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  •   State: 
    North Carolina
    Wake County
      County FIPS: 
    35°46′55″N 78°49′12″W
      Area total: 
    61.05 sq mi (158.12 km²)
      Area land: 
    59.94 sq mi (155.24 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.11 sq mi (2.88 km²)
    410 ft (120 m)
    1750; Incorporated April 3, 1871
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Raleigh-Cary, NC
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Cary, Wake County, North Carolina, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,915.03 residents per square mile of area (1,125.49/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Cary began as a railroad village and became known as an educational center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In April 1907, Cary High School became the first state-funded public high school in North Carolina. The creation of the nearby Research Triangle Park in 1959 resulted in Cary's population doubling in a few years, tripling in the 1970s, and doubling in both the 1980s and 1990s. Cary is now the location of numerous technology companies, including the world's largest privately held software company. In 2021, it was identified as the safest mid-sized city in the United States, based on 2019 FBI data. It also has a median household income of $107,463, higher than the county average of $83,567 or the state Average of $56,642. The town is located in Wake and Chatham counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is part of the RaleighCary, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the 2020 Census, its population was 174,721, making it the seventh largest municipality in N.C. and the 148th largest in United States. In the 1750s, John Bradford moved to the area and opened an ordinary or inn, giving Cary its first nameBradford's Ordinary. In 1854, Wake County farmer and lumberman Allison Francis "Frank" Page also arrived in 1854 and is credited with founding the town. The Civil War did not come to Cary until April 16, 1865the same day Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenderedwhen 5,000 Confederate troops under General Wade Hampton III encamped there.


The Tuscarora people lived in what is now called Cary in the 1750s. John Bradford moved to the area and opened an ordinary or inn, giving Cary its first nameBradford's Ordinary. After the Revolutionary War, the community was on the road between the new capital in Raleigh and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In the early 19th-century, Eli Yates added a gristmill and sawmill to the community, while Rufus Jones founded the first free school in the 1840s. The Civil War did not come to Cary until April 16, 1865the same day Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenderedwhen 5,000 Confederate troops under General Wade Hampton III encamped there. Cary's population grew after the Civil War with the completion of the Chatham Railroad junction. Sixteen residents purchased Cary Academy in 1896 and converted it into the private boarding school, which had 248 students from across the state. When Cary's prohibition was in place in place until 1964 when it was superseded by State and county laws, the AirLine Railroad arrived in Cary in 1879, creating a further growth spurring further growth and spurring downtown and downtown Cary's development. The town's boundaries were established as 1 sq mi (2.2 km²), with the center being the Chatham Railroad warehouse. Because temperance's Act of Incorporation prohibited the sale of whiskey in the town's and surrounding areas, Cary's boundaries also banned "anyinous, spirituous, or peach brandies".


Most of Cary is in western Wake County, with neighborhood-sized sections in the northeast corner of Chatham County. Cary is bordered on the north and east by Raleigh, generally toward the north by Research Triangle Park and Morrisville, on the south by Apex and Holly Springs, and on the west by the Jordan Lake area. The landscape is typically gentle to moderate sloping hills separated by narrow V-shaped valleys. The Cary drainage basin includes three main creeksthe Crabtree, the Swift, and the Walnut which are all tributaries of the Neuse River. Tropical cyclones can affect Cary, usually after weakening substantially from being over land. Some, such as Hurricane Fran in 1996, have caused great damage in the area. There is a mixture of mature conifers and broadleaf trees in Cary's parks, nature preserves, and older subdivisions such as Farmington Woods, Greenwood Forest, and Kildaire Farms. Suburbanization is the typical land use in Cary. According to the Town of Cary Land Use Plan, newer construction in Cary, both residential and commercial, shows "less regard for tree preservation and replanting" Cary has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification system, with hot summers, mildly cold winters with 3.2 in (8.1 cm) of snow annually, and several months of pleasant weather each year. Temperature extremes in Cary range from the negatives to over 100 °F (38 °C).


