North Carolina Counties
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North Carolina Counties

North Carolina is divided into one hundred counties. The establishment of North Carolina counties stretches over 240 years, beginning in 1668 with the creation of Albemarle County and ending with the 1911 creation of Avery and Hoke counties. Five counties have been divided or abolished altogether, the last being Dobbs County in 1791.

Catawba County, North Carolina

Catawba County Education, Geography, and HistoryCatawba County, North Carolina Courthouse

Catawba County is a county located in the state of North Carolina. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 154,810. Its county seat is Newton, and its largest city is Hickory.

Catawba County is part of the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Catawba County Name

It was named for an Indian tribe which lived in that section of the State.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Catawba County History

Catawba was formed in 1842 from Lincoln. It was named for an Indian tribe which lived in that section of the State. It is in the west central section of the State and is bounded by Iredell Lincoln, Burke, Caldwell and Alexander counties. The present land area is 399.97 square miles and the 2000 population was 141,686. The act establishing the county named commissioners to acquire land within two miles of the center of the county, lay out a town by the name of Newton, and erect a courthouse. Controversy developed over the location. Consequently in 1845 an act was passed authorizing the erecting of the courthouse in Newton, which is now the county seat.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 399 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.6%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Alexander County - north
  • Iredell County - east
  • Lincoln County - south
  • Burke County - west
  • Caldwell County - northwest
  • Mecklenburg County - southeast


Most of the county is served by Catawba County Schools.

Newton and Conover are served by the Newton-Conover City School System.

Most of Hickory is served by the Hickory City School System.

Higher education

Lenoir - Rhyne University
Catawba Valley Community College
Appalachian Center at Hickory
NC Center for Engineering Technologies

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