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Apex, North Carolina
The historic downtown district of Apex
The historic downtown district of Apex
Official seal of Apex, North Carolina
Peak City
"The Peak of Good Living"
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Wake County and the state of North Carolina.
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Incorporated 1873
 • Town 20.84 sq mi (53.98 km2)
499 ft (152 m)
 (July 31, 2016)
 • Town 47,310
 • Density 2,270/sq mi (876/km2)
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Apexian or Apexer
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
27502, 27523, 27539
Area code(s) 919, 984
FIPS code 37-01520
GNIS feature ID 1018834

Apex is a town in Wake County, North Carolina and a suburb of Raleigh. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town's population to be 43,907 as of July 1, 2014. The town is highly acclaimed with a "charming downtown, top-notch schools, and the kind of community spirit that draws 15,000 people, or more than a third of the population, to the annual PeakFest street fair." In August 2015, Apex was rated #1 in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live, 2015.


Apex is located at 35°43′55″N 78°51′10″W / 35.731952°N 78.852878°W / 35.731952; -78.852878 (35.731952, -78.852878).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.4 square miles (40 km2), of which, 15.2 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) of it (0.57%) is water.

Neighboring towns include Cary to the north and northeast, Holly Springs to the south, and Raleigh to the east and northeast.


Apex Union Depot, built in 1914.

The town of Apex was incorporated in 1873, named for its location as the highest point on a portion of the Chatham Railroad which ultimately extends between Richmond, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida. Apex grew slowly through the succeeding decades, despite several devastating fires, including a June 12, 1911 conflagration which destroyed most of the downtown business district. The town center was rebuilt and stands to this day, now one of the most intact railroad towns in the state. At the heart of town stands the Apex Union Depot, originally a passenger station for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and later home to the locally supported Apex Community Library. The depot now houses the Apex Chamber of Commerce.

Apex suffered mild setbacks during the Depression-era, but growth began again in earnest in the 1950s. The town's proximity to North Carolina's Research Triangle Park spurred additional residential development, yet the town managed to preserve its small-town character. During the 1990s, the town's population quadrupled to over 20,000, placing new demands upon Apex's infrastructure.

Apex has continued to grow in recent years. A sizable shopping center was built at the intersection of Highway 55 and US 64, and several new neighborhoods have been built as the town grows toward the west.

In October 2006, a chemical fire in an Apex waste processing facility forced much of the town to be temporarily evacuated. There were few serious injuries, and residents were soon able to return home.

In August 2015, TIME magazine ranked Apex #1 on its list of the nation's top places to live.

In addition to the Apex Union Depot, the Apex City Hall, Apex Historic District, Calvin Wray Lawrence House, and Utley-Council House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 228
1890 269 18.0%
1900 349 29.7%
1910 681 95.1%
1920 926 36.0%
1930 863 −6.8%
1940 977 13.2%
1950 1,065 9.0%
1960 1,368 28.5%
1970 2,192 60.2%
1980 2,847 29.9%
1990 4,968 74.5%
2000 20,212 306.8%
2010 37,476 85.4%
Est. 2017 47,310 26.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

Circle frame-1.svg

     White (78%)     Black (8%)     Asian (7%)     Other Race (3%)     2 or More Races (3%)     Other (1%)

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,476 people, 13,225 households, and 9,959 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,437.9 people per square mile. There were 13,922 housing units at an average density of 905.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 80% White, 8% African American, 7% Asian, 3% from other races, and 3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7% of the population.

There were 13,225 total households in Apex in 2010. Of these, 9,959 (75%) were family households out of which 65% had children under the age of 18 living with them. 84% of the family households were married couples living together and 13% had a female householder with no husband present. There were 3,266 Nonfamily households in Apex comprising 25% of total households. 2,650 households were made up of individuals (20% of total households) and 4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.31.

The town population was spread out with 33% under the age of 18, 5% from 18 to 24, 34% from 25 to 44, 22% from 45 to 64, and 6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95 males.

The median income (in 2013 dollars) for a household in the town was $89,475, and the median income for a family was $106,283. Males had a median income of $65,179 versus $48,022 for females. (2013 estimate). The per capita income for the town was $34,979. About 2% of families and 3% of the population were below the poverty threshold (2013 estimate).



  • Air: Raleigh-Durham International Airport is on I-40 approximately eight miles north of downtown Apex.
  • Apex is not served directly by passenger trains. Amtrak serves the nearby municipalities of Cary and Raleigh.
  • Local Bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham , and Chapel Hill.


  • The Apex Peakway is a loop road orbiting downtown Apex. The Peakway was conceived as a means to relieve traffic in the downtown area and provide a bypass for commuters traveling from one side of the town to the other. It is currently the only "peakway" in North Carolina, taking its name from Apex's town motto: "The Peak of Good Living." When this motto was first created it was meant to represent the fact that Apex got its name from being the highest point along the Eastern Seaboard railway and thus the "peak", or "apex" of the railway. When finished, the Apex Peakway will be 6.01 miles (9.67 km) long; so far 5.09 miles (8.19 km) have been constructed.
  • The Triangle Expressway southwestern extension of I-540 is a toll road connecting to I-40, US 64, and US 1. This is currently an incomplete loop road around the greater Raleigh area.
  • US 64 and U.S. 1 are both freeways in the Apex area. NC 55 travels through the center of town.

Bicycle and pedestrian

  • U.S. Bicycle Route 1 routes through downtown Apex. Also, N.C. Bicycle Route #5 connects Apex to Wilmington and closely parallels the NCBC Randonneurs 600 kilometer brevet route.
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