Town of Clayton Water Tower at Sunset
Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

Clayton, North Carolina Map

Where is Clayton, North Carolina?

Clayton is a growing suburb just 16 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state's capital. This short commute allows residents to easily access the attractions and amenities of a big city, all while maintaining a small town atmosphere. Since the year 2000, Clayton has grown by leaps and bounds as families from all over the nation have chosen us as their relocation destination. In fact, Clayton is now the largest municipality in Johnston County with a total population topping 20,260, according to the 2016 U.S. Census estimate.  Click here for more population data and a population forecast.

Geography (Square Miles)

Town Limits  13.61
Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)  32.47
Total  46.08
Source: Town of Clayton Planning Department, June 30, 2012  



Total Population (2016 US Census Estimate) 20,260
Population (2010 US Census) 16,116

Population (2000 US Census)
Population Growth Rate (2000-2010) 131.1%
Population Density (persons/square mile) (2010 US Census) 1,184
Population (Under 18 Years of Age) (2010 US Census)
 4,985 / 30.9%
Population (18-64 Years of Age) (2010 US Census) 11,131 / 60.6%
Population (65+ Years of Age) (2010 US Census) 1,371 / 8.5%
NC City Population Rank (out of 552 cities/towns) 53
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census  



Economic (Clayton Town Limits)

Median Home Value (Owner Occupied Units)

Median Household Income

Median Family Income
Median Married Couple Income  $75,458
Median Non-family Income​ $34,016

Workforce Population (Age 16+)

Unemployment Rate 4.4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census



The Town’s close proximity to the Research Triangle has contributed to its growing commercial and thriving industrial base.  Strategically positioned between Interstate 95 and Interstate 40 along US 70 Business Highway West, Clayton is an ideal location for commerce.  This is evidenced by the major corporations choosing to locate here.  In the biopharmaceutical field, companies such as Grifols and Novo Nordisk have established campuses and are continuously expanding their facilities.  More than 10% of the entire state’s biopharmaceutical industry makes their home in Clayton. To support these corporations, the Research and Training Zone was created in 2005 which includes a Workforce Development Center that provides skill training for current and future employees in this line of work.

In addition to the above, Caterpillar, one of the most recognized names for construction equipment and a Fortune 50 company, has their Building and Construction Products Division as well as research and development and a product line here.  Our hospital, Johnston Health Clayton, has recently partnered with the University of North Carolina and is in the process of completing a 50 bed inpatient facility.

The Town of Clayton understands the benefits brought by business and works cooperatively with area businesses and the local Clayton Chamber of Commerce to promote business and economic development.  The Chamber is a resource for information about Clayton, and assists in recruiting new businesses to the area.  Click here to visit the Chamber of commerce website.

Novo Nordisk LogoGrifols LogoCaterpillar LogoJohnston UNC Health Care


Housing (Dwelling Units)

Occupied 6,050


Vacancy Rate


Average Household Size

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010

A Good Place to Live

Voted Best Neighborhood for Kids

Founded on April 12, 1869, the Town of Clayton boasts many historical and architecturally significant buildings and neighborhoods that add charm and character to the town. With plenty of room to grow, Clayton offers most everything that today's family is looking for and has received high marks as a place to live.  From the great schools, excellent neighborhoods and natural settings, residents of the town enjoy a wide range housing opportunities that fit into their lifestyle.

Among the many accolades received, Clayton has been ranked in the top 10 by BusinessWeek magazine as one of the most affordable places to live that provides a top education for children. ​

Educational Attainment (Age Group 25-34)

Less Than High School​
532 / 6.8%
High School Graduate 1,577 / 20.2%
Some College / Associates Degree 2,915 / 37.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher 2,761 / 35.5%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census



One of the Town of Clayton’s main goals is to be a “Premier Community for Active Families.” This goal guides planning efforts and services to promote active living for all ages.  Both residents and visitors of the town are offered a wide range of cultural, social, and recreational activities and events.

Theatre Image

A well known venue in the Triangle, The Clayton Center is a popular destination for both locals and visitors. The historic auditorium presents a diverse array of nationally touring performances in the fall through spring, hosting such luminary artists as Doc Watson, Jim Brickman, The Capital Steps and David Sedaris. Throughout the year the stage stays active with community recitals, pageants and plays.

