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Charlotte ( ) is the
most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or the ...
in the
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
of
North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily news ...

North Carolina
. Located in the
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ; Piedmontese language, Piedmontese, Lombard language, Lombard, Occitan language, Occitan and frp, Piemont, , , french: Piémont) is a region in northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. ...
region, it is the
county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Township, commune is located. In countries with Fre ...
of Mecklenburg County. The population was 874,579 as of the 2020 census, making it the 16th-most populous city in the U.S., the second-largest city in the
Southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
behind
Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the north by , to the east by and , and to the south by the ...
, and seventh-largest city in the
Southern United States The Southern United States, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, Dixie, the Southland, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...
. The city is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the
Charlotte metropolitan area The Charlotte metropolitan area or Metrolina is a metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, whose population ranks 23rd in the U.S., and had a population of 2,660,329, in 2020. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or
combined statistical area Combined statistical area (CSA) is a United States Office of Management and Budget The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP). OMB's most prominent ...
with a 2020 census-estimated population of 2,846,550. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, Charlotte tops the U.S. in millennial population growth. It is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. Residents are referred to as " Charlotteans". Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of
Bank of America The Bank of America Corporation (simply referred to as Bank of America, often abbreviated as BofA or BoA) is an American multinational investment bank Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period o ...

Bank of America
,
Truist Financial Truist Financial Corporation is an American bank holding company A bank holding company is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural ...
, and the
east coast East Coast may refer to: Entertainment * East Coast hip hop, a subgenre of hip hop * East Coast (ASAP Ferg song), "East Coast" (ASAP Ferg song), 2017 * East Coast (Saves the Day song), "East Coast" (Saves the Day song), 2004 * East Coast FM, a rad ...
headquarters of
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Fra ...

Wells Fargo
, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States. Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the
Carolina Panthers The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...

Carolina Panthers
(NFL), the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
(NBA), the
Coca-Cola 600 The Coca-Cola 600, originally the World 600, is an annual NASCAR Cup Series points race held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, on a Sunday during Memorial Day weekend. The first race, held in 1960 in NASCAR, 1960, was a ...
, the
Wells Fargo Championship The Wells Fargo Championship is a professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unli ...
, the
NASCAR Hall of Fame The NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, honors drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving, all-time great crew chiefs and owners, broadcasters and other major contributors to competition within the sanction ...

NASCAR Hall of Fame
, the
Charlotte Ballet Charlotte Ballet is the oldest professional ballet company in North Carolina. It was founded as North Carolina Dance Theatre in Winston-Salem by Robert Lindgren, who was then Dean of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, i ...
, Children's Theatre of Charlotte,
Carowinds Carowinds is a amusement park located adjacent to Interstate 77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although it has an official North Carolina address, the park is located along the North Carolina-South Carolina state line, with a portion of the park ...

Carowinds
amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte has a
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
. It is located several miles east of the
Catawba River The Catawba River originates in Western North Carolina Western North Carolina (often abbreviated as WNC) is the region of North Carolina North Carolina () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the ...
and southeast of
Lake Norman Lake Norman is the largest man-made body of fresh water Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water containing low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids Total dissolved solids (T ...
, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina.
Lake Wylie Lake Wylie is a reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake created using a dam to water storage, store water. Reservoirs can be created in a number of ways, ...
and
Mountain Island Lake Mountain Island Lake is a lake northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmont region, ...
are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.


History

The Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County (in the Charlotte area) and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records. By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
, which was endemic among European colonists, because the Catawba had not acquired
immunity Immunity may refer to: Medicine * Immunity (medical), resistance of an organism to infection or disease * Immunity (journal), ''Immunity'' (journal), a scientific journal published by Cell Press Biology * Immune system Engineering * Radiofrequ ...
to the new disease. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, but by 1826 their total population had dropped to 110. The city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of
Scots-Irish Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish may refer to: * Ulster Scots people, an ethnic group in Ulster, Ireland, who trace their roots to settlers from Scotland * Scotch-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots who first migrated to America in large number ...
Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding population in the backcountry. German immigrants also settled the area before the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, but in much smaller numbers. They still contributed greatly to the early foundations of the region. Mecklenburg County was initially part of Bath County (1696 to 1729) of New Hanover Precinct, which became
New Hanover County in New Hanover County New Hanover County is one of 100 List of counties in North Carolina, counties located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 202,667. Though the second-sma ...
in 1729. The western portion of New Hanover split into
Bladen County Bladen County ()
, from the North Carolina Collection's website at the University of North Carolina a ...
in 1734, its western portion splitting into Anson County in 1750. Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762. Further apportionment was made in 1792, after the American Revolutionary War, with
Cabarrus County Cabarrus County ()
, from the North Carolina Collection's website at the University of North Carolin ...
formed from Mecklenburg. In 1842, Union County formed from Mecklenburg's southeastern portion and a western portion of Anson County. These areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the
Salisbury District Salisbury was a Districts of England, local government district in Wiltshire, England from 1974 to 2009. Its main urban area was the city of Salisbury. The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972 and the pur ...
. The area that is now Charlotte was first settled by European colonists around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood.
Thomas Polk Thomas Polk (c. 1732–January 25, 1794) was a Planter (American South), planter, military officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1781, and a politician who served in the North Carolina House of Commons, ...
(great-uncle of
U.S. President
U.S. President
James K. Polk James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841). ...

James K. Polk
), who later married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
trading paths between the
Yadkin
Yadkin
and Catawba rivers. One path ran north–south and was part of the
Great Wagon Road Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...
; the second path ran east–west along what is now Trade Street. Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Sophia Charlotte; 19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818) was List of British royal consorts, Queen of Great Britain and List of Irish royal consorts, Ireland as the wife of King George III from their marriage on 8 ...

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents. He wrote that Charlotte was "a
hornet Hornets (insects in the genus ''Vespa'') are the largest of the Eusociality, eusocial wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellowjackets. Some species can reach up to in length. They are distinguished from other Vespina ...

hornet
's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest". Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become the Town of Charlotte, incorporating in 1768. Though chartered as Charlotte, the name appears as a form of "Charlottesburgh" on many maps until around 1800. A form of "Charlottetown" also appears on maps of British origin depicting General Cornwallis' route of invasion. The crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of
Uptown Charlotte Uptown Charlotte is the central business district of Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmo ...
. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a
grid pattern In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, ...
for future development. The east–west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of
William Tryon Lieutenant General Lieutenant general or lieutenant-general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a Three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-9) used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of ...
, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon", or simply "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square". While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772,
William Moultrie William Moultrie (; November 23, 1730 – September 27, 1805) was a South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...

