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Union County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Union County
Union County Courthouse in 2017
Union County Courthouse in 2017
Official seal of Union County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Union 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 1842
Seat Monroe
Largest town Indian Trail
 • Total 640 sq mi (1,700 km2)
 • Land 632 sq mi (1,640 km2)
 • Water 8.0 sq mi (21 km2)  1.3%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 385.5/sq mi (148.8/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 8th

Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2020 census, the population was 238,267. Its county seat is Monroe. Union County is included in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The county was formed in 1842 from parts of Anson County and Mecklenburg County. Its name was a compromise between Whigs, who wanted to name the new county for Henry Clay, and Democrats, who wanted to name it for Andrew Jackson. The Helms, Starnes, McRorie, and Belk families took a major part in the Monroe and Charlotte, North Carolina. Most of these families came from Goose Creek Township.

Monroe, the county seat of Union County, also became a focal point during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1958, local NAACP Chapter President Robert F. Williams defended a nine-year-old African-American boy who had been kissed by a white girl in an incident known as the Kissing Case. A second African-American boy, aged seven, was also convicted and sentenced to live in a juvenile reformatory until he was 21 for simply witnessing the act. In 1961, Williams was accused of kidnapping an elderly white couple, when he sheltered them in his house during a very explosive situation of high racial tensions. Williams fled and went into exile in Cuba and in the People's Republic of China before returning to the United States.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 640 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 632 square miles (1,640 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 74
  • US 601
  • NC 16
  • NC 75
  • NC 84
  • NC 200
  • NC 205
  • NC 207
  • NC 218
  • NC 522
  • NC 742
  • NC 51


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 10,051
1860 11,202 11.5%
1870 12,217 9.1%
1880 18,056 47.8%
1890 21,259 17.7%
1900 27,156 27.7%
1910 33,277 22.5%
1920 36,029 8.3%
1930 40,979 13.7%
1940 39,097 −4.6%
1950 42,034 7.5%
1960 44,670 6.3%
1970 54,714 22.5%
1980 70,380 28.6%
1990 84,211 19.7%
2000 123,677 46.9%
2010 201,292 62.8%
2020 238,267 18.4%
2021 (est.) 243,648 21.0%

2020 census

Union County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 161,113 67.62%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 26,500 11.12%
Native American 641 0.27%
Asian 9,516 3.99%
Pacific Islander 90 0.04%
Other/Mixed 10,297 4.32%
Hispanic or Latino 30,110 12.64%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 238,267 people, 77,954 households, and 62,932 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 201,292 people, 67,864 households, and 54,019 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 45,695 housing units at an average density of 31.4 per square mile (12.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.0% White, 11.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 10.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 67,864 households, out of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.60% were married couples living together, and 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present. 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.3.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 32.90% under the age of 20, 4.7% from 20 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. The population was 49.4% male. Northern Union County has the southern foothills of the Uwharrie Mountains


Entering Union County on North Carolina Highway 200
Entering Union County on North Carolina Highway 200
  • Brooklandwood in the Union County town of Mineral Springs is the site of the Queens Cup Steeplechase, one of steeplechase horse racing's major annual events. The program consists of several races, and is held the last Saturday of April. The schedule of events also features a Jack Russell Terrier judging contest. Over 10,000 people descend on Mineral Springs from all parts of the country to take part in this day-long event of races and other activities.
  • The Union County town of Marshville is the site of the Boll Weevil Festival, an annual street fair and carnival that takes place every fall.


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




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns


  • Goose Creek
  • Jackson
  • Marshville
  • Monroe
  • New Salem
  • Vance
  • Buford
  • Lanes Creek
  • Sandy Ridge


  • South Piedmont Community College
  • Central Academy of Technology and Arts
  • Cuthbertson High School
  • Forest Hills High School
  • Marvin Ridge High School
  • Monroe High School
  • Parkwood High School
  • Piedmont High School
  • Porter Ridge High School
  • Sun Valley High School
  • Arborbrook Christian Academy
  • Tabernacle Christian School
  • Union County Early College
  • Union Academy
  • Weddington High School
  • Wingate University
  • Shiloh Elementary

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Union (Carolina del Norte) para niños

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