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Anson County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Anson County
Anson County Courthouse in Wadesboro
Anson County Courthouse in Wadesboro
Map of North Carolina highlighting Anson 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.
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
Founded 1750
Named for George Anson, Baron Anson
Seat Wadesboro
Largest town Wadesboro
 • Total 537 sq mi (1,390 km2)
 • Land 531 sq mi (1,380 km2)
 • Water 5.6 sq mi (15 km2)  1.1%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 45.38/sq mi (17.52/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th

Anson County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,948. Its county seat is Wadesboro.


The county was formed in 1750 from Bladen County. It was named for George Anson, Baron Anson, a British admiral, who circumnavigated the globe from 1740 to 1744, and later became First Lord of the Admiralty.

Like its parent county Bladen, Anson County was originally a vast territory with indefinite northern and western boundaries. Reductions in its extent began in 1753, when the northern part of it became Rowan County. In 1762 the western part of Anson County became Mecklenburg County. In 1779 the northern part of what remained of Anson County became Montgomery County, and the part east of the Pee Dee River became Richmond County. Finally, in 1842 the western part of Anson County was combined with the southeastern part of Mecklenburg County to become Union County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 537 square miles (1,390 km2), of which 531 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 5.6 square miles (15 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Major highways

  • US 52
  • US 74
  • NC 109
  • NC 145
  • NC 218
  • NC 742


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 5,133
1800 8,146 58.7%
1810 8,831 8.4%
1820 12,534 41.9%
1830 14,095 12.5%
1840 15,077 7.0%
1850 13,489 −10.5%
1860 13,664 1.3%
1870 12,428 −9.0%
1880 17,994 44.8%
1890 20,027 11.3%
1900 21,870 9.2%
1910 25,465 16.4%
1920 28,334 11.3%
1930 29,349 3.6%
1940 28,443 −3.1%
1950 26,781 −5.8%
1960 24,962 −6.8%
1970 23,488 −5.9%
1980 25,649 9.2%
1990 23,474 −8.5%
2000 25,275 7.7%
2010 26,948 6.6%
2020 (est.) 24,097 −10.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014

In the 2010 Census, there were 26,948 people. The racial makeup of the county was 48.58% African American, 47.15% White American, 1.07% Asian, 0.61% Native American, 1.25% multiracial and 1.32% of other race. People of Hispanic and Latino origin account for 3.02% of the population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 25,275 people, 9,204 households, and 6,663 families residing in the county. The population density was 48 people per square mile (18/km2). There were 10,221 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 51.64% Black or African American, 48.53% White, 0.45% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. 0.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,204 households, out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.80% were married couples living together, 19.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.20% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,849, and the median income for a family was $35,870. Males had a median income of $27,297 versus $20,537 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,853. About 15.50% of families and 17.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.90% of those under age 18 and 16.70% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Anson County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Anson County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels


Unincorporated community

Ghost town

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Anson County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Wadesboro Town 5,813
2 Polkton Town 3,375
3 Ansonville Town 631
4 Lilesville Town 536
5 Morven Town 511
6 Peachland Town 437
7 McFarlan Town 117

In popular culture

Steven Spielberg filmed The Color Purple mostly in Lilesville, and a large white farmhouse (the Huntley house, which is located in Lilesville, NC and is an old farmhouse located few miles off Highway 74) was used extensively as the main exterior location in that film. Most of the town scenes were done in nearby Marshville, NC in Union County, NC which is a small town in the county directly to the west of Anson County; the store is an actual store called Apple Jacks and dirt was laid out of over pavement during filming.


There are 11 schools in the Anson County Schools system that serve the students of the county.

South Piedmont Community College has a campus on Highway 74 near Polkton that serves Anson County residents.

Notable people

  • Stephone Anthony (born 1992), linebacker with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League
  • Hugh Hammond Bennett (1881–1960), soil conservation specialist
  • John Culpepper (1761–1841), born near Wadesboro, United States Congressman from North Carolina, long-tenured Baptist minister.
  • Blind Boy Fuller (1907–1941), American blues guitarist and vocalist.
  • James Holland (1754–1823), born in Anson County, United States Congressman from North Carolina.
  • Juanita Moody (1924–-2015), born in Morven, NC, gifted cryptographer whose intelligence gathering contributed greatly during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Leonidas Lafayette Polk (1837–1892), first North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
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