Beaufort, North Carolina

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Beaufort, North Carolina
Downtown Beaufort
Downtown Beaufort
Official seal of Beaufort, North Carolina
Location of Beaufort, North Carolina
Location of Beaufort, North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°43′N 76°39′W / 34.717°N 76.650°W / 34.717; -76.650Coordinates: 34°43′N 76°39′W / 34.717°N 76.650°W / 34.717; -76.650
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Named forHenry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort
 • Total6.85 sq mi (17.74 km2)
 • Land4.85 sq mi (12.56 km2)
 • Water2.00 sq mi (5.18 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total4,391
 • Estimate 
 • Density918.13/sq mi (354.51/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)252
FIPS code37-04260[3]
GNIS feature ID1019024[4]

Beaufort (/ˈbfərt/ BOH-fərt)[5] is a town in and the county seat of Carteret County, North Carolina, United States.[6] Established in 1713 and incorporated in 1723, Beaufort is the fourth oldest town in North Carolina (after Bath, New Bern and Edenton).[7][8] On February 1, 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine.[9]

The population was 4,039 at the 2010 census.[10] It is sometimes confused with a city of the same name in South Carolina; the two are distinguished by different pronunciations.[5]

Beaufort is located in North Carolina's "Inner Banks" region. The town is home to the North Carolina Maritime Museum, the Duke University Marine Laboratory (Nicholas School of the Environment), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research. It is also the location of the Rachel Carson Reserve, part of the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve system.[11]


The Beaufort Historic District, Carteret County Home, Gibbs House, Jacob Henry House, and Old Burying Ground are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[12] In June 1718 Blackbeard the pirate ran his flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge and his sloop Adventure, aground near present-day Beaufort Inlet, NC.[13] The Queen Anne's Revenge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 with the reference number 04000148. Thirty two years later, in August 1750, at least three Spanish merchantmen ran aground in North Carolina during a hurricane. One of the three, the El Salvador, sank near Cape Lookout.[14]


Beaufort is located south of the center of Carteret County at 34°43′N 76°39′W / 34.717°N 76.650°W / 34.717; -76.650 (34.7207, −76.6525).[15] It is located on Beaufort Inlet, a channel leading south to the Atlantic Ocean. To the west is the tidal Newport River, separating the town from Morehead City. To the east is the unincorporated neighborhood of Lenoxville, extending to the North River, another tidal river.

U.S. Route 70 passes through Beaufort, leading west across the Newport River to Morehead City and northeast 31 miles (50 km) to its end in the town of Atlantic.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Beaufort has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.5 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (12.0 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 17.75%, is water.[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)4,452[2]1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
Carteret County Courthouse in Beaufort

As of the census[3] of 2008,[needs update] there were 4,189 people, 1,780 households, and 1,048 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,374.4 people per square mile (531.4/km2). There were 2,187 housing units at an average density of 797.1 per square mile (308.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 75.87% White, 19.99% African American, 0.37% Asian, 0.11% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.39% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.77% of the population.

There were 1,780 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 18.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,763, and the median income for a family was $39,429. Males had a median income of $30,859 versus $22,955 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,356. About 13.3% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.0% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.


Beaufort uses a council-manager form of government. The community elects a mayor and five council members. Mayors serve two-year terms, and council members serve staggered four-year terms.


Elementary schools[edit]

Middle school[edit]

  • Beaufort Middle School[20]

High school[edit]

Higher education[edit]





Beaufort hosts several annual events, including:

  • Beaufort Music Festival
  • North Carolina Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show
  • BARTA Fishing Tournament
  • Beaufort Pirate Invasion
  • Beaufort Wine and Food Festival

Beaufort is also home to the Carteret County main public library.[23]

Honors and designations[edit]

  • On February 1, 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine.[9]
  • Beaufort NC was named a 2015 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.[24]

Sister cities[edit]

A horse-drawn carriage in front of the North Carolina Maritime Museum

According to Beaufort Sister Cities, Inc., the city of Beaufort has 19 sister cities:[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Landphair, Ted (July 16, 2012). "Without Pierre". Ted Landphair's America. Voice of America. Retrieved July 23, 2012. There are two decent-sized port cities of the same name — Beaufort — on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. One, in North Carolina, is BOH-furt. The other, in South Carolina, is BYEW-furt. Yet they're both named after the same English duke. He was a BOH-furt.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ "Town of Beaufort". Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  8. ^ "A Brief History of Beaufort, North Carolina". Beaufort Business Association. Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "America's Coolest Small Towns". Budget Travel Magazine. February 2012. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Beaufort town, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  11. ^ Rachel Carson Archived November 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine from North Carolina Coastal Reserve
  12. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  13. ^ "Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge". Nautilus Productions.
  14. ^ Heit, Judi (April 7, 2012). "North Carolina Shipwrecks: The Spanish Galleons ~ 18 August 1750". North Carolina Shipwrecks. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Welcome To Beaufort Elementary School! Home of the Seadogs! Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^,+801+Mulberry+St,+Beaufort,+NC+28516/@34.7205377,-76.655467,18z/data=!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x89a890bda8148b6b:0x67938c41fda60d3a!2s801+Mulberry+St,+Beaufort,+NC+28516!3m1!1s0x89a890bda86b2633:0x8d253ad90e82c27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "A Carteret County North Carolina Elementary Charter School". Tiller School. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  20. ^ Beaufort Middle School Archived March 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "East Carteret High School: Home Page". Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "Marine Lab Homepage - Nicholas School". Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  23. ^ Cartert County Library Archived March 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Beaufort earns 'Tree City USA' designation". islandpacket. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  25. ^ "Beaufort Sister Cities in Beaufort, North Carolina". Beaufort Sister Cities, Inc. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.

External links[edit]