North Carolina Geography, Population, Business and History

North Carolina is a state of the United States that, together with Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, form the so-called South Atlantic states. The state borders Tennessee in the west, Virginia in the north, the Atlantic in the east, South Carolina in the south and Georgia in the southwest.

North Carolina has a total area of ​​approximately 139,400 square miles and, with 10,273,419 residents, is the United States’ 9th most populous state (US Census, 2017). North Carolina was recorded as the 12th state in the United States on November 21, 1789. The capital is Raleigh, while Charlotte is the largest city.

The name comes from Carolus, Latin form of English Charles, name of English / French kings to whom the original province of Carolina was named. The state is also known as The Tar Heel State, the “Tar Heel State,” used by General Robert E. Lee as a reference to the North Carolina soldiers’ relentlessness during the American Civil War.

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At the far west is the Appalachian Mountains, where Blue Ridge in Mount Mitchell reaches 2037 meters above sea level. Further east, along the foothills of the mountain area (Piedmont), the terrain is approximately 150-500 meters above sea level. About half of the state lies on the coastal plain (Tidewater). On the border with Virginia lies the great marsh line Dismal Swamp. The coast is lined with sandbanks, within which lie lakes and lagoons, including the wide Pamlico Sound. Three protruding shingles – Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout and Cape Fear – are known as the “Atlantic Cemetery”; the first two are national parks.

While the inland mountains have a moderate inland climate, the coast in the south has a humid subtropical climate with rainfall amounts of 1100–1400 millimeters. 40 per cent of the area is wooded, while 15 per cent is cultivated land. The growing season is 275 days on the coast and 175 days inland, with July and August as the humid months, and October and November as the driest. The average temperature for the whole year ranges from 13-19 °C.


Population growth during the period 1990–2000 was 21.4 per cent, and from 2000–2010 18.5 per cent. Of the population, 63.1 percent are white, 22.2 percent are African American (1910: 31.6 percent), and 9.5 percent are Latinos or Hispanics (US Census, 2017). Indigenous peoples (Cherokee) make up 1.6 percent. About 66 per cent of the population lives in cities (2015). Major cities are Charlotte, the capital Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem and Fayetteville.

State University is the nation’s first, founded in 1795, located in Chapel Hill and has branches in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. At Durham is Duke University. The Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill area is known for its research and high-tech business and is called The Research Triangle. Greensboro was the place where students began their “sit-in” demonstrations on February 1, 1960, as part of the fight against racial segregation. Various free churches make up the largest denominations.

North Carolina sends two senators and 13 representatives to the federal congress in Washington DC.


Tobacco, maize, peanut, soybean and peach are grown. Cotton was traditionally the most important product, but because the cotton plant has depleted the soil, with declining fertility as a result, the cotton has declined in importance. However, piling up broilers has become a major industry.

Forestry is also important. About half of the land area is forest that is commercially operated. Main wood products are various types of plywood. North Carolina supplies most of America’s mica and feldspar, as well as olivine and granite. The state has several timber, furniture and wood processing industries as well as the textile industry, cotton spinning and cigarette production. The cuts in defense have created problems for communities with large military bases.


Walter Raleigh attempted in 1585 to establish a colony on the island of Roanoke at Albemarle Sound, but the first permanent colonization began in 1660. What was known as the province of Carolina in 1663 was divided into North Carolina and South Carolina when both territories became British Crown colonies in 1729.

As the 12th state in the North, North Carolina ratified the Union Constitution and became a member of the Union in 1789. North Carolina resigned in 1861 and joined the Confederate States, then resumed in the Union in 1868. From the 1870s, an expansion began of railways and industry that made North Carolina the most industrialized of the Southern states.

North Carolina Population 2019

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