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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

As of 2000

* English 90.70% * Spanish 6.18%

DEMONYM North Carolinian (official); Tar Heel
Tar Heel
(colloquial)

CAPITAL Raleigh

LARGEST CITY Charlotte
Charlotte

LARGEST METRO Charlotte
Charlotte
metro area

AREA Ranked 28th

• TOTAL 53,819 sq mi (139,390 km2)

• WIDTH 170 miles (261 km)

• LENGTH 560 miles (901 km)

• % WATER 9.5

• LATITUDE 33° 50′ N to 36° 35′ N

• LONGITUDE 75° 28′ W to 84° 19′ W

POPULATION Ranked 9th

• TOTAL 10,146,788 (2016 est.)

• DENSITY 212.2/sq mi (83.1/km2) Ranked 15th

• MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $50,797 (38th)

ELEVATION

• HIGHEST POINT Mount Mitchell 6,684 ft (2037 m)

• MEAN 700 ft (210 m)

• LOWEST POINT Atlantic Ocean sea level

BEFORE STATEHOOD Province of North Carolina

ADMISSION TO UNION November 21, 1789 (12th)

GOVERNOR Roy Cooper (D )

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR Dan Forest (R )

LEGISLATURE General Assembly

• UPPER HOUSE Senate

• LOWER HOUSE House of Representatives

U.S. SENATORS Richard Burr (R) Thom Tillis
Thom Tillis
(R)

U.S. HOUSE DELEGATION 10 Republicans 3 Democrats (list )

TIME ZONE Eastern : UTC -5 /-4

ISO 3166 US-NC

ABBREVIATIONS NC , N.C.

WEBSITE www.nc.gov

NORTH CAROLINA STATE SYMBOLS

_ The Flag of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina

The Seal of North Carolina
Seal of North Carolina

LIVING INSIGNIA

BIRD Cardinal

BUTTERFLY Eastern tiger swallowtail

FISH Red Drum

FLOWER Flowering Dogwood

INSECT Western honeybee

MARSUPIAL Virginia Opossum (state marsupial)

TREE Longleaf Pine

INANIMATE INSIGNIA

BEVERAGE Milk
Milk

DANCE Clogging

FOOD Scuppernong grape , sweet potato

FOSSIL Megalodon
Megalodon
teeth

GEMSTONE Emerald
Emerald

MINERAL Gold
Gold

ROCK Granite

SONG " The Old North State "

STATE ROUTE MARKER

STATE QUARTER

Released in 2001

Lists of United States state symbols

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for NORTH CAROLINA _.

NORTH CAROLINA (/ˌnɔːrθ kærəˈlaɪnə/ ( listen )) is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state borders South Carolina
South Carolina
and Georgia to the south, Tennessee
Tennessee
to the west, Virginia
Virginia
to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive and the 9th most populous of the U.S. states . The state is divided into 100 counties . The capital is Raleigh . The most populous municipality is Charlotte
Charlotte
, which is the second largest banking center in the United States
United States
after New York City.

The state has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet (2,037 m) at Mount Mitchell , the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
. The climate of the coastal plains is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 1.1 Climate

* 2 History

* 2.1 Native Americans, lost colonies, and permanent settlement * 2.2 Colonial period and Revolutionary War * 2.3 Antebellum period * 2.4 American Civil War

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 Ethnicity * 3.2 Languages * 3.3 Religion * 3.4 Most populated counties * 3.5 Major cities * 3.6 Largest combined statistical areas

* 4 Economy * 5 Transportation * 6 Government and politics

* 7 Education

* 7.1 Primary and secondary education * 7.2 Colleges and universities

* 8 Media * 9 Sports * 10 Tourism * 11 Recreation

* 12 Arts and culture

* 12.1 Music * 12.2 Shopping * 12.3 Cuisine and agriculture * 12.4 Ships named for the state * 12.5 State parks * 12.6 State symbols * 12.7 Armed forces installations

* 13 See also * 14 References * 15 Primary sources * 16 Further reading * 17 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of North Carolina Köppen climate types of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina
topographic map. North Carolina's three topographic regions are evident: the Appalachian Mountains in brown, the Piedmont in yellow, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain in green. The Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway . Deer in the Eno River as it flows through the Piedmont region of North Carolina
North Carolina
View at end of Cherohala Skyway near Tellico Plains

North Carolina
North Carolina
is bordered by South Carolina
South Carolina
on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee
Tennessee
on the west, Virginia
Virginia
on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The United States Census Bureau places North Carolina
North Carolina
in the South Atlantic division of the southern region.

North Carolina
North Carolina
consists of three main geographic regions: the Atlantic coastal plain , occupying the eastern portion of the state; the central Piedmont region, and the Mountain region in the west, which is part of the Appalachian Mountains . The coastal plain consists of more specifically-defined areas known as the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
, a string of sandy, narrow barrier islands separated from the mainland by sounds or inlets, including Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound , the tidewater region, the native home of the venus flytrap , and the inner coastal plain, where longleaf pine trees are native.

So many ships have been lost off Cape Hatteras that the area is known as the " Graveyard of the Atlantic "; more than 1,000 ships have sunk in these waters since records began in 1526. The most famous of these is the _Queen Anne\'s Revenge _ (flagship of the pirate Blackbeard ), which went aground in Beaufort Inlet in 1718.

The coastal plain transitions to the Piedmont region along the Atlantic Seaboard fall line , the elevation at which waterfalls first appear on streams and rivers. The Piedmont region of central North Carolina is the state's most populous region, containing the six largest cities in the state by population. It consists of gently rolling countryside frequently broken by hills or low mountain ridges. Small, isolated, and deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located in the Piedmont, including the Sauratown Mountains , Pilot Mountain , the Uwharrie Mountains , Crowder\'s Mountain , King\'s Pinnacle , the Brushy Mountains , and the South Mountains . The Piedmont ranges from about 300 feet (91 m) in elevation in the east to about 1,500 feet (460 m) in the west.

The western section of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Among the subranges of the Appalachians located in the state are the Great Smoky Mountains , Blue Ridge Mountains , and Black Mountains . The Black Mountains are the highest in the eastern United States, and culminate in Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m), the highest point east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
. Cullasaja Falls in Macon County

North Carolina
North Carolina
has 17 major river basins. The five basins west of the Blue Ridge Mountains flow to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
, while the remainder flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 17 basins, 11 originate within the state of North Carolina, but only four are contained entirely within the state's border – the Cape Fear , the Neuse , the White Oak , and the Tar – Pamlico basin.

CLIMATE

Main article: Climate of North Carolina Snow in Old Fort, North Carolina caused by the 2009 Blizzard Graveyard Fields in autumn A rainy day at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte Motor Speedway

Elevation above sea level is most responsible for temperature change across the state, with the mountain area being coolest year-round. The climate is also influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream , especially in the coastal plain. These influences tend to cause warmer winter temperatures along the coast, where temperatures only occasionally drop below the freezing point at night. The coastal plain averages around 1 inch (2.5 cm) of snow or ice annually, and in many years, there may be no snow or ice at all.

