How are NC Counties Faring? Economic Data from 100 Counties

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The NC Budget and Tax Center's 2012-2013 County Economic Snapshot is a bi-annual publication (released April 2014) that provides a look at how well counties in North Carolina are faring across key indicators of economic well-being and opportunity. Indicators were selected based on several factors including availability, reliability, and consistency as well as what they can tell us about the conditions in our state's 100 counties.

The snapshots, accessible below by clicking on the county of interest, include indicators on employment, poverty and income, housing, health, education, and supports for working families—all of which come from a variety of sources.

Click on the map of counties or on the county names in the sortable table below to access full data for each county.

The snapshots are a way for everyday North Carolinians, advocates, service providers and policymakers to track and evaluate important indicators of community well-being. In the past, our Economic Snapshots have been used in various ways among our partners and the public—to support grant applications, inform a blog post or newsletters on community issues or as content for a letter to the editor on how policy can address gaps in economic opportunity locally.

County Poverty Rate1 Graduation Rate2 Life Expectancy3 Number of N.C. EITC Returns4 Value of N.C. EITC5
Alamance 19.5% 78.1% 77.9 14,626 $1,759,085
Alexander 17.1% 85.2% 77.4 3,212 $366,821
Alleghany 21.0% 89.8% 78.6 985 $106,851
Anson 26.8% 77.4% 75.8 3,205 $427,649
Ashe 20.2% 84.8% 77.9 2,434 $252,768
Avery 22.7% 87.1% 77.5 1,429 $146,352
Beaufort 19.0% 78.8% 76.5 5,126 $660,738
Bertie 27.0% 78.2% 76.6 2,679 $351,311
Bladen 25.5% 78.9% 75.7 3,760 $488,386
Brunswick 15.8% 85.7% 78.3 8,431 $968,295
Buncombe 17.7% 80.5% 79.2 20,520 $2,127,185
Burke 19.1% 88.0% 76.5 7,955 $908,861
Cabarrus 13.2% 86.2% 78.2 14,428 $1,723,452
Caldwell 20.4% 89.4% 75.5 8,102 $958,578
Camden 9.7% 84.7% 79.1 606 $65,452
Carteret 15.4% 84.7% 77.8 5,303 $564,365
Caswell 20.8% 78.8% 75.9 2,319 $268,935
Catawba 18.5% 89.5% 76.6 14,977 $1,743,502
Chatham 12.7% 85.3% 81.3 3,959 $450,090
Cherokee 25.1% 91.7% 76.6 2,546 $300,905
Chowan 20.8% 81.5% 78 1,609 $206,970
Clay 18.5% 88.8% 77.8 951 $107,152
Cleveland 22.9% 83.3% 75 10,345 $1,287,496
Columbus 25.3% 83.6% 74.2 6,555 $857,672
Craven 16.4% 86.0% 78 8,568 $1,031,688
Cumberland 17.0% 81.7% 76.1 31,752 $4,034,901
Currituck 12.5% 87.7% 76.6 1,582 $173,514
Dare 10.7% 91.4% 79.1 2,722 $275,425
Davidson 16.5% 83.8% 76.8 15,071 $1,764,884
Davie 12.8% 83.2% 79.1 2,999 $340,998
Duplin 23.6% 79.9% 78.1 6,147 $812,892
Durham 19.3% 79.6% 79.4 23,943 $2,903,174
Edgecombe 28.1% 77.4% 75.8 8,276 $1,156,384
Forsyth 21.2% 82.1% 78.2 30,913 $3,739,634
Franklin 16.7% 80.8% 78.1 5,194 $636,921
Gaston 17.8% 81.2% 75.6 19,741 $2,371,158
Gates 17.4% 91.4% 77 906 $108,167
Graham 22.5% 86.5% 75.1 846 $101,232
Granville 19.9% 77.1% 78.8 4,843 $572,572
Greene 27.1% 87.3% 78.6 1,996 $265,093
Guilford 18.1% 86.2% 79 47,545 $5,760,018
Halifax 29.2% 78.6% 74.8 7,533 $995,967
Harnett 18.9% 77.1% 77 10,161 $1,254,612
