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Onslow County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Onslow County
The 1904 Onslow County Courthouse
The 1904 Onslow County Courthouse
Official seal of Onslow County
Seal
Map of North Carolina highlighting Onslow 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 Arthur Onslow
Seat Jacksonville
Largest city Jacksonville
Area
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Land 763 sq mi (1,980 km2)
 • Water 143 sq mi (370 km2)  16%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
206,160
 • Density 270.2/sq mi (104.3/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Onslow County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 204,576. Its county seat is Jacksonville. The county was created in 1734 as Onslow Precinct and gained county status in 1739. Onslow County comprises the Jacksonville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The southern border is the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

History

European and English settlers arrived here in 1713 in what was originally part of the colonial precincts of Carteret and New Hanover. Onslow County was formed in 1734 and was named for Arthur Onslow, the longest serving Speaker of the British House of Commons. After a lethal 1752 hurricane, the county courthouse was relocated from Town Point to Wantland’s Ferry; this settlement was eventually incorporated in 1842 and named Jacksonville after President Andrew Jackson. Through much of the first half of the 20th century, the county was largely rural, with an economy based on agrarian and maritime communities.

During World War II, Onslow County was dramatically changed in the early 1940s with the establishment of the United States Army Camp Davis near Holly Ridge (now defunct), and the creation of Camp Lejeune in 1941. This increased county population and generated related growth in housing and businesses.

Onslow County’s flat, rolling terrain covers 767 square miles (1,990 km2) and is located in the southeastern coastal plain of North Carolina, approximately 120 miles (190 km) east of Raleigh and 50 miles (80 km) north of Wilmington. The city of Jacksonville is the county seat, and the areas surrounding the city constitute the major population centers and growth areas in the county. The county is home to more than 150,000 people and includes the incorporated towns of Holly Ridge, Richlands, Swansboro, North Topsail Beach, part of Surf City, and unincorporated Sneads Ferry. The U.S. Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune comprises approximately 156,000 acres (630 km2); more than 43,000 marines and sailors are stationed there. The two "nations" of PLCC and Ridgeweia are also located within Holly ridge and Sneads Ferry.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 763 square miles (1,980 km2) is land and 143 square miles (370 km2) (16%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 5,387
1800 5,623 4.4%
1810 6,669 18.6%
1820 7,016 5.2%
1830 7,814 11.4%
1840 7,527 −3.7%
1850 8,283 10.0%
1860 8,856 6.9%
1870 7,569 −14.5%
1880 9,829 29.9%
1890 10,303 4.8%
1900 11,940 15.9%
1910 14,125 18.3%
1920 14,703 4.1%
1930 15,289 4.0%
1940 17,939 17.3%
1950 42,047 134.4%
1960 82,706 96.7%
1970 103,126 24.7%
1980 112,784 9.4%
1990 149,838 32.9%
2000 150,355 0.3%
2010 177,772 18.2%
Est. 2021 206,160 16.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2020 census

Onslow County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 129,499 63.3%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 26,939 13.17%
Native American 1,019 0.5%
Asian 4,508 2.2%
Pacific Islander 777 0.38%
Other/Mixed 14,193 6.94%
Hispanic or Latino 27,641 13.51%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 204,576 people, 63,604 households, and 46,202 families residing in the county.

Transportation

Major highways

  • US 17
  • US 258
  • NC 24
  • NC 50
  • NC 53
  • NC 111
  • NC 172
  • NC 210

Airport

The Albert J. Ellis Airport is located near Richlands and is served by two commercial airlines.

Communities

Map of Onslow County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Onslow County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Townships

  • Jacksonville
  • Richlands
  • Sneads Ferry
  • Southwest
  • Swansboro
  • White Oak

Education

Elementary schools

  • Bell Fork Elementary
  • Blue Creek Elementary
  • Carolina Forest Elementary
  • Clyde Erwin Elementary
  • Dixon Elementary
  • Hunters Creek Elementary
  • Heritage Elementary
  • Jacksonville Commons Elementary
  • Meadow View Elementary
  • Morton Elementary
  • Northwoods Elementary
  • Parkwood Elementary
  • Queens Creek Elementary
  • Richlands Elementary
  • Sand Ridge Elementary
  • Silverdale Elementary
  • Southwest Elementary
  • Stateside Elementary
  • Summersill Elementary
  • Swansboro Elementary
  • Thompson Early Childhood Center

Middle schools

  • Dixon Middle
  • Hunters Creek Middle
  • Jacksonville Commons Middle
  • New Bridge Middle
  • Northwoods Park Middle
  • Southwest Middle
  • Swansboro Middle
  • Trexler Middle

High schools

  • Dixon High
  • Jacksonville High
  • Northside High
  • Onslow Early College High
  • Richlands High
  • Southwest High
  • Swansboro High
  • White Oak High
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