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Living In North Carolina

Living In North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the original 13 English colonies, filled with a rich historical past and an increasingly urbane future.

As early as 1540, Europeans began exploring the mountains of what would become present day North Carolina, with a settlement started by Spaniards, but eventually lost to hostile Native Americans. By 1584, Queen of England Elizabeth I granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, who established two settlements, both also lost. The demise of the colony on Roanoke Island became known as “The Lost Colony”, and its untraced and unexplained end endures as one of the great American mysteries.

By 1650, settlers from the Virginia colony began migrating to the northeast coastal Carolina region, spurring then English King Charles II to grant a new charter. He named the colony Carolina, (from “Carolus”, Latin for Charles) in honor of his father, Charles I. Carolina experienced territorial governance disputes and by 1710 the colony was split into North Carolina and South Carolina.

North Carolina was the site of key battles in the American Revolution, and suffered impoverishment during and after the American Civil War. Following the turn of the 20th century, the Great Depression devastated its slight economic gains, and the state suffered national lampooning as a backwater of ignorance. But change was on the way, as the northern part of America began to lose citizens who were fleeing job losses in industrialized “rust belt” cities.

The great American population shift began reaching North Carolina around 1980. At that time, the state’s had a population of 4,563,000. By 1980, the state’s economy was in full shift, from its historical tobacco-, textiles- and furniture-making economy to engineering, biotechnology and finance. In the 2010 U.S. census, a mere 2-generation span of 50 years, North Carolina’s citizenry grew to 9,535,483. What makes this astounding 109% growth even more noteworthy is that prior to 1960, North Carolina was actually losing population,

North Carolina is now the 10th most populous state in the country, and the 9th wealthiest. It’s once sleepy cities have become icons of relocation and growth. Charlotte is the largest city in the state with a 2010 Census population of 731,424, while the state capitol of Raleigh has grown from a 1960 Census of 91,000, to become the state’s second most populous city at 405,791. The city of Greensboro is 3rd largest at 269,666; Winston-Salem fourth at 229,617 and Durham fifth at 228,330.

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