Politics & Government
9:39 am
Wed November 20, 2013

There's A Megalopolis In North Carolina's Future

Charlotte Map
Aeriel snapshot of NW Charlotte, 2005.
Credit UNC Population Center

The Carolina Population Center at UNC is debuting a new unit this week that will focus on translating complicated Census data for businesses and the public.

The new unit is called Carolina Demography.  And the first project by Director Rebecca Tippett is dissecting current and future North Carolina housing units for a span covering 110 years.

'If current patterns continue, you see this emerging, urbanized corridor ranging from Charlotte to north in the Triad and then east to the Triangle which begins to look a lot like these east coast Megalopolis'

  "This is one potential look at the future," said Tippett.  "And these are very responsive to changes and policy so that they provide a good template and a starting point for a conversation about how we might want North Carolina to look in the future."

In 1940 there were fewer than one million housing units in North Carolina.   Tippett says by 2050, housing units are expected to top seven million.  

“If current patterns continue, you see this emerging, urbanized corridor ranging from Charlotte to north in the Triad and then east to the Triangle which begins to look a lot like these east coast Megalopolis that we have from Boston, to New York to DC," said Tippett.

Tippett says this will capture both urban re-development as well as suburban development, mainly in the center of the state.

Carolina Demography has made these projections available to the public for free download.