Raleigh (/rli/; RAH-lee) is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States. It is the second-most populous city in North Carolina, the 41st-most populous city in the U.S., and the largest city of the Research Triangle metro area. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city. The city covers a land area of 147.6 square miles (382km2). The U.S. Census Bureau counted the city's population as 474,069 in 2020. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County.
Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University (NC State) and is part of the Research Triangle together with Durham (home of Duke University and North Carolina Central University) and Chapel Hill (home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The name of the Research Triangle (often shortened to the "Triangle") originated after the 1959 creation of Research Triangle Park (RTP), located in Durham and Wake counties, among the three cities and their universities. The Triangle encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau's Raleigh-Durham-Cary Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which had an estimated population of 2,037,430 in 2013. The Raleigh metropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 1,390,785 in 2019.
Most of Raleigh is located within Wake County, with a very small portion extending into Durham County. The towns of Cary, Morrisville, Garner, Clayton, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Rolesville are some of Raleigh's primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns.
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