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.

New Hanover County, North Carolina

New Hanover County Education, Geography, and HistoryNew Hanover County, North Carolina Courthouse

New Hanover County is one of 100 counties located in the state of North Carolina. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 202,667. Though second smallest in area, it is one of the most populous as its county seat, Wilmington, is one of the state's largest cities. The county was created in 1729 as New Hanover Precinct and gained county status in 1739.

New Hanover County is included in the Wilmington, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which also includes neighboring Pender county.

Etymology - Origin of New Hanover County Name

It was named in honor of the royal family of England, members of the House of Hanover.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

New Hanover County History

New Hanover was formed in 1729 from Craven. It was named in honor of the royal family of England, members of the House of Hanover. It is in the southeastern section of the State and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Fear River, and Brunswick and Pender counties. The present land area is 198.93 square miles and the population in 2000 was 160,327. New Town or Newton was its first county seat. It was changed to Wilmington in 1739.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 328 square miles (850 km2), of which 192 square miles (500 km2) is land and 137 square miles (350 km2) (42%) is water. It is the second-smallest county in North Carolina by land area (behind only Chowan County).

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Pender County - north
  • Brunswick County - west


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