Catawba County
Historic Catawba County Courthouse
Flag of Catawba County
Official seal of Catawba County
Official logo of Catawba County
Motto: 
"Making. Living. Better."
Map of North Carolina highlighting Catawba County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°40′N 81°13′W / 35.66°N 81.21°W / 35.66; -81.21
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1842
Named forCatawba Tribe
SeatNewton
Largest cityHickory
Area
 • Total413 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Land399 sq mi (1,030 km2)
 • Water15 sq mi (40 km2)  3.6%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
161,723
 • Density405.3/sq mi (156.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district10th
Websitewww.catawbacountync.gov

Catawba County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 160,610.[1] Its county seat is Newton,[2] and its largest city is Hickory. The county is part of the Hickory–LenoirMorganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Catawba County formed in 1842 from Lincoln County, was named after the Catawba River. The word "catawba" is rooted in the Choctaw sound kat'a pa, loosely translated as "to divide or separate, to break." However, scholars are fairly certain that this word was imposed from outside.[3] The Native Americans who once inhabited the region known as the Catawba people, were considered one of the most powerful Southeastern Siouan-speaking tribes in the Carolina Piedmont. They now live along the border of North Carolina, near the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Scots-Irish and German colonial immigrants first settled in the Catawba River valley in the mid-18th century. An official history of the Scots-Irish and German settlement was documented in 1954, by Charles J. Preslar Jr,[4] and more recently by a series of three books by Gary Freeze, called The Catawbans.

Geography

Interactive map of Catawba County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 399 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.6%) is water.[5]

State and local protected areas/sites

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Mass transit

Rail

With approximately twenty freight trains a day, Catawba County is a freight railroad transportation center. This is largely due to the areas strong manufacturing based economy, and its placement along the Norfolk Southern Railway line. The Caldwell County Railroad also serves the county and interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Hickory.[6]

Conover has been designated as the Catawba County passenger rail stop for the Western North Carolina Railroad planned to run from Salisbury, NC, to Asheville.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18508,862
186010,72921.1%
187010,9842.4%
188014,94636.1%
189018,68925.0%
190022,13318.4%
191027,91826.1%
192033,83921.2%
193043,99130.0%
194054,65324.2%
195061,79413.1%
196073,19118.4%
197090,87324.2%
1980105,20815.8%
1990118,41212.6%
2000141,68519.7%
2010154,3588.9%
2020160,6104.1%
2021 (est.)161,723[7]0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010–2019[12]
2020[13]

2020 census

Catawba County racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 116,120 72.3%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 12,628 7.86%
Native American 379 0.24%
Asian 6,937 4.32%
Pacific Islander 78 0.05%
Other/Mixed 7,091 4.42%
Hispanic or Latino 17,377 10.82%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 160,610 people, 62,417 households, and 41,861 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census[15] of 2010, there were 154,358 people, 55,533 households, and 39,095 families residing in the county. The population density was 354 people per square mile (137/km2). There were 59,919 housing units at an average density of 150 per square mile (58/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.1% White, 8.5% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 1.14% from two or more races, 9.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 55,533 households, out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,536, and the median income for a family was $47,474. Males had a median income of $30,822 versus $23,352 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,358. About 6.50% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.50% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.

Government, public safety, and politics

Catawba County is a member of the regional Western Piedmont Council of Governments. The county has been represented primarily by Republicans since World War II: no Democratic Presidential candidate has won Catawba County since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.[16] Jimmy Carter is the last Democrat to manage even 40 percent of the county's vote.

United States presidential election results for Catawba County, North Carolina[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 56,588 67.83% 25,689 30.79% 1,148 1.38%
2016 48,324 66.79% 21,216 29.32% 2,811 3.89%
2012 44,538 63.99% 24,069 34.58% 994 1.43%
2008 42,993 61.90% 25,656 36.94% 802 1.15%
2004 39,602 67.48% 18,858 32.13% 228 0.39%
2000 34,244 67.36% 16,246 31.95% 351 0.69%
1996 26,898 58.03% 15,601 33.66% 3,855 8.32%
1992 25,466 51.54% 16,334 33.06% 7,609 15.40%
1988 28,872 69.01% 12,922 30.89% 44 0.11%
1984 31,476 72.78% 11,700 27.05% 74 0.17%
1980 22,873 60.39% 13,873 36.63% 1,132 2.99%
1976 18,696 52.36% 16,862 47.22% 150 0.42%
1972 24,106 74.46% 7,744 23.92% 525 1.62%
1968 18,393 56.33% 6,974 21.36% 7,285 22.31%
1964 17,116 51.98% 15,814 48.02% 0 0.00%
1960 19,135 58.65% 13,491 41.35% 0 0.00%
1956 19,246 62.75% 11,424 37.25% 0 0.00%
1952 16,814 59.27% 11,554 40.73% 0 0.00%
1948 9,471 47.50% 8,844 44.36% 1,622 8.14%
1944 7,211 41.55% 10,146 58.45% 0 0.00%
1940 5,656 33.49% 11,233 66.51% 0 0.00%
1936 6,387 36.70% 11,017 63.30% 0 0.00%
1932 5,817 40.56% 8,446 58.90% 77 0.54%
1928 7,556 60.58% 4,916 39.42% 0 0.00%
1924 5,998 50.32% 5,754 48.28% 167 1.40%
1920 5,935 52.34% 5,404 47.66% 0 0.00%
1916 2,624 50.39% 2,569 49.34% 14 0.27%
1912 203 4.85% 2,110 50.38% 1,875 44.77%
1908 2,010 51.42% 1,864 47.68% 35 0.90%
1904 1,309 42.47% 1,497 48.57% 276 8.96%
1900 1,522 46.23% 1,612 48.97% 158 4.80%
1896 1,004 27.27% 2,649 71.94% 29 0.79%
1892 705 20.85% 1,711 50.59% 966 28.56%
1888 765 23.85% 2,349 73.22% 94 2.93%
1884 662 22.30% 2,307 77.70% 0 0.00%
1880 624 24.89% 1,883 75.11% 0 0.00%

