These highways provide a way through several other Southern states and far into the North East as well. A new highway is currently under construction in the expanding city. Construction on the I-485 began around the turn of the Twenty-First Century, and is planned to be completed within the next five years. The city has also invested large sums of money and energy into the completion and maintenance of the rail line system called the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). This is a state of the art light rail which feeds into various parts of the city. The local city airport is a major international hub, and one of the largest international airports in the Southern region. Charlotte/Douglas International Airport oversees arrivals and departures from all over the world. This complex transit system has opened up Charlotte not only to other areas of the South, but to the rest of the country and the world as well, bringing much needed diversity and new cultural perspectives.
Charlotte's economy really started to skyrocket in the 1990's and has continued to grow into the new millennium. Since the dawn of the Twenty-First Century, the city has seen the rising success of its financial sector. Financial institutions have boomed in the last decade or so. The financial district is one of the largest and bustling sections of the city. The downtown area of the city is covered with skyscrapers, almost reminiscent of the bustling New York skyline. Charlotte has a long history of intimate ties to financial institutions. After producing the nation's first official gold rush, the city of Charlotte opened a mint in 1837, (the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story 2002). The discovery of gold near Charlotte was the largest deposit found in the continental United States until California stole the thunder in 1848. However, this earlier rush did help the city grow. The population increased, and as seen in the construction of the mill in the 1830's, began a tradition of an organized and complex financial industry. This tradition was carried on well into the late Twentieth Century, when the billion dollar Bank of America was formed through a series of mergers and acquisitions which solidified the city's ties to the financial sector of business relations in the United States. The headquarters of Bank of America still resides in the city limits even today. Other major banking institutions such as Wachovia and Lending Tree also have the headquarters in Charlotte. Many other well-known Fortune 500 companies call Charlotte home, such as Time Warner Cable. The city has also seen rising success in its retail markets. Commercial retail revenues have steadily risen since the economy started to resemble the fast growing urban city.
However, with this growth have come some downfalls. 2005 saw the worst murder rate in Charlotte in the last ten years, (CrimeinCharlotte.com 2007). According to city statistics, about half of those involved in city crime both as offenders and victims have previous criminal records. However, the dreaded murder rate has taken a slight downfall, much to the relief of Carolinians everywhere. As of 2006, the recorded incidents of rape and juvenile crime have climbed. However, the dreaded murder rate has taken a slight downfall, much to the relief of Carolinians everywhere. Violent and nonviolent juvenile crimes saw an extreme increase in 2006, making many city officials concerned about the future of Charlotte's youth. It seems that as Charlotte grows, so do most of its crime rates. However, the city has dedicated police and government officials who pride themselves in their attempt to lower these statistics and get the city back on track.
The city of Charlotte in North Carolina has a lot to offer both the country and the world. As it continues to advance and grow, the citizens who call it home must also advance their efforts to stop the rise of crime, especially that of a juvenile nature. If the city's next generation is largely that of a group of criminals that great promising growth and economic boom will amount to nothing.
Christie, Les. (June 2007). "The Fastest Growing U.S. Cities: From the Empire State to the Lone Star State - the cities that are growing the most." CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/27/real_estate/fastest_growing_cities/