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Imagine Cary Preview

This morning the Chamber of Commerce got a preview of Imagine Cary.  Scott Ramage, AICP, Principal Planner for the Town of Cary Planning Department spoke at the monthly Economic Development Committee Meeting.  Everyone that will be attending the Summit on the Future this Thursday night will get to see lots of good information.

Changing Demographics

The median age of Cary Citizens is the third highest among the 14 largest cities in NC. From the 2000 Census to the 2010 Census, the median age of Cary increased from 33.7 to 36.6 years old. This is a much faster increase in age than is being seen in neighboring Raleigh, or Wake County, NC or the US.

A Missing age Group?

The 20 to 29 year old population in Cary is noticeably missing with only 10.9%. Compare this to 14% regionally and nationally. Raleigh has 19.7% of their population in the 20 to 29 year old range! The 30-39 year old population in Cary is also a little low for the region.

This age range drop off comprises the age group of the Millenial generation.

Cary is Diverse

Cary leads the 14 largest municipalities in percentage of citizens who are foreign born. Cary has 19.1% foreign born which beats out the next highest cities of Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh which all come in around 14.5%

What does this mean for Cary?

We are really not sure, but this is what the Imagine Cary process is all about. Asking questions, challenging beliefs and determining what we want to be and look like 20 years from now.

There is lots more information than the few things that struck me, so get involved to find out more. Scott mentioned that a “Snapshot Report” will be available in about a week which will include much more information. The report as well as all Imagine Cary information can be found on the Imagine Cary Website at

2 replies
  1. Peaches Wilson
    Peaches Wilson says:

    The following post was made on the site under May 2 Kickoff/Demographics. I have checked the links and they appear to be correct:

    We hear that young people want urban, walkable, downtown neighborhood. Perhaps they a higher percentage of young people than older people want that, but —
    The majority of young people do not want urban neighborhoods.

    According to the 2011 Community Preference Survey, of 18 – 29 yr olds 31% preferred city (downtown + residential area) vs.42% who preferred suburbs. (11% small town, 14% rural).

    By comparison, for the population as a whole 19% prefer city vs. 39% suburb (18% small town, 22% rural).

    see: look at appendex B, cross tabs.

    Other findings regarding 18 to 29 yr olds:
    74% of young people preferred single family detached houses

    Comparing large lots that require driving to smaller lots with everything in walking distance, 54% preferred larger lots and driving.

    42% listed privacy from neighbors an important characteristic
    36% listed sidewalks and places to walk as important

    More listed as important “a place away from it all” than “a place at the center of it all”.

  2. John Shaw
    John Shaw says:

    According to an Imagine Cary slide presentation, Cary leads NC with population of 30-39 as well as 40-49 year olds, and is about equal to NC for 50-59 year olds.

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