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Want to know which is the biggest city in North Carolina? Here’s an updated list of the largest cities in North Carolina by population and size in 2019.

North Carolina is one of the original Thirteen Colonies and is today the 9th most populated state in the U.S with a total population of 10,383,620 people. Despite that, none of the cities in North Carolina has more than 1 million residents. 

Charlotte

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina by population and size. The city is home to 826,060 residents, making it the 17th most populous city in the United States

Charlotte is the county seat of Mecklenburg County and was first inhabited by the Catawba Native Americans before Scots-Irish and Ulster-Scots settlers came to the area. The city is also home to the headquarters of the Bank of America. 

It’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S and will likely reach more than 1 million residents in a few years. The locals are referred to as Charlotteans. 

Charlotte

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Raleigh

Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina and the second-largest city within the state. It’s known as “The City of Oaks” due to the many oak trees. 

The city has a population of 449,477 residents, which is increasing by about 2 percentage per year. Raleigh is an early example of a planned city in America and was incorporated as the State capital already in 1792. The locals are referred to as Raleighites.

Raleigh

Photo: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Greensboro

Greensboro, formerly Greensborough is the third-largest city in North Carolina with a total population of 284,816 people. The city is located in the county of Guilford County.

In the early 1900s, it was noted for its textile industry with big productions of flannel and denim. During this time period, Greensboro grew from a smaller village to a major city.

Greensboro

Photo: Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

Durham

Durham is home to the well-renowned North Carolina Central University and Duke University and has a total population of 257,232 people. It’s the county seat of Durham County and the city is considered a national leader when it comes to health-related activities. 

Durham city in North Carolina

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is the second-largest city in the Piedmont Triad region with a population of 246,328 residents. A lot of small businesses are starting up here and recently, it was listed as one of the most livable downtowns in the U.S.

Winston-Salem is the county seat of Forsyth County and came to be after the merging of Winston and Salem in 1913, who by then were two independent neighborhoods. 

Winston-Salem

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Fayetteville

Fayetteville is the second biggest city in North Carolina by size with a total area of 147.7 sq mi (382.6 km2). The city is home to 210,324 people and it has been ranked as one of the best cities in the U.S to retire. 

In 2015, the city of Fayetteville also broke the Guinness World Record for having the biggest Christmas stocking with a total weight of 1,600 pounds (730 kg).

Fayetteville

Photo: Goldilock Project / Shutterstock.com 

Other major cities in North Carolina

Cary, Wilmington and High Point are the other three major cities in North Carolina with a population of more than 100 000 residents. Furthermore, there are 9 additional cities that have a population of 50.000. 

Other major cities in North Carolina

Photo: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

List of the most populated cities in North Carolina

RankCityCurrent Population
1Charlotte826,060
2Raleigh449,477
3Greensboro284,816
4Durham257,232
5Winston-Salem246,328
6Fayetteville210,324
7Cary159,715
8Wilmington115,261
9High Point109,849
10Greenville90,347
11Asheville89,318
12Concord87,607
13Gastonia74,381
14Jacksonville73,661
15Chapel Hill59,234
16Rocky Mount55,373
17Huntersville53,302
18Burlington52,813
19Wilson49,237
20Kannapolis46,498
21Apex45,899
22Hickory40,157
23Wake Forest38,473
24Indian Trail37,191
25Mooresville36,577
 
Most populated cities in North Carolina

Photo: Charles Lewis / Shutterstock.com

List of the biggest cities in North Carolina by area

RankCityArea 
1Charlotte308.6 sq mi (799.2 km2)
2Fayetteville147.7 sq mi (382.6 km2)
3Raleigh144.8 sq mi (375 km2)
4Winston-Salem133.7 sq mi (346.3 km2)
5Greensboro131.8 sq mi (341.4 km2)
6Durham108.3 sq mi (280.4 km2)
7Concord60.30 sq mi (156.18 km2)
8Cary59.42 sq mi (153.90 km2)
9High Point55.4 sq mi (143.6 km2)
10Gastonia50.7 sq mi (131.4 km2)
 
Biggest Cities in North Carolina

Photo: Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

How many cities are there in North Carolina?

North Carolina has a total of 439 cities across the state. 


How many of the largest cities in North Carolina did you know about? Leave a comment below!