Raleigh now America's 45th largest

RALEIGH Raleigh got the number from the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Estimates for Resident Population for Incorporated Places. The Census estimates the 2009 population at 405,791.

Driving the latest growth is the Briar Creek area at Glenwood Avenue and I-540. Massive shopping and housing developments in that area has aided in Raleigh's population rise. The same is true for the area around Triangle Town Center at Capital Boulevard and I-540.

For the most part residents ABC11 Eyewitness spoke with Wednesday say they think the growth is good.

"I think it's great," Raleigh resident Christine Van Nice said. "I think that Raleigh has something for everybody and that's why people want to come. That's why we've stayed."

Van Nice says she's done her part by adding six kids to Raleigh's population.

The recent growth can also be attributed to newcomers like Steven Alexander and Nancy and Ken Shugart.

"A lot of business and a lot of opportunities for people to really get a chance to have a job and grow," Alexander said.

"We knew it was growing when we came," Nancy Shugart said. "And we think it's a good thing."

"Presented an opportunity for us to get away from the big town of Washington D.C. yet still have a town that has things going for it," Ken Shugart said.

City planners say Raleigh has been growing by about 3 percent a year since it was established in 1792. But they say of course 3 percent of the modern population is lot more than 3 percent of the few thousand that founded the capital city.

The interesting thing about Raleigh's population at 405,000 is it is not a figure for the metro area. So it does not include other sizable Wake County towns like Cary and Apex.

Officials also say by adding in surrounding areas like Durham and Chapel Hill the area quickly becomes a booming metropolis.

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