“We’re Number Three!” It doesn’t have quite the same ring as “We’re Number One!”
But Greensboro has long been proud of its number three ranking in population in North Carolina, and according to the latest official US Census estimates, we are still number three.
However, those same figures show our lead over number four, Durham, is dwindling.
Charlotte is indisputably number one with an estimated population of 897,720 in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau.
Raleigh is solidly in second place with an estimated population in 2022 of 476,587
And Greensboro is in third with an estimated population in 2022 of 301,115. According to the US Census Bureau, Greensboro finally made it over the 300,000 hurdle in 2022.
However, Durham in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau estimate, had a population of 291,928. The 2020 Census population figure for Durham was 283,588, which represents an increase of 2.9 percent.
The population of Greensboro in 2020 according to the US Census Bureau was 299,035, and the growth in 2022 to 301,115 represents an increase of 0.7 percent.
With Durham growing at nearly 3 percent every two years and Greensboro growing at 0.7 percent, Durham will pass Greensboro in population long before the 2030 US Census.
In fact, according to the 2023 population estimate of the City of Durham Planning Department, Durham has already passed Greensboro in population.
The Durham Planning Department estimates the 2023 population at 306,495. If this figure is correct, it would mean that Durham in 2023 grew much faster in population than it did from 2020 to 2022.
That population estimate by Durham is based on local development permits completed in the city multiplied by the average persons per household and the current occupancy rate, which are taken from the American Community Survey.
There don’t appear to be comparable figures based on the same data for the City of Greensboro during that time period.