North Carolina Facts

North Carolina is located in southeastern part of USA. It has 100 counties and its capital is Raleigh. The biggest city in this state is Charlotte. It has an aggregate area of 53,819 square miles which makes it the 28th biggest state in USA.

Quick Facts

Official Name North carolina
Area53,819 sq mi (139,390 km2)
Largest CityCharlotte
Official LanguagesEnglish ( Spoken : English (90.70%), Spanish (6.18%)
Time ZoneUTC -5/-4
GovernorRoy Cooper
Lt. GovernorDan Forest
U.S. SenatorRichard Burr, Thom Tillis
AbbreviationNC, US-NC
Joined the UnionNovember 21, 1789
NicknameTar Heel State, Old North State
Highest PointMount Mitchell
Lowest PointAtlantic Ocean
Official Websitewww.nc.gov

North Carolina Infographic

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Location and Geography: North Carolina is located along the eastern coastline of the United States, right between the states of Virginia and South Carolina. Though it is considered to be a part of the American South culturally and geographically, North Carolina’s central position has facilitated mixed sentiments on many issues, both historically and in the modern day.

Counties and Regions: The number of counties in North Carolina is set at exactly 100. It covers a geographical area that is vast in its diversity. The more generally recognized regions could be summed up as:
  • Appalachian Foothills
  • Fayetteville Metropolitan Area
  • High Country (Appalachian Mountains)
  • Inner Banks (inner coastline)
  • Land of the Sky
  • Lower Cape Fear
  • Metropolitan Charlotte (Metrolina)
  • Metropolitan Piedmont Triad
  • Outer Banks (outer coastline)
  • The Research Triangle (central North Carolina)
  • Sandhills

Population: North Carolina is home to greater than 9.5 million people, placing it in the top ten most-populated states. Its population is increasingly urban-dwelling, especially in its eastern coastal regions.

Major Cities: North Carolina’s largest city is Charlotte, with more than 1.7 million people contained within its metropolitan area. Its capital, the city of Raleigh, is the second-largest city in the state and is part of the metropolitan area known as the Research Triangle, which has a population comparable in size to that of Charlotte’s.

Story Behind the Name: Charles II of England, who awarded the land that made up the Province of Carolina to some of his supporters, named it after his father, Charles I (the Latin version of the name “Charles” is “Carolus,” from which “Carolina” is derived).

What is the capital of North Carolina?
Named after Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina. It is the seat of Wake County and also the second-largest city of the state. According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population in 2010 was 403,892. Covering an area of 142.8 square miles, Raleigh is the forty-third largest city in the United States and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It is also known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees.

Largest city of North Carolina
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. It is the seat of Mecklenburg County. The population of the city as of 2010 according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the seventeenth-largest city in the United States based on population. The city is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

What is the nickname of North Carolina?
The word Carolina is derived from the word Carolus, the Latin form of Charles. The nickname of the state is the "Old North State." In 1710 when Carolina was divided, the southern part was called South Carolina and the northern, or older settlement, was given the name North Carolina. Hence, the nickname "Old North State" came into being.

How big is North Carolina?
The total area covered by North Carolina is 52,669 square miles, of which the land covers 48,843 square miles and the remaining 3,826 square miles is covered by water.

What is the population of North Carolina?
The state has an estimated population of 10,146,788 (July 1, 2016).

When did North Carolina achieve statehood?
North Carolina is the twelfth state of the United States. It was admitted to the Union on November 21, 1789 after the adoption of the state constitution in 1776. The state traces a long history of wars and foreign conquests, before achieving an independent status. Culpepper's Rebellion (1677), the Quaker-led Cary Rebellion (1708), the Tuscarora Indian War (1711-1713), were some of the major events in the history of the state.

Who are the political leaders of North Carolina?
The government of North Carolina comprises three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. There is a state governor's office, a bicameral state legislature known as the general assembly, and a state court system.

Governor: Roy Cooper
Lieutenant Governor: Dan Forest

What is the official language of North Carolina?
English and Spanish are the most widely spoken languages in the state of North Carolina. German, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Italian and Greek are the other languages used. Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, and Somali are some of the African languages used in the state.

What is the official religion of North Carolina?
Christianity is the official religion of North Carolina. Roman Catholics, Protestants, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Lutherans are the major sects of Christianity in the state. There are also a small number of Jews, Muslims and Moravians.

