Visitors to Raleigh should start their explorations with a trip to the Capital Area Visitor Center, which provides free brochures, maps, and a film about the city's offerings. Tours are available of the North Carolina Executive Mansion, a masterpiece of Queen Ann Victorian architecture completed in 1891. Historic Oakwood, a neighborhood of restored Victorian homes built between 1870 and 1900, occupies a 20-block area adjacent to the 1876 Oakwood Cemetery. The birthplace of President Andrew Johnson can be viewed at Mordecai Historic Park, which is the site of the Mordecai House, a 200-year-old furnished plantation house. Haywood Hall, a Federal-style house built in 1799, is the oldest residence in the city still on its original site. A life-sized bronze statue of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is on view at the MLK Memorial Gardens, which are surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. The State Capitol, built between 1833 and 1840, is an excellent preserved example of the Greek Revival style. Tours are also available through the North Carolina State Legislative Building, home of the General Assembly. Built in the 1760s, the Wakefield/Joel Lane House, decorated with furnishings and gardens of the period, is Raleigh's oldest dwelling.
Dubbed "the Smithsonian of the South," Raleigh is home to a number of museums, including three free state museums. The North Carolina Museum of History displays more than 100,000 artifacts reflecting the history of the state. Holdings include furniture, fashions, crafts, military artifacts, dolls, toys, and period exhibits. Free lectures, films, and demonstrations are presented in its "Month of Sundays" series. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has four floors of exhibits, live animals, and the only Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur fossil in existence. The North Carolina Museum of Art houses paintings and sculpture representing more than 5,000 years of artistic heritage. It also features the Museum Park outdoor amphitheater. Exploris, the nation's first children's museum devoted to global learning and awareness, is a 70,000-square-foot interactive learning center. The IMAX theater is also located there.
Eight acres with 6,000 varied plants from almost 50 countries are the highlights of the North Carolina State University's Arboretum, which also features a Victorian gazebo, Japanese garden, and special areas such as water and reading gardens. Playspace is a creative play area for children of all ages, which encompasses a large sandbox, water play area, climbing structure, and a child-sized bank, grocery store, and hospitals with costumes, a video, and a television area. Tours are available of the 5 acres of landscaped garden surrounding the WRAL-TV studio, which features more than 2,000 azaleas, trees, and plants.
Arts and Culture
Raleigh's downtown arts district is a collection of galleries clustered in a three-block area around the historic City Market and Moore Square. The district comprises a variety of galleries, including Artspace, Inc., a downtown renovation project, offering 26,000 square feet of studio and gallery space to working visual and performing artists. Visitors can tour the gallery and studios while the artists are working.
The Visual Arts Center on the campus of North Carolina State University features changing exhibits of ceramics, furniture, photography, textiles, drawings, and graphic design. Also on campus is the Crafts Center, the largest campus-based crafts facility of its kind in the Southeast, which features changing exhibitions of local, regional, and national craftspersons. At the Wake Visual Arts Association and Gallery, classes, workshops, and exhibits are offered to members and the public. Ninety-day exhibitions of works produced or collected by Raleigh residents are on view at the City of Raleigh Arts Commission.
Raleigh's premier music venue is the ALLTEL Pavilion at Walnut Creek. In its natural setting on 212 acres, the amphitheatre presents big-name rock and pop performers in its 7,000-seat open air pavilion and to an additional 13,000 people seated on a sloping lawn. The North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, the first state-supported orchestra in the nation, performs 55 times annually in the city, with an additional 200 performances and 70 educational concerts statewide. Programming includes solo performances by world-class performers as well as classical, pops, and children's series, outdoor summer programs, and special holiday performances. The National Opera Company, based in Raleigh, performs operatic classics in English, and the Friends of the College Series at North Carolina State University presents world-renowned singers and dancers. NCSU also presents dance, opera, orchestra, and other cultural events at its student center and at Reynolds Coliseum. The city is also the site of the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild series, which brings in international guest performers, and the Raleigh Oratorio Society. Musical performances are also available throughout the Triangle region by such groups and events as Durham's Ciompi Quartet; the North Carolina International Jazz Festival, a two-week festival held annually in Durham; the Piedmont Council for Traditional Music's many concerts of blues, gospel, bluegrass, and other folk music; and the Durham Civic Choral Society, as well as numerous civic symphonies, youth symphonies, concert bands, community choruses, boys' choirs, and barbershop groups.
