City Analysis: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Chapel Hill: Overview

Chapel Hill has a population of 60,988 people. The population of the city between 18 and 35 years is 29,534 people.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina — Population

  • Chapel Hill currently has a population of 60,988 people.
  • The population of Chapel Hill between 18 and 35 years is 29,534 people.

City Elections

  • Analysis of the city's site reveals that no city-wide elections will be coming up in 2020.
  • The city held its latest election for all concerned positions on November 3, 2019.


1. Meadowmont
2. Southern Village

City ID Card

  • An extensive search through the city's official site shows that it has no official city ID card program.

Questions to City Leaders

  • What are your plans towards creating an official means of identification for the town of Chapel Hill?
  • What are your plans for attracting more creative workers to the city?

Research Strategy

According to our research, there are details about a high concentration of creative workers or young families with spending power regarding the neighborhoods in the city of Chapel Hill. To identify popular neighborhoods in the city, we identified a compiled list of the best neighborhoods in the city published by Moving Kings and a corroborative source by Raleigh Realty. This source provided us with a list of the best neighborhoods in the city of Chapel Hill with their different attributes. Further search through the public domain yielded no results about neighborhoods in the city with a high concentration of creative workers or young families with spending power. We have provided the details of our findings of the city's best neighborhoods in our research brief.

Also, a thorough search through the city's official website and other reliable news sources from the city has revealed that Chapel Hill has no upcoming elections in 2020 and also City ID card.
To obtain the population of Chapel Hill between the ages of 18 and 35, we have performed the below calculations.


  • Total population of Chapel Hill city = 60,988 people.
  • Chapel Hill's population, (18 – 24) years = 31.4%; 31.4% of 60,988 = 19,150 people.
  • Chapel Hill's population, (25 – 34) years = 12.6%; 12.6% of 60,988 = 7,684 people.
  • Chapel Hill's population, 35 years = 1,300 males + 1,400 females = 2,700 people.
  • Total population of Chapel Hill between 18 and 35 years = 19,150 + 7,684 + 2,700 = 29,534 people.
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Chapel Hill: Business Community

Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina. The university pushes the town to the forefront of "learning, technology, and environmental stewardship". The community, in turn, provides the perfect environment for progression and excellence. Businesses in Chapel Hill are open to options as it concerns initiatives and support programs. However, there remains only one local merchant association in the community.


Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership

  • The Downtown Partnership program was created to support businesses across Chapel Hill with a wide range of free programs and services.
  • These services include resources to guide small business startups, grants, marketing, and promotions.
  • The initiative provides grants to specific businesses including Facades, Sidewalk Diners, and paint and Graffiti.
  • "What to Do & See Downtown" is a weekly events email published by the Downtown Partnership Program. The initiative uses this email to market and promote businesses in Chapel Hill. It provides businesses with an opportunity to feature in each publication with information such as "business openings, changes to hours of operations, menu changes, and general updates."

Launch Chapel Hill

  • Launch Chapel Hill is an all-encompassing program designed to "increase the growth of high-impact start-ups and early-stage ventures."
  • The Business Accelerator Program is one of the initiative's offerings. This program allows entrepreneurs to "build early-stage businesses into self-sustaining enterprises."
  • The program comes with additional services such as mentorship, office space and amenities (within Chapel Hill), networking, learning opportunities, and tech resources.


  • Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is currently the only "local" merchant association in Chapel Hill. All other associations with offices in Chapel Hill are nationwide and not local.
  • Membership of this association comes with many privileges. The association offers businesses an opportunity to get connected and stay informed, lower business expenses, and increase community impact.


Grow Town and Gown Collaboration

  • Grow Town and Gown Collaboration is a partnership between the Town of Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina (UNC).
  • The goals of this partnership are geared towards "A Place for Everyone, Community Prosperity and Engagement, and Good Places, New Spaces."
  • This partnership is crucial to the continued growth and success of Chapel Hill and to implementing the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan.

