News & Rankings

Apex - Municipality Highlight

Fast Facts

Founded: 1872
Population: 44,348
Growth Rate: 4.1%
Tax Rate: $0.39
Bond Rating: AAA 

Originally given the name “Apex” because it was the highest point on the Chatham Railroad line between Richmond, VA and Jacksonville, FL, it continues today as the “Peak of Good Living,” a growing, thriving town of over 40,000 people.  Yet Apex is able to maintain its "small town" charm due to thoughtful planning, attention to quality of life amenities, preservation of historic structures, and the celebration of multiple festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Read more >.

Growth and Development

Apex is in an ideally situated, thriving corner of the Triangle, located at the crossroads of US Highways 1 & 64 and NC Highway 55.  Interstate 540 through the western Apex area is complete and has enhanced regional transportation, increased safety, and heightened the economic development potential of Apex.

Since the 2000 US Census, Apex has experienced more than 70% increase in population, reaching an estimated 44,348 at the end of 2014.  This represents a 4.1% growth rate for 2014. The population in Apex is projected to reach over 90,000 by the year 2030.  In 2014, more than 600 building permits were issued.  While the majority of these were residential, non-residential permits had an increase of 74% over the previous year.  Apex Friendship High School, Scotts Ridge Elementary and Thales Academy (private) are three new schools currently under construction and expected to open their doors in the fall of 2015.

Significant projects completed by the Town in 2014 include the Western Wake Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Apex Nature Park.  At 5.3 million gallons per day of additional capacity, the wastewater treatment plant it is the largest plant built in the state in the last 10 years.  The completed 160 acre Apex Nature Park features a dog park, disc golf course and an outdoor amphitheater. 

In the summer of 2015, the Town will open its newest park and the first park designed specifically with teens in mind.  Trackside Skate Park will be a 13,000 square foot, four tiered skate plaza which mimics street skating conditions and also includes competition skateboarding elements. Trackside will also include a performance pavilion on the upper level to be used for special events.

Historic Downtown Apex

A walk down Salem Street at the heart of historic downtown Apex offers one a glimpse of the past with the amenities of today.  Shoppers in the downtown historic district can enjoy an eclectic mix of antiques, home décor, and specialty gift stores intermixed with a variety of dining options.  Apex is proud to have one of the state’s most intact turn-of-the-century railroad towns and contains sixty well-preserved commercial buildings and homes dating from 1870-1940. In order to preserve the historical character of the district, the Town and the downtown merchants have restored many of the structures to their original early twentieth century appearance.  Thus, Apex's downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Multiple festivals are held in downtown Apex each year, including Peak Fest, Old Fashioned Fourth of July, Peak City Pig Fest, Apex Jazz Fest, and Christmas on Salem.

Business and Retail

Not only is Apex a desired location to raise a family, it’s an outstanding location for business. Among our advantages are access to a highly educated workforce, a dynamic local and regional economy, and an inviting business environment. More than 55% of Apex residents age 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.  To further enhance business growth opportunities, the Town of Apex hired its first Economic Development Director in 2014.  The efforts to recruit new business to Apex and to grow existing business in Apex are ramping up and taking shape.  Town officials are dedicated to making Apex a real choice for businesses and companies that want to be in the Triangle Region.

Apex offers a variety of shopping experiences from our large retail centers to the quaint downtown shops located on Salem Street. Beaver Creek Commons shopping complex, located off US Highway 64 and NC Highway 55, is the largest retail center in Apex.  Anchored by a Super Target, Lowes Home Improvement and Consolidated Beaver Creek Cinemas, there is an additional 200,000 SF of retail space including AC Moore, Office Max, PetSmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, HH Gregg, Old Navy, TJMaxx, ULTA,  Carrabba's, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, Chili’s, IHOP, Firehouse Subs, Red Robin Burgers and Longhorn Steakhouse, just to name a few.  Other retail centers include Haddon Hall Commons, Olive Chapel Village and Peakway Market Square.

The top employers in Apex are: Apex Tool Group; EMC2; Town of Apex; Super Target; Tipper Tie; 
Tiger Swan; Hare Pipeline; Astellas Pharma US; Lowe’s Home Improvement; Harris Teeter; and 
Citadel Contractors.

In Summary

There are few Towns like Apex, North Carolina.  Positive growth, excellent local amenities, a highly educated population, low costs for doing business, and a unique historic downtown…Apex really is “the Peak of Good Living.” 


  • #1 Best Place to Live in North Carolina (CNN/Money Magazine, 2013)
  • #9 Best Place to Live in America (CNN/Money Magazine, 2013)
    • Top 10 Best Towns for Families (Family Circle, July 2014)
    • #5 Happiest Suburb in America (Movoto , May 2014)
    • #1 Best City in North Carolina, Movoto (November 2013)
    • #5 Best NC Town for Young Families, NerdWallet  (July 2013)
    • AAA Bond Rating (Standard & Poor’s, 2009 - present)
    • Outstanding Planning Award for “Peak Plan 2030” (North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association,2014)
    • Great Main Street (North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, May 2014)


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