The Atlantic Ocean exerts less influence on the climate of the Piedmont region, which has hotter summers and colder winters than along the coast, though the average daily maximum is still below 90 °F (32 °C) in most locations.

North Carolina
North Carolina
experiences severe weather in both summer and winter, with summer bringing threat of hurricanes , tropical storms , heavy rain, and flooding. Destructive hurricanes that have hit North Carolina include Hurricane Fran , Hurricane Floyd , and Hurricane Hazel , the latter being the strongest storm ever to make landfall in the state, as a Category
Category
4 in 1954. Hurricane Isabel ranks as the most destructive of the 21st century.

North Carolina
North Carolina
averages fewer than 20 tornadoes per year, many of them produced by hurricanes or tropical storms along the coastal plain. Tornadoes from thunderstorms are a risk, especially in the eastern part of the state. The western Piedmont is often protected by the mountains, which tend to break up storms as they try to cross over; the storms will often re-form farther east. A phenomenon known as "cold-air damming " often occurs in the northwestern part of the state, which can weaken storms but can also lead to major ice events in winter.

In April 2011, the worst tornado outbreak in North Carolina's history occurred. Thirty confirmed tornadoes touched down, mainly in the Eastern Piedmont and Sandhills, killing at least 24 people.

Monthly normal high and low temperatures ( Fahrenheit ) for various North Carolina
North Carolina
cities.

CITY JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

ASHEVILLE 47/27 51/30 59/35 68/43 75/51 81/60 84/64 83/63 77/56 68/45 59/36 49/29

BOONE 42/21 45/23 52/29 61/37 69/46 76/54 79/58 78/57 72/50 63/39 54/31 45/24

CAPE HATTERAS 52/39 54/40 59/45 66/53 74/61 81/69 85/74 84/73 80/69 72/60 64/51 56/43

CHARLOTTE 51/30 55/33 63/39 72/47 79/56 86/64 89/68 88/67 81/60 72/49 62/39 53/32

FAYETTEVILLE 52/31 56/32 64/39 73/47 80/56 87/65 90/70 89/69 83/63 74/49 63/40 54/32

GREENSBORO 48/30 52/32 61/39 70/47 78/56 85/65 88/69 86/68 80/61 70/49 61/40 51/32

RALEIGH 51/30 54/32 63/40 72/48 80/57 87/66 90/70 88/69 82/62 73/50 64/41 54/32

WILMINGTON 56/36 60/38 66/44 74/52 81/60 87/69 90/73 88/71 84/66 76/55 68/45 59/38

CLIMATE DATA FOR NORTH CAROLINA (1980-2010)

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C) 49.9 (9.9) 53.7 (12.1) 61.8 (16.6) 71 (22) 78.1 (25.6) 85.2 (29.6) 88.1 (31.2) 86.8 (30.4) 80.8 (27.1) 71.6 (22) 62.5 (16.9) 52.5 (11.4) 70.17 (21.23)

AVERAGE LOW °F (°C) 28.4 (−2) 30.9 (−0.6) 37.2 (2.9) 45.2 (7.3) 54 (12) 63 (17) 66.8 (19.3) 65.8 (18.8) 58.9 (14.9) 47.2 (8.4) 38.3 (3.5) 30.8 (−0.7) 47.21 (8.4)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM) 3.7 (94) 3.5 (89) 4.2 (107) 3.5 (89) 3.8 (97) 4.3 (109) 4.8 (122) 4.7 (119) 4.3 (109) 3.3 (84) 3.3 (84) 3.5 (89) 46.9 (1,192)

Source: USA.com

HISTORY

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Main article: History of North Carolina Ceremony of Secotan warriors in North Carolina. Watercolour painted by English colonist John White in 1585. A plaque to commemorate the first indigenous person who was converted to Christianity, Manteo at the Roanoke Colony Dr. M. T. Pope (after whom the Pope House Museum was named), a prominent citizen of Raleigh , 1900 The North Carolina Museum of History , Raleigh

Woodland-culture American Indians were in the area around 1000 BCE; starting around 750 CE, Mississippian-culture Indians created larger political units with stronger leadership and more stable, longer-term settlements. During this time, important buildings were constructed as pyramidal, flat-topped buildings. By 1550, many groups of American Indians lived in present-day North Carolina, including Chowanoke , Roanoke , Pamlico , Machapunga , Coree , Cape Fear Indians , Waxhaw , Waccamaw , and Catawba .

Juan Pardo explored the area in 1566–1567, establishing Fort San Juan in 1567 at the site of the Native American community of Joara
Joara
, a Mississippian culture regional chiefdom in the western interior, near the present-day city of Morganton . The fort lasted only 18 months; the local inhabitants killed all but one of the 120 men Pardo had stationed at a total of six forts in the area. A later expedition by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe followed in 1584, at the direction of Sir Walter Raleigh .

In June 1718, the pirate Blackbeard ran his flagship, the _Queen Anne\'s Revenge _, aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, in present-day Carteret County . After the grounding her crew and supplies were transferred to smaller ships. In November, after appealing to the governor of North Carolina, who promised safe-haven and a pardon, Blackbeard was killed in an ambush by troops from Virginia. In 1996 Intersal, Inc., a private firm, discovered the remains of a vessel likely to be the _Queen Anne's Revenge_, which was added to the US National Register of Historic Places .

North Carolina
North Carolina
became one of the English Thirteen Colonies and with the territory of South Carolina
South Carolina
was originally known as the Province of Carolina . The northern and southern parts of the original province separated in 1729. Originally settled by small farmers, sometimes having a few slaves, who were oriented toward subsistence agriculture, the colony lacked cities or towns. Pirates menaced the coastal settlements, but by 1718 the pirates had been captured and killed. Growth was strong in the middle of the 18th century, as the economy attracted Scots-Irish , Quaker , English and German immigrants . The colonists generally supported the American Revolution
American Revolution
, as the number of Loyalists was smaller than in some other colonies.

During colonial times, Edenton served as the state capital beginning in 1722, and New Bern was selected as the capital in 1766. Construction of Tryon Palace
Tryon Palace
, which served as the residence and offices of the provincial governor William Tryon , began in 1767 and was completed in 1771. In 1788 Raleigh was chosen as the site of the new capital, as its central location protected it from coastal attacks. Officially established in 1792 as both county seat and state capital, the city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh , sponsor of Roanoke , the "lost colony" on Roanoke Island .

North Carolina
North Carolina
made the smallest per-capita contribution to the war of any state, as only 7,800 men joined the Continental Army under General George Washington
George Washington
; an additional 10,000 served in local militia units under such leaders as General Nathanael Greene . There was some military action, especially in 1780–81. Many Carolinian frontiersmen had moved west over the mountains, into the Washington District (later known as Tennessee
Tennessee
), but in 1789, following the Revolution, the state was persuaded to relinquish its claim to the western lands. It ceded them to the national government so that the Northwest Territory could be organized and managed nationally.

