The area of North Carolina was part of the original territory of the United States. Both North Carolina and South Carolina were included in the charter that established Carolina in 1663. The two areas separated in 1712—a separation that was finalized when the Carolina Colony was dissolved in 1729—with generally the same shared boundary as the present states. However, they did not settle on a final boundary until 1813. North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution on November 21, 1789; it was the 12th of the original 13 states to join the Union. North Carolina ceded its territory westward to the Mississippi River, comprising present-day Tennessee, to the United States in 1790, to assume generally the same boundary as the present state.
Census data for North Carolina are available beginning with the 1790 census. For an explanation of the revision to the 1810 population of North Carolina, see Richard L. Forstall, Population ofStates and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1996, page 118.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
Interactive Map of North Carolina Counties | Static Overview Map of North Carolina Counties
There are 100 counties in North Carolina. Each county is governed by a board of county commissioners.
There are 1,041 county subdivisions in North Carolina which are known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 1,035 townships which are nonfunctioning nongovernmental entities. Asheville city is independent of any MCD and serves as a county subdivision. Cleveland County dissolved all townships and is now a single nonfunctioning nongovernmental county subdivision named Cleveland. There are also four unorganized territories in North Carolina.
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
North Carolina has 739 places; 553 incorporated places and 186 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 76 cities, 456 towns, and 21 villages. Dellview town is an inactive town. Incorporated places are dependent within county subdivision except for Asheville city in Buncombe County. Charlotte, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem cities are coextensive with a single township. Greensboro city is coextensive with two townships. Boone city contains one township plus parts of three additional townships, Concord city contains one township plus parts of seven additional townships, and Fayetteville city contains one township plus parts of six additional townships.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
North Carolina Civil Features
North Carolina Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas
There are 15 Metropolitan and 24 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in North Carolina. NC Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
North Carolina ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 808 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in North Carolina. View North Carolina ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
North Carolina has 118 unified school districts. The Department of Defense runs two of the unified school districts and the Bureau of Indian Affairs runs one of the unified school districts in North Carolina. View North Carolina Public and Private Schools.
North Carolina has 13 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each North Carolina district. View Map of North Carolina Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
There are 50 state senate districts and 120 state house districts in North Carolina.
American Indian Areas
North Carolina has one federally recognized American Indian reservation and seven state designated tribal statistical areas (SDTSAs).