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About NC

Scenic beauty, a moderate climate, a culture rich in history and the arts, and world-class sports and recreational opportunities make North Carolina an exceptional place to live and do business. 

A State of Beauty

viaduct in the blue ride mountains

Piedmont lake

dunes in the Outer Banks

10.4 Million North Carolinians With 22% under 18 and 16% over 65
1stBest State for Business Forbes, 2018 (NC has been in the top five for 12 consecutive years)
2ndLargest Highway System With 80,000 miles of roadways. NC has 3,300 miles of train tracks and 70 public airports

NC is Good for Business

Our state is home to some of the best and brightest minds in the country—minds that are directly shaping the future by solving some of the world’s toughest problems. Our world-renowned education system graduates thousands of students into the state’s workforce each year. 

If you’re looking for easy access to both domestic and global markets, look no further than North Carolina. Our extensive highway system, four international airports and two seaports make it obvious why North Carolina is consistently ranked as one of the top U.S. states for doing business.

Visit the NC Department of Commerce website to learn why your business needs to be in North Carolina. 

Port at Wilmington

Cost of Living

mother and child shopping for produce in a grocery store.

North Carolina enjoys a low cost of living, coupled with a high personal satisfaction level. Housing, health care, utilities, groceries and transportation all cost below the national average

Health Care

North Carolina is home to some of the top medical facilities in the U.S. There are four leading medical schools in the state, including:

  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine

We have more than 100 community hospitals, in addition to the state’s largest hospitals: Carolinas Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center. Three local hospitals rank among the best for cancer care. 

Duke University Hospital Campus

Education

Pre-K to 12

Child care teacher and children in a classroomNorth Carolina is proud to have been the first in the nation to address learning standards, student tests and school accountability simultaneously. We have 115 local public school districts and 2,500+ traditional public schools, 148 charter schools, and three residential schools for students with hearing and visual impairments. 

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction implements the state's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education. The state Standard Course of Study describes the subjects and course content that is taught in North Carolina public schools, and the assessments and accountability model used to evaluate student, school and district success.

North Carolina has the highest number of National Board-Certified teachers in the nation and ranked among the top four states for pre-kindergarten quality standards by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Universities

UNC Old Well in springThe University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States to open its doors and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century. The University of North Carolina is a public, multi-campus university dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people. It encompasses the 16 diverse constituent institutions and other educational, research, and public service organizations. 

Additionally North Carolina has 36 private, non-profit liberal arts, comprehensive, and research colleges and universities accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, including Duke University, Elon University, and Davidson College.

  • North Carolina boasts 53 colleges and universities, including 17 public universities
  • Home to four Tier 1 research universities (Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina A&T)
  • Esteemed private colleges, including Wake Forest University and Davidson College, are also located here

Community Colleges

Training on a medical dummyNC Community Colleges are one of the most comprehensive community college systems in the nation. Originally created in the years following World War II, in response to the state’s rapid shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy, community colleges in North Carolina continue to be deeply rooted in economic development and workforce training while also providing Basic Skills and literacy education, and pre-baccalaureate programs.

North Carolina’s community colleges open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well-being of individuals.

  • 800,000+ students enroll at one of the state’s 58 community college campuses each year
  • NC offers some of the most comprehensive and advanced vocational and technical programs in the country

Every NC resident lives within a 30-minute drive of a community college campus.

 

NC County Government Websites

Learn about North Carolina history and geography, local governments and facts about the life of North Carolinians today. Visit NCpedia pages for each of the North Carolina 100 counties.