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Wayne County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Wayne County, North Carolina
Seal of Wayne County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Wayne 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 Goldsboro
Largest City Goldsboro
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

557 sq mi (1,443 km²)
553 sq mi (1,432 km²)
3.8 sq mi (10 km²), 0.7%
 - (2010)
 - Density

222/sq mi (86/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: Anthony Wayne

Wayne County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 122,623. Its county seat is Goldsboro and it is home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Wayne County comprises the Goldsboro, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Prior to 1730, Native Americans were the only known occupants of the territory now known as Wayne county. Settlers trickled into the territory, but there was no general movement of immigration until after 1750. Wayne County was established on November 2, 1779 from the western part of Dobbs County. It was named for "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a general in the American Revolutionary War. The act, establishing the County, provided the first court should be held at the home of Josiah Sasser at which time the justices were to decide on a place for all subsequent courts until a courthouse could be erected. By 1782 the commissioners were named. In 1787 an act was passed establishing Waynesborough on the west side of the Neuse River on the land of Doctor Andrew Bass where the courthouse now stands.

In 1855 parts of Wayne County, Edgecombe County, Johnston County, and Nash County were combined to form Wilson County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 557 square miles (1,440 km2), of which 553 square miles (1,430 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Wayne County's surface is level to gently rolling uplands with broad bottoms along the rivers and some creeks. Elevations are predominantly 120 to 145 feet above sea level. The largest waterway, the Neuse River, bisects the lower central portion of the county and cuts a deep channel 20 to 40 feet deep as it flows in an eastward direction. Unusual river bluffs occur in the vicinity of Seven Springs. In addition to the Neuse River, the county is drained by the Little River, the Northeast Cape Fear River and numerous creeks.

Wayne County is underlain by unconsolidated beds of sand, clay and gravel. For the most part, these beds were deposited in seawater as the sea advanced and retreated during the geologic development of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. To a much lesser extent, streams deposited layers of sediment which mixed with that deposited on the sea floor.

The climate in Wayne County is characterized by warm summers and moderate winters. The average temperature is about 62 degrees. Annual precipitation is about 50 inches of rainfall per year, with the major portion occurring in the late spring and summer.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 6,115
1800 6,772 10.7%
1810 8,687 28.3%
1820 9,040 4.1%
1830 10,331 14.3%
1840 10,891 5.4%
1850 13,486 23.8%
1860 14,905 10.5%
1870 18,144 21.7%
1880 24,951 37.5%
1890 26,100 4.6%
1900 31,356 20.1%
1910 35,698 13.8%
1920 43,640 22.2%
1930 53,013 21.5%
1940 58,328 10.0%
1950 64,267 10.2%
1960 82,059 27.7%
1970 85,408 4.1%
1980 97,054 13.6%
1990 104,666 7.8%
2000 113,329 8.3%
2010 122,623 8.2%
Est. 2015 124,132 1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 113,329 people, 42,612 households, and 30,254 families residing in the county. The population density was 205 people per square mile (79/km²). There were 47,313 housing units at an average density of 86 per square mile (33/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.28% White, 33.02% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.07% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 4.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 42,612 households out of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 15.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,942, and the median income for a family was $40,492. Males had a median income of $28,396 versus $21,854 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,010. About 10.20% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 15.20% of those age 65 or over.



  • Air: Wayne County is served through nearby Kinston Regional Jetport (IATA: ISOICAO: KISO) with service to Orlando, Florida. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is the closest major airport with service to more than 45 domestic and international destinations. Wayne Executive Jetport is an airport located in Wayne County, but is only used for general aviation.
  • Interstate Highway: Interstate 795 (I-795) links Goldsboro to Interstate 95 near Wilson, NC in Wilson County.
  • Wayne County is not served directly by passenger trains. The closest Amtrak station is located in Selma, NC.
  • Bus: The county is served by Greyhound with a location in Goldsboro.


  • The main highway in Wayne County is US 70, which offers access to the North Carolina coast, the capital city of Raleigh and I-95. The only interstate in Wayne County is I-795, which is a direct connector with I-95 and US 264.
  • Other highways that run through the county include US 13, US 117, and NC 111, NC 222, and NC 581.

Work is currently being done on NC 44, which will become the Goldsboro Bypass upon completion.


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




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


  • Brogden
  • Buck Swamp
  • Fork
  • Goldsboro
  • Grantham
  • Hood Swamp
  • Indian Springs
  • Nahunta
  • New Hope
  • Pikeville
  • Saulston
  • Stoney Creek
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