As of 2016, 16.5% of Chapel Hill residents were born outside of the U.S. These immigrants and refugee residents make up nearly 10,000 of the roughly 59,000 Chapel Hill residents.
Community Connections aims to support the integration, wellbeing, and leadership development of Chapel Hill’s immigrant and refugee community members. Our key initiatives in this area include the Building Integrated Communities Project, as well as a DACA renewal assistance programs.
Demographic snapshot of Chapel Hill immigrant and refugee residents
Population Country of Origin Income Education English Speaking Ability
Country of Origin
|Country of Origin||Population||Percentage|
The top 5 countries of origin for Chapel Hill immigrant residents are listed in the table to the right.
Since 2005, 1,121 refugees have arrived in Orange County; most come primarily from Burma/Myanmar, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Russia, and Syria.
Residents born outside of the U.S. without U.S. citizenship have substantially lower household incomes than residents with U.S. citizenship. Furthermore, Chapel Hill residents not born in the U.S or who are naturalized citizens have a higher median household income than residents born in the U.S.
|Born in the U.S.||Not Born in the U.S||
Not Born in the U.S., Naturalized Citizens
Not Born in the U.S., Non-citizens
|Median household income (2016)||$65, 026||$71,198||$106, 250||$46,045|
Chapel Hill has a higher percentage (44% overall) of residents with a graduate or professional degree than the North Carolina average (10.2% overall). In fact, more foreign-born Chapel Hill residents have a graduate or professional degree than residents born in the U.S., reflecting the global recruiting practices of institutions of higher education and companies in the Triangle area.
English Language Ability
About 24% of foreign-born residents live in households with limited English speaking ability. Of those with limited English-speaking ability, the breakdown of among populations is detailed below.
|Residents who speak...||Number who speak English "not well" or "not at all"||Total number surveyed|
|Indo-European languages||115 (5%)||2,188|
|Asian and Pacific Island languages||705 (19%)||3,728|
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