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Stokes County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Stokes County
Stokes County Courthouse, Danbury
Stokes County Courthouse, Danbury
Official seal of Stokes County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Stokes 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 1789
Named for John Stokes
Seat Danbury
Largest town King
 • Total 456 sq mi (1,180 km2)
 • Land 449 sq mi (1,160 km2)
 • Water 6.8 sq mi (18 km2)  1.5%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 106/sq mi (41/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th

Stokes County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,401. Its county seat is Danbury.

Stokes County is included in the Winston-Salem, N.C., Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, N.C., Combined Statistical Area.


View of walls Rock House Stokes County North Carolina
Ruins of the Rock House, c. 1770, built by Capt. Jack Martin, Revolutionary War soldier and pioneer. National Register of Historic Places

The county was formed in 1789 from Surry County. It was named for John Stokes, an American Revolutionary War captain severely wounded when British Colonel Banastre Tarleton's cavalry practically destroyed Col. Abraham Buford's Virginia regiment in the Waxhaws region in 1780. After the war, Captain Stokes was appointed a judge of the United States district court for North Carolina. In 1849 the southern half of Stokes County became Forsyth County.

During the American Civil War, Moratock Iron Furnace located near Danbury served as a foundry for the Confederate Army. It was destroyed in April 1865 when Union cavalry under the command of General George Stoneman conducted extensive raiding through the region.

Hanging Rock State Park was formed primarily from blocks of land donated in 1936 and contained 6,921 acres (28.01 km2) in 2005. Many of the facilities in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935 and 1942. The park is located atop the Sauratown Mountains, and contains a visitor's center, a manmade lake, and plenty of hiking trails, climbing trails, picnic areas, and primitive campgrounds.


The Sauratown Mountains cut through Stokes County which is otherwise gently rolling piedmont hills. The Blue Ridge Mountains in the background lie to the west of Stokes County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 456 square miles (1,180 km2), of which 449 square miles (1,160 km2) is land and 6.8 square miles (18 km2) (1.5%) is water.

The county lies within the Piedmont region of western North Carolina, and most of the terrain consists of gently rolling countryside. However, the Sauratown Mountains run across the center of the county. The Sauras are named after the Saura Native American tribe which lived in the county before European settlement. A chain of jagged ridges, the Sauratown Mountains are an isolated remnant of the Blue Ridge Mountains far to the west. Although the Sauratown Mountains occupy only 5% of Stokes County, they dominate the scenery from almost any direction, abruptly rising from 800 to 1,700 feet (520 m) above the surrounding terrain. Moore's Knob, the highest point in the chain, rises to 2,579 feet (786 m). Most of the county is less than 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level. The Dan River runs from the northwest corner to the southeastern section of Stokes County (covering over 56 miles of river recreation). Stokes County is home to Hanging Rock State Park and also has the mass majority of Belews Lake (located in the southeast corner).

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 52
  • US 311
  • NC 8
  • NC 65
  • NC 66
  • NC 89
  • NC 268
  • NC 704
  • NC 770
  • NC 772


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 8,423
1800 11,026 30.9%
1810 11,645 5.6%
1820 14,033 20.5%
1830 16,196 15.4%
1840 16,265 0.4%
1850 9,206 −43.4%
1860 10,402 13.0%
1870 11,208 7.7%
1880 15,353 37.0%
1890 17,199 12.0%
1900 19,866 15.5%
1910 20,151 1.4%
1920 20,575 2.1%
1930 22,290 8.3%
1940 22,656 1.6%
1950 21,520 −5.0%
1960 22,314 3.7%
1970 23,782 6.6%
1980 33,086 39.1%
1990 37,223 12.5%
2000 44,712 20.1%
2010 47,401 6.0%
2018 (est.) 45,467 −4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Stokes County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 39,609 88.97%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,619 3.64%
Native American 140 0.31%
Asian 158 0.35%
Pacific Islander 11 0.02%
Other/Mixed 1,527 3.43%
Hispanic or Latino 1,456 3.27%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 44,520 people, 19,578 households, and 13,348 families residing in the county.


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




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • Beaver Island
  • Big Creek
  • Danbury
  • Meadows
  • Peters Creek
  • Quaker Gap
  • Sauratown
  • Snow Creek
  • Yadkin


Stokes County has long been a "bedroom community" or "commuter town" for larger towns surrounding, such as Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Mount Airy, etc. Stokes County has struggled with economic development for several reasons such as infrastructure. The leaders in the county understand this and are working to create new opportunities and upgrades to enhance growth. Several medium and small businesses have found success in Stokes, as well as retail stores, restaurants, and service professionals. The largest employer in the county is the government/school system.

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