About the Region
People like to live in Charlotte. Our experience with relocating companies demonstrates repeatedly that they are successful in recruiting highly talented individuals from all regions of the U.S. and abroad. Charlotte has one of the highest in-migration rates in the nation. Once they are here, most transferees do not want to leave, and here are just a few of the reasons why:
With a population of more than 2.4 million, metropolitan Charlotte offers all of the advantages and amenities of a major urban area.
Charlotte’s composite cost of living at 96.2 is one of the lowest for cities of its size. A key component of that figure is housing, which in Charlotte is 84.7 percent of the national average. Charlotte is rapidly bouncing back from the recession with one of the strongest housing recoveries in the nation.
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County offer a comparatively uncomplicated system of taxation. Because the city and county jointly operate one tax department, taxpayers are only subject to one payment. Charlotte has the 17th lowest residential property tax rates compared to the largest city in each state.
Charlotte is strategically located in the U.S. and is only a two-hour plane ride from 60 percent of the U.S. population. The highest mountains in eastern North America are a short 2-hour drive away, while some of the best Atlantic coast beaches can be reached by car in only 3 to 3.5 hours.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport provides superior air service with nonstop daily service to 159 destinations, including international service to Dublin, Frankfurt, Munich, London, Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Rome, Madrid and many Caribbean islands.
For relocating spouses and partners, job opportunities in Charlotte are greater than in most other U.S. cities. Charlotte boasts 291 Fortune 500 operations, more than 1,300 companies that regionally employ 100 or more, and seven Fortune 500 headquarters. During 2014, 1,133 different companies in Mecklenburg County alone announced the creation 13,134 new jobs. It is no surprise that Charlotte experienced the second-fastest population growth in the country in 2014.
Charlotte’s economy is also highly diversified. No single industry sector, including financial services, has a dominant share of the employment market. All major industry groupings are represented. While the finance, manufacturing, and technology sectors all have a major presence, Charlotte is consistently named a top city for entrepreneurs wishing to start their own business. Though Charlotte is not immune from swings in the economy, this diverse mix provides greater stability than what is found in many other urban markets.
Charlotte also offers a highly developed and sophisticated international business environment. There are currently more than 950 foreign-owned companies in the metro area, and their presence spawns a large number of international business and cultural organizations. Expatriates will find many of their countrymen in Charlotte and a valuable support network their presence creates.
Charlotte is firmly established as one of the country’s most recognized and respected regional health care centers. Cutting-edge facilities offer top-notch care, and a very wide network of senior living facilities supports relocating professionals with family members in need of such services. Learn more about health care in Charlotte here.
Charlotte offers a nationally acclaimed level of higher education. The 51 colleges and universities within the area serve more than 222,000 students. Annual In-state tuition starts at $4,629 per year in the highly regarded North Carolina state university system. Residency status requires that individuals live in the state at least one year.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), the public school system serving Mecklenburg County, continually ranks as one of the best urban systems in the country. Thirty-four CMS schools were recently named honor schools of excellence or distinction by the state of North Carolina. Download the CMS fact sheet.
Charlotte neighborhoods and residences have distinct personalities and offer diverse housing options. At any given time, more than 20,000 homes are available to choose from. Learn more about neighborhoods here.
Charlotte’s thriving arts community enhances an already rich and stimulating quality of life. Symphony, dance, theater, opera, art museums and a wide range of other venues are supported by the Arts & Science Council, which conducts one of the highest per capita annual campaigns of its type in the country. A large number of arts venues are located downtown within walking distance of each other and the LYNX Blue Line light rail.
If sports are your pleasure, Charlotte has it all: NFL, NBA, NASCAR, PGA, MLL, USL, AAA baseball and an NHL/AHL affiliate, not to mention collegiate sports.
Outdoor recreation opportunities abound in Charlotte: canoeing and kayaking at the U.S. National Whitewater Center; boating and fishing on lakes Norman, Mountain Island and Wylie; golfing on courses that are accessible from all residential and business areas; skiing in the Appalachian mountains; and camping, horseback riding, hiking and more.
Nothing could be finer than Charlotte’s North Carolina weather. Four distinct seasons with balanced summers and winters prevail. Extreme conditions are rare, allowing year-round use of the city’s 17,600 acres of parks, 37 miles of greenways and more than 30 public and private golf courses. More courses are available in outlying counties. Only half of winter days fall below the freezing point, and sub-zero temperatures have been recorded in Charlotte only five times since 1878. Spring and fall seasons are protracted and extremely pleasant, and weather rarely interrupts outdoor activities.