William Moultrie
stopped in Charlotte, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs". Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the
Mecklenburg Resolves Mecklenburg (; nds, label=Low German , , (in a stricter sense) nl, Nedersaksisch da, Plattysk, , , (rarely) , states = Northern Germany, Northern and Western Germany, western GermanyEastern NetherlandsSouthern Denmark , ethnici ...
, more popularly known as the
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is a text published in 1819 with the claim that it was the first declaration of independence made in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the T ...
. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that eventually led to the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's
state flag In vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of s or, by extension, any interest in flags in general.Smith, Whitney. ''Flags Through the Ages and Across the World'' New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. Print. The w ...

state flag
and also bear the date.


After the American Revolution

Charlotte is traditionally considered the home of Southern
Presbyterianism Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that traces its origin to the Church of Scotland. Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian polity, presbyterian form of ecclesiastical polity, churc ...
, but in the 19th century, numerous churches, including Presbyterian,
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, ...

Baptist
,
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
, Episcopal,
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
, and
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
formed, eventually giving Charlotte the nickname, "The City of Churches". In 1799, in nearby Cabarrus County, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17- pound rock, which his family used as a doorstop. Three years later, a jeweler determined it was nearly solid gold, paying the family a paltry $3.50. The first documented gold find in the United States of any consequence set off the nation's first
gold rush cut the travel time from New York to San Francisco in seven months to four months in the 1849 California Gold Rush, Gold Rush. A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare-earth miner ...

gold rush
. Many veins of gold were found in the area throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to the 1837 founding of the
Charlotte Mint The Charlotte Mint was the first United States branch mint. It was located in Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmo ...
. North Carolina was the chief producer of gold in the United States until the Sierra Nevada find in 1848, although the volume mined in the Charlotte area was dwarfed by subsequent rushes. Some groups still
pan for gold Gold panning, or simply ''panning'', is a form of placer mining and traditional mining that extracts gold from a placer deposit using a pan. The process is one of the simplest ways to extract gold, and is popular with geology enthusiasts especiall ...
occasionally in local streams and creeks. The Reed Gold Mine operated until 1912. The Charlotte Mint was active until 1861, when
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederate
forces seized it at the outbreak of the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
. The mint was not reopened at the war's end, but the building, albeit in a different location, now houses the
Mint Museum of ArtThe Mint Museum is a cultural institution in Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmont region, ...
. The city's first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub. Charlotte's city population at the 1880 Census grew to 7,084. In 1910, Charlotte surpassed
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...

Wilmington
to become North Carolina's largest city.


World War I to present

The population grew again during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene, north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war, launching urbanization that eventually overtook older cities along the Piedmont Crescent. In the 1920 census, Charlotte was only the state's second largest city,
Winston-Salem Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. In 2020, the population was 249,545 making it the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the List o ...
having 48,395, two thousand more people than Charlotte. Charlotte overtook it several years later. The city's modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, largely under the leadership of
financier An investor is a person that allocates capital with the expectation of a future financial return (profit) or to gain an advantage (interest). Through this allocated capital most of the time the investor purchases some species of property. Type ...

financier
Hugh McColl Hugh L. McColl Jr. (born 18 June 1935) is a fourth-generation banker and the former Chairman and CEO of Bank of America. Active in banking since around 1960, McColl was a driving force behind consolidating a series of progressively larger, most ...

Hugh McColl
. McColl transformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) into a formidable national bank that through aggressive acquisitions eventually merged with BankAmerica to become
Bank of America The Bank of America Corporation (simply referred to as Bank of America, often abbreviated as BofA or BoA) is an American multinational investment bank Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period o ...

Bank of America
.
First Union First Union Corporation was a bank holding company A bank holding company is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal persona ...
, later
Wachovia Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo and Company in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States, based on total assets ...
in 2001, experienced similar growth before it was acquired by
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
-based
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Fra ...

Wells Fargo
in 2008. Measured by control of assets, Charlotte became the second largest banking headquarters in the United States after
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. On September 22, 1989, the city was hit by
Hurricane Hugo Hurricane Hugo was a powerful Cape Verde tropical cyclone that inflicted widespread damage across the northeastern Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label= Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Car ...
. With sustained winds of and gusts of , Hugo caused massive property damage, destroyed 80,000 trees, and knocked out electrical power to most of the population. Residents were without power for weeks, schools were closed for a week or more, and the cleanup took months. The city was caught unprepared; Charlotte is inland, and residents from coastal areas in both Carolinas often wait out hurricanes in Charlotte. In December 2002, Charlotte and much of central North Carolina were hit by an ice storm that resulted in more than 1.3 million people losing power. During an abnormally cold December, many were without power for weeks. Many of the city's Bradford pear trees split apart under the weight of the ice. In August 2015 and September 2016, the city experienced several days of protests related to the police shootings of Jonathan Ferrell and Keith Scott.


Geography

According to the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
, the city has a total area of , of which is land and is water. Charlotte lies at an elevation of . Charlotte constitutes most of Mecklenburg County in the Carolina
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ; Piedmontese language, Piedmontese, Lombard language, Lombard, Occitan language, Occitan and frp, Piemont, , , french: Piémont) is a region in northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. ...
.
Uptown Charlotte Uptown Charlotte is the central business district of Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmo ...
sits atop a long rise between two creeks, Sugar Creek and Irwin Creek, and was built on the gunnies of the St. Catherine's and Rudisill
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
mines Mine, mines, miners or mining may refer to: Extraction or digging *Miner, a person engaged in mining or digging *Mining, extraction of mineral resources from the ground through a mine Grammar *Mine, a first-person English possessive pronoun Mil ...

mines
. Charlotte is 25 miles (40 km) southwest of
Concord, North Carolina Concord (/ˈkɒn.kord/) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
, 26 miles (41 km) northeast of
Rock Hill, South Carolina Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, South Carolina, United States, and the fifth-largest city in the state. It is also the fourth-largest city of the Charlotte metropolitan area, behind Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia (all located ...

Rock Hill, South Carolina
, 83 miles (144 km) southwest of
Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro (; formerly Greensborough) is a city in and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the cen ...
, 135 miles (217 km) west of
Fayetteville, North Carolina Fayetteville () is a city in Cumberland County, North Carolina, Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Cumberland County, and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a major U.S. Army installation northwest ...
, and 165 miles (265 km) southwest
Raleigh, North Carolina Raleigh (; ) is the capital city, capital of the state of North Carolina and the List of North Carolina county seats, seat of Wake County, North Carolina, Wake County in the United States. It is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, se ...
, the
state capitol This is a list of state and territorial capitols in the United States, the building or complex of buildings from which the government of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia and the organized territories of the United States, exercise its au ...
. Though the Catawba River and its lakes lie several miles west, there are no significant bodies of water or other geological features near the city center. Consequently, development has neither been constrained nor helped by waterways or ports that have contributed to many cities of similar size. The lack of these obstructions has contributed to Charlotte's growth as a highway, rail, and air transportation hub.


