The Most Populated County in North Carolina
Officially hitting one million residents in 2019, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, is the state's most populated county and one of its most-visited regions. Home to tourist-attracting Charlotte, along with plenty of much-loved smaller towns, Mecklenburg County appeals to more and more tourists and residents every year. Besides the plethora of entertainment venues, art centers, parks and sports arenas, the county benefits from moderate weather all-year-round allowing for endless outside activities and events.
Moreover, Mecklenburg County is home to the world-renowned University of North Carolina at Charlotte, drawing in scholars and researchers from a large variety of backgrounds across the USA and around the globe. The county is also home to ten Fortune 500 Companies, with its primary business deriving from the financial and manufacturing industries. As a result, the demography of the county is diverse, appealing to both individuals and families alike.
History of Mecklenburg County
The county's beginnings go all the way back to the 1760s. King George III's wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, inspired the county's name, as well as the county's biggest city, Charlotte, and even its nickname, the "Queen City!!" Originally, the county's area covered regions that would eventually become part of South Carolina, though that process would take decades to be declared. In 1799, Mecklenburg County saw an enormous increase in population as a large golden nugget was discovered in the land. The discovery lead to a gold rush in the area, which would influence the city's financial status, still prominent to this day.
Still, Mecklenburg county is most noticeable in U.S. history for being the first of the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. In fact, it is believed that The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed in 1775, an entire year before The United States' official Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776! As a result, residents of this county celebrate 'Meck Dec Day' every May 20th in observance of their independence. During this day, residents attend festivals and parades where individuals dressed in the costumes of revolutionaries pay tribute to the men who had freed them from Great Britain centuries before.
The U.S. Census Bureau states that Mecklenburg County covers an area of 546 square miles, with Charlotte taking up 300 square miles. The city consists of 199 neighborhoods and a vast 120-acre green space named Park Road Park, rife with athletic centers and greenery for residents to enjoy.
On the nature side, Mecklenburg County as a whole has plenty to offer both tourists and local residents alike. The towns of Cornelius and Davidson are located right on Lake Norman, a famous man-made lake with a diverse sea life population that attracts fishers and boat-lovers alike. Davidson also sits in the Piedmont of North Carolina. This is the plateau region located in the eastern U.S. which is situated between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains. In fact, many residents of Mecklenburg County enjoy driving north to the Appalachian Mountains to try their hand at hiking. As many of the trails of the mountains in the region are quite strenuous, visitors typically include more advanced hikers. However, beginners will get a kick out of the unparalleled view and varied wildlife there.
Diversity Lives in Mecklenburg
The demographics of Mecklenburg County are wide and diverse, with the county's median age sitting at 35 years-old. A 2019 consensus found that the racial makeup of the county is assorted, with 57% of the population White, 33% Black and the following 10% predominantly Hispanic, Asian and Native American. 32% of households included families with children under 18 and 36% of households consisted of non-families. The county's high-educational institutes account for its still-prominent population of 25 to 44 year-olds, with a lower population of those 65 and older (8.60%).
Mecklenburg: Banking Central
The banking business and relevant financial sectors make up the majority of the county's economy, with the Bank of America headquarters nestled right in Charlotte, as well as the east coast hub for Wells Fargo. A handful of other prominent businesses call Charlotte their home as well, including Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive and Nucor Corporation. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte also remain two of the city's largest employers.
Mecklenburg County Attractions
When it comes to Mecklenburg county, the question is what not to do. Charlotte, being the largest city, holds most of the county's well-known attractions, perfect for art lovers, music and theater fans, sports enthusiasts and big-time shoppers.
There's an art center for just about every kind of art connoisseur in Charlotte, from modern art museums to more science-based galleries. The top art hotspots include the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Discovery Place and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Of course, race car lovers will find their dream land at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where visitors can enjoy honoring the greatest drivers in the sport.
Sports fans will know (and hopefully love!) the NFL's Carolina Panthers, based in Charlotte, as well as the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. Fans can catch a football game at the massive Bank of America Stadium, and a basketball game at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Those who would rather get their own game going can enjoy playing ball in Mecklenburg county's many parks, such as Lake Wylie and Lake Norman.
Shoppers can shop to their heart's content all across Mecklenburg county, with the top shopping sights being Carolina Place Mall, Concord Mills Mall, Northlake Mall and SouthPark Mall. Alternatively, family visitors will have to check out the area's amusement parks as well, including Carowinds, Great Wolf Lodge and Ray's Splash Planet. One thing's for sure -- it's hard to be bored in Mecklenburg County!