Wake Forest is a town in Franklin and Wake counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina; located almost entirely in Wake County, it lies just north of the state capital, Raleigh. The population was 30,117 at the 2010 census, up from 12,588 at the 2000 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's population to be 44,046 as of July 1, 2018. In 2007, the town was listed by Forbes magazine as the 20th fastest growing suburb in America, with a 73.2 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2006. Wake Forest was the original home of Wake Forest University for 122 years before it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.
The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Wake Forest as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,998,808 as of U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimates. Effective June 6, 2003 the Office of Management and Budget redefined the Federal Statistical Areas and dismantled what had been for decades the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, MSA and split them into two separate MSAs even though the region still functions as a single metropolitan area.
In 1832, Dr. Calvin Jones, originally from New England, bought 615 acres (2.49 km2) of forested land in Wake County, North Carolina. The sparsely populated area became known as the Forest of Wake, or Wake Forest.