Cityscape

Charlotte has 199 neighborhoods radiating in all directions from
Uptown Uptown may refer to: Neighborhoods or regions in several cities United States * Uptown, entertainment district east of Downtown and Midtown Albuquerque, New Mexico * Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina * Uptown, area surrounding the University of Cin ...
. Biddleville, the primary historic center of Charlotte's African American community, is west of Uptown, starting at the Johnson C. Smith University campus and extending to the airport. East of The Plaza and north of Central Avenue, Plaza-Midwood is known for its international population, including Eastern Europeans,
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...
, Middle-Easterners, and
Hispanics The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano) refers to people, cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and ...
. North Tryon and the Sugar Creek area include several
Asian American Asian Americans are Americans Americans are the and of the .; ; ''Ricketts v. Attorney General''897 F.3d 491, 494 n.3 (3d Cir. 2018) (" and are not ous. While all citizens are nationals, not all nationals are citizens."); ''United Sta ...
communities. NoDa (North Davidson), north of Uptown, is an emerging center for arts and entertainment. Myers Park (Charlotte neighborhood), Myers Park, Dilworth (Charlotte neighborhood), Dilworth, and Eastover are home to some of Charlotte's oldest and largest houses, on tree-lined boulevards, with Freedom Park (Charlotte, North Carolina), Freedom Park nearby. The SouthPark (Charlotte neighborhood), SouthPark area offers shopping, dining, and multifamily housing. Far South Boulevard is home to a large Hispanic community. Many students, researchers, and affiliated professionals live near UNC Charlotte in the northeast area known as University City, North Carolina, University City. The large area known as Southeast Charlotte is home to many golf communities, luxury developments, churches, the Jewish community center, and private schools. As undeveloped land within Mecklenburg has become scarce, many of these communities have expanded into Weddington, North Carolina, Weddington and Waxhaw, North Carolina, Waxhaw in Union County. Ballantyne (neighborhood), Ballantyne, in the south of Charlotte, and nearly every area on the I‑485 perimeter, has experienced rapid growth over the past ten years. The Steele Creek, North Carolina, Steele Creek neighborhood which is primarily in Mecklenburg county is located within minutes near Uptown Charlotte. Since the 1980s in particular, Uptown Charlotte has undergone massive construction of buildings, housing Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Hearst Corporation, Duke Energy, several hotels, and multiple condominium developments.


Green space

The 120‑acre Park Road Park (Charlotte, North Carolina), Park Road Park is a prominent landmark near the SouthPark area. Park Road Park features eight basketball courts, two horseshoe pits, six baseball fields, five picnic shelters, volleyball courts, playgrounds, trails, tennis courts, and an eleven-acre lake. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation Department operates 36 tennis facilities and the 12 lighted tennis courts at the park. The urban section of Little Sugar Creek Greenway was completed in 2012. Inspired in part by the San Antonio River Walk, and integral to Charlotte's extensive urban park system, it is "a huge milestone" according to Gwen Cook, greenway planner for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. However, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway bears no relation to the San Antonio River Walk. The Little Sugar Creek Greenway is prone to flooding during thunderstorms and periods of heavy rain. Creation of Little Sugar Creek Greenway cost $43 million and was controversial because it required the forced acquisition of several established local businesses. The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County began purchasing flood-prone homes in the 1990s. Voluntary buyouts of 700 households have created around 200 acres of open land that can flood safely, thereby saving an estimated $28 million in flood damage and emergency rescues. McAlpine Creek Park and integrated McAlpine Creek Greenway constructed in 1978 was the first greenway built in the western piedmont of North Carolina.


Climate

Like much of the Piedmont region of the southeastern United States, Charlotte has a
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
(Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cfa''), with four distinct seasons; the city itself is part of USDA hardiness zone 8a, transitioning to 7b in the suburbs in all directions except the south. The following narrative reflects 1991-2020 climate data. Winters are cool, with a normal January daily mean temperature of . On average, there are 59 nights per year that drop to or below freezing, and only 1.5 days that fail to rise above freezing. Precipitation is evenly distributed through the year; only August stands out as a slightly wetter month, averaging 4.35 inches of rainfall. Summers are hot and humid, with a normal July daily mean temperature of . There is an average 44 days per year with highs at or above . Official record temperatures range from recorded six times, most recently from Summer 2012 North American heat wave, June 29 to July 1, 2012, down to recorded on January 1985 Arctic outbreak, January 21, 1985, the most recent of three occasions. The record cold daily maximum is on Great Blizzard of 1899, February 12 and 13, 1899, and the record warm daily minimum is on August 13, 1881. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 5 through March 30, allowing a growing season of 220 days. Charlotte is directly in the path of subtropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico as it heads up the eastern seaboard, thus the city receives ample precipitation throughout the year but also many clear, sunny days; precipitation is generally less frequent in autumn than in spring. On average, Charlotte receives of precipitation annually, evenly distributed throughout the year. Annual precipitation has historically ranged from in 2001 to in 1884. There is an average of of snow, mainly in January and February and rarely December or March, with more frequent ice storms and sleet mixed in with rain; seasonal snowfall has historically ranged from trace amounts in 2011–12 to in 1959–60. Snow and ice storms can have a major impact on the area, as they often pull tree limbs down onto power lines and make driving hazardous. Snow has been recorded a small number of times in April, most recently, April 2, 2019. , the Charlotte metropolitan area as a whole is noted for having one of the worst weather radar gaps among any major East Coast of the United States, U.S. East Coast city, with little to no coverage in a roughly quadrilateral area spanning Concord, North Carolina, Concord, Salisbury, North Carolina, Salisbury and much of Statesville, North Carolina, Statesville. As the nearest National Weather Service, NWS-owned NEXRAD is located in Greer, South Carolina, more than to the west-southwest of Charlotte, this deficit is particularly problematic during severe thunderstorm or tornado episodes. The current lowest angle of the radar, based in Greer, is quite far above the surface over Charlotte, so the Weather radar#Velocity, velocities measurement for detecting Tornado vortex signature, rotations cannot be below mid-level in potential tornado-forming storms and thus cannot indicate whether said rotation extends closer to the ground (below ).


Demographics


2020 census

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 874,579 people, 342,448 households, and 195,614 families residing in the city.