As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 174,721 residents of Cary residing in 62,789 households. The population density of Cary is 3,014 people per 1 sq mi (2.6 km²), versus 1078.8 for Wake County and 196.1 for North Carolina. An estimated 68.4% of adults in Cary age 25 years or older have a bachelor's degree or higher. 97.9% of Cary's households are estimated to have a computer, and 95.2% have broadband. 28.97% of the town's population was born in North Carolina, 77.87% were born in the United States, and 22.13% were foreign-born. During the 1970s and 1980s, native-born North Carolinians referred to Cary derisively as "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" The town is located in the Research Triangle Park. The town's name is derived from the Triangle Park, which is a park that is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Institute of Technology. The city's name also comes from the Cary River, which runs through the town. It is also the name of a former town in Northumberland County, which was part of the state until the 1950s and 1960s. It was named after the town of Cary, North Carolina; the town is now the site of the Cary-Carrboro International Airport. It has a population of about 174,000.


median household income in Cary is $106,304 or $57,341 per capita. Median value of owner-occupied houses in Cary was $356,400 between 2015 and 2019. Less than 20% of Cary's employees can afford to live in the town. notable technology companies located in Cary include ABB, Epic Games, Garmin, HCL Technologies, IntelliScanner Corporation, Lockheed Martin 3D Solutions, SAS Institute, and Xerox. Austin Foods/Kellogg's which makes snack foods, and Lord Corporation which makes adhesives, coatings, and motion management devices for aerospace and automobiles. Cotton Incorporated is a nonprofit based in Cary which conducts worldwide research and promotes the use of cotton. According to Cary's 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in Cary are: ABB and Epic Games. The town's cost of living is rated at 115, with 100 being the national average. Cary has added 10,000 jobs earning $35,000 or less in the past twenty years. The Town of Cary says that less than 20 per cent of its employees are able to afford to living in Cary. The median rental cost in Cary is $1,246 per month. The top employer in Cary, according to the town's report, is ABB. The city's unemployment rate is 4.4 per cent, the lowest in the U.S., and the unemployment rate for women is 3.7 per cent. The average age of Cary residents is 44.5 years old.

Arts and culture

Cary's public art collection includes more than forty works displayed in public spaces throughout the town. The Cary Historic District is located two blocks south of downtown and includes a variety of 19th and 20th-century structures of note. Architectural styles that were popular in the 19th century are represented by the Gothic revival IveyEllington House built c.1870. The Ritmo Latino Festival showcases music, art, dance, and food from the Hispanic world. An annual tradition since 1959, Cary Band Day brings high school marching bands from across the southeast to compete in one of the oldest and best-known regional competitions. The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival is quickly becoming a town favorite with its illuminating nighttime celebration of the Chinese New Year with more than 2,500 handcrafted silk lanterns. For the latter, the town closes the main downtown roads for two days, a tradition since 1976. The annual Diwali Celebration, the Indian Festival of Light, features an exhibition of Indian art and culture with music, dance and handicrafts. The former Cary High School is a substantial Neo Classical structure that was designed and built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration, and the related Pasmore House, dating from c.1900, which was a boarding house for the former high school. The town also operates a multi-use cultural facility in a renovated movie theater called The Cary Theater. The BIG Pictures Museum Without Walls is the town's traveling outdoor exhibit. Cary supports artists with two festivals: Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival and Lazy Daze arts & crafts Festival.


Cary is home to two professional sports teams. Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary is the home venue for both soccer teams. As of 2007, Cary is also home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex, located within the 221 acres (89 ha) Thomas Brooks Park. The complex was selected to host the NCAA Division II baseball tournament in 2009-2016, 2018-2019, and 2021 to date. The North Carolina FC (USL League One) and the North Carolina Courage (National Women's Soccer League) are both based in Cary. The city is also the host site of the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer championships. The town has been home to the U.S. Open Cup, which is held annually in October. The U.N. World Cup has also been held in Cary, with the World Cup finals taking place in 2010. The World Cup also took place in Cary in 2010 and 2010, with a total attendance of more than 100,000 people. The United States Open Cup has been held every year since 1986, with an average attendance of over 80,000 spectators. It has also hosted the World Series in 1986, 1988, 1992, and 1998. The US Open Cup is held each year in October, and the final is held in September. It is the only World Cup to be held in the United States since 1986. The tournament is held at the Camp Randall Stadium in San Antonio, Texas, which has a capacity of 20,000 fans. It was the first World Cup venue to host both men's and women's games.