The performing arts are flourishing in the city with performances by both local groups and touring troupes and Carolina Ballet, Raleigh's professional ballet company, which often collaborates with the North Carolina Symphony. The Raleigh Ensemble Players feature contemporary dramas, including original works by North Carolina playwrights. The North Carolina Theatre brings touring musicals to its home at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. The city's community theater groups include the Raleigh Little Theatre, which has been performing for more than 50 years, and Burning Coal Theatre Company. Pullen Park's Theatre In the Park community group presents dramas, musicals, and occasional children's programs. Stewart Theatre at NCSU presents a professional series of theater, music, film, and lectures. Theatrical productions are also offered by Thompson Theatre at NCSU, Peace College, Meredith College Theatre, and Shaw University Theatre.
The completion of the BTI Center for the Performing Arts in 2001 offered Raleigh three new theaters to offer an additional 2,470 seats daily for arts lovers. The Fletcher Opera Theater is designed for opera, dance, and theatrical productions, offering performances from such groups as Carolina Ballet, National Opera Company, and A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute. Meymandi Concert Hal is the home of the North Carolina Symphony. The Kennedy Theater is an experimental theater that provides performance space for innovative groups as Burning Coal Theatre.
Festivals and Holidays
Raleigh welcomes spring in May with the Artsplosure Jazz and Arts Festivals, which combines exhibitions, food, and open air performances. July Fourth activities include the Capital's Celebration with a parade and free live entertainment; exhibits, rides, and fireworks at the State Fairgrounds; and the North Carolina Symphony's annual extravaganza with a concert and fireworks at Regency Park. In August, attendees can meet, greet, and perhaps eat some of the coolest critters around at Bugfest! Autumn brings the Pops in the Park in September with the North Carolina Symphony performing pop music in a picnic setting.
The North Carolina State Fair in mid-October offers craft demonstrations, livestock exhibits and competitions, top-notch concerts, games, rides, side shows, food, and other family-friendly entertainment. The Greater Raleigh Antique Show at the State Fairgrounds takes place in November, as does the six-day handicrafts and entertainment of the Carolina Christmas Show. November's Raleigh Christmas Parade kicks off the holiday season, which includes December's Holiday Festival at the North Carolina Museum of Art; the Christmas Celebration on the Mall in downtown Raleigh which features the lighting of the state Christmas tree; annual performances of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker ; and candlelight tours through a variety of historic homes decked out for the holiday season. First Night Raleigh on December 31 welcomes the new year with performances, visual arts, food, and a midnight countdown downtown. The Home and Garden Show in February offers 100,000 square feet of springtime gardens, flowers, designer rooms, seminars, and hundreds of home product displays at the Raleigh Convention and Conference Center.
Sports for the Spectator
Sports Travel magazine has rated Raleigh as one of the "hottest sports cities" in the country. Raleigh's state-of-theart Entertainment and Sports Arena hosts the city's first major league professional franchise, the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes. With seating for more than 20,000 people, the arena is one of the premier event venues in the southeast. The Arena Football League's Carolina Cobras also play at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Celebrated college sports teams in Raleigh and the Research Triangle area include the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, who play their basketball games at the Entertainment and Sports Arena and their football games at Carter-Finley Stadium; the University of North Carolina Tarheels; and the Duke University Blue Devils. Two professional baseball teams are located within a 30-mile radius. A farm team of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Durham Bulls play from April through August at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Carolina Mudcats, a Double A professional baseball affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, play home games at Five County Stadium in Zebulon. Sports fans also enjoy the athletic events at Raleigh's Shaw University and St. Augustine's College.