2019

The most recent U.S. Census estimate (2019, released in May 2020) showed 885,708 residents living within Charlotte's city limits and 1,093,901 in Mecklenburg County. The Combined Statistical Area, combined statistical area, or trade area, of Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area, Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia, NC–SC had a population of 2,728,933. Figures from the more comprehensive 2010 census show Charlotte's population density to be 2,457 per square mile (948.7/km). There were 319,918 housing units at an average density of 1,074.6 per square mile (414.9/km).


2010 census

According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Charlotte was 45.1% White (U.S. Census), White or Caucasian (U.S. Census), Caucasian, 35.0% Black (U.S. Census), Black or African American, 13.1% Hispanic (U.S. Census), Hispanic or Latin American, 5.0% Asian (U.S. Census), Asian, 0.5% Native Americans in the United States, American Indian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 6.8% Race (United States Census), some other race, and 2.7% Multiracial American, two or more races. In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Charlotte's population as 30.2% Black and 68.9% White. The median income for a household in the city was $48,670, and the median income for a family was $59,452. Males had a median income of $38,767 versus $29,218 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,825. The percentage of the population living at or below the poverty line was 10.6%, with 7.8% of families living at or below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Religion

Charlotte has historically been a Protestantism, Protestant city. It is the birthplace of Billy Graham, and is also the historic seat of Presbyterian Church in the United States, Southern Presbyterianism, but the changing demographics of the city's increasing population have brought scores of new denominations and faiths. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wycliffe USA, Wycliffe Bible Translators' JAARS Center, Serving In Mission, SIM Missions Organization, and The Christian Research Institute make their homes in the Charlotte general area. In total, Charlotte proper has over 700 places of worship. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is now the fourth largest denomination in Charlotte, with 68,000 members and 206 congregations. The second largest Presbyterian denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America has 43 churches and 12,000 members, followed by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church with 63 churches and 9,500 members. The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is headquartered in Charlotte, and both Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary have campuses there; more recently, the religious studies academic departments of Charlotte's local colleges and universities have also grown considerably. The Advent Christian Church is headquartered in Charlotte. The Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is also headquartered in Charlotte. The largest Protestant church in Charlotte, by attendance, is Elevation Church, a Southern Baptist church founded by lead pastor Steven Furtick. The church has over 15,000 congregants at nine Charlotte locations. Charlotte's Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Charlotte, Cathedral of Saint Patrick is the seat of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. The Tridentine Mass, Traditional Latin Mass is offered by the Society of St. Pius X at St. Anthony Catholic Church in nearby Mount Holly, North Carolina, Mount Holly. The Traditional Latin Mass is also offered at St. Ann, Charlotte, a church under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Charlotte. St. Matthew Parish, located in the Ballantyne (Charlotte neighborhood), Ballantyne neighborhood, is the largest Catholic parish with over 30,000 parishioners. The Greek Orthodox Church's cathedral for North Carolina, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Charlotte, North Carolina), Holy Trinity Cathedral, is located in Charlotte. Charlotte has the largest Jewish population in the Carolinas. Shalom Park in south Charlotte is the hub of the Jewish community, featuring two synagogues, Temple Israel (Charlotte, North Carolina), Temple Israel and Temple Beth El, as well as a community center, the Charlotte Jewish Day School for grades K–5, and the headquarters of the ''Charlotte Jewish News''. Most African Americans in Charlotte are Baptists affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., National Baptist Convention, the largest predominantly African American denomination in the United States. African American Methodists are largely affiliated with either the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, headquartered in Charlotte, or the African Methodist Episcopal Church. African American Pentecostals are represented by several organizations such as the United House of Prayer for All People, Church of God in Christ, and the United Holy Church of America. , 51.91% of people in Charlotte practice religion on a regular basis, making it the second most religious city in North Carolina after Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Winston-Salem. The largest religion in Charlotte is Christianity, with Baptists (13.26%) having the largest number of adherents. The second largest Christian group are the
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
s (9.43%), followed by
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
s (8.02%) and Presbyterians (5.25%). Other Christian affiliates include Pentecostals (2.50%),
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
s (1.30%), Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopalians (1.20%), Latter-Day Saints (0.84%), and other Christian (8.87%) churches, including the Eastern Orthodox and Nondenominational Christianity, non-denominational congregations. Judaism (0.57%) is the second largest religion after Christianity, followed by Eastern religions (0.34%) and Islam (0.32%).


Economy

Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the United States, after
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. The nation's second largest financial institution by total assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. It is also home to the nation's sixth largest financial institution, Truist Financial, Truist, formed from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, SunTrust in 2019. The city was also the former corporate home of
Wachovia Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo and Company in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States, based on total assets ...
until its 2008 acquisition by Wells Fargo; Wells Fargo integrated legacy Wachovia, with the two banks fully merged at the end of 2011, which included transitioning all of the Wachovia branches in the Carolinas to Wells Fargo branches by October 2011. Since then, Charlotte has become the regional headquarters for East Coast operations of Wells Fargo, which is headquartered in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
, California. Charlotte also serves as the headquarters for Wells Fargo's capital markets activities including sales and trading, equity research, and investment banking. Bank of America's headquarters, along with other regional banking and financial services companies, are located primarily in the Uptown central business district. Microsoft and Centene Corporation also operate their East Coast headquarters in Charlotte. In November 2018, Honeywell moved its corporate headquarters to Charlotte. In 2019, Dole Food Company relocated its headquarters to Charlotte from California, and expanded its presence in Charlotte with its merger with Ireland-based Total Produce in February 2021. On May 25, 2021, it was announced that Charlotte would become the East Coast headquarters of Credit Karma. As of 2019, Charlotte has seven Fortune 500 companies in its metropolitan area. Listed in order of their rank, they are:
Bank of America The Bank of America Corporation (simply referred to as Bank of America, often abbreviated as BofA or BoA) is an American multinational investment bank Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period o ...

Bank of America
, Honeywell, Nucor, Lowe's, Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive and Brighthouse Financial. The Charlotte area includes a diverse range of businesses, including foodstuffs such as Harris Teeter, Snyder's-Lance, Carolina Foods Inc, Bojangles', Food Lion, Compass Group USA, and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (Charlotte being the nation's second largest Coca-Cola bottler);packaging company Sealed Air, financial services company Dixon Hughes Goodman, online leading marketplace LendingTree, Lending Tree, chemical company Albemarle Corporation, door and window maker JELD-WEN, motor and transportation companies such as RSC Brands, Continental AG, Continental Tire the Americas, LLC., Meineke Car Care Centers, Carlisle (manufacturer), Carlisle Companies (along with several other services); retail companies Belk, Cato Corporation and Rack Room Shoes, along with a wide array of other businesses. Charlotte is the major center of the U.S. motorsports industry, housing the US's only Formula One team, Haas F1, multiple teams and offices of NASCAR, the
NASCAR Hall of Fame The NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, honors drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving, all-time great crew chiefs and owners, broadcasters and other major contributors to competition within the sanction ...