Haywood 16.1% 83.0% 78.4 5,084 $561,490
Henderson 14.2% 88.0% 79.5 7,868 $872,272
Hertford 30.5% 82.6% 77 2,708 $360,408
Hoke 20.7% 70.5% 76.4 4,963 $663,836
Hyde 24.3% 86.8% 76.7 507 $61,796
Iredell 14.4% 89.0% 77.3 13,013 $1,479,914
Jackson 22.4% 83.7% 79 2,838 $295,501
Johnston 16.8% 82.5% 77.4 14,148 $1,728,960
Jones 20.1% 81.0% 75 955 $113,306
Lee 17.8% 86.2% 76.8 5,935 $741,147
Lenoir 23.6% 77.9% 75.3 7,410 $960,924
Lincoln 14.6% 86.4% 77.3 5,726 $659,769
Macon 20.4% 86.1% 77.8 2,920 $321,250
Madison 19.9% 85.9% 78.8 1,908 $211,249
Martin 24.7% 76.3% 75.9 2,532 $318,761
McDowell 20.2% 78.2% 77.4 4,239 $493,732
Mecklenburg 16.1% 81.0% 80.2 85,331 $10,758,579
Mitchell 20.0% 88.0% 77.1 1,281 $141,575
Montgomery 23.6% 85.3% 77 2,703 $349,818
Moore 16.0% 81.7% 80.1 6,857 $812,486
Nash 20.8% 79.4% 76.2 11,234 $1,449,234
New Hanover 15.9% 82.4% 79.6 15,121 $1,571,993
Northampton 31.8% 80.8% 76.6 2,377 $312,271
Onslow 14.9% 87.2% 78.3 12,901 $1,498,404
Orange 16.4% 88.7% 81.1 6,912 $685,705
Pamlico 17.3% 92.9% 78.9 1,132 $132,792
Pasquotank 17.8% 83.0% 77 3,882 $480,870
Pender 19.3% 87.2% 78.1 4,458 $525,417
Perquimans 17.8% 89.0% 78.4 1,151 $147,718
Person 16.2% 77.5% 76.9 3,762 $435,336
Pitt 24.0% 77.6% 77.9 16,755 $2,179,889
Polk 18.3% 82.6% 79.9 1,444 $162,370
Randolph 17.9% 88.4% 77.1 13,123 $1,568,385
Richmond 24.6% 74.1% 73.9 6,065 $841,317
Robeson 34.7% 85.1% 74.3 18,368 $2,548,008
Rockingham` 19.1% 76.3% 76.1 8,907 $1,032,920
Rowan 19.2% 82.9% 75.9 13,307 $1,635,729
Rutherford 18.2% 77.7% 76.4 6,391 $762,577
Sampson 21.9% 77.2% 76.1 7,035 $892,979
Scotland 30.7% 72.8% 74.5 5,046 $699,882
Stanly 17.2% 82.3% 76.6 5,352 $610,847
Stokes 17.8% 86.8% 77.2 3,721 $421,082
Surry 18.6% 87.6% 76.6 6,512 $765,613
Swain 20.9% 80.8% 72.2 1,889 $205,240
Transylvania 15.8% 86.0% 80.4 2,472 $274,545
Tyrrell 28.9% 87.3% 74.8 506 $63,327
Union 11.6% 90.8% 79.3 13,517 $1,651,352
Vance 25.8% 64.9% 75.4 6,088 $787,124
Wake 11.6% 81.0% 81.3 59,711 $6,882,415
Warren 25.4% 75.3% 78.4 2,167 $273,968
Washington 27.4% 84.8% 77.6 1,620 $204,305
Watauga 29.5% 87.6% 81.5 2,874 $259,358
Wayne 23.4% 77.6% 76.3 12,071 $1,524,017
Wilkes 19.9% 90.1% 77.4 6,815 $798,285
Wilson 23.8% 79.7% 77.1 10,195 $1,341,101
Yadkin 19.3% 82.9% 77.6 3,263 $375,622
Yancey 20.3% 82.3% 76.4 1,555 $167,928
North Carolina 18.0% 82.5% 78.2 906,916 $107,660,805

1 The poverty rate is the number of people living below the federal poverty line as a percentage of the total population. Source: US Census Bureau, 2012.

2 The Graduation Rate is the share of students in a four-year cohort who completes high school in four years or less. Source:, NC Department of Public Instruction, 2012-2013.

3 Life Expectancy is the average number of additional years of life remaining after birth. Source: NC State Center for Health Statistics, 2010-2012.

4 The Number of N.C. EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) Returns is the number of taxpayers who claimed the state EITC in tax year 2012. Source: Special data request to the NC Department of Revenue.

5 The Value of N.C. Earned Income Tax Credit in tax year 2012. Source: Special data request to the NC Department of Revenue.