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Raleigh Population Cracks U.S. Top 50

Thousands of new residents in recent months have pushed Raleigh into the Top 50 cities nationwide in terms of population, officials said Friday.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Thousands of new residents in recent months have pushed Raleigh into the Top 50 cities nationwide in terms of population, city officials said Friday.

The Planning Department's Growth Management Division estimated Raleigh's population as of July 1 reached 367,995 people, a 4 percent increase from the estimated 353,600 city residents a year ago.

Estimates are based on the number of dwellings, the average number of people per dwelling, and the dwelling occupancy/vacancy averages.

The growth pushed Raleigh past Wichita, Kan., to become the 50th-largest city in the country.

Raleigh is now the ninth-largest city in the South behind Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn; Atlanta; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Miami.

“Raleigh continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States,” Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver said in a statement. "If our growth rate continues, we project that Raleigh will pass Arlington, Texas, Minneapolis and Colorado Springs, Colo., next year.”

In 2006, Raleigh passed Tampa, Fla., Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis in population, Silver said.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates lag one year behind local estimates.

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Dan Bowens, Reporter

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