Lenoir County
Lenoir County Courthouse in Kinston
Flag of Lenoir County
Official seal of Lenoir County
Official logo of Lenoir County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Lenoir 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°14′N 77°38′W / 35.24°N 77.64°W / 35.24; -77.64
Country United States
State North Carolina
Founded1791
Named forWilliam Lenoir
SeatKinston
Largest communityKinston
Area
 • Total401.37 sq mi (1,039.5 km2)
 • Land399.09 sq mi (1,033.6 km2)
 • Water2.28 sq mi (5.9 km2)  0.57%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total55,122
 • Estimate 
(2023)
54,895
 • Density138.12/sq mi (53.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitelenoircountync.gov

Lenoir County (/lɛˈnɔːr/ le-NOR)[1] is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 55,122.[2] Its county seat is Kinston,[3] located on the Neuse River, across which the county has its territory.

Lenoir County comprises the Kinston, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The county was formed in 1791 from the southern part of Dobbs County. It was named for William Lenoir (1751–1839), an officer in the American Revolutionary War who took part in the Battle of Kings Mountain.[4] He was a prominent political leader; when the county was established, he was serving as Speaker of the North Carolina Senate.

Geography

Map
Interactive map of Lenoir County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 401.37 square miles (1,039.5 km2), of which 399.09 square miles (1,033.6 km2) is land and 2.28 square miles (5.9 km2) (0.57%) is water.[5]

State and local protected sites

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18004,005
18105,57239.1%
18206,79922.0%
18307,72313.6%
18407,605−1.5%
18507,8282.9%
186010,22030.6%
187010,4342.1%
188015,34447.1%
189014,879−3.0%
190018,63925.3%
191022,76922.2%
192029,55529.8%
193035,71620.8%
194041,21115.4%
195045,95311.5%
196055,27620.3%
197055,204−0.1%
198059,8198.4%
199057,274−4.3%
200059,6484.1%
201059,495−0.3%
202055,122−7.4%
2023 (est.)54,895[2]−0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790–1960[7] 1900–1990[8]
1990–2000[9] 2010[10] 2020[2]

2020 census

Lenoir County racial composition[11]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 26,582 48.22%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 22,034 39.97%
Native American 134 0.24%
Asian 332 0.6%
Pacific Islander 22 0.04%
Other/Mixed 1,653 3.0%
Hispanic or Latino 4,365 7.92%

As of the 2020 census, there were 55,122 people, 23,148 households, and 14,863 families residing in the county.

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 59,495 residents with 24,327 households and 15,993 families residing within the county.[12] The population density was 149 people per square mile (58 people/km2). There were 27,184 housing units at an average density of 68 units per square mile (26 units/km2). The county's racial makeup was 56.47% White, 40.43% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.88% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 3.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,862 households, out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.40% were married couples living together, 17.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.20% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.30% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,191, and the median income for a family was $38,815. Males had a median income of $28,879 versus $21,536 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,744. About 12.60% of families and 16.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.00% of those under age 18 and 18.40% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

United States presidential election results for Lenoir County, North Carolina
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,590 51.36% 13,605 47.89% 214 0.75%
2016 13,613 50.78% 12,634 47.13% 560 2.09%
2012 13,980 49.78% 13,948 49.66% 158 0.56%
2008 13,401 49.82% 13,378 49.74% 118 0.44%
2004 12,939 55.82% 10,207 44.04% 33 0.14%
2000 11,512 54.40% 9,527 45.02% 124 0.59%
1996 9,433 49.84% 8,635 45.63% 857 4.53%
1992 8,932 45.02% 8,793 44.32% 2,117 10.67%
1988 10,669 58.13% 7,649 41.68% 35 0.19%
1984 13,321 60.79% 8,556 39.04% 37 0.17%
1980 9,832 55.50% 7,546 42.60% 336 1.90%
1976 7,715 49.86% 7,650 49.44% 109 0.70%
1972 11,065 73.89% 3,672 24.52% 238 1.59%
1968 3,844 24.43% 3,853 24.49% 8,036 51.08%
1964 5,617 42.44% 7,617 57.56% 0 0.00%
1960 3,658 31.04% 8,126 68.96% 0 0.00%
1956 2,564 27.24% 6,847 72.76% 0 0.00%
1952 2,233 24.93% 6,723 75.07% 0 0.00%
1948 515 8.37% 5,445 88.54% 190 3.09%
1944 554 9.54% 5,253 90.46% 0 0.00%
1940 440 6.58% 6,247 93.42% 0 0.00%
1936 351 5.66% 5,854 94.34% 0 0.00%
1932 350 6.93% 4,677 92.60% 24 0.48%
1928 1,311 35.68% 2,363 64.32% 0 0.00%
1924 514 18.83% 2,191 80.26% 25 0.92%
1920 1,153 31.05% 2,560 68.95% 0 0.00%
1916 667 28.57% 1,666 71.35% 2 0.09%
1912 122 5.99% 1,568 76.98% 347 17.03%

