About North Carolina
Population: 7.1 million
Carolina Roadside Wildflower Program
(11th in country)
52,669 square miles
(28th in country)
- Nickname: Tar
Heel State -- the origin is clothed in mystery, but it probably
evolved from the fact that during the Colonial period, the colony's
chief exports were tar, pitch and turpentine.
The 21st century has seen the transformation of
North Carolina from a predominately agricultural state to a major
industrial center, with about 17% of the workforce now employed
in manufacturing. Although North Carolina is the eleventh-most-populous
state, it ranks eighth largest in the country in manufacturing.
Textiles are the top industry in the state,
and its presence dates back to 1813 when North Carolina's first
cotton mill was built near Lincolnton. Today, North Carolina is
the foremost textile manufacturer in the U.S., producing cotton
and synthetic fabrics, yarns, threads, knitted goods, apparel and
The Tar Heel State is also a leader in the
production of wooden furniture. Some 60% of the furniture
manufactured in the U.S. is made within a 200-mile radius of Hickory,
home of a nationally known furniture outlet center and a furniture
Also internationally known as the “Home
Furnishings Capital of the World,” High Point has
more than 125 furniture manufacturing factories and is home to one
of North Carolina 's largest events...the International Home Furnishings
Market, a wholesale buyers market, which takes place there each
April and October.
North Carolina 's biggest city, Charlotte,
is the second largest banking center in the U.S. Two of
the country's biggest banks, Bank of America and Wachovia, are headquartered
there. The 60-story Bank of America Corporate Center is one of the
largest buildings in the Southeast. Charlotte is also home to a
branch of the Federal Reserve, which offers group tours.
High tech industries are primarily located
in Research Triangle Park, an important
scientific think tank located
between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. With the resources and
people available at North Carolina
State University , Duke University and the University of North Carolina
(UNC) at Chapel Hill, the park has become an international
center for research, development and cutting edge technology.
Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill are also major
national centers for medical research and the latest in
medical treatments. Because of its location along the East Coast
and excellent highway system, North Carolina is also an
important distribution center.
Tobacco is North Carolina 's major crop,
and the state's farmers raise around 40% of the tobacco grown in
the U.S. , making North Carolina the country's top producer. The
state is also the nation's leader in the production of cigarettes
and other tobacco products; about half of the nation's cigarettes
are made here.
Growing grapes for the production of wine is becoming
increasingly important. The state is ranked 10th nationally
in grape production and 12th for wine production. Conditions
make it possible to grow a variety of grapes here, including the
native scuppernong, also known as the "big white grape."
In 2005, there were 45 wineries in the state, including the one
at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville , the most visited winery in
the U.S. , as well as several smaller ones also open for public
tours, such as the Westbend Winery in Lewisville and the Duplin
Wine Cellars in Rose Hill.
For more information on North Carolina wineries,
go to www.ncwine.org/fastfacts.html.
The state is also among the country's top producers
of peanuts, pork and turkey.
For more information about North Carolina , click
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