City Analysis: Raleigh, North Carolina

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Raleigh: Overview

There are no city elections scheduled for 2020 in Raleigh, NC.


  • The total population in Raleigh, NC, is 449,477 people, while there are 141,360 people between the ages of 18 and 34 years.


  • There are currently no city elections scheduled for 2020 in Raleigh, NC, as the City of Raleigh holds its municipal elections every two years, of which the year is odd-numbered.
  • The last city elections took place in 2019. As such, the next municipal city elections for Raleigh would typically be scheduled to take place in 2021.


  • Brier Creek and Oakwood are two neighborhoods in the City of Raleigh with high concentrations of young families with spending. These would typically represent affluent young families or those who can afford to live in costly neighborhoods.
  • Brier Creek is an upscale golf course neighborhood in Raleigh. It is home to families and young professionals. Its cynosure is the Brier Creek County Club features townhouses and condos in multimillion-dollar estates.
  • Oakwood, on the other hand, is a neighborhood with a high concentration of young families and professionals. It is also one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Raleigh due to its closeness to downtown and historical culture.


  • Neighborhoods with a high concentration of creative workers would typically constitute those with art, musical, and related attractions.
  • As such, North Hills and Midtown are two neighborhoods with a high concentration of creative workers.
  • The North Hills neighborhood features live entertainment, while Midtown offers a lot of public art and free concerts.


  • Noteworthy neighborhoods in the City of Raleigh with a high concentration of independent retail hubs include Brier Creek and North Hills.
  • Brier Creek features an 800,000 sq.ft shopping center with numerous retail stores and restaurants.
  • One of the main attractions of North Hills is its mixed-use shopping collection center, which features retail shops, restaurants, a grocery store, and a movie theater.


  • The City of Raleigh has an ID card program which is called the GoRaleigh ID Card. The card provides discounts for its senior population, people with disabilities, teenagers, and those aged 12 years or younger.
  • Obtaining the GoRaleigh ID Card is free.


  • With the high percentage of young people living in the City of Raleigh, are there any youth empowerment programs in place or being developed to promote creativity, innovation, and development among the younger generations?


We were only able to calculate for the population of people aged between 18 and 34 years in the City of Raleigh. We could not account for people who are aged 35 years in the city as the available demographic data provided by American FactFinder, is not structured to accommodate the derivation of the same. As such, we have provided all the calculations in the section below.


  • To obtain the population of people aged between 18 and 34 years in Raleigh, NC, we added the population of people aged 18-24 years, 25-29 years, and 30-34 years.
  • The population aged 18-24 years = 58,066 people.
  • The population aged 25-29 years = 44,722 people.
  • The population aged 30-34 years = 38,572 people.
  • As such, the population aged 18-34 years = 58,066 + 44,722 + 38,572 = 141,360 people.

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Raleigh: Business Community

LaunchRALEIGH and the Impact Partner Grant program are two initiatives that the city of Raleigh, NC, uses to promote small businesses.


  • The North Raleigh Rotary Club created the LaunchRALEIGH program to support and develop successful small businesses and entrepreneurs for whom financial and business resources are hardly accessible.
  • Modeled after LaunchDETROIT, which was successful in Detroit, the program is designed to make business development services, business loans, and networking opportunities accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities in Southeast Raleigh.

Impact Partner Grant

  • Adopted from the "Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook," Raleigh's Impact Partner Grant program was born out of the city's priority to help underrepresented entrepreneurs, small businesses, and innovators to start, stay, and grow in Raleigh. The program provides grants to a critical stakeholder in the community (Impact Partner) to build a fairer and more sustainable impact throughout the city's entire business community.

Local Merchant Associations

Major Partnerships

Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance

  • Created in 2014, the independent non-profit, Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance, is "a partnership between the City of Raleigh, NC State University, and the property owners, businesses, and residents of the Blue Ridge Road Corridor," an area that encompasses various state properties, neighborhoods, medical facilities, and office/retail parks.
  • It aims to organize public and private investment linking the main institutional assets of the Blue Ridge Corridor with complete streets infrastructure and mixed-use developments, with a focus on creating a pedestrian-friendly environment, jobs, enhanced property value, and an inclusive, vibrant destination.

Cameron Village Merchants' Association

  • The Cameron Village Merchants' Association is an independent and powerful entity that is run, directed, and funded by merchants, to grow the revenue generated by Cameron Village merchants and help shape the shopping experience of the community of customers in Cameron Village. Led by a volunteer board of elected directors, the association helps guide and advance the overall marketing and sales growth, events, and public relations of Cameron Village.

