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Mount Olive, North Carolina
"We Value Hometown Tradition"
Country United States
State North Carolina
Counties Wayne, Duplin
 • Total 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
 • Land 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
157 ft (48 m)
 • Total 4,589
 • Density 1,716/sq mi (662.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-45100
GNIS feature ID 0990457

Mount Olive is a town in Duplin and Wayne counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 4,589 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Goldsboro, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is home to the Mt. Olive Pickle Company and the University of Mount Olive.


The Mount Olive High School (Former), Mount Olive Historic District, L. D. Giddens and Son Jewelry Store, Perry-Cherry House, Southerland-Burnette House, former United States Post Office, and Vernon are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Mount Olive is located in southern Wayne County at 35°11′42″N 78°4′3″W / 35.19500°N 78.06750°W / 35.19500; -78.06750 (35.195086, -78.067528). A small portion of the town extends south into Duplin County.

U.S. Route 117, a four-lane highway, runs along the western edge of Mount Olive, leading north 14 miles (23 km) to Goldsboro and south 15 miles (24 km) to Warsaw. North Carolina Highway 55, which crosses US 117 at the north end of town, leads east 31 miles (50 km) to Kinston and west 17 miles (27 km) to Newton Grove.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Mount Olive has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), all land.

Mount Olive is part of the Atlantic coastal plain region.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 393
1900 617 57.0%
1910 1,071 73.6%
1920 2,297 114.5%
1930 2,685 16.9%
1940 2,929 9.1%
1950 3,732 27.4%
1960 4,673 25.2%
1970 4,914 5.2%
1980 4,876 −0.8%
1990 4,582 −6.0%
2000 4,567 −0.3%
2010 4,589 0.5%
Est. 2015 4,728 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,567 people, 1,770 households, and 1,125 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,819.3 people per square mile (702.5/km²). There were 2,012 housing units at an average density of 801.5 per square mile (309.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.98% White, 12.30% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.34% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.17% of the population.

There were 1,770 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 22.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 14.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 77.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,984, and the median income for a family was $31,176. Males had a median income of $26,814 versus $19,224 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,184. About 16.4% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.6% of those under age 18 and 21.6% of those age 65 or over.

Haitian immigration wave

Between 2010 and 2012, as many as 3,000 Haitians, from toddlers to grandmothers, have settled in and around Mount Olive. Their arrival seemed to happen overnight; the 2010 census counted no Haitians in that area. The newcomers' lure: the Butterball turkey processing plant and a handful of other meat producers within commuting distance of Mount Olive.

Jim Johnson, a professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the new wave of Haitians in Eastern North Carolina is the classic immigrant labor story. "The jobs at Butterball are what we can call 3D: dirty, difficult and dangerous," Johnson said. "Nobody wants to do them, and the immigrants fill the gap."


The Mt. Olive Pickle Company, established in 1926, is located on the corner of Cucumber and Vine streets.

The North Carolina Pickle Festival is held the last full weekend of April each year. The annual celebration is put on by both the community of Mount Olive and the Mt. Olive Pickle Company.

On New Year's Eve, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company celebrates in unusual fashion by dropping a three-foot pickle down a flagpole into a pickle tank. However, instead of midnight local time, the drop takes place at 7 p.m. The event first took place on New Year's Eve 1999.

Area landscape

Mount Olive is part of the Atlantic coastal plain.



  • Air: Mount Olive is served through Mount Olive Municipal Airport for corporate and general aviation aircraft and nearby Kinston Regional Jetport (IATA: ISOICAO: KISO) with service to Orlando, Florida. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is the closest major airport with service to more than 45 domestic and international destinations.
  • Interstate Highway: I-40 is the closest Interstate to Mount Olive, which is located 9 miles south near Faison.
  • Mount Olive is not served directly by passenger trains. The closest Amtrak station is located in Selma.
  • Bus: The area is served by Greyhound with a location in nearby Goldsboro.


  • The main highways in Mount Olive are US 117 and NC 55.
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