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.

Orange County, North Carolina

Orange County Education, Geography, and HistoryOrange County, North Carolina Courthouse

Orange County is a county located in the state of North Carolina. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 133,801. Its county seat is Hillsborough.

Orange County is included in the Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Combined Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Orange County Name

It was named in honor of the infant William V of Orange.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Orange County History

Orange was formed in 1752 from Johnston, Bladen and Granville. It was named in honor of the infant William V of Orange. It is in the central section of the State and is bounded by Durham, Chatham, Alamance, Caswell and Person counties. The present land area is 399.84 square miles and the 2000 population was 115,331. The first courthouse was authorized to be established in 1754 where the western path crossed the Eno River on the land of James Watson. Childsburg was established in 1759 and was changed to Hillsborough in 1766. Hillsborough is the county seat.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 401 square miles (1,040 km2), of which 398 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (0.9%) is water.[20]

The county is drained, in part, by the Eno River.

The city of Chapel Hill, is in the southeastern part of Orange County, as is Carrboro. Hillsborough is in the central part of the county and is the county seat.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Person County - northeast
  • Durham County - east
  • Chatham County - south
  • Alamance County - west
  • Caswell County - northwest


The county is served by 2 school districts:

  • Orange County Schools
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro

It is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an institution of the University of North Carolina System and the oldest state-supported university in the United States.

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