kids encyclopedia robot

Apex, North Carolina facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
The historic downtown district of Apex
The historic downtown district of Apex
Official seal of Apex
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.
Apex, North Carolina is located in North Carolina
Apex, North Carolina
Apex, North Carolina
Location in North Carolina
Apex, North Carolina is located in the United States
Apex, North Carolina
Apex, North Carolina
Location in the United States
Apex, North Carolina is located in North America
Apex, North Carolina
Apex, North Carolina
Location in North America
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Incorporated 1873
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Town 21.60 sq mi (55.95 km2)
 • Land 21.52 sq mi (55.73 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.22 km2)
499 ft (152 m)
 • Town 58,780
 • Density 2,755.96/sq mi (1,064.10/km2)
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Apexian or Apexer
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
27502, 27523, 27539
Area codes 919, 984
FIPS code 37-01520
GNIS feature ID 1018834

Apex is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. Apex encompasses the community of Friendship at its southern border. In 1994, the downtown area was designated a historic district, and the Apex train depot, built in 1867, is designated a Wake County landmark. The depot location marks the highest point on the old Chatham Railroad, hence the town's name. The town motto is "The Peak of Good Living".

In the precolonial era, the town's area was inhabited by the Tuscarora tribe of Native Americans. In the late 19th century a small community developed around the railroad station. The forests were cleared for farmland, much of which was dedicated to tobacco farming. Since Apex was near the state capital, it became a trading center. The railroad shipped products such as lumber, tar, and tobacco. The town was officially incorporated in 1873. By 1900 the town had a population of 349. The 2019 Census estimate places the population at 59,300.

The population boom occurred primarily in the late 1990s. The Research Triangle Park, established in the 1960s, created strong demand for technology workers. Apex began appearing on Best Place to Live lists starting in 2007 and steadily climbed the charts until reaching the #1 spot in 2015. This also drove population growth. Apex is currently the eighteenth largest municipality in North Carolina.


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%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Apex racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 39,498 67.2%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,852 6.55%
Native American 99 0.17%
Asian 7,295 12.41%
Pacific Islander 16 0.03%
Other/Mixed 3,117 5.3%
Hispanic or Latino 4,903 8.34%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 58,780 people, 18,197 households, and 14,027 families residing in the town.

2010 census

Circle frame-1.svg

     White alone (69%)     Black alone (7%)     Asian (12%)     Other Race alone (3%)     Two or more races (9%)

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 69% White, 7% African American, 12% Asian, 3% from other races, and 9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8% of the population.

There were 18,197 total households in Apex in 2019. Of these, 14,027 (77%) were family households, out of which 46% had children under the age of 18 living with them. 63% of the family households were married couples living together, and 11% had a female householder with no husband present. There were 4,170 nonfamily households in Apex, comprising 23% of total households. The average household size was 3.12 and the average family size was 2.81.

In 2019 the Census Bureau estimated the town population's ages as 31% under the age of 20, 15% from 20 to 34, 36% from 35 to 54, and 14% from 55 to 74, and 3% of age 75 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 96 males.

The median income (in 2019 dollars) for a household in the town was $111,435. (2019 estimate). The per capita income for the town was $51,370.

About 1.5% are below the poverty threshold (2019 estimate).




  • US 1, US 64, and NC 55 are the major roads through Apex.
  • The Triangle Expressway southwestern section ( NC 540) is a toll road connecting to I-540. This is a partially completed loop road around the greater Raleigh area.
  • 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 finished, the Apex Peakway will be 6 miles (9.7 km) long; so far 5 miles (8.0 km) have been constructed.


  • Air:  – Raleigh–Durham International Airport is on I-40 approximately 12 miles north of downtown Apex.  – Raleigh Executive Jetport is to the south on US 1, 22 miles from downtown.
  • Rail:Apex is not served directly by passenger trains. Amtrak serves the nearby municipalities of Cary and Raleigh. CSX manages a freight train switch yard in the center of Apex.
  • Bus: The Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Greyhound has terminals in Raleigh and Durham.


  • US Bike 1 (M1-9).svg U.S. Bicycle Route 1 routes through downtown Apex.
  • US Bike 5 (M1-8).svg North Carolina Bicycle Route 5 connects Apex to Wilmington and closely parallels the NCBC Randonneurs 600 kilometer brevet route.
  • There are numerous greenway trails including the Beaver Creek Trail and the American Tobacco Trail popular with cyclists.


Apex Utilities provides water/sewer, electricity, garbage, recycling, and yard waste pickup. Natural Gas is provided by PSNC.


Fire protection is provided by the Apex Fire Department.


Top employers

According to the 2020 Comprehensive Financial Report for Apex, these were the town's top employers:

# Employer # of employees
1 Wake County Public Schools 1,779
2 Town of Apex 506
3 Dell 500
4 Apex Tool Group 425
5 Bland Landscaping 325
6 Costco 290
7 ATI Industrial Automation 275
8 Super Target 250
9 Walmart 243
10 Lowe's Home Improvement 220

Notable people

kids search engine
Apex, North Carolina Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.