Forsyth County
Forsyth County Courthouse in Winston-Salem
Forsyth County Courthouse in Winston-Salem
Flag of Forsyth County
Official seal of Forsyth County
Official logo of Forsyth County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Forsyth 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: 36°08′N 80°16′W / 36.13°N 80.26°W / 36.13; -80.26
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1849
Named forBenjamin Forsyth
SeatWinston-Salem
Largest communityWinston-Salem
Area
 • Total412.35 sq mi (1,068.0 km2)
 • Land407.85 sq mi (1,056.3 km2)
 • Water4.50 sq mi (11.7 km2)  1.09%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total382,590
 • Estimate 
(2023)
392,921
 • Density937.7/sq mi (362.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts5th, 6th
Websitewww.co.forsyth.nc.us

Forsyth County (/frˈsθ/ fohr-SYTH)[1][2] is a county located in the northwest Piedmont of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 382,590,[3] making it the fourth-most populous county in North Carolina. Its county seat is Winston-Salem.[4] Forsyth County is part of the Winston-Salem, NC, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, NC, Combined Statistical Area. Portions of Forsyth County are in the Yadkin Valley wine region.

History

The county was formed in 1849 from Stokes County. It was named for Colonel Benjamin Forsyth, who was killed in the War of 1812.[5]

Geography

Map
Interactive map of Forsyth County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county is in the outer Appalachian Mountains, and has a total area of 412.35 square miles (1,068.0 km2), of which 407.85 square miles (1,056.3 km2) is land and 4.50 square miles (11.7 km2) (1.09%) is water.[6]

The northeast section of Forsyth County, including Belews Creek and parts of Rural Hall, Walkertown, and Kernersville, is drained by tributaries of the Dan River. A small portion of Kernersville is in the Cape Fear River basin.[7] Most of the county is drained by tributaries of the Yadkin River, which forms the western boundary of the county. The lowest elevation in the county is 660 feet, on the Yadkin River at the southwest corner of the county.[8] The highest is 1100 feet, at a point just off Jefferson Church Road on the outskirts of King, immediately south of the county line.

State and local protected areas/sites

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
185011,168
186012,69213.6%
187013,0502.8%
188018,07038.5%
189028,43457.4%
190035,26124.0%
191047,31134.2%
192077,26963.3%
1930111,68144.5%
1940126,47513.2%
1950146,13515.5%
1960189,42829.6%
1970214,34813.2%
1980243,68313.7%
1990265,8789.1%
2000306,06715.1%
2010350,67014.6%
2020382,5909.1%
2023 (est.)392,921[3]2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010[13] 2020[3]

2020 census

Forsyth County racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 208,126 54.4%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 93,738 24.5%
Native American 978 0.26%
Asian 9,179 2.4%
Pacific Islander 233 0.06%
Other/Mixed 15,648 4.09%
Hispanic or Latino 54,688 14.29%

As of the 2020 census, there were 382,590 people, 148,151 households, and 90,837 families residing in the county.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[15] there were 306,067 people, 123,851 households, and 81,741 families residing in the county. The population density was 747 people per square mile (288 people/km2). There were 133,093 housing units, at an average density of 325 units per square mile (125 units/km2). The racial makeup was 68.47% White, 25.61% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.25% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 6.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 123,851 households, out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.90% were married couples living together, 13.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39, and the average family size was 2.94.

Map of census tracts in Forsyth County by racial plurality, per the 2020 US Census
Legend

The median age was 36 years, with 23.90% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females there were 91.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.40 males.

The median household income was $42,097, and the median family income was $52,032. Males had a median income of $36,158, versus $27,319 for females. The per capita income was $23,023. About 7.90% of families and 11.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.10% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Forsyth County Public Safety Center

The Forsyth County Government Center is located at 201 North Chestnut Street in Downtown Winston-Salem. Forsyth County is a member of the regional Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments.

The Forsyth County Public Library, founded in 1906, is free for residents of Forsyth and surrounding counties, while all others must pay a small yearly fee for a library card. The library runs Adult, Children's, and Hispanic Outreach programs. Its main "Central Library" is in downtown Winston-Salem, with branches all across the county.[16]

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health is located at 799 North Highland Avenue near downtown Winston-Salem.

Politics

Forsyth County typically favors Democratic candidates in national elections, though Republicans remain competitive in local races.[17]

United States presidential election results for Forsyth County, North Carolina[18]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 85,064 42.26% 113,033 56.16% 3,173 1.58%
2016 75,975 42.61% 94,464 52.98% 7,873 4.42%
2012 79,768 45.83% 92,323 53.04% 1,978 1.14%
2008 73,674 44.35% 91,085 54.83% 1,374 0.83%
2004 75,294 54.12% 63,340 45.53% 491 0.35%
2000 67,700 55.98% 52,457 43.37% 785 0.65%
1996 59,160 52.81% 46,543 41.54% 6,330 5.65%
1992 52,787 45.40% 49,006 42.15% 14,481 12.45%
1988 57,688 59.02% 39,726 40.65% 321 0.33%
1984 59,208 61.54% 36,814 38.26% 189 0.20%
1980 42,389 49.99% 38,870 45.84% 3,539 4.17%
1976 38,886 49.34% 39,561 50.20% 361 0.46%
1972 46,415 67.69% 20,928 30.52% 1,226 1.79%
1968 31,623 46.79% 20,281 30.01% 15,681 23.20%
1964 30,276 48.92% 31,615 51.08% 0 0.00%
1960 33,374 58.13% 24,035 41.87% 0 0.00%
1956 29,368 64.99% 15,819 35.01% 0 0.00%
1952 26,436 51.86% 24,535 48.14% 0 0.00%
1948 10,147 41.04% 12,201 49.35% 2,377 9.61%
1944 10,014 37.93% 16,390 62.07% 0 0.00%
1940 7,125 25.64% 20,664 74.36% 0 0.00%
1936 5,256 21.91% 18,734 78.09% 0 0.00%
1932 5,727 28.49% 14,016 69.73% 357 1.78%
1928 13,258 66.63% 6,639 33.37% 0 0.00%
1924 5,315 40.33% 7,404 56.18% 459 3.48%
1920 6,792 45.54% 8,123 54.46% 0 0.00%
1916 3,585 45.16% 4,115 51.84% 238 3.00%
1912 1,689 26.72% 3,042 48.12% 1,591 25.17%
1908 2,876 52.28% 2,472 44.94% 153 2.78%
1904 2,209 47.94% 2,301 49.93% 98 2.13%
1900 2,588 50.77% 2,482 48.70% 27 0.53%
1896 3,888 57.85% 2,778 41.33% 55 0.82%
1892 2,447 42.13% 2,880 49.59% 481 8.28%
1888 2,613 53.28% 2,238 45.64% 53 1.08%
1884 1,941 48.46% 2,060 51.44% 4 0.10%
1880 1,791 49.42% 1,778 49.06% 55 1.52%

Education

Forsyth County is served by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools School district.

Communities

Map of Forsyth County with municipal and township labels

Cities

Towns

Villages

Townships

Former township

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ "NC Pronunciation Guide". WRAL. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  2. ^ Talk Like a Tarheel Archived June 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, from the North Carolina Collection website at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Forsyth County, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 128.
  6. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  7. ^ Haw River, North Carolina, American Rivers, Washington, DC. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  8. ^ Clemmons Topo Map in Forsyth County, NC, TopoZone, Locality, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  16. ^ "Locations". Forsyth County Public Library website. Forsyth County. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  17. ^ Gordon, Brian (April 25, 2022). "Why do conservative WNC counties keep electing Democrats?". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  18. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Middle Fork Township". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.