Economy of North Carolina
North Carolina is the 10th ‘richest’ state in the United States, with a total Gross State Product of $517.9 billion, as of 2016. A good climate and fertile soil, coupled with abundance of hydroelectric power, provide a diversity to the economy of North Carolina. Some of the major industries of the state are; tobacco products, textile goods, chemical products, electric equipment, machinery, and tourism. North Carolina is a mineral-rich state, and has abundance of mica, feldspar, olivine, crushed granite, talc, clays, lithium materials, and phosphate rock. Agriculture is an important sector, and the major products are poultry & eggs, tobacco, hogs, milk, cattle, and soybeans. North Carolina ranks at the top in the country in the production of sweet potatoes and flue-cured tobacco. It holds the second position in the production of trout, pigs and hogs, and turkeys. Finance, insurance, and real estate, make up North Carolina's leading service industry group.

What are the symbols of the state of North Carolina?
State Flower: American Dogwood (Cornus florida) is the official state flower of North Carolina. It is one of the most prevalent trees in the state, found everywhere from the mountains to the coast. Dogwood was designated as the official state flower of North Carolina in 1941.

State Bird: The northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was designated as the official state bird in 1943. It is one of the favorite backyard birds of the United States and are known for their "cheer cheer cheer," "whit-chew whit-chew" and "purty purty purty" whistles. Seven other states also have the cardinal as the state bird: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

State Tree: The pine tree is the official tree of the state of North Carolina. It was designated as the state tree of North Carolina in 1963. Pine trees are very important for the building industry, as they supply North Carolina with many important wood products.

State Flag: The flag of North Carolina was adopted in 1885. It consists of a blue union, containing in the center a white star with the letter N in gilt on the left and the letter C in gilt on the right. The fly of the flag consists of two equally proportioned bars; the upper bar (red) and the lower bar (white). Above the star in the center of the union there is a gilt scroll in semi-circular form, containing in black letters the inscription "May 20th, 1775", and below the star there is a similar scroll containing in black letters the inscription "April 12th, 1776".

What are the famous places in North Carolina?
Tourists are attracted to North Carolina because of the many historic sites, archeological museums, majestic mountains, relaxing beaches and many amusement parks in the state, view Map of North Carolina for more information. The state offers immense tennis and golf opportunities. Nicknamed the "Golf Capital of the World", North Carolina has more than 500 golf courses. The major tourist attractions in the state are Dismal Swamp State Park, Fort Branch, Grimes Mill, Ingram Planetarium, Hickory Aviation Museum, Christ Episcopal Church and Wrightsville Beach.

History and Colonization: The early colonial days were difficult for Europeans in what would later become North Carolina. Though Spanish, French, and Italian explorers came across it in the sixteenth century, it was the English who would first try to settle it. Friendly relationships with the local Native Americans were not cultivated early on, and several colonies fell to disease, starvation, and armed conflicts with hostile natives. One of these, the famous Roanoke colony, actually vanished without a trace, and what really occurred there remains a mystery.

Over time, what was called the Province of Carolina began to split into northern and southern portions. The political split came on the heels of an existing cultural one, and the territories of North Carolina and South Carolina
were officially broken apart long before the American Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, North Carolina was a stronghold of Patriot sympathies and went on to become one of the Thirteen Original Colonies that ratified the Constitution of the United States.

North Carolina has been a very agrarian state throughout much of its history. Though the plantation culture was never quite as strong there as in other areas of the American South, African-American slaves made up more than a third of the state’s population by the time of the Civil War. North Carolina was nearer to the border than states in the Deep South and joined the Confederacy more reluctantly, but ended up sending more men per capita to fight the Union than any other Southern state. After the Confederacy’s defeat, North Carolina suffered economically along with the other Southern states. The hardships of the Reconstruction years led to an eventual hardening of racist sentiments, and the prevalence of Jim Crow laws kept many of the state’s citizens from exercising their human rights.

The Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century was a major catalyst for change in North Carolina. The famous sit-in protest at Woolworth’s, among other actions, led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the repealing of most of the Jim Crow laws. Over the decades, North Carolina’s economy has been undergoing a slow switch from an agriculturally-based one into a service- and technology-based one. The urban areas of the state, therefore, have seen the most rapid population growth.

More North Carolina Facts & Trivia

1.The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the first State University in USA.

2.Fontana Dam is the biggest of its kind in eastern USA and is 480 feet tall.

3.In 1903 the Wright Brothers did the first ever successful powered flight by man. This historic event occurred at Kill Devil Hill close to Kitty Hawk.

The Wright Memorial located at Kitty Hawks stands as a mark of their achievement.

4.A lot of people think that North Carolina was the first state to have declared independence from England with Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775.

5.High Point is billed as the Global Furniture Capital.

6.Grandfather Mountain, which is the tallest peak in Blue Ridge, is the sole private park in the world that has been chosen by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve.

7.Beaufort Town was called Fish Town in early 1700's when Blackbeard used to visit the coast. It was set up in 1722 as a seaport with the rights to customs collection.

8.The Mile-High Swinging Bridge, close to Linville, is 5,305 feet above the sea level. However, it actually hangs almost 80 feet over the ground.