Sports for the Participant
Raleigh citizens take pride in their extensive recreational assets. The city's Parks and Recreation Department has more than 7,300 acres of park land and green spaces and more than 1,300 acres of water. Forty-one miles of greenway with 24 different trails can be found throughout the city. Park facilities include 19 community centers and 8 different organized sports teams for adults and youths, as well as 21 public golf courses, 112 lighted tennis courts, and 8 public swimming pools.
Major recreational sites include Pullen Park, a 65-acre inner city children's play facility with an aquatic center, complete with a 50-meter indoor pool; Umstead State Park, which offers picnicking, camping and hiking; Lake Wheeler, 650 acres of lake and park land offering boating, skiing, fishing, and picnicking; Shelley Lake, which can accommodate boating as well as bird watching, fishing, nature walks, jogging, and concerts; Falls Lake, a 12,000-acre facility with beaches, boat ramps, fishing, and picnic areas; Jordan Lake, a lakeside recreation area and marina that is the largest summertime home of the bald eagle in the eastern U.S.; and Lake Johnson, a 137-acre creek-fed lake with forests and a boathouse.
Shopping and Dining
Six shopping malls, featuring major department stores and popular clothing chains, and more than 100 shopping centers serve the Raleigh area. The shopping scene is made more interesting by the variety of local shops featuring original art, crafts, jewelry, children's boutiques, native gem jewelers, and garden shops, as well as burgeoning outlet stores. Antique shops are located all over the city, and settings range from flea markets to upscale import-export emporiums. Among the city's favorite shopping sites are Crabtree Valley Mall, North Hills, Tower Shopping Complex, Cameron Village, and Triangle Towne Center, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. The old mission-style City Market Building and adjacent Moore Square have been transformed into a festive retail district. The State Farmer's Market is also a fun place to shop for fresh produce, crafts items, and plants.
Greater Raleigh offers a wide variety of dining experiences, from steak houses, chain restaurants, and ethnic eateries (featuring French, Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese food) to down-home cooking. Ambience ranges from casual cafes to big screen sports bars to elegant dining rooms.
Visitor Information: Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor's Bureau, 421 Fayetteville Street Mall, Suite 1505, PO Box 1879, Raleigh, NC 27602-1879; telephone (919)834-5900; toll-free (800)849-8499
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park area consistently rank among the nation's best economies year after year. Unemployment remains low and per capita income remains high. Wake County's biggest industries—government, education, and healthcare—are virtually recession proof. Although the region has felt some of the pinch of the nation's economic slowdown, many factors point to Raleigh's continued fiscal health.
Numerous high-technology and medical corporations have been attracted to the Raleigh-Durham area because of the outstanding educational and research facilities at area universities, such as North Carolina State University, which is home to the nation's tenth largest school of engineering, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Nearby Research Triangle Park is one of the leading centers for high-technology research and development in the country. Roughly 140 corporate, academic, and government agencies in the Park employ more than 38,500 (plus 5,000 additional contract employees) workers and provide an annual payroll in excess of $2 billion.
Business is booming in Raleigh, both as companies move into the area from other parts of the country and through the growth of home-grown enterprises. In early 2002, Red Hat, the market leader for the Linux marketing system, moved its 630 employees from nearby Durham to downtown Raleigh. Asea Brown Boveri, a $31-billion company that provides large-scale equipment, systems, and services for electric power transmission, continues to expand its presence in Raleigh. The city has witnessed the growth of lower-technology, sophisticated, and highly specialized new manufacturing companies that produce intricate machinery and electronic parts. The Raleigh workforce is fueled by the annual graduation of thousands of students from the area's universities and colleges, and the influx of new residents looking for opportunities.
