CLT ALLIANCE BLOG
Charlotte - 3rd Fastest Growing Big City in United States
Charlotte is once again among the top three fastest growing big cities in the country, and the city's suburbs are growing fast, too. The city of Charlotte remained the 17th largest city in the nation with nearly 860,000 people as of July 2017, according to U.S. Census estimates released this week. Only two other Top 25 cities - Seattle and Fort Worth, Tex. - surpassed Charlotte's 1.8 percent growth rate.
And growth in the suburbs was just as strong. Fort Mill, S.C., was the No. 1 fastest growing town with a population of more than 15,000. Fort Mill added 2,400 people for a nearly 16% growth rate during the year.
In real terms, that means Charlotte welcomed 15,551 new residents - either people moving here or being born here - this year. That ranks No. 7 among all cities and faster than Denver (9,844), Washington (9,636), San Francisco (8,260), New York (7,272) and Boston (6,664). Charlotte's growth pattern was similar to Columbus, Ohio, a city of 879,000 which added slightly less than 15,500 people.
Newcomers seeking lower cost of living and higher quality of life are driving the continued growth of Charlotte. The city's larger geographic footprint than many older industrial cities, where most growth occurs in the suburbs, is also a factor in the ranking. And while more people are still settling within the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, a booming housing market has shifted some growth to the suburbs. In 2017, the City of Charlotte's growth accounted for about 32 percent of the total metro area's growth of 49,000 people. In 2012, the city accounted for 49 percent of the metro area's growth.
Southern and Western cities showed the largest gains, while two Midwestern cities - Detroit and Chicago - lost population. Broadening the scope to all cities of 50,000 or more, Midwestern cities such as Illinois and Ohio - despite the the success of Columbus - were hard-hit with population loses. Cities in Deep South states such as Mississippi and Louisiana also lost population.
Other towns and cities in the Charlotte area also showed strong growth. Concord added 2,300 people, a 2.6% rise; Gastonia added 1,468 people (+2%) and Huntersville added nearly 1,100 (+1.9%). Across the border, Rock Hill, S.C., added 900 people (+1.3%). Two North Carolina cities in this category lost population - Fayetteville and Rocky Mount - lost population
Charlotte gains on Fortune 1000 list
The Charlotte region is home to 15 of the United States' 1,000 largest publicly traded companies, according to the 2018 Fortune 1000 list, released this week. That's one more than last year.
Door and window manufacturer JELD-WEN, a relative newcomer to Charlotte which expanded its headquarters and added 200 jobs in 2016, made its first appearance on the list at No. 625.
JELD-WEN is a major supplier to Lowe's, which is also headquartered in the region and came in at No. 40 on this year's list. Charlotte's highest ranking company on the list, Bank of America, moved up two spots to No. 24 and reported more than $100 billion in revenues for 2017. Steel manufacturer Nucor rose 18 spots to No. 151. Duke Energy (No. 125), Sonic Automotive (No. 298) and Sealed Air (No. 456), round out the six Charlotte region-based companies in the top 500.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated made the largest improvement on the list, moving to No. 576 from No. 701 last year and adding $1.2 billion in reported revenues - a 37 percent increase. Coca-Cola Bottling is headquartered in South Park with a customer service center in the University area and distribution and manufacturing centers throughout the region. Curtiss-Wright, a supplier to the aerospace, energy and defense markets, also moved up in the rankings to No. 885 from No. 908 in 2017.
A combination of high quality of life, low cost of doing business and availability of talent across industries has made Charlotte a major headquarters location for companies of all sizes. The region is home to more than 400 headquarters operations.
2018 Fortune 1000 company headquarters in Charlotte region
|2018 Fortune Rank||Company Name||Headquarter City||2017 Revenue||2017 Fortune Rank|
|24||Bank of America||Charlotte||$100.3B||26|
|576||Coca-Cola Bottling Company||Charlotte||$4.2B||701|
|664||Resolute Forest Products||Catawba, SC||$3.5B||646|
Charlotte Immigration Trends in the 21st Century
People come to Charlotte from all over the world. In fact, nearly 230,000 foreign-born people live in the Charlotte metro area as of the last American Community Survey county. That's up from only 105,000 in 2000.
Five countries account for 47 percent of the foreign-born population in the area. Those include long-established Mexican and Vietnamese communities as well as fast-growing El Salvadoran, Honduran and Indian populations. The Indian-born community grew by about 451 percent since 2000, accounting for the largest numerical growth of a foreign-born community, adding more than 18,000 people since 2000 to become the second-largest foreign-born population.
Charlotte's international business relationships are continuing to grow as well, with more than 1,000 firms from 45 countries employing more than 66,000 people in the area. For more on international business in Charlotte, browse our International Businesses publication and purchase our International Business Directory.