North Carolina

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State of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina State seal of North Carolina
Flag Seal
Nickname(s):
Old North State; Tar Heel State
Motto(s): Esse quam videri: "To be, rather than to seem" (official); First in Flight
State song(s): "The Old North State"
Map of the United States with North Carolina highlighted
Official languageEnglish[1]
Spoken languagesAs of 2010[2]
  • English 90.70%
  • Spanish 6.93%
  • Other 2.73%
DemonymNorth Carolinian (official);
Tar Heel (colloquial)
CapitalRaleigh
Largest cityCharlotte
Largest metroGreater Charlotte
AreaRanked 28th
 • Total53,819 sq mi
(139,390 km2)
 • Width186 miles (272 km)
 • Length560[3] miles (901 km)
 • % water9.5
 • Latitude33° 50′ N to 36° 35′ N
 • Longitude75° 28′ W to 84° 19′ W
PopulationRanked 9th
 • Total10,383,620 (2018)
 • Density208.7/sq mi  (80.6/km2)
Ranked 15th
 • Median household income$50,797[4] (38th)
Elevation
 • Highest pointMount Mitchell[5][6]
6,684 ft (2037 m)
 • Mean700 ft  (210 m)
 • Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean[5]
Sea level
Before statehoodProvince of North-Carolina
Admission to UnionNovember 21, 1789 (12th)
GovernorRoy Cooper (D)
Lieutenant GovernorDan Forest (R)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsRichard Burr (R)
Thom Tillis (R)
U.S. House delegation9 Republicans
3 Democrats
1 vacant (list)
Time zoneEastern: UTC −5/−4
ISO 3166US-NC
AbbreviationsNC, N.C.
Websitewww.nc.gov
North Carolina state symbols
Flag of North Carolina.svg
Seal of North Carolina.svg
Living insignia
BirdCardinal
ButterflyEastern tiger swallowtail
FishRed Drum
FlowerFlowering Dogwood
InsectWestern honeybee
MarsupialVirginia Opossum (state marsupial)
TreeLongleaf Pine
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
DanceClogging
FoodScuppernong grape, sweet potato
FossilMegalodon teeth
GemstoneEmerald
MineralGold
RockGranite
State route marker
North Carolina state route marker
State quarter
North Carolina quarter dollar coin
Released in 2001
Lists of United States state symbols

North Carolina is one of the 50 states of the United States. The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh and the biggest city in the state is Charlotte. North Carolina is split into 100 counties and these counties have many cities and towns.

North Carolina was one of the original thirteen colonies and was where the first English colony in America lived. As of July 1, 2014, there are about 10,146,788 people living in the state.[7]


In 2018, North Carolina was ranked number one on Forbes' Best States for Business ranking for a second year in a row.

Geography[change | change source]

This is a map of North Carolina. The green part is the Coastal Plain, the yellow part is the Piedmont, and the red part is the Mountains

North Carolina touches South Carolina on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee on the west, Virginia on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. There are three main parts in North Carolina: the coastal plain, the piedmont, and the mountains. The coastal plain is the eastern part of the state, the piedmont is the middle, and the mountains are the western part of the state. North Carolina also has some islands that are called The Outer Banks. They are in the ocean to the east of the state.

North Carolina has many different kinds of weather in different parts of the state throughout the year.

Coastal Plain (East North Carolina)[change | change source]

The eastern part of the state is touched by the Atlantic Ocean, and usually has nice temperatures all year long with the summer average high temperature usually not above 90 °F in the summer and not under 40 °F in the winter. However, it can get as hot as the low 100s °F and as cold as 20 °F. Most years there is less than one inch of snow and some years pass with no snow at all. The coastal plain usually gets a tropical storm every 3 or 4 years.

Piedmont (Middle North Carolina)[change | change source]

The average temperature normally does not go above 90 °F in most parts of the Piedmont in summer, but can go over 100 °F when there is a heat wave. Ice pellets and freezing rain are normal in this part of North Carolina, but the mountain ranges protect the Piedmont from the worst winter weather. Snow in this region rarely lasts more than 48 hours before melting. Weak tornadoes are often seen in the Piedmont, but only 140 people have died by tornadoes from 1950-2012 in the entire state.

