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Existing System Overview

existing system overview


Wake County experienced a similar trend in commuting

patterns: an increase in people who worked at home

and drove alone, a decrease in carpooling, and a slight

decrease in the mean travel time of workers. Compared to

Raleigh residents, Wake County residents outside the city

traveled an average of 23.9 minutes to work, a little over

two minutes more than their in-town counterparts.

Household Types

The most common type of household in the City of Raleigh

is the non-family, which comprises 44.1%of all households,

which may be higher due to several universities in the

area. However, between 2000 and 2010 (see

Table 10

) the

percentage of households that were families with children

under 18 grew by 2.5% to 29%, and non-family households

decreased by 1.4%. This shift in the city towards more

families with children under 18 is reflected in the growing

percentage of children in Raleigh. In contrast, Wake

County had an almost even three-way split of household

types: roughly one third were families with children under

18 (34.6%), about one third were families without kids

under 18 (31.1%), and about one third (34.3% were non-

family households.

Demographics are usually thought of in terms of people,

but an overview of the city’s housing characteristics

can provide additional clues about the population. For

example, high levels of homeownership typically signify

stable communities, whereas high levels of vacancy can

indicate a struggling local economy. The number of new

residential units not only mirror population growth, but

can also provide clues as to how densely a community is

growing as well based on residential building type and


In absolute numbers, the amount of housing in the City of

Raleigh grew by 55,425 units between 2000 and 2010, as

shown in

Table 11

, a jump of 45.9%. County-wide, there

were 112,883 units added between 2000 and 2010, an

increase of 43.6%. Both of these historic rates of housing

growth are phenomenal, and are above national trends.

When compared to absolute gains in population, the

amount of housing is growing at almost exactly the same

rate, indicating no significant change in household size.

According to the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the most

common type of housing in Raleigh is single-family

detached homes, the great majority of which were built

after 1950; only 6% of existing housing was constructed

prior to 1950. The Comprehensive Plan also noted the rise

in homeownership, but pointed out that Raleigh is still

lagging behind the national average. This may be due to

a higher percentage of multi-family rental housing (see

Table 10

) and a large student population (see

Table 4


With an understanding of Raleigh’s population, the

next step is to apply these findings to parks, recreation

and cultural resource needs. What does this population

growth, characteristics, housing, and lifestyles mean for

the next 20 years of parks, recreation and cultural resource


Population Growth

The City of Raleigh has experienced rapid growth in both

population and land area. Raleigh is expected to continue

to grow in population at a healthy pace, and will likely be

challenged to not only “catch up” in providing services

to the existing population, but plan ahead for future

residents. It is essential that the city identify and secure

land for parks and facilities now to accommodate the

anticipated demand and urbanization.

It is also important to note that the city’s population

is expected to decrease as a percentage of the county’s

total population. This implies that the city will have a

comparatively less percentage of tax revenue from the

county to provide services to residents, but depending on

the quality and location of other municipalities’ services the

city may still be expected by citizens to provide facilities and


2.3.3 Housing Characteristics

2.3.4 Summary of Implications