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Existing System Overview

existing system overview


between 2015 and 2035 in relation to existing park

locations. According to a land capacity analysis completed

during the comprehensive planning process, within the city’s

current jurisdiction and zoning, a potential population of

670,000 could reasonably be accommodated by 2035


. There

are, however, physical barriers to the city’s growth, such as

finite resources, annexation limitations, redevelopment

vs. greenfield (new development), market conditions,

and growth framework policies (Unified Development


Diagram 2

illustrates the barriers to physical

growth for the City of Raleigh.

Diagram 2

. Barriers to Physical Growth

This growth trend is present at the regional level as

well. Wake County’s population is expected to grow

significantly in the same period. Unincorporated areas are

anticipated to grow at a faster rate than the city, resulting

in a relative decline of Raleigh’s percentage of population

in Wake County compared to the other municipalities,

increasing needs to continue cross-jurisdictional planning

and coordination.

Total population and growth can help to determine park

and greenway level of service goals; however, population

characteristics can help to define what type of facilities will

serve the community better.

The 2010 Census data for the City of Raleigh presents

a snapshot of the population. When compared to data

from 2000 and from Wake County, the data is put into a

temporal and geographic context. For 2010 Census data

that has not yet been released, data from the most recent

American Community Survey (ACS) was used. This

research among other factors will help determine needs

for parks and facilities.


The City of Raleigh is racially diverse and becoming

more so every decade. From 2000 to 2010, the white

population declined from 63.3% to 57.5%, whereas the

African-American population increased from 27.8%

to 29.3% (see

Table 3

). In fact, the percentages of all

minority populations have increased since 2000; Asian

population increased by 0.9% to 4.3% in 2010, and people

who defined themselves as “Other Race” increased from

3.2% to 5.7%. Ethnically, Raleigh is also becoming more

diverse, with the Hispanic/Latino community growing

from 7% in 2000 to 11.4% in 2010. Although the City is

Table 2

. Wake County and Municipalities Population Projections, 2005-2035






Population % of

County Population % of

County Population % of

County Population % of


City of Raleigh

371,443 49.9% 489,762 45.5% 565,701 41.0% 590,560 39.0%

City of Cary

118,728 15.9% 162,564 15.1% 179.792 13.0% 184,870 12.2%

Western Wake

98,608 13.2% 134,759 12.5% 230,124 16.7% 269,146 17.8%

Eastern Wake

105,884 14.2% 207,122 19.2% 297,853 21.6% 351,861 23.2%

Rural Wake

49,980 6.7% 82,746

7.7% 107,701 7.8% 117,237 7.7%


744,643 100% 1,076,960 100% 1,381,171 100% 1,513,674 100%

Source: CAMPO (via the City of Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan)









City of Raleigh



2.3.2 Population Characteristics