After 1800, cotton and tobacco became important export crops. The eastern half of the state, especially the Tidewater region, developed a slave society based on a plantation system and slave labor. Many free people of color migrated to the frontier along with their European-American neighbors, where the social system was looser. By 1810, nearly 3 percent of the free population consisted of free people of color, who numbered slightly more than 10,000. The western areas were dominated by white families, especially Scots-Irish, who operated small subsistence farms. In the early national period, the state became a center of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy , with a strong Whig presence, especially in the West. After Nat Turner 's slave uprising in 1831, North Carolina
North Carolina
and other southern states reduced the rights of free blacks. In 1835 the legislature withdrew their right to vote.

On May 20, 1861, North Carolina
North Carolina
was the last of the Confederate states to declare secession from the Union , 13 days after the Tennessee
Tennessee
legislature voted for secession. Some 125,000 North Carolinians served in the military; 20,000 were killed in battle, the most of any state in the Confederacy, and 21,000 died of disease. The state government was reluctant to support the demands of the national government in Richmond , and the state was the scene of only small battles.

With the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, the Reconstruction Era began. The United States
United States
abolished slavery without compensation to slaveholders or reparations to freedmen . A Republican Party coalition of black freedmen, northern carpetbaggers and local scalawags controlled state government for three years. The white conservative Democrats regained control of the state legislature in 1870, in part by Ku Klux Klan violence and terrorism at the polls, to suppress black voting. Republicans were elected to the governorship until 1876, when the Red Shirts , a paramilitary organization that arose in 1874 and was allied with the Democratic Party , helped suppress black voting. More than 150 black Americans were murdered in electoral violence in 1876.

Democrats were elected to the legislature and governor's office, but the Populists attracted voters displeased with them. In 1896 a biracial, Populist-Republican Fusionist coalition gained the governor's office. The Democrats regained control of the legislature in 1896 and passed laws to impose Jim Crow and racial segregation of public facilities. Voters of North Carolina's 2nd congressional district elected a total of four African-American congressmen through these years of the late 19th century.

Political tensions ran so high that a small group of white Democrats in 1898 planned to take over the Wilmington government if their candidates were not elected. In the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 , more than 1,500 white men attacked the black newspaper and neighborhood, killed numerous men, and ran off the white Republican mayor and aldermen. They installed their own people and elected Alfred M. Waddell as mayor, in the only coup d\'état in United States history.

In 1899 the state legislature passed a new constitution, with requirements for poll taxes and literacy tests for voter registration which disfranchised most black Americans in the state. Exclusion from voting had wide effects: it meant that black Americans could not serve on juries or in any local office. After a decade of white supremacy , many people forgot that North Carolina
North Carolina
had ever had thriving middle-class black Americans. Black citizens had no political voice in the state until after the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed to enforce their constitutional rights. It was not until 1992 that another African American
African American
was elected as a US Representative from North Carolina.

As in the rest of the former Confederacy, North Carolina
North Carolina
had become a one-party state, dominated by the Democratic Party . Impoverished by the Civil War, the state continued with an economy based on tobacco, cotton and agriculture. Towns and cities remained few in the east. A major industrial base emerged in the late 19th century in the western counties of the Piedmont, based on cotton mills established at the fall line . Railroads were built to connect the new industrializing cities. The state was the site of the first successful controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, by the Wright brothers , near Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903. In the first half of the 20th century, many African Americans left the state to go North for better opportunities, in the Great Migration . Their departure changed the demographic characteristics of many areas.

North Carolina
North Carolina
was hard hit by the Great Depression , but the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt for cotton and tobacco significantly helped the farmers. After World War II, the state's economy grew rapidly, highlighted by the growth of such cities as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham in the Piedmont. Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill form the Research Triangle , a major area of universities and advanced scientific and technical research. In the 1990s, Charlotte
Charlotte
became a major regional and national banking center. Tourism has also been a boon for the North Carolina
North Carolina
economy as people flock to the Outer Banks
Outer Banks
coastal area and the Appalachian Mountains anchored by Asheville.

By the 1970s, spurred in part by the increasingly leftward tilt of national Democrats, conservative whites began to vote for Republican national candidates and gradually for more Republicans locally. The Greensboro Sit-ins played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement to bring full equality to American blacks.

NATIVE AMERICANS, LOST COLONIES, AND PERMANENT SETTLEMENT

See also: Native Americans in the United States , Joara
Joara
, Roanoke Island , and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Map
Map
of the coast of Virginia
Virginia
and North Carolina, drawn 1585–1586 by Theodor de Bry , based on map by John White of the Roanoke Colony

North Carolina
North Carolina
was inhabited for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of prehistoric indigenous cultures. Before 200 AD, they were building earthwork mounds , which were used for ceremonial and religious purposes. Succeeding peoples, including those of the ancient Mississippian culture established by 1000 AD in the Piedmont, continued to build or add on to such mounds. In the 500–700 years preceding European contact, the Mississippian culture built large, complex cities and maintained far-flung regional trading networks. Its largest city was Cahokia , located in present-day Illinois
Illinois
near the Mississippi
Mississippi
River.

Historically documented tribes in the North Carolina
North Carolina
region include the Carolina Algonquian -speaking tribes of the coastal areas, such as the Chowanoke , Roanoke , Pamlico , Machapunga , Coree , and Cape Fear Indians , who were the first encountered by the English; the Iroquoian -speaking Meherrin , Cherokee
Cherokee
, and Tuscarora of the interior; and Southeastern Siouan tribes, such as the Cheraw , Waxhaw , Saponi , Waccamaw , and Catawba .

Spanish explorers traveling inland in the 16th century met Mississippian culture people at Joara
Joara
, a regional chiefdom near present-day Morganton . Records of Hernando de Soto attested to his meeting with them in 1540. In 1567 Captain Juan Pardo led an expedition to claim the area for the Spanish colony and to establish another route to protect silver mines in Mexico. Pardo made a winter base at Joara, which he renamed _Cuenca_. His expedition built Fort San Juan and left a contingent of 30 men there, while Pardo traveled further, and built and garrisoned five other forts. He returned by a different route to Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina
South Carolina
, then a center of Spanish Florida . In the spring of 1568, natives killed all but one of the soldiers and burned the six forts in the interior, including the one at Fort San Juan. Although the Spanish never returned to the interior, this effort marked the first European attempt at colonization of the interior of what became the United States. A 16th-century journal by Pardo's scribe Bandera and archaeological findings since 1986 at Joara
Joara
have confirmed the settlement. John White returns to find the colony abandoned.

