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Warren County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Warren County, North Carolina
Seal of Warren County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Warren County
Location in the state of North Carolina
Map of the USA highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1779
Seat Warrenton
Largest town Norlina
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

444 sq mi (1,150 km²)
428 sq mi (1,109 km²)
15 sq mi (39 km²), 3.4%
 - (2010)
 - Density

49/sq mi (19/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: Joseph Warren

Warren County is a county located in the northeastern Piedmont region of North Carolina, on the northern border with Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,972. Its county seat is Warrenton. It was a center of tobacco and cotton plantations, and later textile mills.

The county is home to the historic Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe, which has received state recognition.


The county was formed in 1779 from the northern half of Bute County. It was named for Joseph Warren of Massachusetts, a physician and general in the American Revolutionary War who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Developed as tobacco and cotton plantations, the county generated considerable wealth for white planters in the antebellum years, wealth built on the labor of slaves. Its county seat of Warrenton became a center of commerce and was one of the wealthiest towns in the state from 1840 to 1860. Many planters built fine homes there.

In the later nineteenth century, the county developed textile mills. In 1881, parts of Warren County, Franklin County, and Granville County were combined to form Vance County. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Warren County's continued reliance on agriculture slowed its development. Many residents migrated to cities for work.

Since the late 20th century, county residents have worked to attract other industrial and business development. Soul City, a "planned community" development, was funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It has not been successful in attracting business and industry, and has not developed as much housing as intended.

Beginning in 1982, Warren County was the site of the Warren County PCB Landfill. Residents of the county have pursued a long environmental justice struggle to remove dangerous pollutants from the site, to improve the health of citizens. The site was not made safe until 2004.


North Carolina State Line- Warren County
Entering Warren County from Virginia

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 428 square miles (1,110 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.4%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-85
  • US 1
  • US 158
  • US 401
  • NC 4
  • NC 43
  • NC 58
  • NC 903


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 9,379
1800 11,284 20.3%
1810 11,004 −2.5%
1820 11,158 1.4%
1830 11,877 6.4%
1840 12,919 8.8%
1850 13,912 7.7%
1860 15,726 13.0%
1870 17,768 13.0%
1880 22,619 27.3%
1890 19,360 −14.4%
1900 19,151 −1.1%
1910 20,266 5.8%
1920 21,593 6.5%
1930 23,364 8.2%
1940 23,145 −0.9%
1950 23,539 1.7%
1960 19,652 −16.5%
1970 15,810 −19.6%
1980 16,232 2.7%
1990 17,265 6.4%
2000 19,972 15.7%
2010 20,972 5.0%
Est. 2015 20,155 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,972 people residing in the county. 52.3% were Black or African American, 38.8% White, 5.0% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 2.0% of some other race and 1.6% of two or more races. 3.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,972 people, 7,708 households, and 5,449 families residing in the county. The population density was 47 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 10,548 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 38.90% White, 54.49% Black or African American, 4.79% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 1.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,708 households out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.20% were married couples living together, 17.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 17.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,351, and the median income for a family was $33,602. Males had a median income of $26,928 versus $20,787 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,716. About 15.70% of families and 19.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.90% of those under age 18 and 20.80% of those age 65 or over.

Warren County is heavily populated by the Haliwa-Saponi, descendants of a long existing tri-racial isolate deeply rooted in the area.


Map of Warren County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Warren County showing municipalities and townships


Unincorporated communities

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