"Leges Juraque Vindicamus" (Latin)
(We Defend Laws and Justice)
"A Research Triangle Region Community"
|Named for||Benjamin Franklin|
|• Total||494 sq mi (1,280 km2)|
|• Land||492 sq mi (1,270 km2)|
|• Water||2.8 sq mi (7 km2) 0.6%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||139.4/sq mi (53.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 68,573. Its county seat is Louisburg.
Franklin County is included in the Raleigh, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 2,106,463 in 2020.
The county was formed in 1779 from the southern half of Bute County. It is named for Benjamin Franklin. It is a part of the Research Triangle.
The integration of Franklin County Schools in 1965–1968 was marked by a federal lawsuit and some violence against African-American residents. The North Carolina Humanities Council funded the Tar River Center for History and Culture at Louisburg College to prepare "An Oral History of School Desegregation in Franklin County, North Carolina."
The "Franklin County Song" was selected in a 1929 contest by the county historical association as the song most suitable for public occasions. The words were written by Fred U. Wolfe, an agriculture teacher at Gold Sand. Sung to the tune "Maryland, My Maryland" ("O Christmas Tree"), the song was incorporated in the Bicentennial programs of 1979. At the evening convocation of January 29, Mrs. Beth Norris announced to the audience that Wolfe (retired and residing in North, South Carolina) was aware his song was part of the program that night.
With loyalty we sing thy praise,
Glory to thy honored name!
Our voices loud in tribute raise,
Making truth thy pow'r proclaim.
Thy past is marked with vict'ry bold;
Thy deeds today can ne'er be told,
And heroes brave shall e'er uphold
Franklin's name forevermore.
We love thy rich and fruitful soil,
Wood, and stream, and thriving town.
We love the gift of daily toil,
Making men of true renown.
Thy church and school shall ever stand
To drive the darkness from our land—
A true and loyal, valiant band,
Sons of Franklin evermore.
A shrine of promise, pow'r and truth,
Lasting righteousness and peace,
A land of hope for toiling youth,
Yielding songs that never cease.
Let ev'ry son and daughter stay
The hand of vice that brings decay.
When duty's voice we shall obey,
Franklin's name shall live for aye.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 494 square miles (1,280 km2), of which 492 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (0.6%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||15,785||23.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||6,962||10.15%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 68,573 people, 26,720 households, and 20,443 families residing in the county.
As of the census of 2010, there were 60,619 people, 23,023 households, and 16,317 families residing in the county. The population density was 123 people per square mile (47 people/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 66.0% White, 26.7% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 4.4% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. 7.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 23,023 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 20, 5.5% from 20 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.1 years. For every 100 females there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.0 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,696, and the median income for a family was $51,353. Males had a median income of $41,025 versus $34,562 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,399. About 12.3% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.
There were 26,577 housing units at an average density of 54 units per square mile (21 units/km2). 13.4% of housing units were vacant.
There were 23,023 occupied housing units in the town. 17,029 were owner-occupied units (74.0%), while 5,994 were renter-occupied (26.0%). The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4% of total units. The rental unit vacancy rate was 7.6%.
Franklin County is governed by an appointed county manager and a seven-member Board of Commissioners who are elected in staggered four-year terms. Five are chosen by district and the other two at-large. Additional county officials who are elected include Sheriff, Register of Deeds, Board of Education and Clerk of Superior Court.
Franklin County is patrolled by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office located in Louisburg. The current sheriff is Kent Winstead, who was elected in 2014. Bunn, Franklinton, Louisburg and Youngsville have their own municipal police departments, regulated by the respective town governments. The community of Lake Royale near Bunn also has its own police department. Franklin County also is covered by Troop C, District IV of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, located in Henderson, North Carolina.
Franklin County is a member of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.
|Historical presidential election returns|
Franklin County, from 1912 until 1964, was a typical Solid South entity, with Democratic presidential candidates nearly always receiving 80 percent or more of the popular vote. George Wallace garnered the majority of the vote in 1968 as a third-party candidate. Beginning in 1972, the county swung in the opposite direction, with the Republican candidate earning the majority of the vote in most elections since.
The county's economy and population is growing due to its proximity to growth in Wake County.
Franklin County Schools operates 16 schools throughout the county, ranging from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. They include four high schools, four middle schools and eight elementary schools.
Franklin County is home to the two-year Methodist-affiliated Louisburg College and to a satellite campus of Vance-Granville Community College.
Youngsville Academy, a college-preparatory, tuition-free Charter School, opened in July 2015.Wake Prep a Charter School with an enrollment of 750 opened in 2022.