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U.S. Census Bureau Releases Information About N.C.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — There is a much clearer picture of where North Carolina residents live. The

U.S. Census Bureau

released new information Thursday about the towns we live in and the people who live next to us.

If you do not like a lot of neighbors, Mecklenburg County, the home of Charlotte, is by far the worst place to live.

There are more than 1,300 people per square mile in Mecklenburg County. That is about 600 more people per square mile than Wake and Durham counties and three times more crowded than Cumberland County.

The least dense county in the state is Hyde with 9.5 people per square mile.

Census numbers show many people come to the Triangle to retire as well as come to the area to go to school.

According to the U.S. Census, there are more 40-year-old women in North Carolina than any other age group. Twenty-nine is the most popular age among men.

As far as the battle of sexes, when it comes to living longer, there is no contest. There are 1,007 women older than 100 in North Carolina, which is almost four times the number of centaurian men at 241.

Spanish is spoken in three times as many North Carolina homes today as it was after the 1990 U.S. Census.

According to the figures,, the percentage of North Carolina residents age 5 and older who speak Spanish at home increased from 1.7 percent in 1990 to 5 percent in 2000.

Translated into hard numbers, the number of Spanish-speaking residents more than tripled to 378,942.

The state's Hispanic population skyrocketed from 76,000 to nearly 379,000 in the last 10 years. The booming economy helped give North Carolina the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the nation, and that's led several businesses to make changes to attract new clients.

In Charlotte, a group of investors is opening a movie theater that will show only Spanish-language films. In Durham, grocery stores and car lots use signs in Spanish to attract customers.

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