North Carolina, one of the Southern states of the United States. It is bounded by Virginia, the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. The area is 53,821 square miles (139,397 km 2).

North Carolina'sNorth Carolina's state bird is the cardinal.
North Carolina in brief
General information
Statehood: Nov. 21, 1789, the 12th state.
State abbreviations: N.C. (traditional); NC (postal).
State capital: Raleigh, North Carolina's capital since 1792. New Bern was the capital from 1771 to 1776. There was no fixed capital from 1776 to 1792.
State motto: Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather Than to Seem).
Popular name: The Tar Heel State.
State song: "The Old North State." Words by William Gaston; musical arrangement by Ora Huffman Randolph.
Symbols of North Carolina
State bird: Cardinal.
State flower: Flowering dogwood.
State tree: Longleaf pine.
State flag and seal: North Carolina's state flag, adopted in 1885, has two horizontal stripes of red and white. On the left side of the flag is a blue vertical stripe with two dates. May 20, 1775, is the supposed date of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence proclaiming Mecklenburg County's independence from Britain. On April 12, 1776, North Carolina authorized its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. The state seal, adopted in 1984, also has these dates. The standing figure on the left represents Liberty, and the seated figure on the right represents Plenty.
Land and climate
Area: 52,672 mi2 (136,421 km2), including 3,954 mi2 (10,241 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest--Mount Mitchell, 6,684 ft (2,037 m) above sea level. Lowest--sea level along the Atlantic Ocean.
Coastline: 301 mi (484 km).
Record high temperature: 110 °F ( 43 °C) at Fayetteville on Aug. 21, 1983.
Record low temperature: –34 °F (–37 °C) at Mount Mitchell, near Asheville, on Jan. 21, 1985.,
Average July temperature: 70 °F (21 °C).
Average January temperature: 41 °F (5 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 50 in (127 cm).
Population: 8,049,313.
Rank among the states: 11th.
Density: 153 per mi2 (59 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 60 percent urban, 40 percent rural.
Largest cities in North Carolina: Charlotte (540,828); Raleigh (276,093); Greensboro (223,891); Durham (187,035); Winston-Salem (185,776); Fayetteville (121,015).
Chief products
Agriculture: broilers, cotton, hogs, nursery and greenhouse products, tobacco, turkeys.
Manufacturing: chemicals, food products, machinery, textiles, tobacco products.
Mining: crushed stone, phosphate rock, sand and gravel.
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 50; 2-year terms.
State representatives: 120; 2-year terms.
Counties: 100.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 13.
Electoral votes: 15.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, 4324 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4324. The Web site at also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: Department of Commerce, Division of Business and Industry Development, 4310 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4310. The state's official Web site at also provides a gateway to much information on North Carolina's economy, government, and history.