79 North Carolina Facts and Weird Laws

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Most people overlook North Carolina for other states. 

The State has a long history that helped shape the United States. 

You can visit the State to learn the history of this State, tour the attractions, or enjoy sports.

Other than soybeans and sweet potatoes, North Carolina has produced some of the most famous people in the world. 

Here is a list of North Carolina fun facts, including famous locations, people, and common misconceptions about this State.

Best Fun Facts About North Carolina

  1. Roanoke was the first British colony in North America.
  2. Biltmore Estate is the biggest house in the country.
  3. North Carolina is home to the first-ever Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
  4. Outer Banks, though scenic, is known as the “graveyard of the Atlantic”.
  5. You can’t turn yourself in to collect the reward money in North Carolina.
Credits: Unsplash

North Carolina Facts – Politics And Government

  1. North Carolina’s politics show a close race between the Democratic Party presidential candidate and the Republican party candidate. 
  2. During the 2020 presidential elections, Trump won North Carolina by the narrowest victory in the country—1.35% margin.
  3. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win North  Carolina was Barack Obama in 2008.
  4. Biden won the presidency without winning Robeson County, becoming the first-ever Democrat to achieve this feat. 
  5. North Carolina politics shows a southern swing state.
  6. The Republican presidential candidate has won North Carolina in nine of the last ten presidential elections.
  7. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win North Carolina was the former president Barack Obama in 2008. Jimmy Carter’s election in the 1976 presidential elections saw him win this State. The two (Obama & Carter) remain the only Democrats two-win North Carolina since 1976.
  8. Governors of the State of North Carolina have mostly been Democrats.
  9. North Carolina has thirteen congressional districts.
  10. The State boasts fifteen electoral votes in the electoral college.

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North Carolina Facts – History

  1. The earliest cultures have inhabited North Carolina about 10,000 years BCE.
  2. These people built earthworm mounds for ceremonies and religious functions.
  3. The Cherokee Nation settled in North Carolina from the Great Lakes region.
  4. Cahokia City, built by the Mississippian people, was the largest city.
  5. The Mississippian shatter zone, a destabilizing incident, led to the formation of the Catawba Indian Nation.
  6. Hernando de Soto and other Spanish explorers documented meeting the Mississippian people at the present-day Morganton.
  7. The Spanish claim of the area came in 1567 when Juan Pardo led an expedition to this region.
  8. Juan Pardo and his men built forts, including Fort San Juan.
  9. The natives killed all the Pardo’s men except one, burning all the forts.
  10. North Carolina was the second American territory that the British tried to colonize.
  11. Virginia Dare is the first English child born in the country. Dare County got its name from her.
  12. King Charles II of England named this region Carolina in honor of his dad. The King consented to a charter to start a North American colony.
  13. The Carolina colony split into North Carolina and South Carolina in 1712 because of governance-related disputes.
  14. North Carolina was made a crown colony in 1729.
  15. Nearly one-half of the Cherokee Nation died in the 1738 Smallpox epidemic.
  16. Most of the English settlers arrived in North Carolina from Virginia. A good number of the English settled in the Albemarle Settlements.
  17. Both Edenton and New Bern towns served as capital cities of the province of North Carolina. 
  18. This territory was largely divided during the American Revolutionary War. While the English and Scots from the Eastern portion of North Carolina supported the British Crown, their counterparts from the Western part helped Americans.
American Revolutionary War. Credits: Vox
  1. North Carolina is the first colony to urge its delegates to vote for independence in the Continental Congress–on April 12, 1776.
  2. Wilmington, North Carolina, was the last port to come under the Union during the American Civil War.
  3. Private Henry Wyatt, the confederate soldier from North Carolina, was the first to be killed in the American Civil War.
  4. North Carolina became a one-party state following the reconstruction era. Democratic Party was the dominant party.
  5. North Carolina was the site for the first successful flight of the Wright Brothers’ aircraft.
  6. North Carolina is the 12th State to join the Union. This State was granted admission on November 12, 1789.
  7. Johnston James was instrumental in the adoption of the  North Carolina State Flag.

