The Triangle J region extends across a seven-county region through Moore, Lee, Chatham, Orange, Durham, Wake and Johnston counties (from West to East). The region is home to the infamous Research Triangle Park (RTP), one of the earliest founded research parks in the country, which sits nestled between three anchor institutions: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State Unversity. The creation of RTP led to a period of rapid population growth that has only increased in recent decades. From 1970 to 2016, the Triangle Region’s population grew over 250%—compared to a national average of less than 60%—and growth is projected to continue at this rate.
From 1970 to 2016, the Triangle Region’s population grew over 250%—compared to a national average of less than 60%—and growth is projected to continue at this rate. From July 2010 to July 2018, the seven counties' population increased from 1,692,296 to 1,910,028 people, an increase of 13%. This number is projected to increase to 2,601,210 people by July 2030. This robust population growth demands more from local governments - more service, more advanced planning, and more collaboration. This growth has also brought much prosperity to the region. In 2018 alone, 5,559 new jobs and $737.4M of investments were announced, the unemployment rate decreased by 1.6%, and almost 40% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher.
However, these statistics do not convey the many complications that accompany this change.
Roughly 13% of our regional residents remain below the poverty line. The median sales price of all homes ($211,086 in 2017) has increased by 33.2% since 2015 and 28% of residents are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. Commuting patterns and a regional workforce spanning from Chatham to Johnston and Granville to Harnett causes increasing highway gridlock and reduces the quality of life for the roughly 26%, 233,894, of residents who cross county lines to get to work.
Thinking differently about and improving access to transportation, housing, and economic opportunity is hard, especially when boundaries of all types – county, municipal, NCDOT region, watershed – separate our communities from one another. TJCOG works to overcome these boundaries and assist our local governments to address these challenges and build upon strengths to ensure residents can live, work, and play in our communities.