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Whiteville, North Carolina facts for kids

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Whiteville, North Carolina
Columbus County Courthouse
Columbus County Courthouse
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Columbus
 • Total 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 • Land 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 101 ft (30 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,394
 • Density 987/sq mi (381.2/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28472
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-73660
GNIS feature ID 1025798

Whiteville is a city in Columbus County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 5,394 at the 2010 census. It is the largest city in Columbus County and is the county seat.


The city was named in 1810 for James B. White, the original owner of the town site. A post office called Whiteville has been in operation since 1821.

In 1950, Whiteville fielded a professional minor league baseball team in the Class D Tobacco State League. Named the Tobs, the club lasted only one season before disbanding with the entire league.

The Columbus County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.


Whiteville is located in north-central Columbus County at 34°19′48″N 78°42′16″W / 34.33°N 78.70444°W / 34.33; -78.70444 (34.330096, -78.704533). Combined U.S. Routes 74 and 76 bypass the city on its north side and lead east 46 miles (74 km) to Wilmington. US 74 leads northwest 32 miles (51 km) to Lumberton, and US 76 leads west 67 miles (108 km) to Florence, South Carolina. U.S. Route 701 passes through the west side of Whiteville, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Elizabethtown and southwest 44 miles (71 km) to Conway, South Carolina.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Whiteville has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14.1 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 372
1900 634 70.4%
1910 1,368 115.8%
1920 1,604 17.3%
1930 2,203 37.3%
1940 3,011 36.7%
1950 4,238 40.8%
1960 4,683 10.5%
1970 4,195 −10.4%
1980 5,565 32.7%
1990 5,078 −8.8%
2000 5,148 1.4%
2010 5,394 4.8%
Est. 2015 5,589 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,148 people, 2,191 households, and 1,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 957.5 people per square mile (369.5/km²). There were 2,450 housing units at an average density of 455.7 per square mile (175.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.51% White, 36.67% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.

There were 2,191 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 20.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 77.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,455, and the median income for a family was $34,128. Males had a median income of $35,074 versus $23,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,337. About 19.0% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.0% of those under age 18 and 33.7% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

The city is the site of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville, a satellite museum of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Annual events include the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival. In addition, the state-recognized Waccamaw Siouan tribe holds an annual powwow in October with numerous public events.

The News Reporter, the official newspaper that serves Columbus County, is based in Whiteville. It has been published since 1896.

The stretch of U.S. Route 701 through Columbus County is named for Whiteville's founder, James B. White, who was elected as Columbus County's first state )senator. (State senators originally represented the geographic jurisdictions of counties. The state legislature was long biased in favor of rural counties with less population as a result. In the late 20th century reapportionment was required in order to reflect population and the one man, one vote principle of fair representation.)

Representation in other media

  • Whiteville was the site of filming for the courthouse-burning scene in the 1996 Bastard out of Carolina, adapted from Dorothy Allison's novel of the same name.


Although the railroad tracks leading from west of town toward Lake Waccamaw have long been disconnected, Whiteville is served by the Columbus County Municipal Airport and several highways, which include U.S. Route 74, U.S. Route 76, U.S. Route 701, North Carolina Highway 130, and North Carolina Highway 131.

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