North Carolina Facts – Geography

Credits: Unsplash@Elijah
  1. North Carolina is the 28th largest State in the country, with 53,819 square miles.
  2. North Carolina is located in the southeastern portion of the United States, the South Atlantic Division.
  3. Also known as the Tar Heel State, North Carolina borders Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, and the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. North Carolina has three geographical regions, namely the Atlantic Coastal Plains (Eastern North Carolina), Piedmont (Central), and the Appalachian Mountains in the Western part of the State. The coastal regions consist of the Outer Banks.
  5. Over one thousand ships have gone aground at the Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, including the Queen Anne’s Revenge lost at the Beaufort Inlet in 1718.
Hatteras Island. Credits: Unsplash@Gene Gallin
  1. The Piedmont region is home to six of the State’s most populous cities.
  2. The Piedmont area is home to the Pilot Mountain, Sauratown Mountains, Crowders Mountains, the South Mountains, Brushy Mountains, Uwharrie Mountains, and the King’s Pinnacle.
  3. The Black Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains are the subranges of the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains.
  4.  Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, is located in the Black Mountain, Western North Carolina. The mountain stands at 6,684 feet above sea level.
  5. The Tar Heel State is home to seventeen main river basins. These rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean except five (west of the Blue Ridge Mountains), which flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Stream. Credits: Unsplash@Jeff
  1. Eleven out of the seventeen river basins originate in this state, but only four are entirely within the State. The four rivers include the White Oak, Tar-Pamlico, Cape Fear, and the Neuse.
  2. The Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean influence the climate of North Carolina state.
  3. Tar Heel State experiences adverse weather in both the Summer and Winter. The Winter is often accompanied by Hurricanes, flooding, heavy rains, or tropical storms.
  4. The 1954 Hurricane Hazel hit the State of North Carolina. This Hurricane is the strongest ever to hit the country. However, Hurricane Isabel is considered the most destructive 21st century Hurricane.
  5. North Carolina experiences less than 20 Tornadoes per year. 
  6. The worst Tornado outbreak occurred in 2011 when 30 Tornadoes hit the ground, killing 24 people.

North Carolina Facts – Flora And Fauna

Blue Ridge Mountains. Credits: Unsplash
  1. North Carolina is the most unique of the Southeastern states. It is home to temperate, boreal, and sub-tropical habitats.
  2. The official state symbols for animals include gray squirrel(Mammal), Honeybee (insect), Colonial Spanish Mustang(Horse), and plott hound(dog).
  3. The animals native to North Carolina include the American Beaver, Raccoon, Nine-banded armadillos, North American River Otter, Coyotes, American Bison, Red Fox, and Cougar.
  4. The endangered animal species living in North Carolina include the Indiana bat, Red Wolf, Northern Flying Squirrel, and Virginia big-eared rabbit.
  5. Over 470 bird species live in North Carolina. These birds include the Trumpeter Swan, the American Wigeon, Wild Turkey, Ringed-necked pheasant, Rock Pigeon, Passenger pigeon,  Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern-Whip-Poor-Will, and the Northern Cardinal.
  6. The freshwater fish in this State include the Largemouth bass, Flathead catfish, pumpkinseed, brook trout, Cape Fear Shiner, and walleye.
  7. The Saltwater fish include the barracuda, hammerhead, dolphin, bluefin tuna, Spanish Mackerel, and white marlin.
  8. North Carolina is home to four national forests, including Pisgah,  Nantahala,  Uwharrie, and Croatan National forests.
  9. The official state symbols for plants are Fraser fir( Christmas tree), flower ( Dogwood), and Venus flytrap(Carnivorous plant).
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Plants native to the Old North state include Carolina Lupine, Northern Maidenhair Fern, Dwarf Crested Iris, Eastern Blue Star, and Swamp Milkweed.

North Carolina Facts – Demographics

  1.  With over 10,439,388, North Carolina is the 9th most populous State.
  2.  North Carolina has an average of 196 people per square mile, making this State the 15th population density.
  3. Raleigh City is the capital city of North Carolina.
  4. Charlotte is the most extensive city in North Carolina. 
  5. North Carolina is divided into 100 counties.
  6. The median age of the North Carolina population is about 38 years.
  7.  The religious composition of the people of North Carolina shows 77% Christians, 3% non-christian faiths, and 20% unaffiliated.
  8. The racial composition includes 68.68% Whites, 21.44% Black or African Americans, 3.09% other race, 2.85% Asians, 2.66% Two or more races, 1.21% Native American, and 0.07% Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders.
  9. Biltmore Estate, Asheville, is the nation’s largest private residence.
  10. Residents of North Carolina are called North Carolinians.

North Carolina Facts – Economy

  1. North Carolina’s economy generates over 498 billion dollars in GDP.
  2. The economy of the State of North Carolina is the 17th best in the country.
  3. After the Civil War, the State’s economy depended largely on Textile mills, Timber Mills, and Tobacco mills. North Carolina was once the furniture capital of the world, but the furniture plus the other two industries have since declined.
  4. North Carolina’s economy today is largely focused on banking, pharmaceuticals, vehicle parts, food processing, and technology. 
  5. The State’s healthcare is the 30th best in the country. Healthcare quality ranks 21st in the nation, while Healthcare access is 25th.
  6. North Carolina’s higher education ranks 7th in the country.
  7. Federal government employment is vital to N.C. economy. About 2% of all N.C. jobs are from the government. That is 1 out of 25. 
The University of North Carolina. Credits: Unsplash
  1. North Carolina ranks 22nd in the nation in terms of infrastructure. 

