Lee County
Lee County Courthouse
Flag of Lee County
Official seal of Lee County
Motto: 
"Committed Today for a Better Tomorrow"
Map of North Carolina highlighting Lee 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°28′35″N 79°10′20″W / 35.476336°N 79.172117°W / 35.476336; -79.172117
Country United States
State North Carolina
FoundedMarch 6, 1907
Named forRobert E. Lee
SeatSanford
Largest communitySanford
Area
 • Total259.20 sq mi (671.3 km2)
 • Land255.06 sq mi (660.6 km2)
 • Water4.14 sq mi (10.7 km2)  1.60%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total63,285
 • Estimate 
(2022)
65,476
 • Density281.2/sq mi (108.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th
Websitewww.leecountync.gov

Lee County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 63,285.[1] The county seat is Sanford.[2]

Lee County comprises the Sanford, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 834,094 in 2020.[3][4]

History

Lee County was established on March 6, 1907, from parts of Chatham and Moore counties, and named for General Robert E. Lee, who served as the General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States in 1865.[5]

Geography

Map
Interactive map of Lee County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 259.20 square miles (671.3 km2), of which 255.06 square miles (660.6 km2) is land and 4.14 square miles (10.7 km2) (1.60%) is water.[6]

State and local protected areas

Major water bodies

See also: Category:Rivers of Lee County, North Carolina

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
191011,376
192013,40017.8%
193016,99626.8%
194018,74310.3%
195023,52225.5%
196026,56112.9%
197030,46714.7%
198036,71820.5%
199041,37412.7%
200049,04018.5%
201057,86618.0%
202063,2859.4%
2022 (est.)65,476[1]3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790–1960[9] 1900–1990[10]
1990–2000[11] 2010[12] 2020[1]

2020 census

Lee County racial composition[13]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 36,055 56.97%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 10,701 16.91%
Native American 231 0.37%
Asian 643 1.02%
Pacific Islander 43 0.07%
Other/Mixed 2,490 3.93%
Hispanic or Latino 13,122 20.73%

As of the 2020 census, there were 63,285 people, 21,894 households, and 15,223 families residing in the county.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[14] there were 49,040 people, 18,466 households, and 13,369 families residing in the county. The population density was 191 people per square mile (74 people/km2). There were 19,909 housing units at an average density of 77 units per square mile (30 units/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.03% White, 20.46% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 7.33% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 11.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. By 2005 14.2% of the County population was Latino. 20.2% of the population was African-American. 64.2% of the population was non-Hispanic whites.

In 2000 there were 18,466 households, out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.30% were married couples living together, 13.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.05. In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.70% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.00 males. The median income for a household in the county was $38,900, and the median income for a family was $45,373. Males had a median income of $32,780 versus $23,660 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,147. About 9.80% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

Lee is a typical "Solid South" county in terms of voting patterns. From its first election in 1908 it voted Democratic by large margins until 1968, except in the 1928 election when anti-Prohibition Catholic Al Smith held the county by single digits. In 1968, Lee's Democratic streak was broken when its electorate chose the American Independent candidate George Wallace. After 1972, Lee has voted Republican in every election except for Jimmy Carter's two elections in 1976 and 1980.

United States presidential election results for Lee County, North Carolina[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,469 56.77% 12,143 41.86% 396 1.37%
2016 13,712 54.66% 10,469 41.74% 903 3.60%
2012 13,158 54.28% 10,801 44.56% 280 1.16%
2008 12,775 53.70% 10,784 45.33% 229 0.96%
2004 11,834 60.55% 7,657 39.18% 52 0.27%
2000 9,406 57.77% 6,785 41.67% 92 0.57%
1996 7,321 50.04% 6,290 42.99% 1,019 6.97%
1992 6,658 45.42% 5,852 39.92% 2,149 14.66%
1988 7,104 62.47% 4,231 37.21% 36 0.32%
1984 8,198 67.47% 3,925 32.30% 28 0.23%
1980 4,847 45.84% 5,426 51.31% 301 2.85%
1976 3,691 41.80% 5,104 57.80% 36 0.41%
1972 5,836 72.71% 2,024 25.22% 166 2.07%
1968 2,586 29.32% 2,524 28.61% 3,711 42.07%
1964 2,753 36.79% 4,730 63.21% 0 0.00%
1960 2,563 35.42% 4,673 64.58% 0 0.00%
1956 1,948 31.88% 4,163 68.12% 0 0.00%
1952 2,105 30.99% 4,688 69.01% 0 0.00%
1948 871 20.03% 3,234 74.38% 243 5.59%
1944 808 18.98% 3,448 81.02% 0 0.00%
1940 527 12.52% 3,682 87.48% 0 0.00%
1936 670 15.25% 3,723 84.75% 0 0.00%
1932 681 18.15% 3,058 81.50% 13 0.35%
1928 1,416 45.23% 1,715 54.77% 0 0.00%
1924 710 27.80% 1,834 71.81% 10 0.39%
1920 1,143 32.94% 2,327 67.06% 0 0.00%
1916 573 35.22% 1,054 64.78% 0 0.00%
1912 451 32.85% 862 62.78% 60 4.37%

Lee County is a member of the regional Triangle J Council of Governments. The county is governed by a seven-member board of County Commissioners, elected at large to serve four-year terms. Terms are staggered so that, every two years, three or four Commissioners are up for election. The Commissioners enact policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget. Commissioners usually meet on the first and third Mondays of each month.

Communities

Map of Lee County with municipal and township labels

City

Town

Unincorporated communities

Townships

The county is divided into seven townships, which are both numbered and named:

Trivia

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Lee County, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "OMB Bulletin No. 23-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). United States Office of Management and Budget. July 21, 2023. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Population Totals and Components of Change: 2020-2021". United States Census Bureau. February 24, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  5. ^ "Establishment of Lee County". www.leecountync.gov. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  7. ^ "NCWRC Game Lands". www.ncpaws.org. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "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 17, 2015.
  12. ^ "US Census Bureau Qi=uickFacts".
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  16. ^ The Longest Covered Bridge In North Carolina, At Ole Gilliam Mill Park, Is 140 Feet Long https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/north-carolina/ole-gilliam-mill-park-covered-bridge-sanford-nc/amp/