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North Carolina

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State of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina State seal of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina Seal
Nickname(s): Tar Heel State; Old North State;
Cackalacky or North Cackalacky;
The Goodliest Land; The Rip Van Winkle State
Motto(s): Esse quam videri
Map of the United States with North Carolina highlighted
Official language English
Capital Raleigh
Largest city Charlotte
Area Ranked 28th
 - Total 53,865 sq mi
(139,509 km2)
 - Width 150 miles (240 km)
 - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)
 - % water 9.5
 - Latitude 34°N to 36°21'N
 - Longitude 75°30'W to 84°15'W
Number of people Ranked 10th
 - Total 8,049,313
 - Density 165.24/sq mi  (63.80/km2)
Ranked 17th
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Mt. Mitchell[2]
6,684 ft (2,038 m)
 - Average 705 ft  (215 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[2]
sea level
Became part of the U.S. November 21, 1789 (12th)
Governor Pat McCrory (R)
U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R)
Kay Hagan (D)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations NC, US-NC

North Carolina is one of the fifty states in the United States. The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh and the biggest city in the state is Charlotte. North Carolina is split up into 100 counties and these counties are split up into 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, 2007, there are about 9,061,032 people living in the state.[3]

Geography and Weather

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 is connected to 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 sections 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)

The eastern part of the state is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, and usually has comfortable 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)

The average temperature generally does not go above 90 °F in most areas of the Piedmont in summer, however it go over 100 °F when there is a heat wave. Short lived episodes of sleet and freezing rain are common in this part of North Carolina, but the mountain ranges protect the Piedmont from most severe winter weather. Snow in this region rarely lasts more than 48 hours before completely melting. Weak tornadoes are often reported in the Piedmont, but only 140 people have died due to tornadoes from 1950-2012 across the entire state.

Mountains (West North Carolina)

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.[4]


The Beginning

Before being settled by the English, about 30 Native American groups lived across North Carolina. In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh began two colonies in North Carolina, but they did not last long. [[The Roanoke Colony]] became known as the Lost Colony and is still one of the biggest mysteries in American history. Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World, 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.[5] Later the land was devided into present day North Carolina and South Carolina. The name Carolina comes from the Latin for for Charles (Carolus) after King Charles I.

The American Revolution

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

The Civil War

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, although it was the last of the states 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.


Farming and Manufacturing

Farmss in North Carolina produce various things including 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 then any other state in the country. [6] 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

Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina, is the second biggest banking center 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 the home to a hub 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

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.



North Carolina has more state maintained roads than any other American state. [7] 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


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)


  1. "North Carolina Climate and Geography". NC Kids Page. North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. May 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". U.S Geological Survey. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-06.
  3. "national and state population estimates". Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2006. US Census Bureau. 2006-12-22. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  4. "Overview". NC State University. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  5. Fenn and Wood, Natives and Newcomers, pp. 24-25
  6. Time for tobacco burning out in N.C.. Associated Press. April 29, 2007.
  7. 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.