Throughout the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, Lenoir County was a typical overwhelmingly Democratic "Solid South" county. It was always carried by the Democratic presidential nominee between at least 1876 and 1964, following upon which "American Independent" candidate George Wallace obtained a majority of the county's vote in 1968 amidst large-scale opposition to racial desegregation and civil rights for African-Americans. In every election since, Lenoir County has voted for the Republican presidential nominee, although on several occasions the GOP margin has been extremely close and on only five occasions out of twelve has the margin been more than ten percentage points.

Lenoir County is a member of the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments.

Lenoir County is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Greg Murphy, who is the representative for North Carolina's 3rd congressional district.[13] The county is also in North Carolina's 2nd Senate district, represented by Jim Perry, and North Carolina's 12th House district, represented by Chris Humphrey.[14] The current Lenoir County Commissioners (as of 2024) are: Roland Best (D), June Cummings (D), J. Mac Daughety (R), Preston Harris (D), Keith King (R), Linda Rouse Sutton (D; chairman), and Eric Rouse (R; vice-chair).[15] The current members of the Lenoir County Board of Education (as of 2024) are: W. D. Anderson (vice chair), Michelle Cash, Bruce Hill (chair), Merwyn K. Smith, Dr. Kimberly Outlaw-Starkey, Elijah Woods, and John Wiggins.[16]

Education

Higher Education

Lenoir County is home to one higher learning institution, Lenoir Community College – which is located at 231 NC HWY 58 South, Kinston and is part of the North Carolina Community College System. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, or certificates for educational programs in college transfer, business, industry, public services, health sciences, and continuing education. Programs and support services are accessible through traditional and distance learning options.[17]

Primary and Secondary Education

Public education in Lenoir County is administered and supported by the Lenoir County Public School Board, which formed from a merge of the City of Kinston and Lenoir County school systems in 1992. There are four public high schools in Lenoir County: Lenoir County Early College, North Lenoir, South Lenoir, and Kinston High School. Three public middle schools: E.B. Frink, Rochelle, and Woodington. There are also eight public elementary schools: Banks, La Grange, Moss Hill, Northeast, Northwest, Pink Hill, Southeast and Southwood. Additionally, Contentnea-Savannah is a K–8 school.

Lenoir County is also home to two private academies – Arendell Parrott Academy and Bethel Christian Academy – and two charter academies – Kinston Charter Academy and Children's Village Academy.

Libraries

Neuse Regional Library serves the residents of Lenoir, Greene, and Jones counties. With eight different locations, the library system offers services such as 3D printing and an inter-library loan system, as well as an eLibrary.

Health

Lenoir County is home to UNC Lenoir Healthcare, a 199-bed[18] non-profit hospital in Kinston.

Communities

Map of Lenoir County with municipal and township labels

City

Towns

Townships

Census-designated places

Unincorporated community

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Lenoir County, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 185.
  5. ^ "2020 County Gazetteer Files – North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. August 23, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2023.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  12. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Community Facts". factfinder.census.gov. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "Directory of Representatives". house.gov. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  14. ^ "Lenoir County Representation". North Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  15. ^ "County Commissioners". lenoircountync.gov. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  16. ^ "School Board". www.lcpsnc.org. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  17. ^ "About LCC - Lenoir Community College". Lenoir Community College. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  18. ^ https://www.unclenoir.org/about-us/
  19. ^ Writer, Jessika Morgan, Staff. "Meet 25 famous Kinstonians". The Free Press. Retrieved June 14, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)