With excellent road, rail, and air transportation systems, and easier access to the deepwater port at Wilmington as a result of the completion of I-40, Raleigh is a growing distribution center.
Items and goods produced: pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, electrical machinery, processed foods, metal products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce believes that public funds "should not be used to subsidize a private company's bottom line." The city does not provide free land, free buildings, interest-free loans, direct grants, or preferential tax treatment. However, infrastructure improvements, human capital development, and public financing programs have been put in place to encourage new business development. The chamber's Site Selection Services offers companies considering moving to the city tours, an inventory of facilities, research portfolios, and newcomer assistance. For major corporate relocations, chamber members may provide services to new firms at reduced rates. The chamber, together with MCI Communications Corp and the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development, has established the MCI Small Business Resource Center, which offers free international trade aid to North Carolina entrepreneurs. Wake County offers Industrial Revenue Bonds and assistance with water and sewer utility expansions. The Capital Economic Development Corporation administers Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guarantee and other financing programs for small business as well as the SBA 503 program for long-term capital asset acquisition.
North Carolina is one of 22 states with a "right-to-work" law. Several venture capital funds operate in the state and inquiries can be made thorough the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development. North Carolina offers State Technology Based Equity Funds providing financing for new technology based enterprises, as well as TDA incubators for firms transferring new technologies into commercial applications. The state offers an income tax allocation formula that permits the double weighting of sales in calculating corporate income tax. The North Carolina Department of Transportation administers a program which provides for the construction of access roads to industrial sites and road improvements in areas surrounding major corporate installations. The William S. Lee Quality Jobs and Expansion Act makes available to new and expanding companies tax credits on investment, a jobs tax credit, worker training tax credit, research and development tax credits, and business property tax credits. Additional tax credits are also available for portions of Raleigh and Wake County designated as "development zones."
Job training programs
Screening, testing, and placement services are provided free of cost by the North Carolina Job Service. Extensive, cost-free customized training is provided by Wake Technical Community College for any new or expanding industry that created new jobs. The Capital Area Private Industry Council offers funding for various U.S. Department of Labor on-the-job training programs and youth summer employment programs.
From 1990 to 2002, there were 273 new industries in Wake County, bringing 16,507 new jobs, and 400 expanded industries in Wake County, bringing 31,810 new jobs. In 2003, the Chamber of Commerce assisted 33 new or expanding companies, yielding 677 jobs and $50.9 million in investment. Among companies announcing expansion are Ascom Wireless Solutions, Iams Company, Time Warner Cable, and Relativity. The area continues to be an encouraging place for high-tech entrepreneurial companies, as evidenced by the amount of venture capital that is available. Investors continue to provide funds to companies with a focus on profits. Programs offered by groups such as the Council for Entrepreneurial Development routinely help turn innovative ideas and technological developments into capital-rich companies.
The downtown Raleigh Renaissance, a revitalization process designed to create a stronger and more vibrant downtown, includes three major projects totaling almost $250 million that will move the city toward becoming a more viable meetings destination. A new 500,000-square-foot convention center, a 400-room Marriott headquarters hotel, and the reopening of Fayetteville Street to vehicular traffic are scheduled for completion in early 2008. Progress Energy, one of the country's largest energy providers and the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in Raleigh, plans to build a mixed-use development on approximately 2 acres located east of its current location. The 19-story structure will include three elements: one level of street retail, six levels of parking, and 12 levels of office space.
