WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Newly released Census information shows the Wilmington area is one of the fastest growing in the state. That's even without Brunswick County, which was removed from the region's data by the US Office of Management and Budget last year.
"Pender County is, of course, a great area to live in, so we are attracting folks from the area to move in to Pender County," said Kyle Breuer, Pender County's Director of Planning and Community Development.
He says people are moving into Pender County because of staff increases at Camp Lejeune and because many people would rather live outside of Wilmington.
"We do serve as a somewhat midway point for that, and that's what I really feel is why we are attracting a lot of development," Breuer said.
Wednesday the US Census Bureau released its latest report, which shows the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area is the second fastest growing metropolitan area in the state behind Raleigh. Between July 2012 and July 2013 Pender and New Hanover counties combined added more than 5,000 residents.
"There's a lot of individuals who are coming here for work and things like that, and a lot of individuals who live in the area are actually wanting brand new apartment homes," said Laura Karnap, a leasing consultant at Amberleigh Shores, an apartment complex in Porters Neck. "Something new and new amenities."
The total population for the Wilmington MSA for 2013 was more than 260,000 people. That's a nearly two-percent increase.
All good news for both New Hanover and Pender counties.
"As new infrastructure projects come on, particularly sewer, we do certainly anticipate that growth and development to sustain itself," Breuer said.
If Brunswick County had not been moved to the Myrtle Beach MSA last year, our region would have be the fastest growing in the state. Instead Myrtle Beach is the seventh fastest growing in the nation.