The Raleigh-Durham region, more commonly referred to as the Triangle, spans an area of approximately 3,480 miles and consists of seven counties. Population growth has been explosive in recent years, consistently placing the Triangle among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation. The region is anchored by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Centrally located among the three cities is the world-renowned, 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park (RTP), a well-established and globally prominent high-technology research and development center that serves as an economic driver for the area. The Triangle area is characterized by a highly-educated and diverse workforce, due in large part to the location of three of the nation’s top research universities within a 15-mile area: Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Nearly one-half (46%) of adults in the Triangle hold a college degree or higher. The State of North Carolina is the Triangle’s largest employer, providing the region with a significant level of stability in its employment base. The region also is home to a large number of high-tech, healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech, financial and service industries, with 170 of the world’s top research organizations just a few minutes’ drive from one another. Extensive research and development — about $2 billion worth annually — is conducted at the three major universities, federal laboratories and contract research organizations. Close collaboration exists among businesses, academia, and governments, fostering creativity and innovation. The Triangle area’s desirability as a place to work and live includes its temperate climate with four distinctly beautiful seasons and abundant year-round sunshine. From North Carolina’s breathtaking beaches to its spectacular mountains, Triangle residents live centrally and a short drive from the two hugely popular recreation destinations. The Triangle has a thriving arts scene; National Hockey League team, minor-league baseball squad and collegiate sports along Tobacco Road; great entertainment; and an abundance of extraordinary restaurants. Comprising one of the most dynamic regional economies in the nation, the Triangle is among the best positioned metros in the U.S. for long-term economic expansion and population growth.
As a service-driven economy, the Triangle has a dynamic office sector. The region features one of the most vibrant economies in the U.S. and consistently ranks among the best places in the nation in which to do business. The resulting demand for quality office space has led the sector to grow by more than 57% since 2000. While the market consists largely of suburban office space, both Raleigh and Durham feature thriving – and growing – central business districts thanks to millions of dollars in public and private investment.
Ranked as one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, the Triangle’s retail sector has grown significantly in both size and sophistication over the last two decades. An exploding and increasingly diverse population has presented both local retailers and national chains with an opportunity to gain a foothold in the market. From local boutiques and restaurants in the region’s central business districts to national brands choosing one of the Triangle’s suburban centers for their first North Carolina location, the region is a magnet for new and expanding retailers.
The Triangle region enjoys a diversified industrial market that is not tied to manufacturing or logistics. Rather, it’s more closely tied to local and regional distribution. With immediate access to two interstate highways, I-40 and I-85, and within 30 minutes of I-95, the Triangle’s market is easily connected to the ports on the North Carolina coast and sits within a one-day drive of half the population of the U.S. The sector continues to grow as more businesses move in to address the needs of an ever-expanding population.