Economic Development Information: Wake County Economic Development, PO Box 2978, 800 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27602-2978; telephone (919)644-7040; fax (919)664-7099. Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 800 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601; telephone (919)664-7000
Raleigh is an integral part of Norfolk Southern's rail service linking the east coast to Midwest markets and is in the center of CSX's 27,000-mile network serving 22 states and Canada. More than 300 motor freight carriers operate in the area, which has more than 40 motor freight terminals. The city is located within 500 miles of half the population of the United States. The state's 78,000-mile highway network makes the area a highway hub for the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast states, while providing rapid access to Midwest markets.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Raleigh-Durham boasts a skilled, educated, enthusiastic, and growing workforce. The economy is thriving and the unemployment rate consistently registers below the national average. The technical and medical industries are in particular need of qualified personnel. Education, services, and whole-sale/retail sectors also offer abundant job opportunities. From 1990 to 2002, there were 273 new industries in Wake County, bringing 16,507 new jobs, and 400 expanded industries in Wake County, bringing 31,810 new jobs. Raleigh was voted the number one city with the happiest workers by the Hudson Employment Index in 2004, and the number one "hottest job market" in Business 2.0 magazine in 2005.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Raleigh metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 680,700
Number of workers employed in . . .
trade, transportation, and utilities: 112,900
financial activities: 32,200
professional and business services: 101,700
education and health services: 82,100
leisure and hospitality: 1,100
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.45
Unemployment rate: 3.3% (December 2004)
|Largest employers||Number of employees|
|State of North Carolina||23,539|
|Wake County Public School System||12,997|
|North Carolina State University||7,787|
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Raleigh area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $236,450
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 97.7 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: Ranges from 6.0% to 7.75%
State sales tax rate: 4.5% (food and prescription drugs are exempt; food sales are subject to local sales taxes)
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 2.0%
Property tax rate: $.95 (combined city and county) per $100 of assessed value (2004)
Economic Information: Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 800 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601; telephone (919)664-7000. Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, Labor Market Information Division, PO Box 25903, Raleigh, NC 27611-5903
Raleigh: Education and Research
Raleigh: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Wake County Public School System is a comprehensive system with 134 schools serving the entire county. The system is the 2nd largest in the state and the 27th largest in the nation. Since 1981 students have had the option of either attending their neighborhood school or a network of 50 magnet schools, including year-round schools, schools with gifted and talented programs, and schools with other programs, including Montessori, creative arts, extended day, and accelerated studies. Special programs are available for physically and mentally handicapped children. Project Enlightenment targets preschool youngsters who may need some extra assistance. In 2003, voters approved a bond referendum for $450 million to fund the building of 13 new schools, one pre-K center, renovations at 16 schools, and minor repairs at 61 schools.
The following is a summary of data regarding Raleigh's public schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 114,092 (2004–2005)
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 84
junior high/middle schools: 28
senior high schools: 17
other: 5 special/optional schools
Student/teacher ratio: 23:1
Funding per pupil: $5,634
Private school education in Raleigh thrives under many forms, with more than 60 schools in the metropolitan area including church-related schools, preschools, college preparatory schools, a school whose entire curriculum is taught in French, and special institutions for the learning disabled. Nearby Durham is home to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a statewide, public, residential high school for juniors and seniors with special interest and talent in the sciences and mathematics. North Carolina is also a leader in home schooling.
Public Schools Information: Wake County Public School System, 3600 Wake Forest Road, PO Box 28041, Raleigh, NC 27611; telephone (919)850-1600
Colleges and Universities
Higher education plays an important role throughout the Raleigh area, which boasts 12 colleges and universities. North Carolina State University (NCSU), with nearly 30,000 students, is the state's largest university. The most popular programs are engineering and humanities/social sciences. Faculty at North Carolina State set a new record in 2003 and 2004 by earning $208 million in external support for research and sponsored programs. In addition, faculty took the initiative to develop and submit proposals for an additional $96.5 million in funding. Meredith College is a Baptist-affiliated women's liberal arts college that offers its more than 2,000 students more than 40 undergraduate programs and four master's programs. The oldest historically African American university in the South, Shaw University enrolls more than 2,500 students. Peace College, a women's college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, offers its 630 students more than 30 two-year associate degree programs as well as 5 B.S. degree programs. St. Augustine's College was founded by the Episcopal Church after the Civil War to educate freed slaves. Today, the school offers four-year curricula to the 1,600 students in its predominantly African American student body. Wake Technical Community College provides vocational programs and two-year associate degree programs in such areas as business computer programming, automatic robotics technology, criminal justice, hotel and restaurant management, and early childhood education to its nearly 50,000 curriculum and continuing education students.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Wake County Public Library operates 18 branches within Wake County. The library has 1.4 million volumes, 52,430 audio materials, 39,248 video materials, and 1,850 serial subscriptions. Special Collections include the Mollie Houston Lee Collection on African American subjects and the North Carolina History Collection. The library system at North Carolina State University's 5 facilities numbers 2.2 million books and more than 18,000 periodicals.
