North Carolina

North Carolina
State of North Carolina
Nickname(s): 
Old North State; Tar Heel State
Motto(s): 
Esse quam videri:[1] "To be, rather than to seem"
Anthem: The Old North State
Map of the United States with North Carolina highlighted
Map of the United States with North Carolina highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodProvince of North-Carolina
Admitted to the UnionNovember 21, 1789 (12th)
CapitalRaleigh
Largest cityCharlotte
Largest metroGreater Charlotte
Government
 • GovernorRoy Cooper (D)
 • Lieutenant GovernorMark Robinson (R)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryNorth Carolina Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsRichard Burr (R)
Thom Tillis (R)
U.S. House delegation
  • 8 Republicans
  • 5 Democrats
(list)
Area
 • Total53,819 sq mi (139,390 km2)
 • Land48,711 sq mi (126,161 km2)
 • Water1,972 sq mi (5,108 km2)  9.5%
Area rank28th
Dimensions
 • Length500[2] mi (804 km)
 • Width184 mi (296 km)
Elevation
700 ft (210 m)
Highest elevation6,684 ft (2,037 m)
Lowest elevation
(Atlantic Ocean[3])
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2019)
 • Total10,488,084
 • Rank9th
 • Density208.7/sq mi (80.6/km2)
 • Density rank15th
 • Median household income
$52,752[5]
 • Income rank
39th
Demonym(s)North Carolinian (official);
Tar Heel (colloquial)
Language
 • Official languageEnglish[6]
 • Spoken languageAs of 2010[7]
  • English 90.70%
  • Spanish 6.93%
  • Other 2.73%
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
NC
ISO 3166 codeUS-NC
Traditional abbreviationN.C.
Latitude33° 50′ N to 36° 35′ N
Longitude75° 28′ W to 84° 19′ W
Websitewww.nc.gov
North Carolina state symbols
Flag of North Carolina.svg
Seal of North Carolina.svg
Living insignia
BirdCardinal
ButterflyEastern tiger swallowtail
FishRed drum
FlowerFlowering dogwood
InsectWestern honey bee
MammalEastern gray squirrel
MarsupialVirginia opossum
ReptileEastern box turtle
TreePine
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
ColorsRed and blue
DanceShag
FoodScuppernong grape and sweet potato
FossilMegalodon teeth
GemstoneEmerald
MineralGold
MottoEsse quam videri
("To be, rather than to seem")[1]
RockGranite
ShellScotch bonnet
SloganFirst in Flight; First in Freedom (unofficial)
Song"The Old North State"
OtherFrog: Pine Barrens tree frog
State route marker
North Carolina state route marker
State quarter
North Carolina quarter dollar coin
Released in 2001
Lists of United States state symbols

North Carolina (/ˌkærəˈlnə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most-populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 23rd-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City.[8] The Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state, with an estimated population of 2,079,687 in 2019, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park.

North Carolina was established as a royal colony in 1729 and is one of the original Thirteen Colonies. North Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England who first formed the English colony, Carolus being Latin for "Charles". On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the United States Constitution. In the run-up to the American Civil War, North Carolina declared its secession from the Union on May 20, 1861, becoming the 10th of eleven states to join the Confederate States. Following the Civil War, the state was restored to the Union on June 25, 1868.[9] On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully piloted the world's first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina's Outer Banks. North Carolina uses the slogan "First in Flight" on state license plates to commemorate this achievement, alongside a newer alternative design bearing the slogan "First in Freedom" in reference to the Mecklenburg Declaration and Halifax Resolves.

North Carolina is defined by a wide range of elevations and landscapes. From west to east, North Carolina's elevation descends from the Appalachian Mountains to the Piedmont and Atlantic coastal plain. North Carolina's Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m) is the highest-point in North America east of the Mississippi River.[10] Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone; however, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.

  1. ^ a b In 1893 the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the Latin words "Esse Quam Videri" as the state motto and directed that these words be placed with the state's Coat of Arms and the date "20 May 1775" upon the great seal.
  2. ^ "North Carolina Climate and Geography". NC Kids Page. North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. May 8, 2006. Archived from the original on November 4, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  3. ^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  5. ^ "Median Annual Household Income". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "State language". Ncga.state.nc.cus. p. § 145–12. Retrieved May 23, 2016. (a)Purpose. English is the most common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina. This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of North Carolina. (b) English as the Official Language of North Carolina. English is the official language of the State of North Carolina.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "North Carolina". Modern Language Association. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  8. ^ Roberts, Deon (November 15, 2018). "Charlotte regains its place as No. 2 U.S. banking center. Will it keep it?". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Richter, William L. (William Lee), 1942- (2009). The A to Z of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Richter, William L. (William Lee), 1942-. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6336-1. OCLC 435767707.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Mount Mitchell State Park". Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.