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Goldsboro, North Carolina facts for kids

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Center Street
Center Street
Official seal of Goldsboro
Location of Goldsboro in North Carolina
Location of Goldsboro in North Carolina
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
County Wayne
Founded / Incorporated 1787 / 1847
 • City 28.70 sq mi (74.33 km2)
 • Land 28.55 sq mi (73.93 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.40 km2)
108 ft (33 m)
 • City 36,437
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,197.58/sq mi (462.39/km2)
 • Metro
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 919, 984
FIPS code 37-26880
GNIS feature ID 1020469
Goldsboro, North Carolina (circa 1915)
West Walnut Street, circa 1915

Goldsboro, originally Goldsborough, is a city and the county seat of Wayne County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 36,437 at the 2010 Census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Goldsboro, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. The nearby town of Waynesboro was founded in 1787, and Goldsboro was incorporated in 1847. It is the county seat of Wayne County. The city is situated in North Carolina's Coastal Plain and is bordered on the south by the Neuse River and the west by the Little River, approximately 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Greenville, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Raleigh, the state capital, and 75 miles (121 km) north of Wilmington in Southeastern North Carolina. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is located in Goldsboro.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 885
1870 1,134 28.1%
1880 3,286 189.8%
1890 4,017 22.2%
1900 5,877 46.3%
1910 6,107 3.9%
1920 11,296 85.0%
1930 14,985 32.7%
1940 17,274 15.3%
1950 21,454 24.2%
1960 28,873 34.6%
1970 26,960 −6.6%
1980 31,871 18.2%
1990 40,709 27.7%
2000 39,043 −4.1%
2010 36,437 −6.7%
2019 (est.) 34,186 −6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Goldsboro racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 10,931 32.48%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 17,867 53.09%
Native American 103 0.31%
Asian 781 2.32%
Pacific Islander 29 0.09%
Other/Mixed 1,563 4.64%
Hispanic or Latino 2,383 7.08%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 33,657 people, 14,404 households, and 8,320 families residing in the city.


As of 2019 census estimates, there were 34,186 people and 14,339 households residing in the city. The population density was 1,214.9 inhabitants per square mile (469.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 52.7% African American, 39.9% White, 0.3% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 4.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.8% of the population.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,043, and the median income for a family was $59,844. Males had a median income of $55,223 versus $56,850 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,666. About 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line.


Around 1787, when Wayne County was formed, a town named Waynesborough grew around the county's courthouse. In 1787, William Whitfield III (son of William Whitfield II) and his son were appointed "Directors and Trustees" for designing and building the town. Located on the east bank of the Neuse River, the town became the county seat. Population growth in Waynesborough continued through the 1830s. However, this changed once the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was completed in the early 1840s. By then, a hotel had been built at the intersection of the railroad and New Bern Road, which grew into a community after the train started to transport passengers from there.

More and more citizens soon relocated from Waynesborough to this growing village, named eventually "Goldsborough's Junction" after Major Matthew T. Goldsborough, an Assistant Chief Engineer with the railroad line. Later this was shortened simply to Goldsborough. In 1847, the town was incorporated and became the new Wayne County seat following a vote of the citizens of Wayne County. Local legend has it the Goldsborough supporters put moonshine in the town's well to encourage people to vote for Goldsborough.

In the following decades, Goldsborough's growth continued in part by new railroad connections to Charlotte and Beaufort. By 1861, the town's population was estimated to be 1,500. It was the trading center of a rural area that started with yeoman farmers. By this time, it had been developed as large cotton plantations dependent on the labor of enslaved African Americans, as the invention of the cotton gin had enabled profitable cultivation of short-staple cotton in the upcounties.

Because of its importance as railroad junction, Goldsborough played a significant role in the Civil War, both for stationing Confederate troops and for transporting their supplies. The town also provided hospitals for soldiers wounded in nearby battles.

In December 1862, the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge was waged, in which both sides fought for possession of the strategically significant Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Bridge. Union General John Foster arrived with his troops on December 17, aiming to destroy this bridge in order to put an end to the vital supply chain from the port of Wilmington. He succeeded on that same day, his troops overpowering the small number of defending Confederate soldiers and burning down the bridge. On their way back to New Bern, Foster's men were attacked again by Confederate troops, but they survived with fewer casualties than the enemy. The important bridge at Goldsborough was rebuilt in a matter of weeks.

