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Census: Wake passes Mecklenburg as N. Carolina's largest county

Mecklenburg had been the state's population leader going back over 100 years, but more robust recent out-of-state migration to Wake County helped close the gap.

U.S. Census Bureau estimates show Wake County is now North Carolina's largest county. 

The census's annual population estimates show the county containing Raleigh surpassing Mecklenburg County. 

Both of them had about 1.1 million people as of July 1. 

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Historical data shows Mecklenburg had been the state's population leader going back over 100 years, but more robust recent out-of-state migration to Wake County helped close the gap with Mecklenburg. 

The other largest counties haven't changed with Guilford ranked third, followed by Forsyth and Cumberland. 

The census estimates show the population in 31 counties decreasing over the year.

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