Mountains (West North Carolina)[change | change source]

The average temperature almost never goes above 80 °F in the summer and is usually in the high 30’s or low 40’s in the winter in the mountain region of North Carolina. About 14 to 20 inches of snow fall each year with some of the higher elevations getting 50 inches each winter. The wettest part of the mountains gets 90 inches of rain.[8]

History[change | change source]

The Beginning[change | change source]

Before the English came, about 30 Native American groups lived in North Carolina. In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh started two colonies in what is now known as North Carolina, but they did not last long. One of these, the Roanoke Colony later became known as the Lost Colony and is still known as one of the great unsolved mysteries of early American history to this day. Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the America, was born in the Roanoke Colony.

The first permanent settlers in North Carolina came from the state of Virginia in 1655 because there was not enough farmland in Virginia.[9] Later the land was cut up into present-day North Carolina and South Carolina. The name "Carolina" comes from the Latin for Charles (Carolus) after King Charles I.

= The American Revolutionary War[change | change source]

North Carolina was an important state during the American Revolutionary War.

The Civil War[change | change source]

In 1860, North Carolina was a slave state. About 1/3 of the people in the state were slaves. North Carolina fought as part of the Confederacy during the Civil War, but it was the last state to leave the Union. The state sent about 125,000 troops to fight in the war and about 40,000 of them died. Even during the war some people in North Carolina did not support the Confederacy, mostly because the Confederacy believed in slavery. The first Confederate soldier to be killed was from North Carolina.

Economy[change | change source]

Farming and Manufacturing[change | change source]

Farms in North Carolina grow many different foods such as grapes, peanuts, Christmas trees, poultry and eggs, wheat, corn, cucumbers, apples, greens, tobacco, hogs, milk, cattle, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. North Carolina grows more tobacco than any other state in the country.[10] Furniture making is an important industry in North Carolina, but over the past few years many jobs have moved to other countries like China and India.

Banking and Technology[change | change source]

Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, is the second biggest banking city in the United States, making banking very important in North Carolina. BB&T and Bank of America have their main offices in the state.

Technology is also important in North Carolina. There are many companies that make computer software and video games in the state. Winston-Salem is a center for innovation in biomedical and material sciences and information technology called the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Research Triangle Park near the state capital of Raleigh is one of the largest research parks in the world. 

Medical Research and Care[change | change source]

North Carolina has four hospitals that are nationally ranked with many NICUs at a IV rating (highest possible rating in the United States). Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is reported by the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top hospitals in the nation. Brenner Children's Hospital and Health Services is designated a Nurse Magnet facility and it was rated in 2014 as one of America's best children's hospitals.

Transportation[change | change source]

Roads[change | change source]

North Carolina has more state maintained roads than any other American state.[11] The biggest roads are:

Number Highway
I-26 I-26.svg Interstate 26
I-40 I-40.svg Interstate 40
I-73 I-73.svg Interstate 73
I-74 I-74.svg Interstate 74
I-77 I-77.svg Interstate 77
I-85 I-85.svg Interstate 85
I-95 I-95.svg Interstate 95
U.S. 1 US 1.svg U.S. Route 1
U.S. 17 US 17.svg U.S. Route 17
U.S. 64 US 64.svg U.S. Route 64
U.S. 70 US 70.svg U.S. Route 70
U.S. 74 US 74.svg U.S. Route 74
U.S. 52 US 52.svg U.S. Route 52
U.S. 421 US 421.svg U.S. Route 421
U.S. 401 US 401.svg U.S. Route 401

Airports[change | change source]

There are many major and international airports in North Carolina. These are:

Airport City
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (Charlotte)
Asheville Regional Airport (Asheville)
Fayetteville Regional Airport (Fayetteville)
Piedmont Triad International Airport (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point)
Pitt-Greenville Airport (Greenville)
Moore County Airport (Pinehurst/Southern Pines)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (Raleigh/Durham)
Craven County Regional Airport (New Bern)
Wilmington International Airport (Wilmington)

References[change | change source]

  1. "State language". Ncga.state.nc.cus. p. § 145–12. Retrieved May 23, 2016. (a)Purpose. English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina. This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of North Carolina. (b) English as the Official Language of North Carolina. English is the official language of the State of North Carolina.[permanent dead link]
  2. "North Carolina". Modern Language Association. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  3. "North Carolina Climate and Geography". NC Kids Page. North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. May 8, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  4. "Median Annual Household Income". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  7. List of U.S. states by population
  8. "Overview". NC State University. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  9. Fenn and Wood, Natives and Newcomers, pp. 24-25
  10. Time for tobacco burning out in N.C. Associated Press. April 29, 2007.
  11. Hartgen, David T. and Ravi K. Karanam (2007). "16th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems" (PDF). Reason Foundation. p. 14 (in pdf), 8 (in printed report). Retrieved 2007-10-20.[dead link]