Research Triangle Park near Raleigh-Durham is one of the country's leading centers for high technology research. Its 7,000-acre campus is the largest planned research facility in the world. North Carolina State University is world-renowned for its research in biotechnology, chemical engineering, polymer science, electrical engineering, genetics, and microelectronics. There are many other college-related and independent research facilities throughout the area.
Public Library Information: Wake County Department of the Public Library, 4020 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610-2900; telephone (919)250-1200.
City Named Capital of State
In 1771 a new North Carolina county was created by the state assembly. They named the county Wake, in honor of Margaret Wake, wife of Governor William Tryon. In 1792 the General Assembly purchased 1,000 acres of Wake County and established the city of Raleigh, which was named in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh, to serve as the first permanent state capital. The word "Raleigh" comes from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "meadow of the deer," which captures the essence of the city's peaceful setting.
Early Citizens Seen as "Roughnecks"
William Christmas of Franklin County, North Carolina, was hired to create a plan for the new city. Christmas designed a layout with one square mile of perpendicular streets and one-acre lots. Union Square, future home of the State House, lay at the center. Equidistant from it the planner designated four squares to serve as green space. Even now, the original city boundaries can be recognized by their original names, North, South, East, and West.
Enthusiastic about Christmas's plans, legislators authorized the building of a new courthouse in Raleigh, making it the county seat as well as the capital. During its early days, Raleigh had a questionable reputation because of the bachelors and saloons that dominated the scene. Its citizens were not granted the right to vote until the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Raleigh in the Nineteenth Century
Raleigh grew larger at a slow but steady pace during this time when most of its residents were in the business of agriculture. Eventually towns developed along railroad lines and market centers. In time, small textile and furniture factories grew up. In 1831 the original State House burned down. The legislature agreed that the new State House should be a more durable structure. For this purpose solid granite was quarried in the east side of the county and brought to Raleigh via a specially built rail line. The permanent Executive Mansion was designed by architects Samuel Sloan and Gustavus Bauer, and constructed entirely of North Carolina materials, from the slate roof to the pine balustrade and brick facade. Construction was performed by prison inmates whose names and initials can still be seen in the brick sidewalks surrounding the mansion.
During the Civil War, Raleigh did not experience the tremendous suffering at the hands of Union forces as did many other southern towns and cities. Destruction was narrowly averted when some torch-carrying troops from the 60,000 troops quartered in the city approached the downtown upon hearing of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Their commander, General John A. Logan, turned them back at gunpoint.
City Takes Off After WWII
Raleigh's major growth occurred after World War II ended in 1945. The seeds of the city's modern renaissance were sewn in the 1950s when the state of North Carolina created the world-famous Research Triangle Park west of the city. The concept of Dr. Howard Odom, a University of North Carolina sociologist, the original purpose of the development was to use the talents of the highly trained graduates of North Carolina's colleges and universities who were leaving for more promising careers elsewhere. The area boomed following the establishment of IBM's facilities there in 1965.
Raleigh is now recognized around the world for the basic and applied research and development conducted by the occupants of Research Triangle Park. The downtown area is currently undergoing a revitalization with the groundbreaking in 2005 for a new 500,000-square-foot convention center, scheduled for completion in early 2008. With a population of more than 330,000, Raleigh enjoys a combination of the two most sought after and envied economic characteristics: low unemployment and rising incomes. Major companies are regularly launching new operations or expansions in the Raleigh area, keeping the local economy healthy. Furthermore, the city's housing stock is robust, increasing at a healthy pace to welcome newcomers to the area.
