Local News

Raleigh Passes Minneapolis in Population

Posted January 31, 2008

— The City of Oaks is now bigger than the Mini-Apple.

Raleigh has passed Minneapolis to become the 49th most-populous city in the U.S., according to biannual population estimates by Raleigh's Growth Management Division. The city's estimated population as of Jan. 1 was 374,320, an increase of 6,325 people in the past six months, officials said.

"The fact that we continue to grow well, in my mind, is the best thing this City Council or anyone (in) this city would want," Raleigh City Councilman Philip Isley said.

In 2006, Raleigh passed Tampa, Fla. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis to become the 51st-largest city in the country. Last year, the city moved into the Top 50 by passing Wichita, Kan.

"We've always been known as Raleigh-Durham. Now, we're really just Raleigh, and Raleigh is its own entity," Isley said. "(The city has) it's own identity. We're not really a region bounded by Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary anymore."

Urban design expert Bruce Katz said metro areas like Raleigh are vital to the entire nation, not just the state's economy.

"You're one of the top metro areas in the country. You're about 20 percent of the economic output of the state," said Katz, a vice president of the Brookings Institution, an independent research and policy group. "Raleigh is doing quite well in many respects, but they lack a dependable partner at the federal level to realize their full potential."

Isley said continued local growth is needed to help the fragile economy recover.

"What I take from these numbers (is) we need to do more as a city to encourage local growth and our local economy to make sure we do not fall behind," he said.

The city’s population increased by 14,988, or 4.17 percent, during 2007, city officials said. Population estimates are based on the number of dwellings, the average number of people per household and the dwelling occupancy and vacancy averages.

“We thought Raleigh’s growth rate would drop slightly in 2007, given the national economy. However, Raleigh’s job growth and quality of life continue to attract new residents,” Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said in a statement.

The national rankings are unofficial because U.S. Census Bureau estimates lag one year behind local estimates.


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  • Travised Feb 1, 2008

    I viewed the plans for the St Paul line. MnDOT's Projected life for the bridge they want to use when crossing over the river is less than 15 years. That is my issue. They are not following the 20 year transit plan they usually do. If I recall it goes north on University, avoiding the campus strip, and goes up to Hennepin.

    When they installed the first line I was even fighting them. They wanted to put in a station 50 feet away from my building and cut down the buffer trees along 94 (over 200). As well they would have taken away about 1/4 of the parking spots we had, already not enough. They didn't want to use the abandoned rail bed on the other side (augsburg area).

    For ridership numbers. their counting is misleading if you look at how MTC does it. I've riden the LRT with hardly anybody on it during lunch rush. It IS used a lot for sports games.

    And YES I love living in this cold weather. It was -21 few days ago. Unthinkable for most in NC.

  • aquamama Feb 1, 2008

    Travised, I don't know where you're getting your info from, but LRT was hardly worthless. Expensive, yes, but worth it for quality of living for residents, existing business, and new transit-oriented business. The Central Corridor expansion (that's to the U and downtown St. Paul), when completed, will be the most popular route in the system. LRT exceeds bus rapid transit in comfort and convenience, which is why ridership on the Hiawatha line way exceeded the projected numbers in the first year alone. University Ave (Central Corridor) can certainly stand the improvements that LRT will bring and can handle the loss of a couple lanes. The proposed SW Transitway, which is WAY far from having a completed plan, will of course affect roadways. You are obviously not familiar with the area. That's ok. You don't have to live in that horrid weather, so be grateful.

  • Travised Feb 1, 2008

    LRT is worthless (laugh) $825 million ballpark cost, for 13 miles. On their "test runs" in snow conditions my friend in Mpls told me it couldn't RUN in lightly snow covered tracks! It became STUCK without passengers downtown! I broke out laughing. They had to improvise and make a sander in front/back of the wheels to create traction. (the train is bidirectional)

    Just THIS January they crashed (less than 10 MPH) a train at the mall of america. The operator failed to brake and the emergency brakes failed to kick in (they were to be automatic) so THIRD ant last option it hit the crash barrier.

    LRT was a worthless investment for Minneapolis. It MAY get better if they add on the other spokes of the rail hub they have on paper; but the University Rail/St Paul plan is the most idiotic one I have ever seen. The plan for West Metro is more logical and doesn't effect roadways or a bridge that has a short life (St paul plan).

  • gandalf1 Feb 1, 2008

    “So do we get a light rail now?”

    Not if the people who decide see how asinine the idea is and how fiscally irresponsible putting one in would be. Perhaps that is why is has so far has not been implemented. But there will always be a small minority that believe a light rail system will resolve all of the traffic woes in the triangle. Ignorance is bliss!

  • iamforjustice Feb 1, 2008

    So do we get a light rail now?

  • Travised Jan 31, 2008

    According to census the number last known was 382,618; estimated drop was 373,118 last census publication.

    As for the cities reputation, you don't want Raleigh becoming a mini Somalia like Minneapolis has with a lot of the immigrants living off the government benefit programs, not to mention it's reputation, from the news, "murder-apolis" when the numbers reached an all time high one year.

    Get your lake numbers correct, MN has over 12,000 lakes; but that number is harder to remember. 10k is a easy round number they use.

    As for temps, they can go from (this last week if you want to look) -teens in the metro to 90's in the summer. Rare times it will hit 100 mid July.

  • djofraleigh Jan 31, 2008

    Not liking the lack of wisdom used in Raleigh's growth, I just say, we "found paradise and put up a parking lot." I'm not pleased or proud of the growth Raleigh has had this century, are you?

  • seeingthru Jan 31, 2008

    whoopeee Not...

  • Six String Jan 31, 2008

    All you "small towners" have fun, got to go for the night.

  • Awake in Wake Jan 31, 2008

    I guess with the little boy mentality that Raleigh's city leaders have size does matter. We may have students in trailers, we cannot flush our toilets, we cannot water our lawns or plants, we have terrible traffic congestion on our main roadways; but we are now 49th. Congratulations! Watch your taxes go up and your quality of life down.