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General Demographics

Total Population, 2022
42,9551
Population Change, April 2020 - July 2022
-1521
Projected 2050 Population
53,0192
Under 18 Years Old
6,8841
Age 18-64 Years
27,0521
Age 65+ Years
9,0191
Median Age
39.23

Race / Ethnicity 3

White
79.68%3
Black/African American
1.93%3
Native American
7.36%3
Asian/Pacific Islander
1.08%3
Hispanic/Latino
6.53%3
Multi-Racial
3.16%3
Other Single Race
0.27%3
Sources

Financial Stability

Residents Below Federal Poverty Level, 2022
17.6%4
Median Household Income, 2022
$58,4914
Sources

Housing

Cost-Burdened Households (Spend 30% of Household Income on Housing)
25.2%5
Typical Home Value (July, 2023)
$405,4876
Median Gross Rent, 2 Bedroom Unit
$7615
Sources

Education

4-Year County High School Graduation Rate
87.8%7
Postsecondary Enrollment
44%8
Postsecondary Attainment (25-44 Year Olds With a Postsecondary Degree/Credential)
42.7%8
Sources

Employment

2024 County Economic Distress Tier
29
Total Workforce Employed, 2022
18,94010
Total Workforce Unemployed, 2022
74910
Average Weekly Wage, 2022
$87411
Residents Working in Home County
77.3%12
Labor Force Participation Rate
56.2%12
Unemployment Rate (Annual Average), 2022
3.8%13
Annual Living Wage - 1 Adult, 1 Child Household (Pre-Tax)
$67,41414
Avgerage Employment Change, 2012-22
2142 (18% Growth)11
Gross Domestic Product, 2022
$1,945,14315
Top Industry By Employment, 2021
Accommodation and Food Services (4,295 Employees)16
Top Employer in County, 2022
Western Carolina University (1000+ Employees)11
Sources

Health

Residents Uninsured
15.1%17
County Health Outcomes Rank
4218
Food Insecurity Rate, 2021
14.1%19
Primary Care Physicians Per 10K Residents, 2022
5.8220
Overdose Deaths Per 100 Thousand Residents, 2021
50.121
Life Expectancy
7818
Sources

Broadband

Households Without Computing Device (Laptop, Smartphone, etc.)
7.0%22
Broadband Availability Index Score, 2021
51.023
Households without an Internet Subscription
23.9%22
Sources

Infrastructure

Designation of Water/Wastewater System as Distressed
No24

**Distressed is defined as a “public water system or wastewater system operated by a local government unit exhibiting signs of failure to identify or address those financial or operating needs necessary to enable that system to become or to remain a local government unit generating sufficient revenues to adequately fund management and operations, personnel, appropriate levels of maintenance, and reinvestment that facilitate the provision of reliable water or wastewater services” per Session Law 2020-79.**

Sources

Small Business: Statewide Data

Small businesses make up 99.6% of all NC Businesses.25

44.5% of all North Carolinians are small business employees.25

Business Ownership

Business Ownership - Women
44.8%25
Business Ownership - Veterans
8.0%25
Business Ownership - People of Color
20.8%25

Business Creation

2020
126,60026
2021
178,30026
2022
171,40026

Business Revenue

2019
$125,700,00026
2020
$141,400,00026
2021
$159,200,00026

Employment Data

Small Business Employment Change, March 2020 - March 2021
Net decrease of 11,762 jobs25
Small Business Establishment Change, March 2020 - March 2021
Net increase of 14,936 businesses25

Agriculture

Farms
45,00027
Acres of Farmland
8,300,00027
Average Acreage of NC Farms
18427

Major Sectors

Major Business Sectors
Aerospace and Defense; Automotive, Truck & Heavy Machinery; Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals; Business and Financial Services; Corporate Headquarters; Energy; Food Processing and Manufacturing; Furniture; Information Technology; Plastics and Chemicals; Textiles; Tourism28
Sources