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Charlotte In 2053: Long Island, New York?

What will Charlotte look like in 40 years? A couple of pages found tucked in the middle of a routine City Council report reveal some interesting things about the city’s future.

Staff prepared the report to answer questions from City Council transportation committee members about employment and population in the Charlotte area.

Here are the highlights:

  • Almost 57,000 people moved to Charlotte in 2011, meaning about 8 percent of the city’s total population were newcomers.

    “Charlotte’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and a lot of that growth is being driven by migration, mostly domestic but also international,” says Mark Mather, a vice president at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C.

    Mather says Charlotte is an attractive, mid-sized city, and there are a lot more people moving here than moving away.

  • Mecklenburg County will add nearly 200,000 people over the next decade, growing 21 percent—more than double the current national average.

    UNC business professor Steve Appold prepared that statistic, as part of a larger study he’s conducting for the city. Appold said he’s also projected how Charlotte will look in 40 years, although that did not make it into the report. He compares it to Long Island, New York.

    “It’s suburban New York, it’s fairly well-to-do, it’s diverse, and there’s still plenty of green space,” Appold says.

Both Mather and Appold reiterated that those numbers are not set in stone, but if they’re right, a lot more of Charlotte might be, by the year 2053.

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute illustrates Charlotte's population growth from 2000 to 2010.