City of Raleigh
Profile of City of Raleigh
aleigh is situated in the heart of the
State of North Carolina, in a section
called the Piedmont region, 150 miles
from the Atlantic Ocean and 190 miles
from the Great Smoky Mountains. The
City, the county seat of Wake County
and the capital of North Carolina, covers
an area of more than 180 square miles
and has an estimated population of
451,066. The City forms one point of
the Research Triangle Park developed
in 1959 for industrial, governmental and
scientific research, with Chapel Hill and
Durham at the other two points. The
City is located in a metropolitan area
consisting of Wake, Durham, Orange,
Franklin, Chatham and Johnston
counties. The population for this area is
estimated to be 1,787,000, which reflects
a 30.5% increase over the past ten years.
The North Carolina General Assembly purchased land for the original site of the City for the specific purpose
of being the capital of North Carolina. The City was established in 1792 by an act of the General Assembly
and has utilized a council-manager form of government since 1947. The Mayor and two Council members are
elected at-large, and the remaining five Council members are elected from five districts within the City. The Mayor
and Council members serve two-year terms and all have an equal vote. The City Council sets policies, enacts
ordinances and appoints the City Manager. The City Manager is responsible to the Council for the administration
of daily operations and programs of the City and management of all City employees.
The City provides the full range of governmental services, including police and fire protection, street construction
and maintenance, solid waste management, water and sanitary sewer services, parks, recreation and cultural
services, planning and development services, a variety of transportation and public works programs, and other
traditional support activities.
The City is empowered to levy a property tax on real and certain personal properties located within its boundaries.
Subject to various stipulations set by the North Carolina General Assembly, it is also empowered to extend its
corporate limits by annexation, which occurs periodically when deemed appropriate by the governing council.
The Annual Budget serves as the foundation of the City’s financial planning and control. The City Council is
required to hold public hearings on the proposed budget and to adopt a final budget no later than each June 30,
the close of the City’s fiscal year. The appropriated budget is prepared by fund, function (e.g., public safety), and
department (e.g., police). Department heads may approve budget transfers within a fund up to $10,000, while
transfers between $10,000 and $50,000 require approval from the City Manager. Transfers greater than $50,000
and transfers of appropriations between funds require approval of the City Council.
Five-Year Population Growth
Fiscal year figures as of June 30
* Figures represent estimates
2012 2013 2014 2015* 2016*