County officers

Board of Commissioners

Office[18] Holder Party Term expires
County Commissioner (Chairman) Randy Isenhower Republican 2022
County Commissioner (Vice Chair) Barbara Beatty Republican 2020
County Commissioner Kitty Barnes Republican 2022
County Commissioner Sherry Butler Republican 2022
County Commissioner Dan Hunsucker Republican 2020

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors

Holder[18] Term expires
David Caldwell 2020
Julia Elmore 2022
Laura Parnell 2022
Susie Devine Appointed (2020)
Steve Killian Appointed (2022)

Superior Court Judges

Office[19] Holder Party Term expires
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey Republican 2026
Resident Superior Court Judge Greg R. Hayes Republican 2022

District Court Judges

Office[19] Holder Party Term expires
Chief District Court Judge Burford A. Cherry Republican 2020
District Court Judge David W. Aycock Republican 2022
District Court Judge Wes W. Barkley Republican 2022
District Court Judge Sherri W. Elliot Republican 2022
District Court Judge Richard S. Holloway Republican 2020
District Court Judge Mark L. Killian Republican 2022
District Court Judge Robert A. Mullinax Jr. Republican 2022
District Court Judge Clifton H. Smith Republican 2022
District Court Judge Amy Sigmon Walker Republican 2022

Catawba County Sheriff

The Catawba County Sheriff's Office consists of 198 Deputies and Employees. It provides court protection, jail administration, patrol and detective services for all unincorporated county areas, serves civil process and criminal papers, provides School Resource Officers at County High and Middle Schools and CV Community College, and narcotics crime investigation. Newton, Hickory, Conover, and Maiden have municipal police departments. The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, the SBI, provides investigative assistance to local law enforcement agencies when requested by the sheriff, local police departments, the district attorney, or judges.[20]

Other offices

Office[18][19] Holder Party Term expires
Sheriff Don Brown Republican 2022
Register of Deeds Donna Spencer Republican 2024
District Attorney Scott Reilly Republican 2022
Clerk of Superior Court Kim Sigmon Republican 2022

North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina House of Representatives

District[21] Representative Party Term expires
89 Michael Setzer Republican 2020
96 Jay Adams Republican 2020

North Carolina Senate

District[21] Representative Party Term expires
42 Andy Wells Republican 2020

Federal offices

Senate

Senator Party Term expires
Richard Burr Republican 2022
Thom Tillis Republican 2020

House of Representatives

District[22] Representative Party Term expires
5th Virginia Foxx Republican 2020
10th Patrick McHenry Republican 2020

Economy

Catawba County is part of the "North Carolina Data Center Corridor" in western North Carolina.[23] The town of Maiden is home to the Apple iCloud data center and is the largest privately owned solar farm in the United States (operated by Apple). As of 2017, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation controls a 55-acre business park in Conover designed for data centers and office use.[24] CommScope, Inc., and Corning Corp., manufacturers of fiber optic cabling, became the region's largest employers in the late 1990s. The city of Hickory is home to Lenoir–Rhyne University, the Hickory Motor Speedway, and the minor league baseball team the Hickory Crawdads. The town of Conover is home to the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.

Education

Higher education

Libraries

Points of Interest

Museums and historical sites

Sports and entertainment

Music and performing arts

Other attractions

Communities

Map of Catawba County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Catawba County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Townships

See also

References

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Catawba County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Freeze, Gary (1995). The Catawbans: Crafters of a North Carolina County. Catawba County Historical Association. pp. 11–13.
  4. ^ Preslar, Charles J. Jr. (1954). A History of Catawba County (First ed.). Rowan Publishing Co.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  6. ^ Infrastructure, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission (retrieved June 16, 2014)
  7. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Catawba County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Catawba County, North Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  16. ^ "26 Nov 1948, Page 27 - Asheville Citizen-Times at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Hickory PD, Maiden PD, Newton PD, Conover PD, SBI websites.
  21. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ http://www.catawbacountync.gov/site/assets/files/2911/1-federal_officials.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  23. ^ "North Carolina's Data Center Corridor: From Fiber to Servers | Data Center Knowledge". Data Center Knowledge. January 4, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  24. ^ "ncDataCampus – Catawba EDC". www.catawbaedc.org. Retrieved July 11, 2017.

Further reading

Coordinates: 35°40′N 81°13′W / 35.66°N 81.21°W / 35.66; -81.21