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Newport, North Carolina
"The town with old-fashioned courtesy"
Location of Newport, North Carolina
Location of Newport, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Carteret
 • Total 7.67 sq mi (19.88 km2)
 • Land 7.61 sq mi (19.71 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total 4,150
 • Estimate 
 • Density 603.13/sq mi (232.88/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 252
FIPS code 37-46860
GNIS feature ID 1013948

Newport is a town in Carteret County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,510 at the 2010 census.


Newport was officially chartered in 1866. Although the crossroads community on the Newport River was known by that name decades earlier, the area was also known as Bell's Corner and Shepardsville in earlier years. It was the location of the Newport Barracks, a Union camp during the American Civil War.

It was also called Shepardsville, in the early 18th century, for Shepard, a local landowner. The naming of “Newport” can be traced to two prevalent theories: the town was called "New Port” to distinguish it from the “Old Port “ of Beaufort, N.C.; and the early influx of Quakers from Rhode Island called the town “Newport” in honor of their native Newport, R.I.Town of Newport, NC web page

Early industry included agriculture, logging, and naval stores, including turpentine production. During the town's early history, the Newport River was navigable all the way to Old Topsail Inlet, now known as Beaufort Inlet, which opens to the Atlantic Ocean. The town was home to one of the earliest organized churches in Carteret County, the Newport River Primitive Baptist Church, established 1778. The structure was burned near the end of the Civil War but was soon rebuilt on Church Street and remains active today.

In 1858, the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad was completed when the final 96-mile (154 km) stretch of rail from Goldsboro through Newport to Beaufort was laid. The community is also the site of numerous Civil War battlefields, forts, and strategic locations. Newport was occupied by Union forces for much of the war.

Part of the town's residential area known as the "housing project" was originally developed as housing for civil service employees and military serving at nearby Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

Newport today

The town government operates as a council–manager form of government with a mayor, a town manager, and a five-member town council. The mayor of Newport, Derryl Garner, has served since 1978 and is active with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the Morehead City Ports Committee and numerous other civic and governmental organizations. David Heath, Chuck Shinn, Ken Davis, Steve Blizzard and Bena Weires serve on the town council. Members serve staggered terms.

The town is protected by a paid fire department with an active volunteer force, founded in the 1940s by Leon Mann, Jr. The department also provides emergency medical and ambulance services.

Public schools in Newport include Newport Elementary School and Newport Middle School. Newport Consolidated School, a first-through-12th-grade school established in 1926, was demolished in 1966 after the county completed construction of a new consolidated high school, West Carteret High in nearby Morehead City. Members of the Newport Consolidated School Alumni Association operate a small school museum in a depot warehouse owned by the North Carolina Railroad in Newport.


Newport is located in west-central Carteret County at 34°47′16″N 76°52′00″W / 34.787705°N 76.866585°W / 34.787705; -76.866585 (34.787705, -76.866585). U.S. Route 70, a four-lane highway, passes through the town west of the center; it leads southeast 10 miles (16 km) to Morehead City and north 7 miles (11 km) to Havelock. New Bern is 25 miles (40 km) to the north up US-70.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Newport has a total area of 7.7 square miles (20.0 km2), of which 7.7 square miles (19.9 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.85%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 121
1880 165 36.4%
1890 218 32.1%
1900 328 50.5%
1910 321 −2.1%
1920 404 25.9%
1930 481 19.1%
1940 480 −0.2%
1950 676 40.8%
1960 861 27.4%
1970 1,735 101.5%
1980 1,883 8.5%
1990 2,516 33.6%
2000 3,349 33.1%
2010 4,150 23.9%
2019 (est.) 4,591 10.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Newport racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 3,281 75.18%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 453 10.38%
Native American 28 0.64%
Asian 117 2.68%
Pacific Islander 11 0.25%
Other/Mixed 281 6.44%
Hispanic or Latino 193 4.42%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,364 people, 1,772 households, and 1,161 families residing in the town.

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