In 1584, Elizabeth I granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh , for whom the state capital is named, for land in present-day North Carolina (then part of the territory of Virginia
Virginia
). It was the second American territory which the English attempted to colonize. Raleigh established two colonies on the coast in the late 1580s, but both failed. The fate of the "Lost Colony " of Roanoke Island remains one of the most widely debated mysteries of American history. Virginia Dare , the first English child to be born in North America, was born on Roanoke Island on August 18, 1587; Dare County is named for her.

As early as 1650, settlers from the Virginia
Virginia
colony moved into the area of Albemarle Sound . By 1663, King Charles II of England
Charles II of England
granted a charter to start a new colony on the North American continent; it generally established North Carolina's borders. He named it _Carolina_ in honor of his father Charles I . By 1665, a second charter was issued to attempt to resolve territorial questions. In 1710, owing to disputes over governance, the Carolina colony began to split into North Carolina
North Carolina
and South Carolina
South Carolina
. The latter became a crown colony in 1729.

In the 1700s, a series of smallpox epidemics swept the South, causing high fatalities among the Native Americans, who had no immunity to the new disease (it had become endemic in Europe). According to the historian Russell Thornton, "The 1738 epidemic was said to have killed one-half of the Cherokee
Cherokee
, with other tribes of the area suffering equally."

COLONIAL PERIOD AND REVOLUTIONARY WAR

See also: Province of Carolina , Province of North Carolina , and American Revolutionary War Reconstructed royal governor's mansion Tryon Palace
Tryon Palace
in New Bern

After the Spanish in the 16th century, the first permanent European settlers of North Carolina
North Carolina
were English colonists who migrated south from Virginia
Virginia
. The latter had grown rapidly and land was less available. Nathaniel Batts was documented as one of the first of these Virginian migrants. He settled south of the Chowan River and east of the Great Dismal Swamp in 1655. By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina , known as the Albemarle Settlements , was undergoing full-scale English settlement. During the same period, the English monarch Charles II gave the province to the Lords Proprietors , a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1660. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I (Latin: _Carolus_). In 1712, North Carolina
North Carolina
became a separate colony. Except for the Earl Granville holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later. A large revolt happened in the state in 1711 known as Cary\'s Rebellion .

Differences in the settlement patterns of eastern and western North Carolina, or the Low Country and uplands, affected the political, economic, and social life of the state from the 18th until the 20th century. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina
North Carolina
was settled chiefly by immigrants from rural England and the Scottish Highlands . The upcountry of western North Carolina
North Carolina
was settled chiefly by Scots-Irish , English, and German Protestants, the so-called "cohee ". Arriving during the mid- to late 18th century, the Scots-Irish from what is today Northern Ireland were the largest non-English immigrant group before the Revolution; English indentured servants were overwhelmingly the largest immigrant group before the Revolution. During the American Revolutionary War , the English and Highland Scots of eastern North Carolina
North Carolina
tended to remain loyal to the British Crown, because of longstanding business and personal connections with Great Britain. The English, Welsh, Scots-Irish, and German settlers of western North Carolina tended to favor American independence from Britain.

Most of the English colonists had arrived as indentured servants , hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Some Africans were allowed to earn their freedom before slavery became a lifelong status. Most of the free colored families formed in North Carolina
North Carolina
before the Revolution were descended from unions or marriages between free white women and enslaved or free African or African-American men. Because the mothers were free, their children were born free. Many had migrated or were descendants of migrants from colonial Virginia. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in Great Britain , planters imported more slaves, and the state's legal delineations between free and slave status tightened, effectively hardening the latter into a racial caste. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco.

On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British Crown, through the Halifax Resolves passed by the North Carolina Provincial Congress . The dates of both of these events are memorialized on the state flag and state seal . Throughout the Revolutionary War, fierce guerrilla warfare erupted between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists. In some cases the war was also an excuse to settle private grudges and rivalries. A major American victory in the war took place at King\'s Mountain along the North Carolina– South Carolina
South Carolina
border; on October 7, 1780, a force of 1000 mountain men from western North Carolina
North Carolina
(including what is today the state of Tennessee
Tennessee
) and southwest Virginia
Virginia
overwhelmed a force of some 1000 British troops led by Major Patrick Ferguson . Most of the soldiers fighting for the British side in this battle were Carolinians who had remained loyal to the Crown (they were called "Tories" or Loyalists). The American victory at Kings Mountain gave the advantage to colonists who favored American independence, and it prevented the British Army
British Army
from recruiting new soldiers from the Tories. 1st Maryland
Maryland
Regiment holding the line at the Battle of Guilford

The road to Yorktown and America's independence from Great Britain led through North Carolina. As the British Army
British Army
moved north from victories in Charleston and Camden, South Carolina
South Carolina
, the Southern Division of the Continental Army and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan 's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banastre Tarleton
Banastre Tarleton
at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, southern commander Nathanael Greene led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from the latter's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River."

In the Battle of Cowan\'s Ford , Cornwallis met resistance along the banks of the Catawba River at Cowan's Ford on February 1, 1781, in an attempt to engage General Morgan's forces during a tactical withdrawal. Morgan had moved to the northern part of the state to combine with General Greene's newly recruited forces. Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro on March 15, 1781. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior Continental Army were crippling. Following this " Pyrrhic victory ", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis' eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia
Virginia
, later in 1781. The Patriots' victory there guaranteed American independence.

ANTEBELLUM PERIOD

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina
North Carolina
became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution . In 1840, it completed the state capitol building in Raleigh, still standing today. Most of North Carolina's slave owners and large plantations were located in the eastern portion of the state. Although North Carolina's plantation system was smaller and less cohesive than that of Virginia
Virginia
, Georgia , or South Carolina , significant numbers of planters were concentrated in the counties around the port cities of Wilmington and Edenton, as well as suburban planters around the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham in the Piedmont. Planters owning large estates wielded significant political and socio-economic power in antebellum North Carolina, which was a slave society. They placed their interests above those of the generally non-slave-holding "yeoman" farmers of western North Carolina. In mid-century, the state's rural and commercial areas were connected by the construction of a 129-mile (208 km) wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad", from Fayetteville in the east to Bethania (northwest of Winston-Salem ). Map
Map
of the roads and railroads of North Carolina, 1854

Besides slaves, there were a number of free people of color in the state. Most were descended from free African Americans who had migrated along with neighbors from Virginia
Virginia
during the 18th century. The majority were the descendants of unions in the working classes between white women, indentured servants or free, and African men, indentured, slave or free. After the Revolution , Quakers
Quakers
and Mennonites worked to persuade slaveholders to free their slaves. Some were inspired by their efforts and the language of the Revolution to arrange for manumission of their slaves. The number of free people of color rose markedly in the first couple of decades after the Revolution.

On October 25, 1836, construction began on the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad to connect the port city of Wilmington with the state capital of Raleigh . In 1849 the North Carolina
North Carolina
Railroad was created by act of the legislature to extend that railroad west to Greensboro , High Point , and Charlotte
Charlotte
. During the Civil War, the Wilmington-to-Raleigh stretch of the railroad would be vital to the Confederate war effort; supplies shipped into Wilmington would be moved by rail through Raleigh to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia
Virginia
.

