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Raleigh is the capital city of the state of North Carolina, the seat of Wake County and the second largest city in the state. It is known as the “City of Oaks” for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s estimated population on 7-1-2008 was 392,552 (a 42% increase from the 2000 Census), making Raleigh the 8th fastest growing city and the 45th largest city in the United States.

Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill make up the three historically primary cities of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional nickname of “The Triangle” originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located between the three cities. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Combined Statistical Area of Raleigh-Durham-Cary in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina. As of 7-1-2008 the estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary CSA was 1,690,557, while the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area was estimated at 1,088,765, making it the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan area.

Most of Raleigh is located within Wake County, with a very small portion extending into Durham County. The towns of Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell, and Rolesville are some of Raleigh’s primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns.

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