9.The Outer Banks of North Carolina are home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in USA.

10.Pepsi was discovered and served for the first time in New Bern in 1898.

11.Whitewater Falls, located in Transylvania County, is the tallest waterfall in eastern USA.

12.Beech Mountain is the highest town in USA. It is 5,506 feet above sea level.

13.Cape Hatteras is the biggest lighthouse ever to have been moved thanks to erosion related issues.

14.The seventh President of USA, Andrew Jackson, was born in the Waxsaws, which is on the border shared by North and South Carolina.

15.Tarheels, which is the mascot of University of North Carolina, is also a nickname for people from the state. The nickname has supposedly come from the times when the state generated a lot of tar and a person saw the footprints of someone who had stepped on some of it.

16.Arnold Palmer, who is known to be the player whose positive playing and winning personality took golf to national attention, improved his skills as a part of Wake Forest University's championship golf team.

17.The place where Charles Karault was born and raised is Wilmington.

18.The 11th President of USA, James K. Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

19.Havelock is home to a Marine Base named Cherry Point, which is the biggest air base in the Marine Corps.

20.The first ever African-American member of US Congress, Hiram Rhoades Revels, was born in Fayetteville in 1822.

21.North Carolina is the biggest producer of sweet potatoes in USA. Students at a school in Wilson County had appealed to the North Carolina General Assembly that sweet potato be made the official state vegetable.

22.Andrew Johnson kicked off his career as a tailor's apprentice in Raleigh, North Carolina. He then became a major figure in reuniting USA as its 17th President.

23.Core Sound Decoy Festival is held every December in Harker’s Island.

24.North Carolina is a leading producer of furniture, brick, tobacco, and textile.

25.North Carolina Seafood Festival is staged every year in the first weekend of October in Morehead City.

26.Saluda, North Carolina is situated right at the top of Saluda Grade.

27.The World War II battleship named North Carolina has been permanently berthed on Cape Fear River, Wilmington. It was rescued from scrap heap in 1960's through public subscription that included donation of dimes by schoolchildren.

28.The state motto of North Carolina is Esse quam videri, which means to be something rather than to seem to be like it.

29.The oldest English colony in America was situated on Roanoke Island and was founded by Walter Raleigh. The colony vanished mysteriously without any trace except for the word Croatoan, which was scribbled on a nearby tree.

30.Wendell town has been named after Oliver Wendell Holmes, an American writer,

31.Mount Mitchell in Blue Ridge Mountains is the tallest peak among ones that lie east of Mississippi. It is 6,684 feet from sea level.

32.The German and Swiss settlement of New Bern was named to honor the founder's home in Switzerland, Bern. When Bern was set up it was named by some hunters. They had named the city after the first animal they had come upon in their hunting expedition - a bear. The term Bern is an old Germanic word for Bear, which became the symbol of the city and was adopted by New Bern too.

33.Winston-Salem was where Krispy Kreme Doughnut was founded.

34.North Carolina is the first US state to have founded a state museum of art.

35.Venus Fly Trap is local to Hampstead.

36.North Carolina is among the first US states to have founded a state symphony. The North Carolina Symphony, was set up in 1943, and presently performs almost 185 full-orchestra concerts every year.

37.Fayetteville is where the first ever mini golf course was built.

38.North Carolina has the biggest state-maintained highway system in USA. The highway system in the state presently has 77,400 miles of roads.

39.The first home run of Babe Ruth came on 7th March 1914 in Fayetteville.

40.In 1987 the General Assembly of North Carolina recognized milk as the official state beverage.

41.Winston-Salem was created by joining the two towns Salem and Winston.

42.The oldest town in North Carolina is Bath. It was incorporated in 1705.

43.The biggest home in USA, Biltmore Estate, is located in Ashville. It has a chateau with 255 rooms, lots of gardens and an award winning winery.

44.Columbia is situated in northeastern North Carolina on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula. The state is on eastern shore of Scuppernong River. The Indians refer to the area as the place of the sweet bay tree.

45.The first English child born in USA was named Virginia Dare. She was born in 1587 in Roanoke.

46.White Lake, which is located near Elizabethtown, is very unique in the sense that it has a sandy and white bottom and crystal clear water. The lake has also been billed the Nation's Safest Beach. It is an absolute paradise for children as there are no currents, dangerous depressions and tides. It also does not hold any major danger to swimmers.

47.The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Albemarle marks Virginia Dare's birth. It was originally supposed to run for one year but proved so successful that it was performed for almost 60 straight summers.

48.North Carolina has fresh water streams stretching for 37,000 miles and 1,500 lakes which are at least 10 acres in size.

49.The first ever state owned art museum of USA is in Raleigh.

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Last Updated on: September 29th, 2017