During the antebellum period, North Carolina
North Carolina
was an overwhelmingly rural state, even by Southern standards. In 1860 only one North Carolina town, the port city of Wilmington , had a population of more than 10,000. Raleigh , the state capital, had barely more than 5,000 residents.

While slaveholding was slightly less concentrated than in some Southern states, according to the 1860 census, more than 330,000 people, or 33% of the population of 992,622, were enslaved African Americans. They lived and worked chiefly on plantations in the eastern Tidewater . In addition, 30,463 free people of color lived in the state. They were also concentrated in the eastern coastal plain, especially at port cities such as Wilmington and New Bern , where a variety of jobs were available. Free African Americans were allowed to vote until 1835, when the state revoked their suffrage in restrictions following the slave rebellion of 1831 led by Nat Turner . Southern slave codes criminalized willful killing of a slave in most cases.

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Main article: North Carolina in the American Civil War Further information: American Civil War Union captures Fort Fisher , 1865

In 1860, North Carolina
North Carolina
was a slave state, in which one-third of the population was enslaved. This was a smaller proportion than in many Southern states. The state did not vote to join the Confederacy until President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
called on it to invade its sister state, South Carolina
South Carolina
, becoming the last or second-to-last state to officially join the Confederacy. The title of "last to join the Confederacy" has been disputed; although Tennessee's informal secession on May 7, 1861, preceded North Carolina's official secession on May 20, the Tennessee
Tennessee
legislature did not formally vote to secede until June 8, 1861.

North Carolina
North Carolina
was the site of few battles, but it provided the Confederacy with at least 125,000 troops, which is far more than any other state did. Approximately 40,000 of those troops died: more than half of disease, the remainder from battlefield wounds and from starvation. North Carolina
North Carolina
also supplied about 15,000 Union troops. Elected in 1862, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance tried to maintain state autonomy against Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond . Sculpture of Confederate soldier Silent Sam
Silent Sam
, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , by John Wilson

After secession, some North Carolinians refused to support the Confederacy. Some of the yeoman farmers in the state's mountains and western Piedmont region remained neutral during the Civil War, while some covertly supported the Union cause during the conflict. Approximately 2,000 North Carolinians from western North Carolina enlisted in the Union Army and fought for the North in the war. Two additional Union Army regiments were raised in the coastal areas of the state, which were occupied by Union forces in 1862 and 1863. Numerous slaves escaped to Union lines, where they became essentially free.

Confederate troops from all parts of North Carolina
North Carolina
served in virtually all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia
Virginia
, the Confederacy's most famous army. The largest battle fought in North Carolina was at Bentonville , which was a futile attempt by Confederate General Joseph Johnston to slow Union General William Tecumseh Sherman 's advance through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865. In April 1865, after losing the Battle of Morrisville , Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place , in what is today Durham . North Carolina's port city of Wilmington was the last Confederate port to fall to the Union, in February 1865, after the Union won the nearby Second Battle of Fort Fisher , its major defense downriver. Bennett Place historic site in Durham

The first Confederate soldier to be killed in the Civil War was Private Henry Wyatt from North Carolina, in the Battle of Big Bethel in June 1861. At the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
in July 1863, the 26th North Carolina Regiment participated in Pickett/Pettigrew\'s Charge and advanced the farthest into the Northern lines of any Confederate regiment. During the Battle of Chickamauga , the 58th North Carolina Regiment advanced farther than any other regiment on Snodgrass Hill to push back the remaining Union forces from the battlefield. At Appomattox Court House in Virginia
Virginia
in April 1865, the 75th North Carolina Regiment, a cavalry unit, fired the last shots of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
Virginia
in the Civil War. For many years, North Carolinians proudly boasted that they had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox."

DEMOGRAPHICS

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HISTORICAL POPULATION

CENSUS POP.

1790 393,751

1800 478,103

21.4%

1810 556,526

16.4%

1820 638,829

14.8%

1830 737,987

15.5%

1840 753,419

2.1%

1850 869,039

15.3%

1860 992,622

14.2%

1870 1,071,361

7.9%

1880 1,399,750

30.7%

1890 1,617,949

15.6%

1900 1,893,810

17.1%

1910 2,206,287

16.5%

1920 2,559,123

16.0%

1930 3,170,276

23.9%

1940 3,571,623

12.7%

1950 4,061,929

13.7%

1960 4,556,155

12.2%

1970 5,082,059

11.5%

1980 5,881,766

15.7%

1990 6,628,637

12.7%

2000 8,049,313

21.4%

2010 9,535,471

18.5%

EST. 2016 10,146,788

6.4%

Source: 1910–2010 2015 estimate

Main article: Demographics of North Carolina

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of North Carolina
North Carolina
was 10,042,802 on July 1, 2015, a 5.32% increase since the 2010 United States Census . Of the people residing in North Carolina, 58.5% were born in North Carolina, 33.1% were born in another US state, 1.0% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent(s), and 7.4% were born in another country. As of 2011, 49.8% of North Carolina's population younger than age 1 were minorities.

ETHNICITY

DEMOGRAPHICS OF NORTH CAROLINA covers the varieties of ethnic groups that reside in North Carolina, along with the relevant trends.

The state's racial composition in the 2010 Census:

* White : 68.5% (65.3% non-Hispanic white , 3.2% White Hispanic
White Hispanic
) * Black or African American
African American
: 21.5% * Latin and Hispanic American of any race: 8.4% * Some other race : 4.3% * Multiracial American : 2.2% * Asian American : 2.2% * Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander : 1%

NORTH CAROLINA RACIAL BREAKDOWN OF POPULATION RACIAL COMPOSITION 1990 2000 2010

White 75.6% 72.1% 68.5%

Black 22.0% 21.6% 21.4%

Asian 0.8% 1.4% 2.2%

Native 1.2% 1.2% 1.3%

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander – 0.1% 0.1%

Other race 0.5% 2.3% 4.3%

Two or more races – 1.3% 2.3%

As of 2011, 49.8% of North Carolina's population younger than age 1 were minorities (meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white).

LANGUAGES

As of 2010, 89.66% (7,750,904) of North Carolina
North Carolina
residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language , while 6.93% (598,756) spoke Spanish, 0.32% (27,310) French, 0.27% (23,204) German, and Chinese (which includes Mandarin ) was spoken as a main language by 0.27% (23,072) of the population over the age of five. In total, 10.34% (893,735) of North Carolina's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.

