The Demographic trends of today

The recent presentation on demographics from Mitch Silver provides a good overview of some of the population trends that will affect the future of Chapel Hill. (and it’s only online until December 12th, so encourage others to take a look!) 

Who will be living in our area in 2020?  What will our population look like?  Where will they want to live?  Work?  All these questions have implications for how we plan.  Although there are no answers for the future, we can look at some of the trends out there to inform our discussion.

We’ve collected several additional demographic presentations detailing national and regional trends that provide more detail to the question of what Chapel Hill’s future may look like Demographic Reports. At the regional level the population of Wake, Durham and Orange County’s is expected to grow from approximately 1,263,000 in 2010 to 2,164,000 in 2040. The population in Orange County is expected to increase from 63,874 in 2010 to 197,675 in 2040.

National and regional population trends support the projections of future growth and offer some insights into the type of growth we might expect. The main drivers of future growth are the combination of the continued aging of the Baby Boom generation and the emergence of Gen Y into the workplace. Some highlights of these studies of the generational impacts over the next decade include:

  • An overall increase in the demand for higher density housing between 2010 and 2020. The two largest areas of increase will come from those aged 25-39, who are primarily interested in apartments and condominiums and those aged 55-69 who are looking for luxury townhouses and condominiums as well as small lot single family homes in traditional neighborhood developments.
  • 77% of Gen Y indicate they plan to live in the urban core and 41% plan to rent for at least three years.
  • Between 2010 and 2015 85% of new household growth will be generated by those under 35 years old.
  • 1/3 of Gen Y will pay more to walk to shop, work and entertainment and 2/3rd’s say living in a walkable community is important.
  • The Carolina’s are the “new Florida” for baby boomers.
  • 1/3 of baby boomers plan to move to a new home during retirement
  • Cost of living and health care are most important considerations for selecting a location to retire for baby boomers.
  • Due to the economic downturn the beginning of retirement for baby boomers may be delayed 3-5 years and the peak of baby boom retirement may be delayed from 2019 to 2022.
  • People aged 65+ are expected to grow by 38% between 2010 and 2020 in North Carolina.
  • Between 2002 and 2007 the Raleigh metropolitan area, which includes Chapel Hill, had the highest rate of growth, 31.8% for those aged 55-64, in the United States.
  • After declining from 1950 to 2000, average household size increased in 2010 to 2.65.
  • The multi-family is expected to represent 50% of all new housing demand.

In the aftermath of the 2008 economic downturn the type and location of future development is being debated. Several recent articles in the New York Times  provide an interesting discussion of how development may be different in the future.

We heard at the November 19th reporting out session that this information was one of the ‘big rocks’ informing all the theme groups’ conversations.  This general background provides a basis for the conversations in all the theme groups as they move forward on December 1st.

One thought on “The Demographic trends of today

  1. Pingback: December 1 Theme Groups working session agenda |

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