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Introduction to Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington is located between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Hanover County. The city contains a large seaport and is home to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. It features a prominent historic district and is close to superb beaches. The city was the childhood residence of basketball star Michael Jordan.


The area was established during the 1720’s by English settlers. In 1739 the city was incorporated. Lumber produced from the nearby forest as well as naval stores were major factors for the economy during the 18th and 19th Centuries. During the Civil War, the local port was a primary base for Confederate blockade runners. The city was named in tribute to Spencer Compton who was the Earl of Wilmington and held the position of Primer Minister during the reign of George II.

Wilmington was the scene of the notorious “Massacre of 1898,” a violent assault by a group of Caucasians which began with the destruction of a printing press of the African-American newspaper called the Daily Record. They proceeded to set the building on fire. The mob then entered an African-American neighborhood and lynched numerous residents and forced hundreds of African-Americans to leave town. The primary factor for the attack was an editorial in the Daily Record which was interpreted by some of the white citizens as being insulting to white womanhood. After the violent attack, the mayor along with the city council was pushed out of office and the leader of the white gang became the mayor.

Carolina Beach Sunrise

Carolina Beach Sunrise


The city is home to the Wilmington International Airport.



  • USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial.
  • Cape Fear Museum.
  • Bellamy Mansion features antebellum architecture.
  • Airlie Gardens incudes lakes and the Historic Airlie Oak.
  • Burgwin-Wright House.
  • The Cape Fear Serpentarium features a vast number of snakes from all over the world.
  • Latimer House Museum.
  • Wilmington Railroad Museum.
  • North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
  • Sunset Park Historic District.




  • Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Cultural Arts Building at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington contains a music recital hall, two theaters as well as an art gallery.
  • The EUE Screen Gems Studio offers tours to the public.
  • Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
  • Wilmington Exchange Festival.
  • North Carolina Jazz Festival is host to world famous jazz musicians.
  • Wrightsville Beach.
  • Carolina Beach.
  • Kure Beach.
  • Marrz Theatre.
  • Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington.


Higher Education

The city is home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Cape Fear Community College.


Comparative Profile of Wilmington, North Carolina

Comparing Wilmington to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in North Carolina (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).


The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Female Share of the Population 10 7
Senior Citizens 8 5
Well-Paid Single Women 6 9
Racial Diversity 6 7
Age of the Population 4 2
Well-Paid Single Men 4 7
Children Under 5 Years Old 2 3
Male Share of the Population 1 5



Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 1 1
Average Household Size 1 2



Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 7 9
Median Family Income 3 6
People in Middle Class or Better 3 5
People Above Poverty 2 4


Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Short Commute Times 9 9
Walking and Biking to Work 8 9
Working at Home 6 7
Public Transportation Use 6 10



Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 9
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 8
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 8 10
Affordability of Property Taxes 7 2
Housing Recently Built 7 7
Affordability of Rents 7 2



Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 1 1
Low Property Crime 1 2

– See more at: http://www.citytowninfo.com/places/north-carolina/wilmington#sthash.dHqsaqJZ.dpuf

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