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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. Combine that with quality health care, top universities, a low cost of living and it’s easy to see why most people who live here never want to leave.

Our state is renowned for its natural resources with more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline and the highest mountain peaks east of the Rockies. Our communities are healthy, attractive and thriving. North Carolina consistently ranks at the top among places to live and do business.


NC Counties

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.


Our moderate climate is characterized by mild winters, long pleasant periods of spring and fall, and warm summers.

NC Region Average Temperature Average Rainfall Average Snowfall
Mountains 55 degrees 48 inches 16 inches
Piedmont 59 degrees 41 inches 8 inches
Coast 64 degrees 54 inches 2 inches

Mountains to the Coast: Geography

There are three distinct landforms of the Southeast and of North Carolina: the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont and the Appalachian Mountains. The Coastal Plain is low, flat to gently sloping land that extends along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. We have 300 miles of white sandy beaches. The Piedmont, characterized by hilly, rolling land, borders the Coastal Plain. The Piedmont extends from Virginia to Alabama. The Appalachian Mountains, the largest range in the eastern United States, stretch from Canada to northern Alabama.

Cost of Living

North Carolina’s cost of living rivals that of many states across the country. From housing and utilities to everyday supplies and groceries, and from transportation to health care, our cost of living is below the national average based on the ACCRA Cost of Living Index.

Health Care

North Carolina has numerous nationally ranked medical facilities along with affordable health care costs. Four respected medical schools produce a wealth of medical professionals who spend some portion of their careers at the state’s six research hospitals and 100 community hospitals.


North Carolina is proud to have been the first in the nation to address learning standards, student tests and school accountability simultaneously. We have a vibrant, comprehensive community college system and outstanding public and private universities. Learn more about education in NC.


We have the second largest state-maintained highway system in the nation as well as more than 70 public and nearly 300 private and four international airports. North Carolina also maintains the largest ferry system on the East Coast. North Carolina’s Amtrak/NC By Train operates the Piedmont and Carolinian passenger trains, offering daily service to Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and nine other North Carolina cities.

10.3 Million North Carolinians With 23% under 18 and 15% over 65
2ndLargest Highway System With 15,000 miles of primary highways. NC has 3,300 miles of train tracks and 70 public airports
1stTop Sweet Potato Grower in U.S. And the second largest producer of Christmas trees in the country