Lowest RFP (Request for Proposal) Amounts Published

Questions to City Leaders

  • Are there plans to introduce additional initiatives that promote small businesses and aid entrepreneurs to thrive in the city of Raleigh?
  • Do you plan to start publishing the city's solicitations on the city's website instead of the North Carolina IPS?
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Raleigh: Issues and Challenges

The key issues or challenges that are being tackled by leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina are housing affordability and water supply. Details about these issues, including robust descriptions, why they are important to the community, what is being done to address them, and the stakeholders involved, have been provided below.

Housing Affordability

  • According to Smart Asset, purchasing houses in North Carolina counties is not very affordable.
  • Based on a study conducted by HSH, a person would need to earn $58k to afford a median home that costs $291k, and will, therefore, need to pay $1.3k a month for the mortgage. Although the required salary is lowered by 5.35% compared to the previous year, the median home price of the city has risen by 5.16%. Additionally, if the buyer makes a 10% down-payment, the salary required to make a monthly mortgage would increase to $67k.
  • Compared to other metro areas across the US, such as Atlanta ($48.4k), Nashville ($54.5k), and Tampa ($52.6k), the salary needed to afford a house in Raleigh is higher.
  • There are only 31 and 110 affordable and available rental units for every 100 extremely low-income and middle-income households in Raleigh, respectively.
  • Although the median household income in Raleigh is $65.6k, the average salary for women is $47.5k, making it more difficult for single women who wish to purchase a house.
  • The increasing property cost unaligned to the purchasing power of the Raleigh citizens may lead to a housing affordability crisis forcing most residents into homelessness.
  • In 2018, Raleigh resolved to allocated approximately $5.2M to $5.6M every year for the development of affordable rental, which is equivalent to over $33M by the end of five years. Raleigh also distributed revenue from a property tax increase to the development of affordable rental units for residents who make less than 60% of AMI. Additionally, the city planned to build 570 affordable rental units per year for the next ten years.
  • The leaders held The 2019 North Carolina Affordable Housing Conference to "discuss the best practices in the industry, review innovative ways to provide affordable housing, and learn the latest news affecting the industry."
  • The executive director of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition is in discussion with the national policymakers to increase the availability of tax credit options to incentivize developers into making housing in Raleigh more affordable.
  • The major stakeholders involved in tackling the housing affordability challenge in Raleigh include the city leaders, North Carolina Housing Coalition officials, the Centrant Community Capital officials, and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency officials.
  • Regarding the high housing cost issue, do the city leaders have any strategy to eradicate poverty and increase the spending power of the residents of Raleigh?

Water Supply

  • In 2018, residents of Raleigh found the water brown and unfit for consumption despite installing a 3-month water filter, which became ineffective within 11 days.
  • Based on a study conducted by the Wake County Water Quality Division, the well water may contain natural contaminants, such as uranium, radium, and radon. The officials also stated that the potentially contaminated water only affects residents who use well water. Therefore, they warned private well owners to do regular maintenance and safety testing of the water.
  • Aqua North Carolina, a company that provides water for Raleigh residents, blamed the high content of manganese and iron in the well-water for its coloration. The citizens of Raleigh found the water unsafe and uncomfortable to consume. The brown-colored water, additionally, stained the sinks, bathtubs, appliances, and clothes.
  • According to officials of the Wake County Water Quality Division, drinking water high in uranium may cause kidney toxicity. Additionally, consuming water that has high uranium or radium content or bathing in high radon concentration bathwater, may cause cancer.
  • To solve the problems of the brown water, Aqua North Carolina regularly flushed its pipes and tanks to remove the mineral deposits and used mineral sequestration treatment to fix the brown color.
  • The city leaders of Raleigh, North Carolina had been searching for a solution to secure new water resources for the Raleigh residents from 2006 to 2012, searching as far as the coast of North Carolina.
  • In March 2019, the City of Raleigh and the US Army Corps of Engineers agreed to increase the available drinking water supply from Falls Lake. The city will receive an "additional 17.3k acre-feet of storage, equal to 22M gallons of water per day," which is estimated to meet the city's drinking water demands until 2047.
  • To monitor the quality of water, Raleigh city offers monthly and annual reports regarding the drinking water quality on its official website.
  • The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, which is known as Raleigh Water, also provides water and sanitary sewer services to about 198k metered water and sewer customers and approximately 600k people in Raleigh, Garner, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon areas.
  • The major stakeholders involved in tackling the water supply challenge in Raleigh include the city leaders, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Quality of North Carolina, and Aqua North Carolina.
  • Is there a way for the residents of Raleigh to directly inform the city officials regarding the water supply issue?

Research Strategy

To determine the key issues or challenges that are being tackled in Raleigh, North Carolina, we initially browsed through various credible news and publications, such as ABC News and Our research team also explored government reports to collect additional information about the issues. The strategy was successful as we managed to find the requested information related to the inquiry.