Clayton StreetScenic Downtown Clayton is known as the cultural, social and business hub of the town and has been a North Carolina Main Street community since 2006. Our downtown businesses offer many of the products and services in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Coffee shops, fine restaurants, live entertainment, gifts and home accessories are available for the discerning shopper looking for quality and personal service.

Clayton Event

Festivals and special events such as Millstock Music and Art Faire, the Clayton Harvest and Music Festival, Halloween Parade, Christmas Tree Village Lighting, Town Square Concert Series and others draw visitors and residents to downtown for a good time and some old fashion hospitality.

For more information on what’s happening in downtown Clayton, click here.

Clayton also offers a wide variety of both active and passive recreation opportunities.  The home base of the Parks and Recreation Department is the Clayton Community Center, a beautiful 32,000 sq. ft. facility that includes a gymnasium with a suspended walking track, and classrooms.  The town also owns and operates the greenway system and seven community parks including the very popular East Clayton Dog Park.

Clayton MapIn addition the community parks, the Neuse River runs through Clayton providing opportunities for great fishing and kayaking, or a stroll on the River Walk on the Neuse Greenway.

The River Walk is part of the Mountains to Sea Trail, with over 30 miles of uninterrupted trails that connects Clayton with Raleigh.  The town is also home to some great golf courses, including the Pine Hollow Golf Club, the Riverwood Golf & Athletic Club, and the Neuse Golf Club. For more information on our parks and recreation opportunities, click here.

Town of Clayton Census Population 
1880 - 2010




1880 352 -
1890 478 35.8%
1900 754 57.7%
1910 1,441 91.1%
1920 1,423 -1.2%
1930 1,533 7.7%
1950 2,229 30.3%
1960 3,302 48.1%
1970 3,103 -6.0%
1980 4,091 31.8%
1990 4,756 16.3%
2000 6,973 46.6%
2010 16,116 131.%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census    


Town of Clayton Population Forecast
2010 - 2030


Population Estimates
(as of July 1st each year)


Year Population
2010 16,283
2011 16,708
2012 17,102
2013 17,689
2014 18,434
2015 19,268
2016 20,260
2017 20,868
2018 21,494
2019 22,139
2020 22,803
2021 23,487
2022 24,191
2023 24,917
2024 25,665
2025 26,435
2026 27,228
2027 28,045
2028 28,886
2029 29,752
2030 30,645
Sources: 2010-2016 - U.S. Bureau of the Census.
2017-2030 - Town of Clayton Planning Department (assuming an annual average growth rate of 3 percent)


Town of Clayton Demographic Profile





Total Population 16,116 100.0
Under 5 years 1,336 8.3
5 to 9 years 1,510 9.4
10 to 14 years 1,426 8.8
15 to 19 years 1,034 6.4
20 to 24 years 791 4.9
25 to 29 years 1,081 6.7
30 to 34 years 1,310 8.1
35 to 39 years 1,456 9.0
40 to 44 years 1,454 9.0
45 to 49 years 1,137 7.1
50 to 54 years 859 5.3
55 to 59 years 736 4.6
60 to 64 years 615 3.8
65 to 69 years 437 2.7
70 to 74 years 331 2.1
75 to 79 years 275 1.7
80 to 84 years 176 1.1
85 years and over 152 0.9
Median age (years) 33.4 (X)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census    
Latest News
  • We hope you will join us 6 p.m. Monday, July 16 for the Clayton Town Council meeting at The Clayton Center/Town Hall,  111 East Second Street  in Downtown Clayton. You can view the  full agenda pa...

  • On Monday, Clayton Police are switching to a more traditional municipal police uniform: all Navy-Blue!   We’ve been testing different uniforms for nearly a year now – running sample uniforms throug...

  • Our Annual Water Quality Reports for 2017 are now available! Click here for the 2017 Town of Clayton Water Quality Report , which covers the majority of Town.  Click here for the 2017 Town of Clay...

  • All Town of Clayton facilities will be  closed Wednesday, July 4 for Independence Day  – except for Municipal Park, where our 38th annual July 4th Celebration and Fireworks begins at 4 p.m.! ...

  • Town of Clayton leaders and staff are mourning the passing of former Planning Director James “Skip” Browder. According to reports from family and friends, Browder, 72, was driving to Oak Island Thurs...

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