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Transylvania County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Transylvania County
Transylvania County Courthouse in Brevard
Transylvania County Courthouse in Brevard
Official seal of Transylvania County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Transylvania 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 1861
Named for The Transylvania Company
Seat Brevard
Largest city Brevard
 • Total 381 sq mi (990 km2)
 • Land 379 sq mi (980 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2)  0.5%%
 • Total 32,986
 • Density 87/sq mi (34/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 11th
Biltmore Forestry School, Schoolhouse, Brevard vicinity (Transylvania County, North Carolina)
The Biltmore School of Forestry, founded in 1898, was the nation's first forestry school.

Transylvania County is a county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 Census the population is 32,986. Its county seat is Brevard.

Transylvania County comprises the Brevard Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Asheville-Brevard, NC CSA combined statistical area.


Founded in 1861, the county's name is derived from the colonial Transylvania Company

Prior to the early twentieth century, an overwhelming majority of Transylvania County’s residents subsisted through agriculture, often growing basic staples such as potatoes and cabbage.

Beginning in the early twentieth century with Joseph Silverstein’s tannery, a manufacturing economy began to emerge in the county relying on timber and related products harvested from the Pisgah National Forest. In the 1930s, Harry Straus opened a paper mill in the Pisgah Forest area, and by the mid-20th century Straus' Ecusta Paper manufacturing site provided jobs to over 3,000 local residents. During the peak industrial years of the 1950s, DuPont located one of its factories in the county, employing nearly 1,000 more residents.

In the following decades, Brevard College and its namesake town each grew at an unprecedented rate, and Brevard Music Center and its summer Brevard Music Festival began to attract musicians and enthusiasts from around the country to Transylvania County.

Since the later part of the twentieth century, Transylvania County has experienced a change in its economic base as many of the manufacturing operations that once operated there, including Ecusta and DuPont, either went defunct or left the United States for more favorable business conditions abroad. Since that time, the county has worked to reshape its economy around the growing Appalachian summer and winter tourism industry.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 381 square miles (990 km2), of which 379 square miles (980 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.5%) is water.

There are over 250 waterfalls in the county. Receiving over 90 inches of rain annually, Transylvania County is the wettest county in the state. This is contrasted with Buncombe County, which is thirty miles northeast of Transylvania County receiving the lowest precipitation. The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses through parts of the county, affording spectacular views of the Appalachian Mountains, which reach over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) elevation in the county. The highest point, Chestnut Knob, 6,025 feet (1,836 m), lies northwest of the county seat Brevard.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways

  • US 64
  • US 178
  • US 276
  • NC 215
  • NC 280
  • NC 281


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,536
1880 5,340 51.0%
1890 5,881 10.1%
1900 6,620 12.6%
1910 7,191 8.6%
1920 9,303 29.4%
1930 9,589 3.1%
1940 12,241 27.7%
1950 15,194 24.1%
1960 16,372 7.8%
1970 19,713 20.4%
1980 23,417 18.8%
1990 25,520 9.0%
2000 29,334 14.9%
2010 33,090 12.8%
Est. 2021 33,165 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Transylvania County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 28,542 86.53%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,027 3.11%
Native American 102 0.31%
Asian 173 0.52%
Pacific Islander 22 0.07%
Other/Mixed 1,422 4.31%
Hispanic or Latino 1,698 5.15%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 32,986 people, 14,567 households, and 9,978 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 33,090 people, 14,394 households, and 8,660 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 people per square mile (30/km2). There were 15,553 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.4% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, and 1.12% from two or more races. 2.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,320 households, out of which 25.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.40% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 23.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 21.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,587, and the median income for a family was $45,579. Males had a median income of $31,743 versus $21,191 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,767. About 6.60% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest


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




  • Boyd
  • Brevard
  • Cathey's Creek
  • Dunn's Rock
  • Eastatoe
  • Gloucester
  • Hogback
  • Little River

Unincorporated communities

  • Balsam Grove
  • Cathey's Creek
  • Cedar Mountain
  • Connestee Falls
  • Dunn's Rock
  • Eastatoe
  • Gloucester
  • Lake Toxaway
  • Little River
  • Penrose
  • Pisgah Forest
  • Quebec
  • Sapphire
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