TOP 15 NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN NORTH CAROLINA LANGUAGE Percentage of population (as of 2010)

Spanish 6.93%

French 0.32%

German 0.27%

Chinese (including Mandarin ) 0.27%

Vietnamese 0.24%

Arabic 0.17%

Korean 0.16%

Tagalog 0.13%

Hindi 0.12%

Gujarati , Russian, and Hmong (tied) 0.11%

Italian and Japanese (tied) 0.08%

Cherokee
Cherokee
0.01%

RELIGION

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION

Christian 84%

Evangelical Protestant
Protestant
41%

Mainline Protestant
Protestant
21%

Black Protestant
Protestant
13%

Roman Catholic 9%

Buddhist
Buddhist
1%

Other religions 2%

Irreligious 12%

Don't know/refuse 1%

_Data as of 2008_

North Carolina
North Carolina
residents, like those of other Southern states, since the colonial era have historically been overwhelmingly Protestant
Protestant
, first Anglican, then Baptist
Baptist
and Methodist. By the late 19th century, the largest Protestant
Protestant
denomination was the Baptist
Baptist
. After the Civil War, black Baptists were not allowed in white churches, due to segregation, and set up their own independent congregations. Black Baptists went on to develop their own state and national associations, to be free of white supervision.

While the Baptists in total (counting both blacks and whites) have maintained the majority in this part of the country (known as the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
), the population in North Carolina
North Carolina
practices a wide variety of faiths, including Judaism
Judaism
, Islam
Islam
, Baha\'i , Buddhism
Buddhism
, and Hinduism . As of 2010 the Southern Baptist
Baptist
Church was the biggest denomination, with 4,241 churches and 1,513,000 members; the second largest was the United Methodist Church, with 660,000 members and 1,923 churches. The third was the Roman Catholic Church, with 428,000 members in 190 congregations. The fourth greatest was the Presbyterian Church (USA) , with 186,000 members and 710 congregations; this denomination was brought by Scots-Irish immigrants who settled the backcountry in the colonial era.

The state also has a special history with the Moravian Church
Moravian Church
, as settlers of this faith (largely of German origin) found a home in the Winston-Salem area in the 18th and 19th centuries. Presbyterians
Presbyterians
, historically Scots-Irish, have had a strong presence in Charlotte
Charlotte
and in Scotland County .

Currently, the rapid influx of northerners and immigrants from Latin America is steadily increasing ethnic and religious diversity: the number of Roman Catholics and Jews in the state has increased, as well as general religious diversity. The second-largest Protestant denomination in North Carolina
North Carolina
after Baptist
Baptist
traditions is Methodism
Methodism
, which is strong in the northern Piedmont, especially in populous Guilford County . There are also a substantial number of Quakers
Quakers
in Guilford County and northeastern North Carolina. Many universities and colleges in the state have been founded on religious traditions, and some currently maintain that affiliation, including:

* Belmont Abbey College (Catholic) * Bennett College for Women (United Methodist Church) * Campbell University (Baptist) * Catawba College (United Church of Christ) * Chowan University (Baptist) * Davidson College (Presbyterian) * Duke University (Historically Methodist) * Elon University (United Church of Christ) * Gardner–Webb University (Cooperative Baptist
Baptist
Fellowship) * Greensboro College (Methodist) * Guilford College ( Religious Society of Friends ) * High Point University (United Methodist Church) * Lees-McRae College (Presbyterian) * Lenoir-Rhyne University (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) * Livingstone College (African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church) * Louisburg College (United Methodist Church) * Mars Hill University (Christian) * Methodist University (United Methodist Church) * Montreat College (Christian) * University of Mount Olive (Baptist) * North Carolina Wesleyan College (United Methodist Church) * William Peace University (Presbyterian) * Pfeiffer University (Methodist) * Queens University of Charlotte
Charlotte
(Presbyterian) * St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Presbyterian) * Saint Augustine\'s College (Episcopal) * Salem College ( Moravian Church
Moravian Church
) * Shaw University (Baptist) * Wake Forest University (Historically Baptist) * Warren Wilson College (Historically Presbyterian) * Wingate University (Historically Baptist)

The state also has several major seminaries, including the Southeastern Baptist
Baptist
Theological Seminary in Wake Forest , and the Hood Theological Seminary (AME Zion) in Salisbury
Salisbury
.

MOST POPULATED COUNTIES

See also: List of counties in North Carolina

In 2016, the US Census Bureau released 2015 population estimate counts for North Carolina's counties. Mecklenburg County has the largest population, while Wake County has the second largest population in North Carolina.

MAJOR CITIES

See also: List of municipalities in North Carolina

In 2016, the US Census Bureau released 2015 population estimate counts for North Carolina's cities with populations above 70,000. Charlotte
Charlotte
has the largest population, while Raleigh has the highest population density of North Carolina's largest cities.

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in North Carolina Source:

RANK NAME COUNTY POP.

Charlotte
Charlotte

Raleigh 1 Charlotte
Charlotte
Mecklenburg 827,097

Greensboro

Durham

2 Raleigh Wake 451,066

3 Greensboro Guilford 285,342

4 Durham Durham 257,636

5 Winston-Salem Forsyth 241,218

6 Fayetteville Cumberland 201,963

7 Cary Wake 159,769

8 Wilmington New Hanover 115,933

9 High Point Guilford 110,268

10 Greenville Pitt 90,597

LARGEST COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS

Charlotte
Charlotte
skyline

North Carolina
North Carolina
has three major Combined Statistical Areas with populations of more than 1.6 million ( U.S. Census Bureau 2015 estimates):

* METROLINA : _Charlotte–Gastonia–Salisbury, North Carolina-South Carolina_ – population 2,583,956 * THE RESEARCH TRIANGLE : _Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill, North Carolina_ – population 2,117,103 * THE TRIAD : _Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, North Carolina_ – population 1,642,506

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of North Carolina See also: North Carolina locations by per capita income

North Carolina
North Carolina
has a very diverse economy because of its great availability of hydroelectric power, its pleasant climate, and its wide variety of soils. The state ranks third among the South Atlantic states in population, but leads the region in industry and agriculture. North Carolina
North Carolina
leads the nation in the production of tobacco, textiles, and furniture. Charlotte, the state's largest city, is a major textile and trade center. According to a Forbes article written in 2013 Employment in the "Old North State" has gained many different industry sectors. See the following article summary: science, technology, energy and math, or STEM, industries in the area surrounding North Carolina's capital have grown 17.9 percent since 2001, placing Raleigh-Cary at No. 5 among the 51 largest metro areas in the country where technology is booming. In 2010 North Carolina's total gross state product was $424.9 billion, while the state debt in November 2012, according to one source, totalled US$2.4bn, while according to another, was in 2012 US$57.8bn. In 2011 the civilian labor force was at around 4.5 million with employment near 4.1 million. The working population is employed across the major employment sectors. The ECONOMY OF NORTH CAROLINA covers 15 metropolitan areas. In 2010, North Carolina
North Carolina
was chosen as the third-best state for business by Forbes Magazine, and the second-best state by Chief Executive Officer Magazine.

North Carolina
North Carolina
is the leading US state in production of flue-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes , and is second in production of pigs and hogs, trout , and turkeys . In the three most recent USDA
USDA
surveys (2002, 2007, 2012), North Carolina
North Carolina
also ranked second in Christmas tree production.

