State Demographer

State Demographer

The State Demographer's Office at OSBM is responsible for producing population estimates and projections. The annual certified estimates of the population of North Carolina counties and municipalities are used in the distribution of state shared revenues to local governments. In addition, the State Demographer produces standard and revised municipal and county population estimates and county and state population projections that are used for long range planning by state agencies, regional and local governments and other entities. The county population estimates and projections are available by age, race, Hispanic origin, and sex.

To produce these estimates and projections, the State Demographer develops and enhances complex mathematical computer models, and collects and reviews a variety of data from federal, state, and local government sources. Information about annexations, building activity, and select institutional populations are collected annually from North Carolina municipalities and counties through the North Carolina Demographic Survey. As a member of the Federal State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates (FSCPE), the State Demographer's Office assists the Census Bureau in its own estimates of North Carolina municipal and county populations by collecting input data and reviewing preliminary population estimates.

The State Demographer also serves as a resource for the Office of State Budget and Management and other agencies by providing advice, occasional analytical reports, and presentations regarding the implications of population and demographic change.

The 2020 Census Count is happening now – but the State Demographer and the US Census Bureau will continue to provide estimates of the population for North Carolina counties and municipalities. Access the timeline to know when the various estimates and 2020 Census counts will be available.

To access U.S. Census Bureau population and socioeconomic data, see Census Home and Log Into North Carolina

Population and Budgeting

OSBM has a legislative mandate for creating official demographic estimates for statewide budgeting.

North Carolina Demographic Survey

In order to complete the annual population estimates, the State Demographer surveys all municipalities and counties annually. Counties and municipalities play a key role in developing the annual population estimates by providing updated information about:

  • annexations, detachments, and other boundary changes,
  • group quarters populations, and
  • residential construction and mobile home placements.

Counties and municipalities can access the survey here: