Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
|Mecklenburg County, North Carolina|
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
|Founded||November 6, 1762|
|Named for||Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|• Total||546 sq mi (1,414 km2)|
|• Land||524 sq mi (1,357 km2)|
|• Water||22 sq mi (57 km2), 4.0%|
|• Density||2,013.0/sq mi (777/km²)|
|Congressional districts||9th, 12th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Mecklenburg County is a county located on the border in the southwestern part of the state of North Carolina, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 919,628. It increased to 1,034,070 as of the 2015 estimate, making it the most populous county in North Carolina and the first county in the Carolinas to surpass 1 million in population. Its county seat and largest city is Charlotte.
NOTE: To see information about the political body, the 'Mecklenburg County Commission' see this link: Mecklenburg County Commission.
On September 12, 2013, the county welcomed its one millionth resident.
Like its capital Charlotte, the county is named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen of the United Kingdom, whose name is derived from the region of Mecklenburg in Germany, itself deriving its name from Mecklenburg Castle (Mecklenburg meaning "large castle" in Low German) in the village of Dorf Mecklenburg.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Law, government and politics
- 5 Mecklenburg County Government
- 6 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
- 7 MEDIC
- 8 Economy
- 9 Education
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Arts and culture
- 12 Communities
- 13 Notable people
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Mecklenburg County was formed in 1762 from the western part of Anson County, both in the Piedmont section of the state. It was named in commemoration of the marriage of King George III to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, for whom the county seat Charlotte is named. Due to unsure boundaries, a large part of south and western Mecklenburg County extended into areas that would later form part of the state of South Carolina. In 1768, most of this area (the part of Mecklenburg County west of the Catawba River) was designated Tryon County, North Carolina.
Determining the final boundaries of these "western" areas between North and South Carolina was a decades-long process. As population increased in the area following the American Revolutionary War, in 1792 the northeastern part of Mecklenburg County was taken by the North Carolina legislature for Cabarrus County. Finally, in 1842 the southeastern part of Mecklenburg County was combined with the western part of Anson County to become Union County.
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was allegedly signed on May 20, 1775; if the document is genuine, Mecklenburg County was the first part of the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. The "Mecklenburg Resolves" were adopted on May 31, 1775. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-revolution/4263 Mecklenburg continues to celebrate the Meck Dec each year in May. The Date of the Meck Dec is also listed on the Flag of North Carolina, represented by the date of May 20, 1775 as one of two dates on the flag of the old North State.
From 1945 to 1972, Mecklenburg County sterilized 403 people who were in the care of county facilities, far more than any other county in North Carolina. This was the result of a so-called "science" of genetic engineering called eugenics, based on mistaken ideas about the transmission of favorable characteristics through reproduction. Preventing certain populations from reproducing - those (generally poor and minority) then classified as feeble-minded, criminal, etc. was seen as beneficial for society. By this time, the eugenics movement had been discredited in most other parts of the United States.
In 1971, Mecklenburg County was the site of an important case in the American civil rights movement. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (CMS) was a suit filed to force the integration of the public schools in Charlotte..
In 1999, the Federal Courts effectively over-ruled the Swann decision and declared that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education was 'Unitary' and were then prohibited by then US Federal Judge Robert Potter from using race to assign students to schools. In a case initially brought by William Capacchione, on behalf of his minor daughter, CMS was sued for not allowing his daughter into a nearby (or neighborhood) school. Later in the case, additional plaintiffs, referred to as 'Grant intervenors' joined the Capacchione suit. On September 10, 1999 the US District Court for Western North Carolina rejected busing for desegregation purposes claiming that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had removed 'all vestiges of intentional discrimination'. While the Court had imposed busing as a temporary remedy in 1971 in the Swann case, it reversed the School Board's usage of it after all evidence of intentional discrimination were determined to be eliminated. This led the School Board to take the unusual position of petitioning the Court claiming that they were still discriminating and therefore should be allowed to continue to bus. The Court rejected the School Board's claim and CMS moved to a neighborhood schools model using magnets to entice voluntary diversity.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 695,454 people, 273,416 households, and 174,986 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,322 people per square mile (510/km²). There were 292,780 housing units at an average density of 556 per square mile (215/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 64.02% White, 27.87% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 3.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.01% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 6.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race .
There were 273,416 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.70% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.00% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 9.70% from 18 to 24, 36.40% from 25 to 44, 20.30% from 45 to 64, and 8.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,579, and the median income for a family was $60,608. Males had a median income of $40,934 versus $30,100 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,352. About 6.60% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.
Law, government and politics
|2016||32.9% 155,518||62.3% 294,562||4.8% 22,777|
|2012||38.2% 171,668||60.7% 272,262||1.1% 4,970|
|2008||37.5% 153,848||61.8% 253,958||0.7% 3,011|
|2004||48.0% 155,084||51.6% 166,828||0.4% 1,190|
|2000||51.0% 134,068||48.3% 126,911||0.8% 2,057|
|1996||45.9% 97,719||48.6% 103,429||5.5% 11,697|
|1992||43.6% 99,496||42.5% 97,065||13.9% 31,814|
|1988||59.4% 106,236||40.2% 71,907||0.4% 653|
|1984||62.7% 106,754||37.1% 63,190||0.2% 393|
|1980||47.8% 68,384||46.8% 66,995||5.4% 7,679|
|1976||49.2% 61,715||50.4% 63,198||0.4% 486|
|1972||68.5% 77,546||29.8% 33,730||1.7% 1,900|
|1968||52.4% 56,325||28.9% 31,102||18.7% 20,070|
|1964||48.4% 46,589||51.6% 49,582|
|1960||55.1% 48,250||44.9% 39,362|
|1956||62.0% 44,469||38.0% 27,227|
|1952||57.3% 44,334||42.7% 33,044|
|1948||34.7% 11,518||43.3% 14,353||22.0% 7,314|
|1944||26.7% 9,434||73.3% 25,950|
|1940||19.6% 7,013||80.4% 28,768|
|1936||15.3% 4,709||84.8% 26,169|
|1932||21.3% 4,973||77.9% 18,167||0.8% 181|
|1928||55.4% 12,041||44.6% 9,690|
|1924||22.5% 2,572||73.7% 8,443||3.8% 437|
|1920||23.2% 3,421||76.8% 11,313|
|1916||21.8% 1,257||78.1% 4,508||0.1% 6|
|1912||5.9% 284||82.3% 3,967||11.8% 571|
Mecklenburg County Government
Mecklenburg County is a member of the regional Centralina Council of Governments.
The County is governed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC is a nine-member board made up of representatives from each of the six county districts and three at-large representatives elected by the entire county. This electoral structure favors candidates in the at-large positions who will be elected by the majority population of the county. Each District has a population of approximately 165,000 individuals. All seats are partisan and are for 2-year terms (elections occur in even years). The current chairman of the Mecklenburg BOCC is Ella B. Scarborough (D, At-large). The Current Vice-Chair is Jim Puckett(R, District 1).
Members of the Mecklenburg County Commission are required by North Carolina State law to choose a Chair and Vice-Chair once a year (at the first meeting of December). Historically, the individual elected was the 'top-vote-getter' which was one of three (3) at-large members. In 2014 this unofficial rule was changed by the Board to allow any member to serve as Chair or Vice-chair as long as they received support from 4 members plus their own vote.
The nine (9) members of the Board of County Commissioners are:
- Ella Scarborough (D, At-Large - Chairman)
- Trevor Fuller (D, At-Large)
- Pat Cotham (D, At-Large)
- Jim Puckett (R, District 1, Vice Chairman)
- Vilma Leake (D, District 2)
- George Dunlap (D, District 3)
- Dumont Clarke (D, District 4)
- Matthew Ridenhour (R, District 5)
- Bill James (R, District 6)
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
The current Chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board is Mary T. McCray (At-Large). The Vice Chair is Ericka Ellis-Stewart (At-Large). The members of the Board of Education are:
- Mary T. McCray (At-Large - Chairman)
- Elyse C. Dashew (At-Large - Vice Chair)
- Ericka Ellis-Stewart (At-Large)
- Rhonda Lennon (District 1)
- Thelma Byers-Bailey (District 2)
- Ruby M. Jones(District 3)
- Tom Tate (District 4)
- Eric C. Davis (District 5)
- Paul Bailey (District 6)
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board is non-partisan, and staggered elections are held every two years (in odd years).
The residents of Mecklenburg County are provided emergency medical service by MEDIC, the Mecklenburg EMS Agency. All emergency ambulance service is provided by MEDIC. No other emergency transport companies are allowed to operate within Mecklenburg County. While MEDIC is a division of Mecklenburg County Government, a board guides and directs MEDIC that consists of members affiliated with Carolinas Medical Center (CMC), Novant Presbyterian Hospital and a swing vote provided by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. CMC and Novant are the two major medical institutions in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The major industries of Mecklenburg County are banking, manufacturing, and professional services, especially those supporting banking and medicine. Mecklenburg County is home to six Fortune 500 companies, including 21st-ranked Bank of America.
Fortune 500 Companies with headquarters in Mecklenburg County
|1.||Bank of America||Banking||$100.1 billion||21|
|2.||Duke Energy||Utilities||$19.6 billion||145|
|4.||Family Dollar||Retail||$9.3 billion||287|
|5.||Sonic Automotive||Automotive Retailing||$8.5 billion||307|
Wachovia, a former Fortune 500 Company had its headquarters in Charlotte until it was acquired by Wells Fargo for $15.1 billion. Wells Fargo maintains the majority of the former company's operations in Charlotte. The Federal Reserve approved the merger on October 12, 2008.
Goodrich Corporation, a former Fortune 500 Company, had its headquarters in Charlotte until it was acquired by United Technologies Corporation for $18.4 billion. Charlotte is now the headquarters for UTC Aerospace Systems.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) serves the entire county; however, the State of North Carolina also has approved a number of charter schools in Mecklenburg County (independently operated schools financed with tax dollars).
Colleges and universities
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Charlotte School of Law
- Davidson College
- King's College
- Queens University of Charlotte
- Central Piedmont Community College
- Johnson & Wales University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- The Art Institute of Charlotte
- Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus)
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County serves residents of Mecklenburg County. Library cards from any branch can be used at all 20 locations. The library has an extensive collection (over 1.5 million items) of reference and popular materials including DVDs, books on CD, best sellers, downloadable media, and books.
The county's primary commercial aviation airport is Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte.
With twenty-five freight trains a day, Mecklenburg is a freight railroad transportation center, largely due to its place on the NS main line between Washington and Atlanta and the large volumes of freight moving in and out of the county via truck.
Mecklenburg County is served daily by three Amtrak routes.
The Piedmont train connects Charlotte with Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro.
The Amtrak station is located at 1914 North Tryon Street. A new centralized multimodal train station, Gateway Station, has been planned for the city. It is expected to house the future LYNX Purple Line, the new Greyhound bus station, and the Crescent line that passes through Uptown Charlotte.
Mecklenburg County is the proposed southern terminus for the initial segment of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor operating between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. Currently in conceptual design, the SEHSR would eventually run from Washington, D.C. to Macon, Georgia.
Light rail and mass transit
Light rail service in Mecklenburg County is provided by LYNX Rapid Transit Services. Currently a 9.6-mile (15.4 km) line running from Uptown to Pineville; build-out is expected to be complete by 2034.
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus service serves all of Mecklenburg County, including Charlotte, and the municipalities of Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius, Matthews, Pineville, and Mint Hill.
The vintage Charlotte Trolley also operates in partnership with CATS. On July 14, 2015, the Goldrush Streetcar was revived to operate in Uptown after several decades of absence. The line runs from Trade Street, near Charlotte Transportation and Convention Center, to Elizabeth Avenue. In addition to several restaurants, this line also serves Central Piedmont Community College and Novant Health Presbyterian Hospital. The city is applying for a $50,000,000 Federal Transportation Grant, to gain funding to construct expansion of a line to serve Johnson C. Smith University to the West and East along Central Avenue.
Mecklenburg's manufacturing base, its central location on the Eastern Seaboard, and the intersection of two major interstates in the county have made it a hub for the trucking industry.
