Research & Data

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Charlotte - 3rd Fastest Growing Big City in United States

Charlotte is once again among the top three fastest growing big cities in the country, and the city's suburbs are growing fast, too. The city of Charlotte remained the 17th largest city in the nation with nearly 860,000 people as of July 2017, according to U.S. Census estimates released this week. Only two other Top 25 cities - Seattle and Fort Worth, Tex. - surpassed Charlotte's 1.8 percent growth rate.

And growth in the suburbs was just as strong. Fort Mill, S.C., was the No. 1 fastest growing town with a population of more than 15,000. Fort Mill added 2,400 people for a nearly 16% growth rate during the year.  

In real terms, that means Charlotte welcomed 15,551 new residents - either people moving here or being born here - this year. That ranks No. 7 among all cities and faster than Denver (9,844), Washington (9,636), San Francisco (8,260), New York (7,272) and Boston (6,664). Charlotte's growth pattern was similar to Columbus, Ohio, a city of 879,000 which added slightly less than 15,500 people. 

Newcomers seeking lower cost of living and higher quality of life are driving the continued growth of Charlotte. The city's larger geographic footprint than many older industrial cities, where most growth occurs in the suburbs, is also a factor in the ranking. And while more people are still settling within the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, a booming housing market has shifted some growth to the suburbs. In 2017, the City of Charlotte's growth accounted for about 32 percent of the total metro area's growth of 49,000 people. In 2012, the city accounted for 49 percent of the metro area's growth. 

Southern and Western cities showed the largest gains, while two Midwestern cities - Detroit and Chicago - lost population.  Broadening the scope to all cities of 50,000 or more, Midwestern cities such as Illinois and Ohio - despite the the success of Columbus - were hard-hit with population loses. Cities in Deep South states such as Mississippi and Louisiana also lost population.   


Other towns and cities in the Charlotte area also showed strong growth. Concord added 2,300 people, a 2.6% rise; Gastonia added 1,468 people (+2%) and Huntersville added nearly 1,100 (+1.9%). Across the border, Rock Hill, S.C., added 900 people (+1.3%). Two North Carolina cities in this category lost population - Fayetteville and Rocky Mount - lost population


Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, May 21, 2018
Charlotte gains on Fortune 1000 list

The Charlotte region is home to 15 of the United States' 1,000 largest publicly traded companies, according to the 2018 Fortune 1000 list, released this week. That's one more than last year. 

Door and window manufacturer JELD-WEN, a relative newcomer to Charlotte which expanded its headquarters and added 200 jobs in 2016, made its first appearance on the list at No. 625.   

JELD-WEN is a major supplier to Lowe's, which is also headquartered in the region and came in at No. 40 on this year's list. Charlotte's highest ranking company on the list, Bank of America, moved up two spots to No. 24 and reported more than $100 billion in revenues for 2017. Steel manufacturer Nucor rose 18 spots to No. 151. Duke Energy (No. 125), Sonic Automotive (No. 298) and Sealed Air (No. 456), round out the six Charlotte region-based companies in the top 500.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated made the largest improvement on the list, moving to No. 576 from No. 701 last year and adding $1.2 billion in reported revenues - a 37 percent increase. Coca-Cola Bottling is headquartered in South Park with a customer service center in the University area and distribution and manufacturing centers throughout the region. Curtiss-Wright, a supplier to the aerospace, energy and defense markets, also moved up in the rankings to No. 885 from No. 908 in 2017.

A combination of high quality of life, low cost of doing business and availability of talent across industries has made Charlotte a major headquarters location for companies of all sizes. The region is home to more than 400 headquarters operations

2018 Fortune 1000 company headquarters in Charlotte region

2018 Fortune Rank Company Name Headquarter City 2017 Revenue 2017 Fortune Rank
24 Bank of America Charlotte $100.3B 26
40 Lowe's Mooresville $68.6B 40
125 Duke Energy Charlotte $23.2B 121
151 Nucor Charlotte $20.3B 169
298 Sonic Automotive Charlotte $9.9B 287
456 Sealed Air Charlotte $6.1B 397
517 Domtar Fort Mill $5.2B 505
554 CommScope Holdings Hickory $4.6B 518
576 Coca-Cola Bottling Company  Charlotte $4.2B 701
625 JELD-WEN Charlotte $3.8B n/a
664 Resolute Forest Products Catawba, SC $3.5B 646
723 Albemarle Corporation Charlotte $3.1B 654
885 Curtiss-Wright Charlotte $2.3B 908
967 SPX Flow Charlotte $2.0B 939
Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Charlotte Immigration Trends in the 21st Century

People come to Charlotte from all over the world. In fact, nearly 230,000 foreign-born people live in the Charlotte metro area as of the last American Community Survey county. That's up from only 105,000 in 2000.

