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North Carolina Supplement: Life in the Triangle


Looking for some easy living? Tired of rushing through 12-hour days in a crowded city and struggling to afford an apartment or workspace the size of a closet? If so, you may want to consider relocating to the Research Triangle area, encompassing the communities of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, North Carolina.

In this burgeoning genomics and engineering community, people trade subways for cars (the only viable form of transportation), skyscrapers for trees, and indoor gyms for outdoor activities in North Carolina’s parks, mountains, rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. Nowadays, in this somewhat slow-paced environment, you still have room to stretch out, both financially and physically, with real-estate properties only a fraction of the cost of comparable spaces in larger urban centers. The luxury of space provides a welcome environment for lovers of one of the residents’ favorite pastimes: golf. “If anyone is a golfer, they will be in paradise here,” says former Boston resident Shae Flanagan of Triangle-based Xanthon.

But young, single people who live as much for a varied nightlife as for their job should beware: the Triangle has no Greenwich Village or Mission District. Although Raleigh and Chapel Hill ¯ with its many college students ¯ offer some cultural variety, this community is dominated by young and expanding families. But considering the advantages easy living has to offer, that may not be so bad.


— Alison McCook



Percent change, 1990 to 2000: Durham County: 23%

Suffolk County (Boston): 4%

New York County (New York City): 3%

San Francisco County: 7%

Persons per square mile in 2000:

Durham County: 770

State of NC: 165

Suffolk County (Boston): 11,692

New York County (New York City): 66,835

San Francisco County: 16,526

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Snapshop: Cary, NC

Increase in average income, 1990-2000 67%

Median property value: $154,347

Number of stoplights in 1960: 1

Number of stoplights in 2000: 100

Median household income: $60,000

1999 property taxes for Wake County per $100 value: $0.73

Source: National Geographic

Let’s Get Real Estate

Commercial Raleigh/Durham, average rent:

Apartment: $723

Industrial: $3.93 per square foot

Office: $18.14 per square foot


Advance Purchase RT plane tickets

SF to Raleigh/Durham: $390

DC to Raleigh/Durham: $150

Boston to Raleigh/Durham: $170



Research Triangle Industrial Park

2 miles wide, 8 miles long

Employees: 44,000

Percent working for companies involved in R&D: 99.4

Percent of companies with fewer than 10 employees: almost 40

Average salary of RTP employee: $54,145

Median Household Incomes for Research Triangle cities

Raleigh: $32,451

Durham: $51,732

Chapel Hill: $56,023



Get Outta Town

Cost (transportation, packing) of moving seven rooms of furniture from:

San Francisco to Raleigh: $7,102-$8,723

DC to Raleigh: $3,917-$4,731

Boston to Raleigh: $4,519-$5,482



Give your budget a break

If you earn What you’ll need for the same $60,000 in: standard of living in Durham:

San Francisco $24,890

DC $38,189

NYC $22,123

Boston $32,897



Nicknames for Research Triangle cities

The City of Oaks. Each New Year’s Eve, Raleigh drops a half-ton acorn made of copper at midnight.

The City of Medicine. Durham’s physician-per- capita is four times the national average.

Chapel Hill:
The Southern Part of Heaven



Annual robberies per 100,000 people:

Average Durham/Raleigh/Chapel Hill: 338

Washington DC: 585

San Francisco: 447

Boston: 419

Annual homicides, per 100,000 people:

Durham/Raleigh: 6.5

Chapel Hill: 0

Washington, DC: 42

San Francisco: 8

Boston: 5




Play Ball!

Carolina Hurricanes (NFL)


Charlotte Hornets (NBA)


College Basketball: Duke (Blue Devils)


University of North Carolina (Tar Heels)


North Carolina State (Wolfpack)


Wake Forest (Demon Deacons)


North Carolina A&T (Aggies)


Number of golf courses in North Carolina: 586

Golf courses in the Triangle: 36

In Massachusetts: 343

In California: 1,050

In DC: 6


How’s the weather down here?

Raleigh Boston San Francisco

Average high temperatures, February: 52° 37° 59°

Average precipitation, February: 3.9” 3.6” 3.2”

Average high temperatures, July: 88° 81° 71°

Average precipitation, July: 4.6” 2.8” 0”



Let’s Eat

Magnolia Grill, Durham

Cuisine: American. Avg. Price of Entrée: $17-$26.


Nana’s, Durham

American with French and Italian flair. Avg. Price of Entrée: $15-$25


42nd Street Oyster Bar, Raleigh

Seafood. Price of Entrée: $12 and up


The Angus Barn, Raleigh

Steakhouse. Price of Entrée: $17 and up


Mama Dips, Chapel Hill

Southern Food. Avg. Price of Entrée: $6-14.



Get Educated

Students in Wake County (Raleigh, Cary) Public Schools: 96,787

Mean Wake County SAT scores (perfect=1600): 1,061


Students in Durham public schools: 28,360

Mean Durham SAT scores: 994


Students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public Schools: 8,917

Mean Chapel Hill-Carrboro SAT scores: 1,175

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.