Goldsborough was the scene of another Union offensive in 1865, during Union General Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. After the battles of Bentonville and Wyse Fork, Sherman's forces met with the armies of Schofield, their troops taking over the city in March. During the following three weeks, Goldsborough was occupied by over 100,000 Union soldiers. After the war was over, some of these troops continued to stay in the city.

In 1869, the spelling of the city was officially changed to Goldsboro. Wayne County was part of North Carolina's 2nd congressional district following the Civil War, when it was known as the "Black Second", for its majority-black population. This district elected four Republican African Americans to Congress in the 19th century, three of them after the Reconstruction era. The attorney George Henry White was the last to serve, being elected in 1894 and serving two terms.

Law office, Goldsboro, North Carolina
Law office, Goldsboro, April 1938

The Democrat-dominated legislature established legal racial segregation in public facilities. To further this, in the 1880s it authorized a facility to serve the black mentally ill, the State Hospital in Goldsboro. In 1899 the legislature authorized an addition but did not appropriate sufficient funds. This operated until after passage of civil rights legislation requiring integration of public facilities. In addition, the hospital was affected by the 1970s movement to de-institutionalize care for the mentally ill. Most states have failed to adequately support community programs to replace such facilities.

During World War II the North Carolina Congressional delegation was successful in gaining the present-day Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, which opened on the outskirts of Goldsboro in April 1942 as a US Army Air Forces installation named Seymour Johnson Field. From this point on, the city's population and businesses increased as a result of the federal defense installation. The base's name was changed to Seymour Johnson AFB in 1947 following the establishment of the US Air Force as an independent service.

The city is home to Goldsboro Milling Company, the 10th largest producer of hogs in the U.S., and also a major producer of turkeys.

The Borden Manufacturing Company, First Presbyterian Church, L. D. Giddens and Son Jewelry Store, Goldsboro Union Station, Harry Fitzhugh Lee House, Odd Fellows Lodge, and Solomon and Henry Weil Houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nuclear accident

In 1961, two 3.8 megaton hydrogen bombs were dropped accidentally on the village of Faro, 12 miles (19 km) north of Goldsboro, after a B-52 aircraft broke up in mid air. The two Mark 39 weapons were released after the crew abandoned a B-52 bomber which had suffered mid-flight structural failure. Both bombs went through several steps in the arming sequence, but neither one detonated. One bomb was recovered. Although much of the second bomb was also recovered, a missing piece containing uranium was believed to have sunk deep into the swampy earth and could not be recovered. The piece remains in land that the Air Force eventually purchased in order to prevent any land use or digging. In 2013, it was revealed that three safety mechanisms on one bomb had failed, leaving just one low-voltage switch preventing detonation.


Location of Goldsboro, North Carolina

Goldsboro is located at 35°22′55″N 77°58′41″W / 35.38194°N 77.97806°W / 35.38194; -77.97806 (35.381961, -77.977974).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.8 square miles (64 km2). 24.8 square miles (64 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.08%) is water.


Goldsboro's location on the Atlantic Coastal Plain lends it a Humid subtropical climate, with hot humid summers and cool winters. The hottest month is July, with an average high temperature of 91 °F (33 °C), and an average low of 71 °F (22 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average high of 54 °F (12 °C), and an average low of 33 °F (1 °C). Annual total rainfall is 49.84 inches, falling relatively evenly with a slight wet season in the late summer/early fall. Some light to moderate snowfall can occur in winter, but it is sporadic and can range from only a trace to totals over a foot (30 cm) in some years.

