PAST and EXPECTED TRENDS

Past: 1990-2000

Between April 1990 and April 2000, North Carolina's population grew by 1.414 million people (21.3 percent), increasing from 6.632 million to 8.047 million. Roughly 70 per cent of this decade growth, some 0.997 million people, was the result of net migration into the state. The rest was due to natural increase (the excess of births relative to deaths). For "White"s, there was a growth of some 991,000 people (19.7 percent of the April 1990 population). For "Other"s, the growth was 424,000 people (26.6 percent). The nature of the growth did not vary between the two groups. The majority (76.8 percent) of the "White" growth and the majority (55.8 percent) of the "Other" growth were both the result of net migration into the state.

The population as a whole continued to age. The median age for the total population increased from 33.0 in 1990 to 35.3 in the year 2000. The "White" population aged slightly faster, its median age increasing from 34.5 in 1990 to 36.9 in the year 2000, while the "Other" population's median age increased from 28.2 to 30.5.

Life expectancy at birth continued to increase for all race-sex groups. For "White" males, life expectancy increased by 2.0 years, increasing from 72.2 in 1990 to 74.2 in the year 2000. Half of this increase is at the older ages, with life expectancy at age 65 increasing by only 1.0 years. "White" females showed almost no increase in overall life expectancy, 0.3 years, going from 79.4 in 1990 to 79.8 in the year 2000. "Other" males had an increase in life expectancy at birth of 3.3 years, going from 65.0 in 1990 to 68.3 in the year 2000. Over half of this increase is at the younger ages, since the increase in life expectancy at age 65 is only 0.7 years, going from 13.0 in 1990 to 13.7 in the year 2000. "Other" females saw an increase of 1.1 years in life expectancy, going from 74.5 in 1990 to 75.6 in the year 2000. Little of this increase is at the older ages, with life expectancy at age 65 increasing by 0.1 years.

Between 1990 and 2000, the effect of population growth on educational enrollment was significant. The potential kindergarten population (5 years old) increased by roughly 20,000 (22.7 percent) during the decade, starting with 88,000 in 1990 and growing to 108,000 by the year 2000. During the same time period, the elementary school age population (6-13) increased by 198,000 (28.3 percent), going from 701,000 in 1990 to 899,000 in the year 2000. The high school age (14-17) population increased by less than the younger groups. Growing from 357,000 in 1990 to 417,000 in the year 2000, it had an increase of only 60,000 (16.7 percent). The population reservoir for higher education enrollment (ages 18-24) grew by much less than the younger age groups during this decade. Increasing from 788,000 in 1990 to 804,000 in the year 2000, it experienced a growth of only 16,000 (2.0 percent).

The overall potential labor force (ages 16-64) increased by 920,000 (20.9 percent), going from 4.400 million in 1990 to 5.320 million in the year 2000. However, the pool of those just entering the labor force (ages 16-34) increased from 2.115 million in 1990 to 2.224 million in the year 2000, a growth of only 109,000 (5.1 percent). This small gain was accompanied by a large increase of 811,000 (35.5 percent) in the pool of older workers (ages 35-64), which increased from 2.285 million in 1990 to 3.096 million in the year 2000.

The overall elderly population (ages 65 and over) increased by 169,000 (21.1 percent) during the decade, going from 800,000 in 1990 to 969,000 by the year 2000. The older elderly population (ages 75 and over) grew faster, increasing by 116,000 (36.4 percent), from 319,000 in 1990 to 435,000 in the year 2000. The very old population (ages 85 and older) grew even faster, increasing by more than 36,000 (53.4 percent) from less than 69,000 in 1990 to more than 105,000 in the year 2000.

Expected: 2000-2029

Between April 2000 and July 2029, North Carolina's population is expected to grow by 4.723 million people (58.7 percent), reaching 12.770 million by the 2029. Roughly 65.4 percent of this growth, 3.091 million people, will be the result of net migration into the state. The rest will be due to natural increase (births minus deaths). The "White" population will grow by 3.373 million (56.0 percent). The "Other" population is projected to grow by 1.350 million people (66.8 percent).

The population as a whole will continue to age. The median age for the total population will increase from 35.3 in 2000 to 37.9 in the year 2029. The "White" population will age slightly slower, its median age increasing from 36.9 in 2000 to 38.7 in the year 2029, while the "Other" population's median age will increase from 30.5 to 36.1.

Life expectancy at birth will increase for all race-sex groups. For all race-sex groups, the majority of this increase will be at the older ages. For "White" males, life expectancy will increase by almost 3.9 years, increasing from 74.2 in 2000 to 78.1 in the year 2030; life expectancy at age 65 will increase by over 2.7 years. "White" females show a larger increase in overall life expectancy, 4.3 years, going from 79.8 in 2000 to 84.1 in the year 2030; life expectancy at age 65 will increase by over 3.0 years. "Other" males will have a increase of 6.4 years in life expectancy at birth, going from 68.3 in 2000 to 74.7 in the year 2030; life expectancy at age 65 will increase by 3.0 years. "Other" females will see an increase of 5.8 years in life expectancy, going from 75.6 in 2000 to 81.4 in the year 2030; life expectancy at age 65 will increase by 3.3 years.

During these three decades, the effect of population growth on educational enrollment will be significant. The potential kindergarten population (5 years old) will increase by approximately 58,000 (53.6 percent) during this time period, starting with 108,000 in 2000 and growing to more than 166,000 by the year 2029. During the same time period, the elementary school age population (6-13) will increase by 419,000 (46.6 percent), going from 899,000 in 2000 to 1.318 million in the year 2029. The high school age (14-17) population will grow from 417,000 in 2000 to 655,000 in the year 2029, an increase of 238,000 (57.1 percent). The population reservoir for higher education (ages 18-24) will increase by 460,000 (57.2 percent), reaching 1.264 million by the year 2029.

The overall potential labor force (ages 16-64) will increase by more than 2.584 million (48.6 percent), going from 5.320 million in 2000 to 7.904 million by the year 2029. The pool of those just entering the labor force (ages 16-34) will increase from 2.224 million in 2000 to 3.235 million in the year 2029, a growth of 1.011 million (45.4 percent). The pool of older workers (ages 35-64) will grow somewhat faster, increasing by 1.573 million (50.8 percent), going from 3.096 million in 2000 to 4.669 million in the year 2029.

The elderly population (65 and over) will more than double during these three decades, increasing from 969,000 in 2000 to 2.199 million by the year 2029. The very old population (85 and over) will also more than double during this time period, increasing from 105,000 in 2000 to more than 214,000 in the year 2029.

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Last Update: May 4, 2009