The capital of North Carolina and the largest city of the Research Triangle, Raleigh is the primary political and economic driver of the metro area. Indeed, business and politics are the main draws to Raleigh, which lacks the more trendy feel or active arts scene of Durham or Chapel Hill to the west. However, a concerted effort to expand the residential base and move events downtown has led to significantly expanded retail and restaurant options in the downtown core. Also, visitors will find many of the state's cultural institutions here, namely a major performing arts center downtown and three state museums, and a college town atmosphere in the neighborhood around the campus of North Carolina State University, the state's largest university.
As of 2019, the city had a population of about 475,000, with over a million people in the urban area.
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