Rutherford County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Rutherford County, North Carolina
Seal of Rutherford County, North Carolina
Map

Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the USA highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1779
Seat Rutherfordton
Largest town Forest City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

566 sq mi (1,466 km²)
564 sq mi (1,461 km²)
1.7 sq mi (4 km²), 0.3%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

67,810
120/sq mi (46/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: rutherfordcountync.gov
Named for: Griffith Rutherford

Rutherford County is a county located in the southwestern area of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,810. Its county seat is Rutherfordton.

Rutherford County comprises the Forest City, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The county was formed in 1779 from the western part of the former Tryon County. It was named for Griffith Rutherford, leader of an expedition against the Cherokee in 1776 and a general in the American Revolutionary War.

In 1791 parts of Rutherford County and Burke County were combined to form Buncombe County. n 1841 parts of Rutherford and Lincoln counties were combined to form Cleveland County. In 1842 additional parts of Rutherford and Burke counties were combined to form McDowell County. Finally, in 1855 parts of Rutherford and Henderson counties were combined to form Polk County.

Geography

Rutherford nc elevation
Rutherford County Elevation

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 564 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 64
  • US 74
  • US 74A
  • US 221
  • US 221A
  • NC 9
  • NC 108
  • NC 120
  • NC 226

Demography

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 7,808
1800 10,753 37.7%
1810 13,202 22.8%
1820 15,351 16.3%
1830 17,557 14.4%
1840 19,202 9.4%
1850 13,550 −29.4%
1860 11,573 −14.6%
1870 13,121 13.4%
1880 15,198 15.8%
1890 18,770 23.5%
1900 25,101 33.7%
1910 28,385 13.1%
1920 31,426 10.7%
1930 40,452 28.7%
1940 45,577 12.7%
1950 46,356 1.7%
1960 45,091 −2.7%
1970 47,337 5.0%
1980 53,787 13.6%
1990 56,918 5.8%
2000 62,899 10.5%
2010 67,810 7.8%
Est. 2015 66,390 −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 62,899 people, 25,191 households, and 17,935 families residing in the county. The population density was 112 people per square mile (43/km²). There were 29,535 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.79% White, 11.23% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 1.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest ancestry groups in Rutherford County are:

  • English - 44%
  • Irish - 9%
  • African American - 11%
  • German - 5%
  • Scotch-Irish - 4%
  • Scottish - 3%
  • Dutch - 2%
  • Italian - 1%
  • French or French Canadian (except Basque) - 1%
  • Mexican - 1%
  • Polish - 1%

There were 25,191 households out of which 30.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.40% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.80% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,122, and the median income for a family was $37,787. Males had a median income of $28,890 versus $21,489 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,270. About 10.40% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 13.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

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

Towns

Village

Census-designated places

Cities and towns

Rutherford County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 72.2% 21,870 24.8% 7,516
2012 66.0% 18,954 32.7% 9,374
2008 65.4% 18,769 33.6% 9,641
2004 66.3% 16,343 33.2% 8,184
2000 63.3% 13,755 35.4% 7,697
1996 52.7% 9,792 38.6% 7,162
1992 48.0% 9,748 38.6% 7,855
1988 59.7% 10,337 40.0% 6,926
1984 62.2% 11,369 37.6% 6,862
1980 49.3% 8,363 49.0% 8,315
1976 39.2% 6,718 60.5% 10,361
1972 68.8% 9,506 30.0% 4,140
1968 46.1% 7,785 27.4% 4,622
1964 42.7% 7,115 57.3% 9,541
1960 51.3% 8,993 48.7% 8,554

Townships

  • Camp Creek
  • Cliffside
  • Chimney Rock
  • Colfax, Cool Spring
  • Duncans Creek
  • Gilkey
  • Golden Valley
  • Green Hill
  • High Shoals
  • Mt. Vernon
  • Rutherfordton
  • Union Mills

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