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Lee County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Lee County
County of Lee
Lee County Courthouse, 2007
Lee County Courthouse, 2007
Map of North Carolina highlighting Lee 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 March 6, 1907; 115 years ago (1907-03-06)
Named for General Robert E. Lee
Seat Sanford
Largest city Sanford
Area
 • Total 259 sq mi (670 km2)
 • Land 255 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Water 4.1 sq mi (11 km2)  1.6%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
64,138
 • Density 251.5/sq mi (97.1/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th

Lee County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 63,285. The county seat is Sanford. It was established on March 6, 1907, from parts of Chatham and Moore counties, and named for General Robert E. Lee, who served as the General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States in 1865.

Lee County comprises the Sanford Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the Fayetteville Combined Statistical Area, also known as the Fayetteville area, which had a 2019 estimated population of 854,826. Lee County's motto is "Committed Today for a Better Tomorrow".

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 259 square miles (670 km2), of which 255 square miles (660 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (11 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 1
  • US 15
  • US 421
  • US 501
  • NC 42
  • NC 78
  • NC 87

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 11,376
1920 13,400 17.8%
1930 16,996 26.8%
1940 18,743 10.3%
1950 23,522 25.5%
1960 26,561 12.9%
1970 30,467 14.7%
1980 36,718 20.5%
1990 41,374 12.7%
2000 49,040 18.5%
2010 57,866 18.0%
2020 63,285 9.4%
2021 (est.) 64,138 10.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Lee County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 36,055 56.97%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 10,701 16.91%
Native American 231 0.37%
Asian 643 1.02%
Pacific Islander 43 0.07%
Other/Mixed 2,490 3.93%
Hispanic or Latino 13,122 20.73%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 63,285 people, 21,894 households, and 15,223 families residing in the county.

Communities

Map of Lee County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Lee County, North Carolina, with municipal and township labels

City

Town

Unincorporated communities

Townships

The county is divided into seven townships, which are both numbered and named:

  • 1 (Greenwood)
  • 2 (Jonesboro)
  • 3 (Cape Fear)
  • 4 (Deep River)
  • 5 (East Sanford)
  • 6 (West Sanford)
  • 7 (Pocket)

Trivia

  • The area has historically been one of the leading brick manufacturing areas in the United States.
  • Cotton and tobacco are leading crops in the county.
  • The county is divided between the Piedmont in the northern part of the county and the Sandhills in the south.
  • Lee County sits in the middle of the Triassic Basin and has the state's most concentrated reserves of oil and natural gas.
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