Building Integrated Communities in Chapel Hill

  • Town of Chapel Hill Action Plan is a list of comprehensive strategies that "address the five key focus areas that residents identified during the Community Assessment phase of BIC (Building Integrated Communities)."
  • Each of the strategies involves partnerships with various organizations including UNC Hospital, Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition (OCAHC), North Carolina Justice Center among others.


  • Chapel Hill provides a list of Request for Proposals on its website. This list comes with details such as bid number, title, start, and close date. However, no information was posted regarding the price range.


    • Do you have plans to provide grants to businesses other than those qualified to receive the Downtown Partnership grant either now or in the future?
    • If not, will there be incentives for small businesses such as reduced taxes and better transit options?

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Chapel Hill: Issues and Challenges

Among the most pressing challenges or issues facing current leaders in the city of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are accessibility to housing and attracting businesses.

Housing Accessibility

  • One of the biggest issues facing the leaders of Chapel Hill, NC, is the housing affordability crisis. Local economic development has raised housing costs, causing large numbers of people to migrate to other cities, such as Chatham.
  • The volume of affordable housing does not support the demand for Chapel Hill, and with the recent wave of construction of luxury apartments, social inequality is evident in the city.

Importance for the Community

  • Rental rates charged for the smallest luxury apartment complex range from US $1,216 (Carolina Square) to $1,366 per month (Berkshire Chapel Hill). However, the monthly income of the population that receives a minimum wage is less than $1,160, making it impossible to bear the cost of renting the apartments that are being built in Chapel Hill.
  • Low housing prices areas, such as The Park, the residents were invited to move out to the construction of “Class A” apartments. This circumstance prevents a large part of the population settling on Chapel Hill, obliged to seek housing in other cities.

What is being done

  • Local leaders are working on an alert system to detect, in advance, the regions where the values of affordable housing are surpassing economic accessibility. These actions aim to maintain socially diverse neighborhoods.
  • The leaders of the "Chapel Hill City Council" approved new affordable housing projects. Totaling $450,000, the projects contemplate the construction of new affordable houses, low-cost rents and housing assistance for low-income families.

Stakeholders involved

  • Dorothy Faulkner, a local community leader, is also fighting for access to affordable housing.

A question to city leaders

  • Is there a project on the political agenda that proposes to limit the purchase of land by construction companies wanting to build luxury apartments?

Attracting Companies to Chapel Hill

  • Candidates for the “Chapel Hill City Council”, such as Michael Parker and Pam Hemminger, suggest that one of the biggest economic challenges is to attract new companies to the city, generating jobs and economic development.
  • During the past few years, the city has not invested in public policies that encourage the establishment of new companies. Licensing processes are not satisfying to business implementation, and no commercial areas were constructed, like offices or laboratories.
  • The lack of political initiatives in attracting new companies results in the reduction of jobs and low tax diversification.

Importance for the Community

  •  Chapel Hill is a university town, home to the University of North Carolina (UNC). However, after completing their studies, most students leave the city.
  • The new companies’ lack of interest in establishing an office in the city results in fewer employment opportunities.
  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber report points to the negative net migration of the population between 25 and 35 years old.
  • Another issue reflecting the difficulty of attracting companies is the limitation of the city's tax base. A great share of revenue comes from taxes levied on properties, with no significant increases in tax collection.

What is being done

Stakeholders involved

A question to city leaders

  • The city is making efforts to attract startups in Chapel Hill, but is there a project to ensure that consolidated companies remain in the city after the acceleration?
  • Is there a project to stimulate the enterprise focused on city residents?


From Part 02
  • "The Town’s partnership with the University is critical to the continued growth and success of Chapel Hill. Faculty and students, medical professionals and patients, employees and residents all share an interest in a community that meets their diverse needs, and the Town should continue to involve the University while implementing the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan."
From Part 03
  • "These have typically included homebuyer subsidies, repair or renovation work, rental utility assistance and housing displacement assistance."