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Carteret County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Carteret County
Carteret County Courthouse
Carteret County Courthouse
Official seal of Carteret County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Carteret 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 1739
Named for Sir George Carteret
Seat Beaufort
Largest town Morehead City
 • Total 1,341 sq mi (3,470 km2)
 • Land 506 sq mi (1,310 km2)
 • Water 834 sq mi (2,160 km2)  62%
 • Total 66,469
 • Density 131/sq mi (51/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Carteret County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 66,469. Its county seat is Beaufort. The county was created in 1722 as Carteret Precinct and gained county status in 1739. It was named for Sir George Carteret, one of the 17th century English Lords Proprietor, or for his descendant and heir John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville.

Carteret County comprises the Morehead City, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New Bern-Morehead City, NC Combined Statistical Area. Most of the county is part of the Crystal Coast.


The first male of English parents born in the current area of North Carolina was John Fulford. He was born in 1629 in what is now Carteret County, North Carolina. He settled in this area and died in 1729. An article dated Sept. 18, 1893, in The New Bern Daily Journal, identified Fulford's grave in a cemetery outside Beaufort, NC, in an area called the Straits, “bricked up with English brick.” In 1971 a survey by the Carteret County Historical Society found such a grave in the Fulford Cemetery off Piper Lane in Gloucester. There is an unmarked bricked up grave matching this description today. One of the more profound families from Carteret County was the Dennis family. William Dennis Sr. (b.1720 d. 1800) was an extremely colorful landowner, Revolutionary War officer and overall defender of the county of Carteret. In 1747, William Dennis assisted with the successful defense of the county during the War of Jenkins' Ear (fighting against Spanish pirates). Perhaps William Dennis' greatest contribution to Carteret County was his service during the Revolutionary War. William participated in the Battle of Brandywine. At the ripe age of 60, William was a Major in the Carteret County Militia. In 1782, William assisted with driving the British from Carteret County alongside Col. John Easton. William was once an owner of the famous Hammock House. By the year 1790, William was shown as one of the largest land owners in the county. Branches of the Dennis family include the Bell's, Watson's and Pelletier's, many of whom continued to live in the area for many years to follow. Some branches of this family later migrated to both Mississippi and Texas.


Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue is located in the western section of Carteret County along Bouge Sound. It comprises an 875 acres (3.54 km2) landing field located on Bogue Sound that serves as the Marine Corps’ only East Coast site for Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP).


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,341 square miles (3,470 km2), of which 506 square miles (1,310 km2) is land and 834 square miles (2,160 km2) (62%) is water. It is the third-largest county in North Carolina by total area.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways

  • US 70
  • NC 12
  • NC 24
  • NC 58
  • NC 101


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 3,734
1800 4,399 17.8%
1810 4,823 9.6%
1820 5,609 16.3%
1830 6,597 17.6%
1840 6,591 −0.1%
1850 6,939 5.3%
1860 8,186 18.0%
1870 9,010 10.1%
1880 9,784 8.6%
1890 10,825 10.6%
1900 11,811 9.1%
1910 13,776 16.6%
1920 15,384 11.7%
1930 16,900 9.9%
1940 18,284 8.2%
1950 23,059 26.1%
1960 30,940 34.2%
1970 31,603 2.1%
1980 41,092 30.0%
1990 52,556 27.9%
2000 59,383 13.0%
2010 66,469 11.9%
Est. 2015 68,879 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 59,383 people, 25,204 households, and 17,365 families residing in the county. The population density was 114 people per square mile (44/km²). There were 40,947 housing units at an average density of 79 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.28% White, 6.99% Black or African American, 0.54% Asian, 0.43% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 25,204 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.10% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.70% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 28.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94 males.

The median income for a household in Carteret County in 2009 was $49,711, and the median income for a family was $45,499. Males had a median income of $31,365 versus $22,126 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,260. About 8.00% of families and 10.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.


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


Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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