The 2020 census is providing new information on demographic changes over the past decade. And that data shows that an age shift is happening in North Carolina.
Nearly three in every four counties in North Carolina had fewer children than in 2010, according to 2020 census figures. In Forsyth County, the median age was 37 a decade ago. Now, it's gone up to roughly 38.5.
The data reveals that the state is facing a growth stagnation of young people.
Rebecca Tippett is the director of Carolina Demography at the UNC-Chapel Hill Carolina Population Center. She says there are multiple strategies counties can use to retain a youthful workforce. But there's no simple fix.
“I think it's tough, because if there were a clear silver bullet places would be doing it,” she says. “A lot of the stuff that seems to work requires kind of a local champion, who can spearhead it and kind of push something forward.”
Tippett says broadband and transit infrastructure are the main challenges for communities.
In the Triad, Tippett says leveraging the research universities can help keep younger individuals in the region.