Historical Information: North Carolina (State) Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2807; telephone (919)733-3952
Raleigh: Population Profile
Raleigh: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 38.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 61st
U.S. rank in 1990: 54th
U.S. rank in 2000: 40th
2003 estimate: 285,639
Percent change, 1990–2000: 26%
U.S. rank in 1980: 106th
U.S. rank in 1990: 75th
U.S. rank in 2000: 61st (State rank: 2nd)
Density: 2,409.2 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 76,756
American Indian and Alaska Native: 981
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 118
Hispanic (may be of any race): 19,308
Percent of residents born in state: 56.1% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 17,461
Population 5 to 9 years old: 16,444
Population 10 to 14 years old: 15,254
Population 15 to 19 years old: 19,864
Population 20 to 24 years old: 32,458
Population 25 to 34 years old: 57,105
Population 35 to 44 years old: 43,826
Population 45 to 54 years old: 32,984
Population 55 to 59 years old: 10,308
Population 60 to 64 years old: 7,394
Population 65 to 74 years old: 12,025
Population 75 to 84 years old: 8,143
Population 85 years and older: 2,827
Median age: 30.9 years
Total number: 5,187
Total number: 1,725 (of which, 32 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $25,113
Median household income: $46,612
Total households: 112,727
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 8,113
$10,000 to $14,999: 5,154
$15,000 to $24,999: 12,758
$25,000 to $34,999: 14,896
$35,000 to $49,999: 19,062
$50,000 to $74,999: 23,007
$75,000 to $99,999: 13,262
$100,000 to $149,999: 10,843
$150,000 to $199,999: 3,081
$200,000 or more: 2,551
Percent of families below poverty level: 7.1% (60.6% of which were female householder families in poverty)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 17,833
Raleigh: Geography and Climate
Raleigh: Population Profile
Raleigh: Municipal Government
Raleigh: Education and Research
Raleigh: Health Care
Raleigh: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1792 (incorporated 1795)
Head Official: City Manager J. Russell Allen (since April 2001)
2003 estimate: 285,639
Percent change, 1990–2000: 26%
U.S. rank in 1980: 106th
U.S. rank in 1990: 75th
U.S. rank in 2000: 73rd (State rank: 2nd)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1980–1990: 29.1%
U.S. rank in 1980: 61st
U.S. rank in 1990: 54th
U.S. rank in 2000: 40th
Area: 117.3 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 434 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 59.3° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 52.6 inches
Major Economic Sectors: services, government, wholesale and retail trade
Unemployment rate: 3.3% (December 2004)
Per Capita Income: $25,113 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 17,833
Daily Newspaper: The News and Observer
RALEIGH, the capital of North Carolina, is located in the central piedmont section of the state, midway between the coastal plain and the mountains. A committee appointed by the state legislature founded the city in 1792 as the state's first permanent capital. The city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, the English explorer and author.
Raleigh quickly became a center of transportation and banking. On 20 May 1861, following Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteer troops from North Carolina, a convention met in Raleigh and voted for the state to secede from the Union. General William Tecumseh Sherman occupied the city on 13 April 1865. Raleigh suffered virtually no damage during the Civil War.
African Americans currently make up 28percent of Raleigh's population. The city elected its first African American mayor in 1973. Raleigh is a center of government, education, and research. North Carolina State University, opened in 1887, has a current student population of 28,000. The 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park (RTP), established in 1959, is home to over one hundred technological, pharmaceutical, and other research firms. The city has experienced rapid growth since the establishment of RTP. The population grew from 93,931 in 1960 to 276,093 in 2000.
Murray, Elizabeth Reid. Wake: Capital County of North Carolina. Vol. 1, Prehistory through Centennial. Raleigh: Capital County Publishing Co., 1983.
