Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cary, North Carolina
Cary is located at 35°46'44" North, 78°48'1" West (35.778919, -78.800208).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 112.6 km² (43.5 mi²). 109.0 km² (42.1 mi²) of it is land and 3.6 km² (1.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.17% water.
Cary has a council-manager government; the mayor and council members serve a term of four years, with half of the council seats being up for election each odd-numbered year. Four of the six council seats are elected by district; the remaining two seats are at-large representatives.
The current town council consists of Mayor Ernie McAlister and Representatives Jennifer Robinson (District A), Nels Roseland (District B), Jack W. Smith (District C), Marla Dorrel (District D), Michael A. Joyce (at-large), and Julie Aberg Robison (at-large).
- A. F. Page, 1871
- J. P. H. Adams, 1884
- R. J. Harrison, 1887
- John Nugeer, 1897
- T. F. Wilkinson, 1902
- R. J. Harrison, 1903
- H. B. Jordan, 1904
- N. C. Hines, 1910
- J. M. Templeton, Jr., 1912
- T. H. Taylor, 1916
- W. G. Crowder, 1921
- E. P. Bradshaw, 1921
- W. H. Atkins, 1921-25
- G. H. Jordan, 1925
- E. P. Badshaw, 1925
- Dr. F. R. Yarborough, 1927-28
- A. N. Jackson, 1928-29
- H. H. Waddell, 1929-33
- Dr. J. P. Hunter, 1933-35
- M. T. Jones, 1935
- T. W. Addicks, 1935
- L. L. Raines, 1935-37
- R. W. Mayton, 1937-47
- Robert G. Setzer, 1947-49
- H. Waldo Rood, 1949-61
- Dr. W. H. Justice, 1961-62
- James Hogarth, 1962-63
- Dr. E. B. Davis, 1963-69
- Joseph R. Veasey, 1969-71
- Fred G. Bond, 1971-83
- Harold D. Ritter, 1983-87
- Koka E. Booth, 1987-1999
- Glen Lang, 1999-2003
- Ernie McAlister, 2003-present
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 94,536 people, 34,906 households, and 25,132 families residing in the town. The population density is 867.2/km² (2,246.0/mi²). There are 36,863 housing units at an average density of 338.2/km² (875.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 82.17% White, 6.15% African American, 0.27% Native American, 8.08% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.47% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. 4.28% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 34,906 households out of which 41.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% are married couples living together, 6.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% are non-families. 21.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 3.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.69 and the average family size is 3.18.
In the town the population is spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $75,122, and the median income for a family is $88,074. Males have a median income of $62,012 versus $38,819 for females. The per capita income for the town is $32,974. 3.4% of the population and 2.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.8% of those under the age of 18 and 3.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The town's reputation as a bedroom community for transplants from outside the South has led to natives joking that Cary is an acronym for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees."  Some observers have noted this as Cary's crisis of identity, especially when compared with its neighbors in the Research Triangle. Chapel Hill has a reputation as a bastion of liberal academia, Durham as a blue-collar post-boom industrial city, and Raleigh as the state's center of arts and government, but Cary has yet to come into its own identity, despite or perhaps because of its meteoric rise in population.
One of the major reasons for its large population of residents immigrant to North Carolina is the town's proximity to the Research Triangle Park and the many other localities hosting biotech, pharmaceutical and high tech companies, making it an ideal location for people moving to the Research Triangle area for work.
Cary has sometimes been referred to as "The People's Republic of Cary," implying a socialist political bent. In truth the town's strict aesthetic ordinances are ideologically closer to fascism. The town has gone so far as to have an ordinance banning neon signs on the exterior of restaurants, instructing residents on what they can and cannot plant in their yards, and at one point even banning the display of the American flag for fear of causing offense. The town recently annexed an area containing the home of an eccentric gentleman of some local fame whose yard contained an antique cannon and an abundance of signs and posters expressing his opinions. In a rare compromise, the town council said the man was allowed to keep his yard's ornamentation as long as he did not add to it further.
Cary is a very quiet and peaceful community with a very low crime rate. The town of Cary has been declared the ninth safest of 354 large cities in the nation. It is the only North Carolina municipality listed in the top 10 as well as the only southern city in the top 25. This is the sixth year in a row that Cary has been ranked in the top 10 safest cities in the U.S. .
Cary has also been recently voted as one of the best places to live in the United States . In addition to the low crime rate and close proximity to the Research Triangle and many local universities, Cary can also boast having the most Ph.D.s per capita in the U.S. for towns larger than 75,000 people. Even the Drama teacher at the local middle school  has a Ph.D.
- Private automobile: A majority of commuters in Cary drive their own motor vehicles.
- Local Bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates fixed-route busses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Also, the Town of Cary operates C-Tran as a demand-based bussing system offering door-to-door transportation for residents.
- Passenger Rail: Amtrak's Carolinian and Piedmont and Silver Star trains offer daily service to Charlotte, Richmond, Washington DC and Miami
- Bicycle: The League of American Bicyclists has designated Cary one of the fourteen recipients of the first Bicycle-Friendly Community awards for "providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation".
- Walking: A network of sidewalks and a network of dirt, gravel, and paved trails, greenways, connects neighborhoods and parks in Cary, though most walking is recreational or for exercise rather than commuting or shopping.
- Cary is home to the SAS Institute.
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