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With two thirds of North Carolina’s population residing in the middle one third of its landmass, the middle third of the state is about four times more densely populated than the remaining two thirds.

Change in population from 2000 to 2008, using census estimates. Note the large-scale area of net population loss in the inland northeastern part of the state; these counties are all related to each other in that they contain the highest percentage of blacks, according to the Census 2000 data.

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, estimated North Carolina’s population at 9,222,414, which represents an increase of 1,175,914, or 14.6%, since the last census in 2000. This exceeds the rate of growth for the United States as a whole. The growth comprises a natural increase since the last census of 412,906 people (that is 1,015,065 births minus 602,159 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 783,382 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 192,099 people, and migration within the country produced a net gain of 591,283 people. Between 2005 and 2006, North Carolina passed New Jersey to become the 10th most populous state. The state’s population reported as under 5 years old was 6.7%, 24.4% were under 18, and 12.0% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.

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