Parks and recreation

Cary has more than thirty public parks and natural areas. Notable parks include the Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, and William B. Umstead State Park. The 24 acres (9.7 ha) Cary Tennis Park is one of the most extensive public tennis facilities in the southeastern United States and features 32 courts, including a championship stadium. In 2019, the facility was one of 25 locations in the United States recognized for "excellence in the construction" by the U.S. Tennis Association. The facility was also named one of 20 "most beautiful" tennis courts in the country by the American Tennis Association in 2018. The city has a population of more than 100,000. It is home to the University of North Carolina at Cary, which was founded in 1883. The town has a history of being involved in the Civil War and World War II. It also has a long history of civil rights activism, which began in the late 19th century. It has also been home to a number of prominent African-American leaders, including John McWhorter, who served as mayor of Cary in the 1930s and 1940s. It was named a National Register of Historic Places in 1959. It had a post-World War II memorial in the town's downtown area, which is now part of the Cary Historic District. The Cary River runs through the town, and the town has an active history of supporting the arts and culture. It's also home to several historic buildings, including the Cary Opera House.


Cary has a council-manager government. The mayor and council members serve a four-year term, with half of the council seats being up for election each odd-numbered year. Notable mayors include Fred Bond Jr. (1971-1983), Glen Lang (1999-2003), and Harold Weinbrecht (2007present) As of August 2022, the town council consists of mayor Harold WeinBrecht and representatives Jennifer Robinson (District A), Don Frantz (District B, Mayor Pro Tem), Jack W. Smith (District C), Ya Liu (District D), Lori Bush (at-large), and Ed Yerha (at/large). On October 9, 2007, Weinbrechts defeated incumbent mayor Ernie McAlister in the 2007 mayoral election. Citizen concerns that rapid growth was adversely affecting infrastructure and environment led to Mcalister's ouster and WeinBrechts reelection in 2011, 2015, and 2019. On December 26, 2009, The Nation reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had secret prisons in the United States, where it held suspected illegal immigrants indefinitely before deportation. It reported that at least one of these secret federal prisons was allegedly located in an office building in Cary. ICE has leased an office in Cary for more than ten years. However, both ICE and the town says that no detainees are kept overnight at this location. The town has no legal distinction between a city and a town for size; North Carolina has noLegal distinction between city and town.


The Wake County Public School System is the largest public school system in North Carolina. The town has seven middle schools and nineteen elementary schools. Cary has three charter schools: the K8 grade Cardinal Charter Academy, the K7 grade Peak Charter Academy and the K11 grade Triangle Math and Science Academy. Wake Technical Community College's Western Wake Campus is located on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary. The Cary High School is one of five public high schools in the Wake County system. The Wake County High School System has five high schools: Cary High, Green Hope, Green Level, Middle Creek, and Panther Creek High School. The school system also has three private schools: Cary Academy, Grace Christian School Upper Campus, and Hopewell Academy, 612 grade and 712 grade. The Town of Cary has one high school, the University of North Carolina at Cary, which was founded in 1883. The University of NC at Chapel Hill was established in 1881 and is the oldest public college in the state. It is located in Chapel Hill and is part of the North Carolina State University system. It was the first public college to be established in the U.S. in 1878. It has an undergraduate and graduate program in business and technology. It also has an MBA program in finance and business administration. Cary is home to the Wake Tech Community College, which opened in 1894. The Western Wake campus is located near the town's downtown area. The college's Western Raleigh campus is on the outskirts of Cary.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina = 26.2. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 91. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 50. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Cary = 4.9 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 174,721 individuals with a median age of 35.5 age the population grows by 34.30% in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,915.03 residents per square mile of area (1,125.49/km²). There are average 2.79 people per household in the 45,322 households with an average household income of $89,894 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.20% of the available work force and has dropped -4.98% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 23.84%. The number of physicians in Cary per 100,000 population = 231.5.


The annual rainfall in Cary = 48.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 5 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 115. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 213. 88 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 29.9 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 35, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina which are owned by the occupant = 71.18%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 13 years with median home cost = $248,490 and home appreciation of -12.58%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $7.89 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,478 per student. There are 16 students for each teacher in the school, 622 students for each Librarian and 429 students for each Counselor. 7.09% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 38.83% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 23.35% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Cary's population in Wake County, North Carolina of 1,772 residents in 1900 has increased 98,6-fold to 174,721 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.37% female residents and 49.63% male residents live in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina.

    As of 2020 in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina are married and the remaining 30.31% are single population.

  • 25 minutes is the average time that residents in Cary require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    84.06% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 8.33% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.28% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 5.63% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina, 71.18% are owner-occupied homes, another 23.64% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.18% are vacant.

  • The 42.67% of the population in Cary, Wake County, North Carolina who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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