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“They have lost their way of life.” Sprawl in North Carolina.

author Published by Jeremy Beck

North Carolina is divided over growth, reports Judy Woodruff of PBS Newshour, and immigration policy is part of the story.

“Like, that kind of growth, the people who live in that community that have always lived there, they grew up there, they don’t like it, because they have lost their neighborhood, they have lost their way of life, they have lost everything that was…”

Vaughan Willoughby, Pritchett Farms Nurseries

People love North Carolina, and are flocking to it from other overpopulated states, and other countries. As NumbersUSA’s report on North Carolina’s sprawl concludes: love hurts.

North Carolina’s growth is “turning more of the farmland that [people] love into commercial distribution centers, housing developments, and public roads,” Woodruff reports. People like Vaughan Willoughby and the Farm Bureau are worried about the future of agriculture. Only Texas and Florida have lost more farmland and habitat than North Carolina.

Federal immigration policy plays a direct and indirect role in North Carolina’s population growth and sprawl. About 25% of the state’s population growth from 1982 to 2017 was a direct result of post-1982 foreign immigration. And most North Carolina’s population growth is due to net migration of people from other states, particularly ones with higher direct immigration, population growth, residential density, and cost of living.

That immigration-driven population growth “has presented new challenges for public transit, bilingual services and many other areas.”

What PBS viewers may not know (but NumbersUSA members do): North Carolina actually isn’t very divided over growth. Four out of five voters would prefer the state grow much more slowly or stop growing at all. Only 14 percent favor continued fast growth. Like most voters across the country, North Carolina supports measures to reduce immigration, which is the source of all long-term population growth in the United States.

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