Statue of man standing with Raleigh NC downtown in the background seen from behind

This is why Raleigh is growing so fast

To anyone who has lived in the Triangle area for at least ten years, it is clear that things have changed dramatically during that time period. Due to attractions that include world-class museums and abundant outdoor activities, as well as an affordable cost of living, the local population has boomed.

In fact, according to new data, between 2010 and 2017, Raleigh grew 17.4 percent, making it the fastest growing city in North Carolina. What is the reason behind this startling this stunning growth? As with most things, it’s complicated, but in a good way. Raleigh isn’t growing for one reason alone — it’s growing for many of them.

Scroll through the list of seven reasons below to see why everyone wants to move to Raleigh.

  1. Affordable cost of living

Probably among the top three (if not the number one) reason people have been moving to the Triangle relates to the low cost of living. According to Forbes, Raleigh is ranked in the top 20 cities nationally for affordability, due to relatively low rents and other daily living expenses. With the average rent in cities like San Francisco and New York jumping up to an astonishing $3,500 a month, it’s easy to see why people are moving south where their money stretches a lot further.

  1. Great job opportunities

The Triangle area is sometimes called the “Silicon Valley of the East Coast,” due to the high presence of IT and biotech companies located at Research Triangle Park (RTP). For instance, IBM’s famous Watson artificial intelligence (AI) program is headquartered in Raleigh, and large tech companies such as Red Hat, SAS, Cisco and Citrix are all either based in Raleigh or at least have a significant presence in the area. Additionally, research companies like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are here as well. Finally, an abundance of startups have begun here, making way for ample entrepreneurship opportunities in an economic environment friendly to business owners.

  1. The museums

While there are many museums in the Raleigh area, three in particular stand out. First is the North Carolina Art Museum, which opened in 1956 as the first major collection in the country to be formed by State legislation. Today, patrons can view art or film, take a walk in the park or enjoy an evening of fine dining at the local restaurant. Second, the North Carolina Museum of History provides an opportunity to step back through time. Because it is a Smithsonian affiliate, entrance is completely free. Finally, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences — recognizable for the massive globe in its architecture — is the oldest museum in the state and the largest museum of its kind in the Southeastern United States.

  1. The dining

National dining guide Zagat (along with many other outlets) recently designated Raleigh as one of the nation’s top food towns, coming in a Number 12, ahead of New York, Nashville and Miami. Additionally, local chef chef Ashley Christensen, who owns Poole’s Diner, Death and Taxes and other downtown Raleigh restaurants, was recently included as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef for the country. And Brewery Bhavana has been named one of Bon Appetit’s Top 10 best new restaurants in the country this year and was just named by Forbes as one of the coolest places to eat in 2018. There are hundreds of other awards, all demonstrating that Raleigh is a foodie’s dream.

  1. The outdoors

One of the first things you’ll notice about Raleigh if you’re arriving from another city is the prevalence of green. Trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers abound in the area, and with them the ability to enjoy the outdoors. From hiking at Umstead State Park to boating at Jordan Lake to marathon training on the American Tobacco Trail, you’ll never be without the opportunity to soak up the sun and breathe in the fresh air. Plus, North Carolina winters are fairly mild, meaning this goodness lasts for nearly the entire 365 days.

  1. The proximity to the mountains and beaches

Tired of the bustling city? Head to the mountains for some peace and quiet. Not sure you’re getting enough sun? The beach is just around the corner. No matter which destination you choose, you’re only a few hours away, making for a great opportunity to enjoy a weekend getaway or even a day trip. Towns like Asheville to the West and Wilmington to the east act as hubs to surrounding, less-populated locations to relax.

  1. The people 

There really is no other place like the South. From our tradition of southern hospitality to our love of sweet tea and sunshine, you’ll feel right at home no matter whom you meet. If you’re looking for a break from the city life, seeking more activity compared to the country, or trying to change the pace a little from where you are now, Raleigh could be the place for you. It won’t take long before you start calling it home.

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