While neighboring Mecklenburg County was first in the state to reach a population of 1 million people, Cabarrus County is experiencing its own population boom.
The county’s population grew from 187,661 in 2013 to 192,103 in 2014, according to U.S. Census data released in March. That is a 2.4 percent increase from 2013 and 7.86 percent increase from the 2010 census, when the population was 178,182.
Cabarrus County had the eighth-largest population increase since 2010 in the state. And last year’s 2.4 percent increase is the fourth-biggest population increase in the state.
Kelly Sifford, the planning and development director for Cabarrus County, said the county this year likely will exceed the number of building permits issued last year for residential and commercial properties by June 30, according to the Dodge Census reports.
Growth is occurring predominantly in the western part of the county, Sifford said.
“The jurisdictions near the Mecklenburg County line and 485 are experiencing higher growth rates due to transportation access and proximity to Charlotte,” Sifford said.
Census data for Harrisburg confirms what local leaders already knew. Josh Watkins, planning director for Harrisburg for nearly eight years, said the town is experiencing amazing growth.
In 2000, the town’s population hovered around 4,500 and more than doubled in 2010 to roughly 11,500.
Figures from the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, as of July 1, 2013, indicate the town’s population is nearing 14,000. The office provides estimates each summer based on census data, the number of building permits issued and the average number of people who usually occupy a home, Watkins said.
Watkins thinks the town’s proximity to Charlotte and Interstate 485, good schools and low tax rates are key reasons behind the growth.
Permits for single-family units in Harrisburg jumped from 213 in 2013 to 243 in 2014. On the nonresidential side, the number of permits issued jumped from 77 to 116 from 2013 to 2014.
Census data for Concord shows the population jumped from 79,066 in 2010 to an estimated population of 83,506 in 2013, a 5.6 percent increase.
Margaret Pearson, the city’s planning and community development director, wasn’t surprised by the increased development and population growth.
“This just confirms what the Planning Department has experienced with increasing numbers of zoning inquiries, plan review submittals and permit applications,” Pearson said.
As Concord continues to grow, the city will look to ensure growth patterns that promote in the categories of tourism, commercial and industrial development, Pearson said.
Single family and multifamily building permits went from 642 and 254 units respectively in 2014 to 134 and 348 respectively in 2015, according to city data. From 2009 to 2014, commercial development and new construction brought in several projects with permit costs ranging from $100,000 to more than $33.5 million.
Census data for Kannapolis estimates the 2013 population was 44,359, compared to 42,625 in 2010, about a 4 percent increase.
Construction activity throughout the city also is on the rise. Permits for single-family units jumped from 199 in 2013 to 338 in 2014. Multifamily units jumped from 24 to 189 during the same period. The number of commercial permits issued jumped from 447 to 680 from 2013 to 2014.
The projected tax value of all construction jumped from $83 million in 2013 to $189 million in 2014.