Based on American Community Survey 2010-2014 data, North Carolina's median household income was $46,693. It ranked forty first out of fifty states plus the District of Columbia for median household income. North Carolina
North Carolina
had the fourteenth highest poverty rate in the nation at 17.6%. 13% of families were below the poverty line.

TRANSPORTATION

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Main article: Transportation in North Carolina A North Carolina license plate.

Transportation systems in North Carolina
North Carolina
consist of air, water, road, rail, and public transportation including intercity rail via Amtrak and light rail in Charlotte. North Carolina
North Carolina
has the second-largest state highway system in the country as well as the largest ferry system on the east coast.

North Carolina's airports serve destinations throughout the United States and international destinations in Canada, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean. In 2013 Charlotte
Charlotte
Douglas International Airport ranked as the 23rd busiest airport in the world.

North Carolina
North Carolina
has a growing passenger rail system with Amtrak serving most major cities. Charlotte
Charlotte
is also home to North Carolina's only light rail system known as the Lynx.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

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Main articles: Government of North Carolina and Politics of North Carolina

North Carolina
North Carolina
statewide election results YEAR OFFICE REPUBLICAN DEMOCRATIC OTHER

2016 Governor 48.8% _2,298,880_ 49.0% _2,309,157_ 2.2% _102,977_

President 49.8% _2,362,631_ 46.2% _2,189,316_ 4.0% _189,617_

Senate 51.1% _2,395,376_ 45.4% _2,128,165_ 3.6% _167,592_

2014 Senate 48.8% _1,423,259_ 47.3% _1,377,651_ 3.9% _114,371_

2012 Governor 54.6% _2,440,707_ 43.2% _1,931.580_ 2.2% _96,008_

President 50.4% _2,270,395_ 48.4% _2,178,391_ 1.3% _56,586_

2010 Senate 54.8% _1,458,046_ 43.1% _1,145,074_ 2.1% _56,959_

2008 Governor 46.9% _2,001,168_ 50.3% _2,146,189_ 2.9% _121,584_

President 49.4% _2,128,474_ 49.7% _2,142,651_ 0.9% _39,664_

Senate 44.2% _1,887,510_ 52.7% _2,249,311_ 3.2% _135,149_

2004 Governor 42.9% _1,495,021_ 55.6% _1,939,154_ 1.5% _52,513_

President 56.0% _1,961,166_ 43.6% _1,525,849_ 0.4% _13,992_

Senate 51.6% _1,791,450_ 47.0% _1,632,527_ 1.4% _48,105_

2002 Senate 53.6% _1,248,664_ 45.0% _1,047,983_ 1.5% _34,534_

2000 Governor 46.3% _1,360,960_ 52.0% _1,530,324_ 1.7% _50,778_

President 56.0% _1,631,163_ 43.2% _1,257,692_ 0.8% _22,407_

1998 Senate 47.0% _945,943_ 51.2% _1,029,237_ 1.8% _36,963_

1996 Governor 42.8% _1,097,053_ 56.0% _1,436,638_ 1.3% _32,494_

President 48.7% _1,225,938_ 44.0% _1,107,849_ 7.2% _182,020_

Senate 52.6% _1,345,833_ 45.9% _1,173,875_ 1.4% _36,748_

1992 Governor 43.2% _1,121,955_ 52.7% _1,368,246_ 4.1% _104,983_

President 43.4% _1,134,661_ 42.7% _1,114,042_ 13.9% _363,147_

Senate 50.4% _1,297,892_ 46.3% _1,194,015_ 3.3% _85,984_

Treemap
Treemap
of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election. North Carolina State Legislative Building

The government of North Carolina
North Carolina
is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. These consist of the Council of State (led by the Governor ), the bicameral legislature (called the General Assembly ), and the state court system (headed by the North Carolina Supreme Court ). The state constitution delineates the structure and function of the state government. North Carolina
North Carolina
has 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
and two seats in the U.S. Senate .

North Carolina's party loyalties have undergone a series of important shifts in the last few years: While the 2010 midterms saw Tar Heel voters elect a bicameral Republican majority legislature for the first time in over a century, North Carolina
North Carolina
has also become a Southern swing state in presidential races. Since Southern Democrat Jimmy Carter 's comfortable victory in the state in 1976 , the state had consistently leaned Republican in presidential elections until Democrat Barack Obama
Barack Obama
narrowly won the state in 2008 . In the 1990s, Democrat Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
came within a point of winning the state in 1992 and also only narrowly lost the state in 1996 . In the early 2000s, Republican George W. Bush easily won the state by over 12 points, but by 2008, demographic shifts, population growth, and increased liberalization in heavily populated areas such as the Research Triangle , Charlotte
Charlotte
, Greensboro , Winston-Salem , Fayetteville , and Asheville , propelled Barack Obama
Barack Obama
to victory in North Carolina, the first Democrat to win the state since 1976. In 2012 , North Carolina was again considered a competitive swing state, with the Democrats even holding their 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. However, Republican Mitt Romney ultimately eked out a 2-point win in North Carolina, the only 2012 swing state that Obama lost, and one of only two states (along with Indiana
Indiana
) to flip from Obama in 2008 to the GOP in 2012.

In 2012, the state elected a Republican Governor ( Pat McCrory ) and Lieutenant Governor ( Dan Forest ) for the first time in more than two decades, while also giving the Republicans veto-proof majorities in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. Several U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
seats also flipped control, with the Republicans holding nine seats to the Democrats' four. In the 2014 mid-term elections, Republican David Rouzer won the state's Seventh Congressional District seat, increasing the congressional delegation party split to 10-3 in favor of the GOP.

EDUCATION

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

See also: List of school districts in North Carolina and List of high schools in North Carolina
North Carolina
A lesson at Kituwah Academy on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina. The language immersion school, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Cherokee
Indians , teaches the same curriculum as other state primary schools , but the Native American Cherokee
Cherokee
language is the medium of instruction from pre-school on up and students learn it as a first language . Such schools have proven instrumental in the preservation and perpetuation of the Cherokee language.

Elementary and secondary public schools are overseen by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction . The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction is the secretary of the North Carolina State Board of Education , but the board, rather than the superintendent, holds most of the legal authority for making public education policy. In 2009, the board's chairman also became the "chief executive officer" for the state's school system. North Carolina
North Carolina
has 115 public school systems, each of which is overseen by a local school board. A county may have one or more systems within it. The largest school systems in North Carolina
North Carolina
are the Wake County Public School System , Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools , Guilford County Schools , Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools , and Cumberland County Schools . In total there are 2,425 public schools in the state, including 99 charter schools . North Carolina
North Carolina
Schools were segregated until the Brown v. Board of Education trial and the release of the Pearsall Plan .