Five countries account for 47 percent of the foreign-born population in the area. Those include long-established Mexican and Vietnamese communities as well as fast-growing El Salvadoran, Honduran and Indian populations. The Indian-born community grew by about 451 percent since 2000, accounting for the largest numerical growth of a foreign-born community, adding more than 18,000 people since 2000 to become the second-largest foreign-born population. 

Charlotte's international business relationships are continuing to grow as well, with more than 1,000 firms from 45 countries employing more than 66,000 people in the area. For more on international business in Charlotte, browse our International Businesses publication and purchase our International Business Directory.

Explore this

Posted by: Chuck McShane - Director of Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, February 12, 2018
How much does it cost to live in Charlotte?

Charlotte remains less expensive to live in than most large cities. In 2017, it cost about 96.2 percent of the national average, according to the recently released C2ER Cost of Living Index, based on data collected by the Charlotte Chamber and other chambers and economic development organizations throughout the United States.

What’s that mean? Mecklenburg County’s most recent average wage of $64,855. In the country’s most expensive city, the Manhattan borough of New York, you would need to pull in $160,856 to match the purchasing power of the average wage in Charlotte.

Charlotte was the 10th least expensive city among the largest 40 metro areas in the country. Among its Southern peers, Charlotte came in as less expensive than Raleigh (96.4), Nashville (96.7), Atlanta (99.0) and Dallas (102.1).

Five factors – groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous services – make up the index. Even with a tight housing market, Charlotte’s housing costs were about 86.7 percent of the national average. In the grocery space, where costs in Charlotte were 96.6 percent of the national average, increased competition from new national chains entering the market has kept prices down. Transportation costs (96.3) were also below the national average and utilities costs matched the national average. Health care (105.4) and miscellaneous services (101.4) were slightly higher.

Check out our report for more details and prices on everything from hamburgers to houses.

Posted by: Chuck McShane @ 5:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Why Charlotte Natives Might Be A Rare Find at Your Office

It's no secret the Charlotte is a magnet for people from throughout the country and world. But what about that rare breed - the Charlotte native? It's almost an old saying in Charlotte now that "nobody's from here." At the Charlotte Chamber, we took a look at the data to see why this saying rings true to a lot of people. 

Data by state of birth is readily available from the U.S Census Bureau, so we took a closer look at North Carolina natives living in eight N.C. counties and South Carolina natives living in two S.C. counties (York and Lancaster). Not surprisingly, Mecklenburg County had the lowest percentage of native-born residents at 40.6 percent. Even that number seemed high to people around the Chamber office (which probably has a higher concentration of Charlotte and NC natives than many offices in town). So we dug a bit deeper, taking a look at age groups and educational attainment. 


Looking at age groups made it possible to separate out children and college-aged young adults for a clearer picture of why you might have not run into "native" Charlotteans at your Charlotte office. While more than 80 percent of under 5 year olds and 66 percent of 5 to 17 year olds in Mecklenburg were born in North Carolina, only 25 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds were born in state. The percentage of natives creeps back up to 40 percent for those 75 and older. The county with the largest concentration of native-born adults was Rowan County, where 63.3 percent of the adult 25 and over population was born in North Carolina. 

Other interesting trends in the data show the growth of young families moving to York and Lancaster County, even from within the region. Around 80 to 90 percent of under 5-year-olds in N.C. counties studied were born in state. Only 50.5 percent of Lancaster County young children were born in South Carolina. That percentage was 52.4 percent in York County.      

Levels of education among in-state-born and out-of-state-born residents also showed significant differences. Only 24.5 percent of holders of bachelor's or higher in Mecklenburg County were born in North Carolina. That total was even lower in Lancaster (21.9 percent) and Union (23.4 percent).

In terms of raw numbers, About 204,111 people ages 25 and above living in Mecklenburg County were born in North Carolina. Of those, 76,775 hold bachelor's degrees or higher. This disparity in education attainment between those born here and those from elsewhere, while not unique to Charlotte, is part of the challenges the Leading on Opportunity Taskforce as well as the chamber's workforce and talent development efforts are focused on tackling.


A few caveats on the data. This includes only state of birth. People, like myself, born in other parts of North Carolina are included as in-state while people born in Fort Mill are not. People who moved to Charlotte from out of state as young children and grew up here are also not included in the totals.  

Posted by: Chuck McShane - Director of Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
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