Arts and culture
Museums and libraries
- Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
- Billy Graham Library
- Carolinas Aviation Museum
- Charlotte Museum of History
- Charlotte Nature Museum
- Discovery Place
- Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville
- Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
- Levine Museum of the New South
- McColl Center for Visual Art
- Mint Museum Randolph
- Mint Museum UPTOWN
- NASCAR Hall of Fame
- Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
Sports and entertainment
Music and performing arts venues
- Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte
- Bojangles' Coliseum
- Carolina Actors Studio Theatre
- Knight Theater
- The Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa
- North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
- Ovens Auditorium
- Spectrum Center (arena)
- Spirit Square
- Theatre Charlotte
- Uptown Amphitheatre At the NC Music Factory
- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte
- Carolina Place Mall
- Carolina Raptor Center
- Concord Mills Mall in Cabarrus County
- Lake Norman
- Lake Wylie
- Latta Plantation Nature Preserve
- Little Sugar Creek Greenway
- Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
- Northlake Mall
- President James K. Polk Historic Site
- Ray's Splash Planet
- SouthPark Mall
- U.S. National Whitewater Center
Mecklenburg County contains seven municipalities including the City of Charlotte and the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville (north of Charlotte); and the towns of Matthews, Mint Hill, and Pineville (south and southeast of Charlotte). Small portions of Stallings and Weddington are also in Mecklenburg County, though most of those towns are in Union County. Extraterritorial jurisdictions within the county are annexed by municipalities as soon as they reach sufficient concentrations.
- Charlotte (county seat)
- Clear Creek
- Crab Orchard
- Long Creek
- Mallard Creek
- Morning Star
- Paw Creek
- Sharon (extinct)
- Steele Creek
- Abraham Alexander (1717–1786), on the commission to establish town of Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina state legislator
- Evan Shelby Alexander, (1767–1809), born in Mecklenburg County, later United States Congressman from North Carolina
- Nathaniel Alexander, (1756–1808), born in Mecklenburg County, United States Congressman and governor of North Carolina
- Daniel Harvey Hill, (1821-1889), Confederate General during the American Civil War and a Southern scholar.
- Romare Bearden, 20th century African-American artist
- Brigadier General William Lee Davidson,(1746–1781), was a North Carolina militia general during the American Revolutionary War.
- Ric Flair, retired professional wrestler
- Anthony Foxx (born 1971), United States Secretary of Transportation since 2013, former mayor of Charlotte.
- Billy Graham, (born 1918), world-famous evangelist who has led religious revivals in many nations around the world. He has also served as a spiritual advisor to many U.S. Presidents.
- Eliza Ann Grier (1864–1902), born in Mecklenburg County, first African-American female physician in Georgia
- Anthony Hamilton, (born 1971), American R&B/soul singer
- Gen. Robert Irwin (North Carolina State Senator) (1738-1800), a distinguished commander of Patriot (American Revolution) militia forces, who is said to have been a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence
- Pat McCrory (born 1956), former Governor of North Carolina, former seven-term Mayor of Charlotte.
- James K. Polk, (1795–1849), 11th President of the United States. Polk was born in Mecklenburg County in 1795; his family moved to Tennessee when he was an adolescent.
- Colonel William Polk (9 July 1758 – 14 January 1834) banker, educational administrator, political leader, renowned Continental officer in the War for American Independence, and survivor of the 1777/1778 encampment at Valley Forge.
- Shannon Spake, ESPN NASCAR correspondent
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 204.
- Helms, Ann Doss and Tomlinson, Tommy (26 September 2011). "Wallace Kuralt's era of sterilization: Mecklenburg's impoverished had few, if any, rights in the '50s and '60s as he oversaw one of the most aggressive efforts to sterilize certain populations". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Green, Robert P. Jr. (2002). Historic US Court Cases: An Encyclopedia, Volume II Second Edition. Routledge. p. 666. ISBN 978-0-415-93756-6.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
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- "Fortune 500 Companies". Charlotte Chamber Web Site. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Bank of America Corp. - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- Duke Energy - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- Nucor - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- Family Dollar Stores - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- Sonic Automotive - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- SPX - Fortune 500 2013 - Fortune. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- "FRB: Press Release--Approval of proposal by Wells Fargo & Company to acquire Wachovia Corporation". Federal Reserve Board. 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
- United Technologies completes Goodrich acquisition
- "Largest Employers". Charlotte Chamber Web Site. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- Geographic data related to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina at OpenStreetMap
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Government Official Website
- Mecklenburg County homepage
- NCGenWeb Mecklenburg County - free genealogy resources for the county
- Charlotte Mecklenburg County Guide - Mecklenburg Now
- Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
- Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation