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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%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 135.5/sq mi (52.3/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Carteret County is located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 67,686. 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%
2020 67,686 1.8%
2021 (est.) 68,541 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Carteret County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 57,538 85.01%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,208 4.74%
Native American 252 0.37%
Asian 584 0.86%
Pacific Islander 63 0.09%
Other/Mixed 2,922 4.32%
Hispanic or Latino 3,119 4.61%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 67,686 people, 28,962 households, and 18,292 families residing in the county.


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



The Carteret County News-Times is a community newspaper based in Morehead City that serves Carteret County and nearby areas. Its predecessors were The Beaufort News, a newspaper founded in 1912, and the Twin City Daily Times, a newspaper founded in 1936. The Phillips family purchased and merged the two newspapers together to form Carteret County News-Times. The Carteret County News-Times's earliest printing was on May 18, 1948. Beginning in 1981, the newspaper has published three editions a week: Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. According to the 2010 book North Carolina's Central Coast and New Bern, the newspaper is "a good source of information for vacationers who want to know the schedules of tours, festivals, kids' programs, seminars, exhibits and events of all types within the county and the surrounding area".


Primary and secondary education

The county is served by the Carteret County Public Schools. Carteret County Public Schools has 16 schools ranging from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. Those 16 schools are separated into three high schools, four middle schools, and nine elementary schools.

In addition the county is home to a public charter school and three private schools:

  • Tiller School is a grade K-5 public charter school in Beaufort, NC.
  • Saint Egbert School is a grade K-5 Catholic school in Morehead City, NC.
  • Grace Christian School is a grade K-8 school in Newport, NC.
  • Gramercy Christian School is a grade K-12 school in Newport, NC.

Higher learning

  • Carteret Community College (CCC)
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences (UNC-IMS)
  • NCSU Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST)
  • Duke University Marine Laboratory

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Carteret para niños

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