Famous Locations in North Carolina

  1. The Blue Ridge Parkway, located in Western North Carolina, is America’s favorite drive with scenic hiking trails and museums.
  2. Biltmore Estate, Asheville, is a must-visit site in North Carolina. It’s the largest private residence in the USA.
Biltmore home. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The beaches of the Outer Banks are beautiful. You can also visit the beach towns of Avon, Nags Head, and Kitty Hawk.
Beaches. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Outer Banks is home to the longest-running outdoor drama, the lost colony outdoor drama.
  2. Linville Gorge and falls, located in the Pisgah National Forest, is the deepest gorge in the eastern US.
  3. Downhill Skiing at North Carolina’s five resorts.
  4. Battleship North Carolina was once the greatest weapon at sea.
  5. North Carolina Museum of Natural sciences, located in Raleigh, is the oldest museum in the State.
  6. Cape Hatteras, located in Manteo, was the nation’s first preservation area.
  7. North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, North Carolina.
  8. North Carolina Aquarium
  9. Chimney Rock State Park is located in Chimney Rock, 25 miles southeast of Asheville. 
  10. Grandfather Mountains in Linville, North Carolina.
  11. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Famous People From North Carolina

  • Vince McMahon, chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
  • Julianne Moore, an actress, was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
  • Luke Combs, a country music singer, was born in Huntersville.
  • Virginia Dare was the first child born in America to English parents. 
Credit: GoHeels.net

MJ is actually from New York. He was born at Cumberland Hospital in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York City, on February 17, 1963. At the age of 5, in 1968, he moved with his family to Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Common Misconceptions About North Carolina

Here are some of the Misconceptions non-North Carolinians have about this State.

North Carolina and South Carolina are the same

Yes, but that’s in the past. Carolina has since separated into distinct states.

North Carolinians are either Duke or UNC fans

No, there are other great universities to support, and everyone has their preferences.

North Carolinians only grow Tobacco

Some people from North Carolina grow corn, tomatoes, and dairy. It’s not just Tobacco.

Weird Laws in North Carolina

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many North Carolina cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. It’s against the law to borrow your neighbor’s dog.
  2. Stealing kitchen grease is illegal.
  3. It’s illegal to rollerblade on a state highway.
  4. It’s illegal to host an organized meeting wearing masks.
  5. It is prohibited for unmarried couples to have sex in hotels rooms.
  6. Sniffing glue is illegal. 
  7. Trading as a psychic may land you in trouble.
  8. You are required to remit taxes on the unauthorized drugs you sell.
  9. Don’t serve alcohol at a bingo game, and it’s illegal.
  10. Oral sex is not only illegal; it’s also a class 1 felony.
Oral sex is not only illegal; it’s also a class 1 felony. Image credit: SoundCloud

Final Thought

As you can see, North Carolina State was an influential state in shaping the country. 

Its diverse wildlife, beautiful forests, and friendly people are just some of the reasons why it’s worth your time.

What’s your favorite place in North Carolina?

North Carolina Facts And Stats

Population2020 (10,439,388)
GovernorRoy Cooper ( Democratic Party)
Date Of AdmissionNovember 21, 1789
U.S. SenatorsRichard Burr (R)
Thom Tillis (R)
US House of Representatives13 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameTar Heel StateOld North State
State Motto” To be rather than to seem”
State Song“Old North State” by Sticky
State FlowerDogwood
State Freshwater FishSouthern Appalachian Brook Trout
State BirdNorthern Cardinal
State TreePine
State MammalGray Squirrel 
State SportStock Car Racing
State MineralGold
State GemEmerald 
State FossilMegalodon Shark Teeth
Neighbor StatesSouth Carolina TennesseeVirginiaGeorgia

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 interesting things about North Carolina?

  • The Wright brothers completed their first flight over Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina is the motherland of Pepsi cola.
  • North Carolina State is home to the nation’s oldest public university, the University of North Carolina.
  • North Carolina leads in sweet potato production in the country.
  • North Carolina is home to Krispy Kreme.

What’s North Carolina known for?

  • The Cape Hatteras’s Lighthouse.
  • Biltmore Estate–the largest North Carolina home.
  • Stunning Mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and rivers. 
  • Basketball. Thanks to MJ.

Related Content: 


[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina

[2] https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/north-carolina-usnc.htm

[3]  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_North_Carolina

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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