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Further information: List of colleges and universities in North Carolina and List of universities in North Carolina by enrollment

In 1795, North Carolina
North Carolina
opened the first public university in the United States—the University of North Carolina
North Carolina
(now named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ). More than 200 years later, the University of North Carolina system encompasses 17 public universities including North Carolina State University , North Carolina Amax-width:626px"> Duke Chapel at Duke University Old Well at UNC-Chapel Hill Memorial Bell Tower at NC State Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University The Joyner Library clock tower at East Carolina University The New Quad at UNC Charlotte
Charlotte
The Fountain at University of North Carolina at Greensboro

North Carolina
North Carolina
is also home to many well-known private colleges and universities, including Duke University , Wake Forest University , Pfeiffer University , Lees-McRae College , Davidson College , Barton College , North Carolina Wesleyan College , Elon University , Guilford College , Livingstone College, Salem College , Shaw University (the first historically black college or university in the South), Laurel University , Meredith College , Methodist University , Belmont Abbey College (the only Catholic college in the Carolinas), Campbell University , University of Mount Olive , Montreat College , High Point University , Lenoir-Rhyne University (the only Lutheran university in North Carolina) and Wingate University . Tree map depicting post-secondary education institutions in North Carolina. Each is sized by its relative share of degrees awarded. The colors noted in the key below refer to the type of institution. From left to right, these are 1) Public, 4+ year, 2) Public, 2 year 3) Private, not-for-profit 4+ year 4) Private, for-profit 4+ year, 5) Private, for-profit, 2 year 6) Private, for-profit, NORTH CAROLINA STATE SYMBOLS

The Flag of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina

The Seal of North Carolina
Seal of North Carolina

LIVING INSIGNIA

BIRD Cardinal (bird)

FISH Red drum

FLOWER Flowering Dogwood

INSECT Western honey bee (Apis mellifera)

MAMMAL Eastern Gray Squirrel

REPTILE Eastern Box Turtle

TREE Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)

INANIMATE INSIGNIA

BEVERAGE Milk
Milk

COLORS red and blue

DANCE Clogging

FOOD Sweet potato

GEMSTONE Emerald
Emerald

MINERAL Gold
Gold

MOTTO _ Esse quam videri _ ("To be, rather than to seem")

ROCK Granite

SHELL Scotch bonnet (sea snail)

SLOGAN _First Flight (unofficial)_

SONG " The Old North State (song) "

STATE ROUTE MARKER

_

STATE QUARTER

Released in 2001

Lists of United States state symbols

Cardinal , North Carolina
North Carolina
state bird Dogwood , North Carolina state flower Main article: List of North Carolina
North Carolina
state symbols

* STATE MOTTO : Esse quam videri _ ("To be, rather than to seem") (1893) * STATE SONG : " The Old North State " (1927) * STATE FLOWER : Dogwood (1941) * STATE BIRD : Cardinal (1943) * STATE COLORS : The red and blue of the N.C. and U.S. flags (1945) * STATE TOAST: "The Tar Heel
Tar Heel
Toast " (1957) * STATE TREE : Pine
Pine
(_Pinus_) (1963) * STATE SHELL : Scotch bonnet (1965) * STATE MAMMAL : Eastern gray squirrel (1969) * STATE SALT WATER FISH : Red drum (also known as the channel bass) (1971) * STATE INSECT : European honey bee (1973) * STATE GEMSTONE : Emerald
Emerald
(1973) * STATE REPTILE : Eastern box turtle (1979) * STATE ROCK : Granite (1979) * STATE BEVERAGE : Milk
Milk
(1987) * STATE HISTORICAL BOAT : Shad boat (1987) * STATE LANGUAGE: English (1987) * STATE DOG: Plott Hound (1989) * STATE MILITARY ACADEMY: Oak Ridge Military Academy (1991) * STATE TARTAN : Carolina Tartan (1991) * STATE VEGETABLE : Sweet potato (1995) * STATE RED BERRY : Strawberry (2001) * STATE BLUE BERRY : Blueberry
Blueberry
(2001) * STATE FRUIT : Scuppernong grape (2001) * STATE WILDFLOWER : Carolina lily (2003) * STATE CHRISTMAS TREE: Fraser fir (2005) * STATE CARNIVOROUS PLANT: Venus flytrap
Venus flytrap
(2005) * STATE FOLK DANCE : Clogging (2005) * STATE POPULAR DANCE : Carolina shag (2005) * STATE BIRTHPLACE OF TRADITIONAL POTTERY: The Seagrove area (2005) * STATE SPORT: NASCAR
NASCAR
(2011)

ARMED FORCES INSTALLATIONS

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Troopers of the 82nd Airborne Division training on Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
, March 2011

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
, near Fayetteville and Southern Pines , is a large and comprehensive military base and is the headquarters of the XVIII Airborne Corps , 82nd Airborne Division , and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command . Serving as the air wing for Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg
is Pope Field , also located near Fayetteville.

Located in Jacksonville , Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune , combined with nearby bases Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point , MCAS New River , Camp Geiger , Camp Johnson , Stone Bay and Courthouse Bay, makes up the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world. MCAS Cherry Point is home of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
. Located in Goldsboro , Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is home of the 4th Fighter Wing and 916th Air Refueling Wing . One of the busiest air stations in the United States Coast Guard is located at the Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City . Also stationed in North Carolina is the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point in Southport
Southport
.

SEE ALSO

* North Carolina
North Carolina
portal

* Index of North Carolina-related articles * Outline of North Carolina – organized list of topics about North Carolina

REFERENCES

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* ^ "Local & North Carolina
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PRIMARY SOURCES

* Lefler, Hugh (numerous editions since 1934). _North Carolina History Told by Contemporaries_ . University of North Carolina Press . * Jones, H. G. (1984). _ North Carolina
North Carolina
Illustrated, 1524–1984_. University of North Carolina
North Carolina
Press. * _ North Carolina
North Carolina
Manual_. Published biennially by the Department of the Secretary of State since 1941. * The Religion in North Carolina
North Carolina
Digital Collection. A grant-funded project to provide digital access to publications of and about religious bodies in North Carolina. Partner institutions at Duke University , UNC-Chapel Hill , and Wake Forest University contributed the largest portion of the items in this collection, but the collection is enriched by unique materials from libraries and archives throughout North Carolina. The materials in this collection include local church histories, periodicals, clergy biographies, cookbooks, event programs, directories, and much more.

FURTHER READING

* James, Clay; Orr, Douglas, eds. (1971). _ North Carolina
North Carolina
Atlas: Portrait of a Changing Southern State_. * Christensen, Rob (2008). _The Paradox of Tar Heel
Tar Heel
Politics_. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press . * Cooper, Christopher A.; Knotts, H. Gibbs, eds. (2008). _The New Politics of North Carolina_. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. * Crow; Jeffrey J.; Tise, Larry E. (1979). _Writing North Carolina History_. Online. * Eamon, Tom (2014). _The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory._ Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina
North Carolina
Press. * Fleer, Jack D. (1994). _ North Carolina
North Carolina
Government Coble, Ran, eds. (1989). _ North Carolina