NASCAR Hall of Fame
, and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. Approximately 75% of the NASCAR industry's race teams, employees and drivers are based nearby. The large presence of the racing technology industry and the newly built NHRA dragstrip, Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway at Concord, North Carolina, Concord, are influencing other top professional drag racers to move their shops to Charlotte as well. Located in the western part of Mecklenburg County is the U.S. National Whitewater Center, which consists of man-made rapids of varying degrees, and is open to the public year-round. The Charlotte Region has a major base of energy-oriented organizations and has become known as "Charlotte USA – The New Energy Capital". In the region there are more than 240 companies directly tied to the energy sector, collectively employing more than 26,400. Since 2007 more than 4,000 energy sector jobs have been announced. Major energy players in Charlotte include AREVA, Duke Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, Fluor, Metso Power, Piedmont Natural Gas, Albemarle Corp, Siemens Energy Sector, Siemens Energy, Shaw Group, Toshiba, URS Corp., and Westinghouse. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a reputation in energy education and research, and its Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) trains energy engineers and conducts research. Over the last couple of years, Charlotte has become a hub in the Information technology (IT) industry. The area is an increasingly growing trucking and freight transportation hub for the East Coast. The Charlotte Center city has seen remarkable growth over the last decade. Numerous residential units continue to be built uptown, including over 20 skyscrapers under construction, recently completed, or in the planning stage. Many new restaurants, bars and clubs now operate in the Uptown area. Several projects are transforming the Midtown Charlotte/Elizabeth, Charlotte, North Carolina, Elizabeth area. In 2013, ''Forbes'' named Charlotte among its list of Best Places for Business and Careers. Charlotte was listed as the 20th largest city in the US, and the 60th fastest growing city in the US between 2000 and 2008.


Arts and culture


Museums

* Bechtler Museum of Modern Art * Billy Graham Library * Carolinas Aviation Museum * Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fire Education Center and Museum * Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum in Freedom Park (Charlotte, North Carolina), Freedom Park * Charlotte Trolley Museum in South End (Charlotte neighborhood), Historic South End * Discovery Place * Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville * Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture * Historic Rosedale Plantation * Levine Museum of the New South * The Light Factory * McColl Center for Art + Innovation *Mint Museum * NASCAR Hall of Fame * Second Ward Alumni House Museum * Wells Fargo History Museum * Charlotte Museum of History


Performing arts

* Actor's Theatre of Charlotte * Amos' Southend Music Hall * North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center *
Charlotte Ballet Charlotte Ballet is the oldest professional ballet company in North Carolina. It was founded as North Carolina Dance Theatre in Winston-Salem by Robert Lindgren, who was then Dean of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, i ...
* Charlotte Symphony Orchestra * Charlotte Shakespeare * ImaginOn * North Carolina Music Factory * Opera Carolina * The Robot Johnson Show * Citizens of the Universe * Theatre Charlotte * Carolina Renaissance Festival


Festivals and events

The Charlotte region is home to many annual festivals and special events. Carolina Renaissance Festival, The Carolina Renaissance Festival operates on Saturdays and Sundays each October and November. Located near the intersection of North Carolina Highway 73, NC 73 and Poplar Tent Road, the Carolina Renaissance Festival is one of the largest renaissance themed events in the country. It features 11 stages of outdoor variety entertainment, a 22-acre village marketplace, an interactive circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament, and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure. The Yiasou Greek Festival is a Greek Festival. It began in 1978 and since then has become one of Charlotte's largest cultural events. The Yiasou (the Greek word for Hello, Goodbye and Cheers) Greek Festival features Hellenic cultural exhibits, authentic Greek cuisine and homemade pastries, entertainment, live music and dancing, wine tastings, art, shopping and more. Taste of Charlotte is a three-day festival offering samples from area restaurants, live entertainment and children's activities. Located on Tryon Street, Taste of Charlotte spans six city blocks from Stonewall to 5th Street. Moo and Brew Fest is an annual craft beer and burger festival that is the largest in North Carolina, held each April and includes various national musical acts. Breakaway Music Festival is a music festival which takes place at the NC Music Factory and consists of hip hop and electronic music artists and DJs. Heroes Convention is an annual comic book convention held in June at the Charlotte Convention Center. Founded in 1982, it is one of the oldest and largest independent comic book conventions in the United States. Charlotte Pride is an annual LGBT event held in August. In 2019, the event attracted 200,000 people to Uptown Charlotte. The event's parade became Charlotte's largest annual parade in 2017.


Zoos and aquariums

Charlotte is "... the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a zoo". The Charlotte Zoo initiative is a proposal to allocate of natural North Carolina land to be dedicated to the zoological foundation, which was incorporated in 2008. On August 18, 2012, Channel 14 News says that the initiative is "... still a few years away" and the plot of land is "... just seven miles from the center of uptown". According to the news channel, "... the zoo will cost roughly $300 million, and will be completely funded." The Charlotte Observer references two other zoos, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and the North Carolina Zoological Park as two "great zoos" that are accessible from the Charlotte-Mecklenberg area, both roughly more than 70 miles away. Charlotte is also served by the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium in the nearby city of Concord, North Carolina, Concord. The aquarium is 30,000 square feet in size, and is part of the Concord Mills, Concord Mills mall. The aquarium opened on February 20, 2014.


Libraries

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library serves the Charlotte area with a large collection (more than 1.5 million) of books, CDs and DVDs at 15 locations in the city of Charlotte, with branches in the surrounding towns of Matthews, North Carolina, Matthews, Mint Hill, North Carolina, Mint Hill, Huntersville, North Carolina, Huntersville, Cornelius, North Carolina, Cornelius and Davidson, North Carolina, Davidson. All locations provide free access to Internet-enabled computers and WiFi, and a library card from one location is accepted at all 20 locations. Although the library's roots go back to the ''Charlotte Literary and Library Association,'' founded on January 16, 1891, the state-chartered Carnegie Library, which opened on the current North Tryon site of the Main Library, was the first non-subscription library opened to members of the public in the city of Charlotte. The philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 for a library building, on the condition that the city of Charlotte donate a site and $2,500 per year for books and salaries, and that the state grant a charter for the library. All conditions were met, and the Charlotte Carnegie Library opened in an imposing classical building on July 2, 1903. The 1903 state charter also required that a library be opened for the disenfranchised African-American population of Charlotte. This was completed in 1905 with the opening of the ''Brevard Street Library for Negroes'', an independent library in Brooklyn, a historically black area of Charlotte, on the corner of Brevard and East Second Streets (now Martin Luther King Boulevard). The Brevard Street Library was the first library for African Americans in the state of North Carolina, and some sources say in the southeast. The library was closed in 1961 when the Brooklyn neighborhood in Second Ward was redeveloped, but its role as a cultural center for African-Americans in Charlotte is continued by the Beatties Ford and West Boulevard branches of the library system, as well as by Charlotte's African-American Cultural Center.


Sports

Charlotte is home to three major professional sports Franchising, franchises: the
Carolina Panthers The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...

Carolina Panthers
of the National Football League (NFL), the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Charlotte FC, a future team in Major League Soccer (MLS). The Panthers have been located in Charlotte since the team's creation in 1995, and the current Hornets franchise has been located in Charlotte since its creation in 1988 (with the exception of the 2002–03 NBA season, 2002-03 and 2003–04 NBA season, 2003-04 seasons). The Panthers play their home games in Bank of America Stadium, while the Hornets play in the Spectrum Center (Charlotte), Spectrum Center. The Panthers have won six division titles from (1996, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015) and two NFC championships in 2003 and 2015. Carolina has reached the Super Bowl twice but has been unsuccessful in both losing to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 in 2016. The original Hornets NBA franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, but it relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2002 after animosity grew between the team's fans and principal owner George Shinn. The NBA quickly granted Charlotte an expansion franchise following the departure of the Hornets and the new franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, began to play in 2004. The team retook the Hornets name when the New Orleans-based team renamed itself the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013. The name change became official on May 20, 2014. On the same day, the franchise reclaimed the history and records of the original 1988–2002 Hornets. MLS awarded its expansion team to Charlotte in 2019 and it is set to begin play in 2022. Charlotte is represented in professional ice hockey by the Charlotte Checkers and in professional baseball at the Triple-A (baseball), Triple-A level by the Charlotte Knights. The city is also the home of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) headquarters. The NJCAA is the second-largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. The Big South Conference is also headquartered in Charlotte. Founded in 1983, the Big South Conference has 11 member institutions with over 19 different sports and completes in the NCAA's Division I. Over the years, Charlotte has hosted many international, collegiate, and professional sporting events. In professional basketball, the city hosted the NBA All-Star Game twice in 1991 NBA All-Star Game, 1991 and most recently in 2019 NBA All-Star Game, 2019. In collegiate sports, Charlotte hosts the ACC Championship Game and Duke's Mayo Bowl. The city has also been the host many ACC Men's Basketball Tournaments most recently in 2019 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, 2019. In 2021, Charlotte hosted the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament, ACC Baseball Tournament. In 2017, Charlotte hosted the PGA Championship at the Quail Hollow Club. Since 1931, Jim Crockett Promotions has been a full-fledged professional wrestling performer, based in the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia states, and has been called Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. National Wrestling Alliance, World Championship Wrestling, WWE has big matches, and many pay-per-view event. Many professional wrestlers living. The city is home to one university that participates in NCAA Division I Athletics, which are the Charlotte 49ers and are the teams that represent the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Charlotte 49ers, Charlotte has participated in 11 NCAA Charlotte 49ers men's basketball, Men's Basketball tournaments, 14 NCAA Charlotte 49ers men's soccer, Men's Soccer Tournaments, and the Charlotte 49ers football, Football team participated in their first bowl game in 2019 just six years after starting their program. Johnson C. Smith University and Queens University of Charlotte both participate at the NCAA Division II level. Johnson and Wales University participate in the USCAA.


Government

Charlotte has a council-manager form of government. The mayor and city council are elected every two years, with no term limits. The mayor is ''ex officio'' chair of the City Council, and only votes in case of a tie. Unlike other mayors in council-manager systems, Charlotte's mayor has the power to veto local ordinance, ordinances passed by the council; vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the council. The Council appoints a city manager to serve as chief administrative officer. Unlike some other cities and towns in North Carolina, elections are held on a partisan basis. Vi Lyles, a Democratic Party (United States), Democrat 2017 Charlotte mayoral election, elected in 2017, became the 59th mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is in her second term. Patrick Cannon, a Democrat, was sworn in as mayor on December 2, 2013. On March 26, 2014, Cannon was arrested on public corruption charges. Later the same day, he resigned as mayor. Mayor Pro Temp Michael Barnes (North Carolina politician), Michael Barnes served as Acting Mayor until April 7, when the City Council selected State Senator Dan Clodfelter, also a Democrat, to serve the remainder of Cannon's term. Former Mecklenburg County Commission chairwoman Jennifer Roberts (politician), Jennifer Roberts defeated Clodfelter in the 2015 Democratic primary and went on to win the general election, becoming the first Democratic woman to be elected to the post. She was ousted in the 2017 Democratic primary by Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles, who later defeated Republican City Councilman Kenny Smith in the general election to become Mayor of Charlotte. Historically, voters have been friendly to moderates of both parties. However, in recent years, Charlotte has swung heavily to the Democrats. Republican strength is concentrated in the southeastern portion of the city, while Democratic strength is concentrated in the south-central, eastern, and northern areas. The city council has 11 members (7 from districts and 4 at-large). Democrats control the council with a 9-to-2 advantage, winning all 4 of the at-large seats in the November 2013, 2015, and 2017 municipal elections. While the City Council is responsible for passing ordinances, the city's budget, and other policies, all decisions can be overridden by the North Carolina General Assembly, since North Carolina municipalities do not have Municipal home rule, home rule. While municipal powers have been broadly construed since the 1960s, the General Assembly still retains considerable authority over local matters. Charlotte is split between two congressional districts on the federal level. The southeastern portion is part of the North Carolina's 9th congressional district, 9th District, represented by Republican Dan Bishop. Most of the city is in the North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 12th District, represented by Democrat Alma Adams. Charlotte was selected in 2011 to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which was held at the Spectrum Center (Charlotte), Spectrum Center. It began September 4, 2012, and ended on September 6, 2012. In 2018, Charlotte was chosen to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, Republican National Convention in August 2020.


Education


School system

The city's public school system, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is the 2nd largest in North Carolina and 17th largest in the nation. In 2009, it won the NAEP Awards, the Nation's Report Card for urban school systems with top honors among 18 city systems for 4th grade math, 2nd place among 8th graders. An estimated 144,000 students are taught in 164 separate elementary, middle, and high schools. Charlotte is also home to many private and independent schools, including British School of Charlotte, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Islamic Academy, Charlotte Latin School, Charlotte United Christian Academy, Grace Academy (North Carolina), Grace Academy, Providence Day School, Hickory Grove Christian School, Northside Christian Academy, Southlake Christian Academy, and United Faith Christian Academy.


Colleges and universities

Charlotte is home to a number of universities and colleges such as Central Piedmont Community College, Johnson C. Smith University, Johnson & Wales University, Queens University of Charlotte, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Several notable colleges are located in the metropolitan suburbs. Located in nearby Davidson, North Carolina, Davidson, North Carolina is Davidson College. Additional colleges in the area include Belmont Abbey College in the suburb of Belmont, North Carolina, Belmont, North Carolina, Gaston College with its main campus in the suburb of Dallas, North Carolina and Wingate University in the suburb of Wingate, North Carolina, Wingate, North Carolina. Also nearby are Winthrop University, Clinton Junior College, York Technical College in
Rock Hill, South Carolina Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, South Carolina, United States, and the fifth-largest city in the state. It is also the fourth-largest city of the Charlotte metropolitan area, behind Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia (all located ...

Rock Hill, South Carolina
, and Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina in the westernmost part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, Charlotte area. UNC Charlotte is the city's largest university. It is located in University City, Charlotte, North Carolina, University City, the northeastern portion of Charlotte, which is also home to University Research Park, a research and corporate park. With more than 30,000 students, UNC Charlotte is the second largest university in the state system. Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in the Carolinas, with more than 70,000 students each year and 6 campuses throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. CPCC is part of the statewide North Carolina Community College System. The Charlotte School of Law opened its doors in Charlotte in 2006 and was fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 2011. The law school offered the Juris Doctor degree but the Bar association rescinded the accreditation in 2017. Charlotte School of Law, once the largest law school in the Carolinas, has ceased to operate. Pfeiffer University at Charlotte, Pfeiffer University has a satellite campus in Charlotte. Wake Forest University, with its main campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, also operates a satellite campus of its Babcock Graduate School of Management in the Uptown area. On March 24, 2021, it was announced Wake Forest School of Medicine would expand a 20-acre campus in Charlotte by 2024. The Connecticut School of Broadcasting, DeVry University, and ECPI University all have branches in Charlotte. The Universal Technical Institute has the NASCAR Technical Institute in nearby Mooresville, serving the Charlotte area. Montreat College (Charlotte) maintains a School of Professional and Adult Studies in the city. Additionally, Union Presbyterian Seminary has a non-residential campus offering the Master of Arts in Christian Education, and the Master of Divinity in Charlotte near the Beverley Woods area. The North Carolina Research Campus, a 350-acre biotechnology hub located northeast of Charlotte in the city of Kannapolis, is a public-private venture including eight universities, one community college, the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and corporate entities that collaborate to advance the fields of human health, nutrition and agriculture. Partnering educational organizations include UNC Charlotte and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, from the Charlotte region, as well as Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, Shaw University, North Carolina Central University and North Carolina State University. The research campus is part of a larger effort by leaders in the Charlotte area to attract energy, health, and other knowledge-based industries that contribute to North Carolina's strength in biotechnology.


Media


Newspaper

Charlotte has one major daily newspaper, ''The Charlotte Observer''. It boasts the largest circulation in North and South Carolina.


Radio

Charlotte is the 24th largest radio market in the nation, according to Nielsen Audio. While major groups like iHeartMedia and Urban One have stations serving Charlotte, several smaller groups also own and operate stations in the area. The local NPR, National Public Radio news affiliate is WFAE, WFAE News, which sponsors a number of podcasts and radio shows.


Television

According to Nielsen Media Research, Charlotte is the 22nd largest television market in the nation (as of the 2016–2017 season) and the largest in the state of North Carolina. Major television stations located in Charlotte include CBS affiliate WBTV 3 (the oldest television station in the Carolinas), American Broadcasting Company, ABC affiliate WSOC-TV 9, NBC affiliate WCNC-TV 36, The CW, CW affiliate WCCB 18, and PBS member station WTVI 42. Two cable sports networks are also headquartered in Charlotte: the ESPN-controlled SEC Network and the regional Fox Sports Carolinas. Raycom Sports is also headquartered in Charlotte. Other stations serving the Charlotte market include Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox affiliate WJZY 46 in Belmont, North Carolina, Belmont, UNC-TV/PBS member station WUNG-TV 58 in Concord, North Carolina, Concord, Independent station (North America), independent station WAXN-TV 64 (a sister to WSOC-TV) in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Kannapolis, and two stations in
Rock Hill, South Carolina Rock Hill is the largest city in York County, South Carolina, United States, and the fifth-largest city in the state. It is also the fourth-largest city of the Charlotte metropolitan area, behind Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia (all located ...

Rock Hill, South Carolina
: MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYT-TV 55 (a sister to WJZY) and PBS member station WNSC-TV 30. Additionally, INSP (TV channel), INSP is headquartered in nearby Indian Land, South Carolina. In 2020, CNN established a Charlotte bureau spearheaded by national correspondent Dianne Gallagher. Cable television customers are served by Charter Communications, Spectrum, which offers a localized feed of Raleigh, North Carolina, Raleigh-based Spectrum News North Carolina.


Infrastructure


City services


Emergency medical services

Emergency medical services for the city of Charlotte are provided by Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic). Medic received over 146,000 calls in 2017 and transported over 112,000 patients in Mecklenburg County. The agency employs over 600 paramedics, EMTs, EMDs and admin staff. In addition to dispatching MEDIC's EMS calls, the agency also dispatches all county fire calls outside of the city of Charlotte.


Hospitals

Atrium Health, legally Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, is the public hospital authority of Mecklenburg County.


Fire department

The Charlotte Fire Department provides fire suppression, emergency medical services, public education, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) mitigation, technical rescues, and fire prevention and inspection with 1,164 personnel. Forty-three fire stations are strategically scattered throughout Charlotte to provide a reasonable response time to emergencies in the city limits.


Law enforcement and crime

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) is a combined jurisdiction agency. The CMPD has law enforcement jurisdiction in both the city of Charlotte and the few unincorporated areas left in Mecklenburg County. The other small towns maintain their own law enforcement agencies for their own jurisdictions. The department consists of approximately 1,700 sworn law enforcement officers, 550 civilian personnel, and more than 400 volunteers. An average of 4,939 vehicles are stolen every year in Charlotte. According to the Congressional Quarterly Press; '2008 City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America,' Charlotte, North Carolina ranks as the 62nd most dangerous city larger than 75,000 inhabitants. However, the entire Charlotte-Gastonia Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked as 27th most dangerous out of 338 metro areas.


Waste treatment

Charlotte has a municipal waste system consisting of trash pickup, water distribution, and waste treatment. There are five waste water treatment plants operated by Charlotte Water (previously Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department). Charlotte has a biosolids program. Some Chester residents spoke out against the program on February 26, 2013. Charlotte's sludge is handled, transported, and spread on farm fields in Chester by a company called Synagro, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carlyle Group Charlotte's sludge is of the "CLASS B" variety, which means it still contains detectable levels of pathogens.


Transportation

The city of Charlotte has a lower than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 7.4 percent of Charlotte households lacked a car, and decreased to 6 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Charlotte averaged 1.65 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.


Mass transit

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in the Charlotte metropolitan area, carrying over 16 million riders annually. Established in 1999 and administered as a department of the City of Charlotte, CATS operates light rail transit, streetcar, commuter bus, express buses, transit bus, local buses, and special bus services serving Charlotte and the surrounding area in addition to other programs such as vanpool. CATS' rail arm, LYNX Rapid Transit Services, comprises two lines as of fall 2020. The Blue Line is an 18.9‑mile line north–south light rail line running through South End (Charlotte neighborhood), South End, Uptown Charlotte, Center City, NoDa, and University City (Charlotte neighborhood), University City. The CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar, Phase 1 of which opened in 2015, is under Phase 2 construction as of fall 2020. When completed, the Gold Line will link the Beatties Ford neighborhood through Uptown and then south and east to the Elizabeth neighborhood. The LYNX Silver Line, a light rail line in the pre-project development phase as of fall 2020, will link the southeastern suburbs of Matthews, North Carolina, Matthews, Stallings, North Carolina, Stallings, and Indian Trail, North Carolina, Indian Trail with
Uptown Charlotte Uptown Charlotte is the central business district of Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte () is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmo ...
and the future Charlotte Gateway Station before extending west to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and across the Catawba River to Belmont, North Carolina, Belmont in Gaston County. The bulk of CATS ridership is derived from its extensive bus network, which has its main hub at the Charlotte Transportation Center in Uptown, which also connects to the Blue and Gold lines. Other bus hubs are located at community transit centers in SouthPark, Eastland, and at Rosa Parks Place. CATS operates express buses to outlying parts of the city and some commuter bus to the northern suburbs in the Lake Norman area under the MetroRAPID umbrella.


Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Charlotte the 49th most walkable of the 50 largest cities in the United States.


Roads and highways

Charlotte's central location between the population centers of the northeast and southeast has made it a transportation focal point and primary distribution center, with two major interstate highways, Interstate 85, I-85 and Interstate 77, I-77, intersecting near the city's center. The latter highway also connects to the population centers of the Rust Belt. Charlotte's beltway, designated Interstate 485, I-485 and simply called "485" by local residents, has been under construction for over 20 years, but funding problems have slowed its progress. The final segment was finished in mid-2015. I-485 has a total circumference of approximately . Within the city, the Interstate 277 (North Carolina), I-277 loop freeway encircles Charlotte's uptown (usually referred to by its two separate sections, the John M. Belk, John Belk Freeway and the Brookshire Freeway) while Charlotte Route 4 links major roads in a loop between I-277 and I-485. Independence Freeway, which carries U.S. Route 74, U.S. 74 and links downtown with the Matthews area, is undergoing an expansion and widening in the eastern part of the city.


Air

In 2011, Charlotte Douglas International Airport was the sixth-busiest airport in both the U.S. and the world overall as measured by traffic (aircraft movements). The airport handled just over 50 million travellers in 2019, as well as many domestic and international carriers including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Volaris. It is a major hub for American Airlines, having historically been a hub for its predecessors US Airways and Piedmont Airlines. Nonstop flights are available to many destinations across the United States, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, and South America. The 145th Airlift Wing of North Carolina Air National Guard is also located east of the airport.


Intercity transportation

Charlotte is served daily by three Amtrak routes with ten daily trips from a station on North Tryon Street, just outside downtown. * The ''Crescent (Amtrak), Crescent'' connects Charlotte with New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore, Washington, D.C.; Charlottesville, Virginia, Charlottesville, and Greensboro, North Carolina, Greensboro to the north, and Greenville, South Carolina, Greenville, Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham, Meridian, Mississippi, Meridian and New Orleans, Louisiana, New Orleans to the south. It arrives overnight once in each direction. * The ''Carolinian (train), Carolinian'' connects Charlotte with New York; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia, Richmond; Raleigh, North Carolina, Raleigh; Durham, North Carolina, Durham; and Greensboro. Charlotte is the southern terminus, with the northbound train leaving just before the morning rush and the southbound train arriving in the evening. * The ''Piedmont (train), Piedmont'', a regional companion of the ''Carolinian'', connects Charlotte with Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh with three daily round trips. Charlotte is the southern terminus. Charlotte is also served by both Greyhound Lines, Greyhound and low-cost curbside carrier Megabus (North America), Megabus. Charlotte is a service stop for Greyhound routes running to Atlanta, Detroit, Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville, New York and Philadelphia. It is also a stop for buses running out of Megabus' hub in Atlanta, with connections to Megabus' northeastern routes out of New York. The city is planning a new centralized downtown multimodal station called Gateway Station (Charlotte, North Carolina), Gateway Station. It is expected to house Amtrak, Greyhound and the future LYNX Red Line. It is under construction at the former site of the Greyhound station; Greyhound is currently operating from a temporary station nearby.


Notable people


Sister cities

Sister Cities International has designated eight Twin towns and sister cities, sister cities of Charlotte:International Government Relations > Sister Cities
''charlottenc.gov''. Retrieved January 26, 2021.


See also

* Interstate 85 * List of tourist attractions in Charlotte, North Carolina * May 1989 tornado outbreak * Urban League of Central Carolinas * List of Charlotte neighborhoods


Notes


References


Further reading

* Graves, William, and Heather A. Smith, eds. ''Charlotte, NC: The Global Evolution of a New South City'' (University of Georgia Press; 2010) 320 pages. Essays that use Charlotte to explore how globalization and local forces combine to transform Southern cities. * Hanchett, Thomas W. ''Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875–1975''. 380 pages. University of North Carolina Press. August 1, 1998. . * Kratt, Mary Norton. ''Charlotte: Spirit of the New South''. 293 pages. John F. Blair, Publisher. September 1, 1992. . * Kratt, Mary Norton and Mary Manning Boyer. ''Remembering Charlotte: Postcards from a New South City, 1905–1950''. 176 pages. University of North Carolina Press. October 1, 2000. . * Kratt, Mary Norton. ''New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North Carolina''. Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in Association with John F. Blair, Publisher. August 1, 2001. .


External links

* {{Authority control Charlotte, North Carolina, 1755 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies Charlotte metropolitan area Cities in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Cities in North Carolina County seats in North Carolina Populated places established in 1755 North Carolina populated places on the Catawba River