Monthly normal and record high and low temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F (°C) 85 (29) 87 (31) 96 (36) 98 (37) 102 (39) 106 (41) 108 (42) 107 (42) 105 (41) 99 (37) 90 (32) 86 (30)
Norm High °F (°C) 54 (12) 58 (14) 66 (19) 75 (24) 82 (28) 88 (31) 91 (33) 89 (32) 84 (29) 75 (24) 66 (19) 57 (14)
Norm Low °F (°C) 33 (1) 35 (2) 42 (6) 50 (10) 58 (14) 66 (19) 71 (22) 70 (21) 64 (18) 51 (11) 43 (6) 35 (2)
Rec Low °F (°C) -1 (-18) 2 (-17) 10 (-12) 16 (-9) 32 (0) 40 (4) 43 (6) 45 (7) 31 (-1) 22 (-6) 15 (-9) 1 (-17)
Precip in (mm) 4.54 (115.3) 3.61 (91.7) 4.48 (113.8) 3.39 (86.1) 3.8 (96.5) 3.97 (100.8) 5.39 (138.9) 5.7 (144.8) 5.34 (135.6) 3.07 (78) 3.19 (81) 3.36 (85.3)

Sites of interest

  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is a state park located near the city. It covers 751 acres (3.04 km2) along the southern banks of the Neuse River. It has a swimming area, several hiking trails, fishing areas, a nature museum, and picnic areas. The cliffs rise 90 feet above the Neuse River.
  • Waynesborough Historical Village is a reconstructed "village" located near the original site of the town of Waynesborough. It is home to historical Wayne County buildings ranging from various periods of time. These buildings include a family home, a medical office, a one-room school, a law office, and a Quaker Meeting House.
  • Herman Park includes a recreational center, miniature train, tennis courts, picnic shelters, a turn-of-the-century park house, gazebo, goldfish pond, fountain, and children's playground.
  • The Oheb Shalom synagogue's Romanesque Revival building is one of fewer than a hundred nineteenth-century synagogues still standing in the United States, and the second oldest synagogue building in the state.



The closest civilian airport is Wayne Executive Jetport, but is only used for general aviation. The nearest public commercial airport is Pitt-Greenville Airport (IATA: PGV) in Greenville about 36 miles north east of Goldsboro, although most residents use Raleigh-Durham International Airport for domestic and international travel.

Major highways that run through the city are US 70 (the main thoroughfare through Goldsboro), US 13, US 117, NC 111, and NC 581. I-795 now connects Goldsboro to I-95 in Wilson.

The Goldsboro Bypass which is a route of U.S. 70 was fully opened in May 2016. Previously NC 44 while partially open and under construction, it became US 70 Bypass upon completion and has been designated as Future Interstate 42.

The city has a bus system known as Gateway which runs four routes.

Until the 1960s, the Southern Railway and the Seaboard Coast Line ran passenger trains in and out of Goldsboro Union Station to points west, north and south.


  • Wayne Memorial Hospital (North Carolina), a medical facility located in Goldsboro, is the county's second largest employer.
  • Cherry Hospital is a psychiatric hospital which first started in 1880 as a facility to treat mentally ill African Americans. A museum depicting its history is also part of the hospital campus.
  • O'Berry Neuro-Medical Center is a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services hospital providing rehabilitative services to people with intellectual disabilities/ developmental disabilities.



  • North Carolina Wesleyan College Goldsboro campus
  • Wayne Community College

High schools

  • Eastern Wayne High School
  • Goldsboro High School
  • Rosewood High School
  • Wayne Early/Middle College High School
  • Wayne School of Engineering
  • Charles B. Aycock High School
  • Spring Creek High School
  • Southern Wayne High School

Middle schools

  • Dillard Middle School
  • Eastern Wayne Middle School
  • Greenwood Middle School
  • Rosewood Middle School

Elementary schools

  • Carver Heights Elementary School
  • Dillard Academy Charter School
  • Eastern Wayne Elementary School
  • Grantham Elementary School
  • Meadow Lane Elementary School
  • North Drive Elementary School
  • Rosewood Elementary School
  • School Street Early Learning Center
  • Spring Creek Elementary School
  • Tommy's Road Elementary School

Private schools

  • Faith Christian Academy
  • Pathway Christian Academy
  • St. Mary Catholic School
  • Wayne Christian School
  • Wayne Country Day School
  • Wayne Preparatory Academy

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Goldsboro (Carolina del Norte) para niños

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