Perkins, David, ed. The News & Observer's Raleigh: A Living History of North Carolina's Capital. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, 1994.
Vickers, James. Raleigh, City of Oaks: An Illustrated History. Woodland Hills, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1982.
Blessed with beautiful residential areas, expansive parks, and historic buildings, the city of Raleigh exudes southern charm. Along with Durham and Chapel Hill, it is the largest city of an area in central North Carolina known as the Research Triangle. Raleigh's North Carolina State University joins two other stellar research institutions—the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University in Durham—to form the intellectual nucleus of the Research Triangle.
Over the past decade and a half, Raleigh prospered as an education, government, and research and development center. The city has a superior system of local parks and lakes, easy access to the ocean and the mountains, and a moderate climate, all of which encourage year-round outdoor activities. High-caliber health care services are offered by the many physicians who trained at the state's several top-rated medical colleges, fell in love with the area, and decided to settle in Raleigh. Cultural activity abounds in the city, which offers a major symphony orchestra, an art museum with an outstanding collection of European and American paintings, and the world's premier modern dance festival. Residents and visitors enjoy an ever-widening culinary scene.
As the new century gets underway, downtown Raleigh is one area of focus for city and county planners. Ground will be broken in 2005 for a 500,000-square-foot convention center, as well as a four-star convention headquarters hotel. Both are scheduled to open in early 2008. The city is also currently planning a redevelopment for a regional commuter rail system linking downtown Raleigh with downtown Durham.
Newspapers and Magazines
Raleigh's daily (morning) newspaper is The News and Observer. About nine weekly and semimonthly newspapers are published there, including Triangle Business Journal, The Independent, and The Carolinian, an African American community newspaper. Nearly 30 magazines are published in Raleigh, including Carolina Country ; Balanced Life Center ; North Carolina Historical Review; Social Science Computer Review, published by Duke University Press; and a host of others focusing on agriculture, religion, Southern women, toy collectors, and assorted professions.
Television and Radio
Eighteen television stations broadcast in Raleigh, five of which are affiliated with the major networks. Thirty-three radio stations broadcast from the area, offering programming such as Top Forty, country, classical, religious, Hispanic, and jazz.
Media Information: The News and Observer, 215 South McDowell Street, PO Box 191, Raleigh, NC 27602; telephone (919)829-4500
City of Raleigh home page. Available www.raleigh-nc.org
Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.raleighcvb.org
The News and Observer. Available www.news-observer.com
Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Available www.raleighchamber.org
Wake County Public Libraries. Available www.co.wake.nc.us/library
Wake County Public Schools. Available www.wcpss.net
Gaddy, Charlie, Celebrating a Triangle Millenium (Memphis, Tenn.: Towery Publishing, 1999)
Raleigh: Health Care
Raleigh: Health Care
The Raleigh area offers world-class care and state-of-theart technology in the health field, in part because of the proximity of nearby pharmaceutical, nursing, and medical schools at the University of North Carolina and Duke University at Durham. Raleigh itself is served by 518.4 physicians per 100,000 people. Wake Medical Center, a major medical and referral facility for the state, offers a top-rate heart program, a trauma center, a neuroscience unit, and neonatal intensive care. Wake is the flagship for a five-hospital private, nonprofit system totaling 752 beds, which includes four community facilities and a 45-bed rehabilitation hospital. Rex Hospital, a not-for-profit facility, has specialized centers for cancer, obstetrics, and same-day surgery. Its 388-bed facility encompasses a home healthcare division and a convalescent center, as well as the Rex Wellness Center. Part of the Duke University Health System, Duke Health Raleigh Hospital is a 186-bed acute care facility. Mental health and addiction treatment programs are the focus of Dorothea Dix Hospital, Holly Hill, and Charter Hospital. Located within 30 miles of the city are a Veteran's Administration Hospital and Lenox Baker Children's Hospital, as well as North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill.