Caldwell County, North Carolina facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Caldwell County Courthouse in Lenoir
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|
|Named for||Joseph Caldwell|
|• Total||474 sq mi (1,230 km2)|
|• Land||472 sq mi (1,220 km2)|
|• Water||2.7 sq mi (7 km2) 0.6%%|
|• Density||171/sq mi (66/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Caldwell County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As of the 2020 census, the population was 80,652. Its county seat is Lenoir. Caldwell County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The county was formed in 1841 from parts of Burke County and Wilkes County. It was named for Joseph Caldwell, presiding professor (1796–1797, 1799–1804) and the first president (1804–1812, 1816–1835) of the University of North Carolina.
A series of reductions in the county's territory followed. In 1847 parts of Caldwell County, Iredell County, and Wilkes County were combined to form Alexander County. In 1849 parts of Caldwell County, Ashe County, Wilkes County, and Yancey County were combined to form Watauga County. In 1861, parts of Caldwell County, Burke County, McDowell County, Watauga County, and Yancey County were combined to form Mitchell County. Finally, in 1911 parts of Caldwell County, Mitchell County, and Watauga County were combined to form Avery County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 474 square miles (1,230 km2), of which 472 square miles (1,220 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.6%) is water.
Caldwell County is divided into three distinct geographic sections: the Blue Ridge Mountains, which dominate the northern and western parts of the county; the gently rolling Piedmont country in the middle and southern parts of the county; and the Brushy Mountains, an isolated remnant of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The "Brushies", as they are often called, run across much of Caldwell County's eastern section. Hibriten Mountain, located within the city limits of Lenoir, the county's largest city, marks the western end of the Brushy Mountain range. In the western part of the county is the Wilson Creek area.
- Watauga County - north
- Wilkes County - northeast
- Alexander County - east
- Catawba County - southeast
- Burke County - south
- Avery County - northwest
National protected areas
- Blue Ridge Parkway (part)
- Pisgah National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 83,029 people, 33,388 households, and 23,456 families residing in the county. The population density was 176.1 people per square mile (109.4/km2). There were 37,659 housing units at an average density of 79.9 per square mile (49.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.24% White, 4.92% Black or African American, 0.52% Asian, 0.31% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.47% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. The Hispanic or Latino (of any race) population was 4.57%.
There were 33,388 households, of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.16% were married couples living together, 12.52% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.75% were non-families. 25.39% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 41.16% of those households had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.91.
Of the county's entire population, 22.63% was under the age of 18, 18.33% were 18 to 34, 22.44% were 35 to 49, 21.17% were 50 to 64, and 15.44% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 96.84 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.06 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,853, and the median income for a family was $47,028. Males had a median income of $36,429 versus $31,221 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,397. About 15.3% of families and 20.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 51.8% of single mothers and 13.2% of people age 65 or over.
US 321 is the busiest highway in the county with an annual average daily traffic count of 39,000.
Other major highways include:
- NC 18
- US 64
- NC 90
- US 321A
- NC 268
- US 221
The Blue Ridge Parkway also crosses the northern tip of the county.
Caldwell County has one railroad, the Caldwell County Railroad which interchanges with the Norfolk Southern Railway in Hickory, North Carolina.
Other unincorporated communities
- Dudley Shoals
- Granite Falls
- Lower Creek
- West Lenoir
- Happy Valley
- Kings Creek
- Oak Hill (defunct as of 2020)
- Granite Falls
- William Lenoir
- Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy
- Caldwell Early College
- South Caldwell
- West Caldwell
- Horizons Elementary
- Gateway School
- Heritage Christian School (K-12)
- Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
- Appalachian State University Center at Caldwell (a distance education site for Appalachian State University)
Caldwell County, North Carolina Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.