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Population Booming in Steele Creek, Study Shows

(September 10, 2006) Last week the Charlotte Department of Neighborhood Development released results from the Neighborhood Quality of Life Study that is conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte every two years.

The study evaluates social, crime, physical, and economic conditions in Charlotte's neighborhoods and is used by local government to evaluate neighborhood conditions and make changes to improve neighborhood vitality.

The Neighborhood Quality of Life Study divides the City and its future annexation areas into 173 Neighborhood Statistical Areas (NSAs).  The study examines 20 neighborhood variables in each NSA mostly collected from local databases maintained by the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  The research converts the individual statistical values into NSA neighborhood-ranking categories of stable, transitioning, or challenged.

As the map to the right shows, NSAs in Steele Creek are classified as stable or transitioning. Two NSAs have been trending up since the 2002 study (100 and 105) and the others have shown no change in classification. See more results on the city's Charlotte Neighborhood Quality of Life web page. The study excludes non-residential areas, although the new Ayrsley development is in the excluded area.

What the study report fails to note is the one big change that is occurring in Steele Creek: the population is booming. The 2000 study showed a total population of about 20,900 in Steele Creek. The population reported in the 2006 study is about 37,500, an increase of almost 80% in six years.

The table below shows population reported for the six NSAs entirely within Steele Creek and uses one half of the reported population for the three NSAs partly within Steele Creek. Decreases reported in NSAs 100 and 107 could be due to removal of housing due to airport expansion and noise abatement buyouts, but the Berewick and Stowe Creek developments are in the southern end of NSA 107, and a recent increase here would be expected. Additionally, the total population of Steele Creek from the 2000 Census was 25,282, so these counts may be low.

Population counts for NSAs in  Steele Creek
NSA Study Years
2000 2002 2004 2006
100 (50%) 968 753 881 1497
101 2484 2982 3743 5125
102 3233 4122 4536 4537
103 1892 3001 3492 4136
104 2278 4052 5337 6753
105 2122 1897 1972 2176
106 2694 3114 5359 6854
107 (50%) 2036 1546 1639 1602
199 (50%) 3173 3224 4099 4867
Total Population 20880 24691 31058 37547

Nonetheless, the population counts in the Neighborhood Quality of Life Study confirm what is apparent: the residential population of Steele Creek is increasing at a very rapid rate. New retail and service businesses have been following the influx of people. New houses, apartments, and condominiums continue to fill the former dairy farms and other open spaces in Steele Creek. Population continues to move to Charlotte, and  Steele Creek still has plenty of land available. So growth will continue for many years.

Also see the following stories in the Charlotte Observer: City Neighborhoods show improvement (9/6/06) and Looking at Quality of Life (9/9/01).


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