A crystal ball for the Tar Heel state

Where most people see columns of names and numbers, Rebecca Tippett sees a window into North Carolina’s future. As the Director of Carolina Demography, part of the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tippett studies population changes in the Tar Heel state and the effects they could have in the years ahead. 

“North Carolina is still adding about 100,000 new residents every year,” Tippett said. “We’ll probably have about a million more residents in 10 years.”

That projected growth is enough to help the state pick up another Congressional seat, Tippett said. While a larger, more diverse population could help North Carolina earn some additional clout, it could also bring challenges.

“We really exist to help individuals, organizations, business leaders and policymakers across the state understand how and why North Carolina’s population is changing, and what that means for them and their organizations,” Tippett said.

Carolina Demography works with people and organizations across the state and mines data from dozens of sources like tax records, census figures and other information to help business, community and political leaders plan for their communities’ futures. 

“Everywhere that I go, I get asked questions about who’s coming here and why are they coming here or what are they doing once they get here,” Tippett said. “It’s been a really exciting opportunity for me, and I think for the Population Center, to see how hungry North Carolinians are for this information.”

Story and video by Rob Holliday, University Communicatons

Published Sept. 22, 2017