022

Report: Non-natives now outnumber native southeastern N.C. residents

Anecdotally, people have commented about retirees flocking to the Tar Heel state. Now there is data to prove it's happening.

Recent findings produced by Carolina Demography reveal some native North Carolinians in southeastern counties are outnumbered by non-natives. Southeastern N.C. counties highlighted in yellow by Port City Daily. (Port City Daily photo /COURTESY CAROLINA DEMOGRAPHY)
Recent findings produced by Carolina Demography reveal some native North Carolinians in southeastern counties are outnumbered by non-natives. Southeastern N.C. counties highlighted in yellow by Port City Daily. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY CAROLINA DEMOGRAPHY)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. —- It’s something you could probably already feel, but now, there’s data to confirm it.

Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, non-native residents outnumber natives in 18. Brunswick County’s non-native residents are now estimated to make up 53 percent of its total population; New Hanover County is sitting right at 50 percent.

Carolina Demography

The data was gathered by Carolina Demography, a consulting service at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Carolina Demography combined 2012-2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and 2007-2011 data from American Community Surveys.

“Non-Natives,” as defined by the study, refer to residents born outside the state of North Carolina.

Jessica Stanford, a demographic analyst at Carolina Demography, said the researched produced can add a quantifiable layer to existing cultural insight.

“We can’t know the on the ground reality for everywhere but we help a lot of people realize what they’re seeing matches up with what the Census has recorded,” Stanford said.

Notably, Stanford’s research identified significant growth in Brunswick County. She found that in a five-year period, Brunswick County’s non-native population increased by 3 percentage points.

“I do consider that to be large growth,” Stanford said. “That is just simply the expansion of the non-native population alone.”

The research credited “the appeal of Brunswick County for many out-of-state retirees,” as a probable factor that contributed to the recent growth.

It appears Brunswick County is growing regardless of increasing non-native populations.

“We saw that Brunswick County growth rate – granted this is the growth rate of everybody – was 18 percent,” Stanford said. “They had the number one growth rate from 2010-2016.”

Still flocking

As it pertains to southeastern North Carolina, Onslow County leads the way with nearly 70 percent of its population comprised of non-native residents.

New Hanover County’s non-native growth was “minimal” according to Stanford. The most recent data set shows New Hanover County finally reaching the 50 percent threshold.

While the state as a whole is experiencing an influx of non-native residents, Carolina Demography broke the increase down across North Carolina’s 100 counties, revealing the share of non-native residents varies dramatically.

For more information on Carolina Demography and the UNC-Chapel Hill Population Center, visit http://demography.cpc.unc.edu/.


Johanna Ferebee can be reached at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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