North Carolina State Overview

State of North Carolina general data

  • Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Raleigh
  • Main towns: Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville,Greensboro, Winston-Salem
  • Area: 139.391 km²
  • Population: 10,100,000 inhabitants approximately.
  • Population density: 72,4 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: NC
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on November 21, 1789, it is the 12th state to join the union.

The territory of North Carolina can be divided into three physical regions: the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont region, and the mountainous area. With an average altitude of 241m, the highest point is at the top of Mount Mitchell, 2,039m above sea level. The coastal plain that stretches from the Atlantic to the eastern rivers occupies most of the state. The coast is virtually entirely protected by a line of islands called the ‘Outer Banks’. The characteristics of the coastline which is quite indented, makes navigation very difficult and explains the presence of pirate shelters during the 17th and 18th centuries. L’ tidal effect on inland areas has meant that some areas are often flooded. In the interior of this coastal plain, the most fertile lands from North Carolina are found. In the south-eastern part is the Sandhill region, a region of dunes covered with coniferous forests. Piedmont region, is the preamble to the mountainous area, is a strip of clayey soil covered by forests and crossed by many rivers. Given the characteristics and resources of this region, the main cities of North Carolina are located in Piedmont. The mountain region is a section of the Appalachian Mountains. The two main mountain ranges that make up this region are: Blue and Great Smoky. Between these mountain ranges that flank the region from west to east, there is a plateau crossed in turn by other mountain ranges where Mount Mitchell is located.

The Coastal Plain is crossed by the Chowan, Roanoke, Tar-Pamlico, Neuse-Trent and Cape Fear rivers, among others. Most of them originate in the Piedmont region and flow into the Atlantic. The rivers that originate in the Appalachians flow in the south of the state and in the states of Georgia and South Carolina, to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Among them the Yadkin-Pee Dee, the Catawba and the Broad. A third group of rivers originates in the western slope of the Appalachian mountains and are tributaries of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers; among them, the most important are the French Broad, the Little Tennessee, the Hiwassee, the Pigeon, the Elk and the Watauga. The largest lakes in North Carolina are found in the Coastal Plain and are: Mattamuskeet, Waccamaw, Phelps, Pungo and Alligator. There are also many artificial basins, among them the Norman and the Catawba.

Flora and fauna – Located in an area where subtropical and mid-latitude flora overlap, North Carolina has an extreme variety of plant life, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains. In Piedmont and most of the coastal plains, pine trees predominate, while the mountain sides are mostly covered with hardwood trees. There are numerous species of wild animals: migratory birds, deer, foxes, bears, wild cats.

Climate– The characteristics of the climate are due to the gulf current that hits the coastal plain and the western mountains, which protect the state from the winds of the continent. In general, the climate can be defined as mild continental in the mountain region and subtropical in the south-east. North Carolina has temperatures between -2 ° C and 11 ° C in January, and between 19 ° C and 31 ° C in July, although there are notable differences based on altitude or proximity to the sea, with temperatures lower in the western regions. The rains are abundant all year round, especially on the coast and during the months of July and August. Average annual rainfall varies between 1,100 and 1. 370 mm depending on the area. Snowfalls are only usual, but not very abundant, in the mountains. The coast is sometimes hit by hurricanes, while tornadoes are not uncommon in inland areas.


Raleigh is a city in central North Carolina and the state capital and the seat of Wake County. The city is located near the Neuse River. It is the commercial and product distribution center of a vast agricultural region. The main products of the city are electrical equipment and textiles and food products. Local, state and federal administration, financial activity and construction are important to the city’s economy. This city, along with Durham and Chapel Hill, forms the Research Triangle, with large research and development facilities in science and education. More than 70 companies and government agencies have opened research laboratories at the Research Triangle Park, a large campus for technological development. Raleigh is home to Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s College, North Carolina State University and Meredith College, founded in 1865, 1867, 1887 and 1891 respectively. State Courthouse, North Carolina Art, History, and Natural History Museums, President Andrew Johnson Birth Site, Historic Oakwood, and JS Dorton arena.

The Tuscarora people lived in what is now the Raleigh region before the arrival of the Europeans. After the American Revolution, the citizens of North Carolina decided to establish a permanent capital that would centralize administration. Construction began in 1792, baptizing it with the name of the English explorer Walter Raleigh.

The first state capitol was completed in 1794, and later destroyed by fire in 1831 and then replaced by the current structure in 1840. Towards the end of the American Civil War, in April 1865, the city was occupied by the troops of the ‘Union under the leadership of General William Tecumseh Sherman. In the 1970s and 1980s a major urban regeneration program improved housing conditions and transportation networks in downtown Raleigh.

North Carolina State Overview