The Largest City in North Carolina Now and in 30 Years

Written by Megan Martin
Updated: September 7, 2023
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North Carolina is a state in the southeastern United States, surrounded by Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. It is the 28th largest state in the country, as well as the 9th most populated state. North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution on November 21, 1789, making it the 12th state to do so. Today, North Carolina is known for being a pioneer in aviation with the Wright brothers, its mountains in the west and its beaches in the east, and for being home to the second largest banking capital, following New York City. Let’s discover the largest city in North Carolina and its growth in the next thirty years!

What Is the Largest City in North Carolina?

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, with a population of 874,579 according to the 2020 census. It the is 15th-most populous city in the entirety of the United States, and it is second only to Jacksonville, Florida in the southeastern United States.

Not only is Charlotte the largest city in North Carolina at present, but it is also one of the fastest-growing cities. Charlotte is the third fastest-growing major city in the nation.

Dog Park Series - Charlotte

The largest city in North Carolina is Charlotte.

©Sean Pavone/

Charlotte Statistics and Economics

The majority of Charlotte citizens are employed in trade, transportation, and utilities, followed by professional and business services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This includes popular careers such as management, business and financial operations, and sales. As mentioned previously above, Charlotte is a large banking-based area, second only to New York City.

The average weekly salary in the Mecklenburg area (the county that homes Charlotte, North Carolina) is $1,523, as of June 2023. There is a median household income of $65,359.

Aside from recreational activities, Charlotte is also a diverse, growing city with ample professional and personal opportunities.

What Attracts People to Charlotte?

Although it is an urban city known for banking and professional services, one of the most attractive features of Charlotte is its access to nature. There are 35 miles of greenways in the city, providing ample space and opportunities for biking, jogging, and similar activities. With the Catawba River, Lake Wylie, and several other lakes nearby, you can partake in whitewater rafting, paddling boarding, and more. 

Charlotte is also home to several different professional sports teams. This includes the following ones:

  • Carolina Panthers (football)
  • Charlotte FC (soccer)
  • Charlotte Hornets (basketball)
  • Charlotte Knights (baseball)
  • Charlotte Checkers (hockey).

Aside from recreational activities, Charlotte is also a diverse, growing city with ample professional and personal opportunities. 

Lake Wylie North Carolina

Charlotte is home to a variety of lakes and rivers, including Lake Wylie.

©Jon Bilous/

What Will Be the Largest City in North Carolina in 30 Years?

It is quite likely that, in 30 years, Charlotte will continue to be the largest city in North Carolina. As of right now, the second largest city in the state is Raleigh, with a population of 467,665. This is just over half that of Charlotte. Both cities also have a similar annual rate of growth, as seen in the table at the end of this article, which means that their population will grow at similar rates.

Top 5 Largest Cities in North Carolina: A Comparison

RankingCityPopulationAnnual Population Growth Rate (2022)Total AreaMedian Household Income
#1Charlotte874,5790.34%308.6 mi2$65,359
#2Raleigh467,6650.36%149.6 mi2$72,996
#3Greensboro299,0350.15%136.7 mi2$51,667
#4Durham283,5060.40%116.2 mi2$66,623
#5Winston-Salem249,5450.39%134.7 mi2$50,204
Largest cities in North Carolina and their statistics

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Alexander Lukatskiy/

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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