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Steele Creek Population Growth Outpaces Mecklenburg County, Census Shows

(August 13, 2021) The 2020 census counts for small area geography were released yesterday, and they show the 2020 census population of Steele Creek at 76,301, up 24,287 or 46.7% from the 2010 count of 52,014. The rate of increase is lower than that of the previous decade when Steele Creek's population doubled from 25,282 in 2000 to 52,014 in 2010.

Of Steele Creek's total population of 76,301, 59,155, or 77.5%, was within the Charlotte city limits. Of Steele Creek's total area of 45.8 square miles, 27.2 square miles, or 59.4%, was within the Charlotte city limits as of January 1, 2020.

Mecklenburg County grew by 21% from 919,628 to 1,115,482, so Steele Creek has been growing at a rate two times that of the county.

As the maps below show, the population has expanded into areas that were rural in 2000, and had been rural farmland for hundreds of years. The first map shows dense population in many areas in 2020 that were sparsely populated in 2000.

For 2020, residential development has filled in a number of areas:

  • Berewick and adjacent areas are more dense
  • New apartments along Arrowood Road west of S Tryon Street
  • Chapel Cove along Shopton Road W
  • Areas south of RiverGate are more dense
  • The Palisades and adjacent areas are filling in

Low population density areas include industrial areas south of the airport and along Westinghouse Boulevard and the RiverGate and Outlet Mall retail areas. A largely vacant area south of Sledge Road is one of the few areas left in Steele Creek where major residential development is planned and will be filled in in the next few years.

2020 Census Population Distribution

In 2000, Steele Creek contained three densely populated areas: neighborhoods along South Tryon Street between Sugar Creek and Arrowood Road in the northeast, neighborhoods along Sandy Porter Road and Brown-Grier Road, and neighborhoods located on either side of South Tryon Street west of Steele Creek down to Erwin Road, including Yorkshire and The Crossings.

For 2010, several additional areas showed dense population:

  • Berewick and Stowe Creek northwest of Shopton Road West
  • Areas west of Steele Creek Road including Steele Creek subdivision and Planters Walk
  • Areas surrounding the RiverGate corner
  • Ayrsley
  • The Palisades, although not as pronounced as other areas
2010 Census Population Distribution

Click on the map above for a PDF version of the map.

2000 Census Population Distribution

Click on the map above for a description of the 2000 census population of Steele Creek

A major difference between the 2000 and 2010 maps is the extent of the Charlotte city limits. As new development occurred, Charlotte annexed most of it into the city. However, involuntary annexations are no longer allowed, and the last major annexation was in 2011.

If Steele Creek were a city, it would be the 14th largest city in North Carolina, just behind Gastonia (80,411), and above Jacksonville (72,723), Chapel Hill (61,960), and Huntersville (61,376).

Steele Creek increased from 3.6% of the county's population in 2000 to 5.7% in 2010 and 6.8% in 2020. New county commissioner and school board districts will be redrawn before the 2022 election to divide the county's population in 6 approximately equal parts. If Steele Creek remains in tact in one district, it will make up 41% of that district.

In the 2000 census, the population density of Steele Creek was 540 persons per square mile. For 2010, this increased to 1132 persons per square mile and to 1665 persons per square mile for 2020.

The Steele Creek population is about 1/3 White, 1/3 Black, 1/6 Hispanic, and 1/6 Other Races.

Racial/Ethnic Category Population Percent
 Steele Creek Total (2020 Census) 76,301
   White alone 26,592 34.9%
   Black or African American alone 24,906 32.6%
   Hispanic or Latino 14,406 18.9%
   Asian alone 6,598 8.6%
   Population of two or more races 3,058 4.0%
   Some Other Race alone 553 0.7%
   American Indian and Alaska Native alone 133 0.2%
   Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone 55 0.1%

Steele Creek has few large parcels of land available for development, but the population should continue to grow as the city approves more apartments and other dense development.

See also the 2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer.

To comment on this story, please visit the Steele Creek Residents Association Facebook Page.